Swim Meet Expectations
Swim meets are a busy and fun part of the summer season! Here's some guidance on what you can expect.
The coaches will utilize top times and attendance plans to seed the swimmers in the upcoming meets. We need to know if your swimmer is available to attend upcoming A meets. You can let the team rep know on the registration form, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by indicating availability on our SwimTopia site (meet-by-meet).
The team rep will send a draft of the Saturday A Meet lineup by Wednesday, which is finalized with the opposing team by Thursday evening, and will send a meet sheet, or meet program, by Friday before the meet. There is no meet program for Monday B Meets but our best effort will be made to communicate a lineup in advance of the meet.
A Meets start at 9am on Saturday mornings and B Meets begin at 6:30 pm on Mondays. However, you will need to arrive at the pool much earlier to settle in and warm up. For home A Meets, plan on arriving by 7:45 am and 8:00 am for away meets. For home B Meets, plan on arriving at 5:15 pm and 5:30 pm for away meets. Please read all e-mails for specific details about each meet. A Meets wrap up around noon and B Meets conclude around 9:00 pm.
PREPARATION AND WHAT TO BRING
Athletes should get a good night's sleep before meets and should stay hydrated before, during and after meets. Eat a healthy breakfast (A Meets) or healthy late lunch / early dinner (B Meets) prior to the meet.
Athletes should be prepared for every meet with the following:
- team or competition swimsuit
- two pairs of goggles (includes a backup pair)
- team swim cap
- one or two towels - there can be a long wait between events so it's always nice to have a dry towel
- water bottle (labeled)
- light snack - avoid that donut from the concessions area until you've swam your last event
- chair - some teams provide chairs in the team area and some don't
- bag - sometimes the team areas can be muddy so it's handy to have a bag for all your swimmer's things (doesn't need to be fancy, a reusable grocery bag is a good option, and a garbage bag is awesome for rainy meets)
- if there is rain in the forecast, add extra dry towels and dry clothes to the trunk of your car
- electronics ARE NOT recommended in the team area; the coaches and team reps are not responsible for any lost, damaged or stolen electronics including phones and tablets
Many pools provide chairs for spectators but it's helpful to have one in the car if needed. Spectators and volunteers should also have sunscreen and stay hydrated. Most pools offer concessions (at Springboard, the Cuda Shack offers awesome breakfast burritos and grill options plus all the other good stuff!) so have some cash on hand.
The swimmers will sit together in the team area, which is separate from the spectator area. We usually have three or four canopies in the team area for shade. The coaching interns gather the younger swimmers to make sure they make it to the clerk of course area in time for their events (where the swimmers are staged prior to their events). We ask for swimmers to remain in the team area so they can be ready for their events (and have fun together in between!). Parents, please limit your time in the team area to drop off and pick up and an occasional check-in if necessary. Misbehavior in the team area will not be tolerated. Our coaches and interns need to have their attention on the meet and not dealing with behavior concerns.
Good sportsmanship is one of the cornerstones of the Northern Virginia Swim League and is paramount to the Barracudas. For home meets, we expect swimmers and spectators alike to offer our visitors the highest level of hospitality. When we are away, we should treat the host's facilities like they were our own and leave it the way we found it. We encourage positive team cheers and cheering FOR our swimmers rather than against our opponents. We appreciate all of our swimmers' and parents' support in this mission and hope that we will be recognized with the Division Sportsmanship award.
WHEN THE MEET IS OVER
When the meet is over, swimmers should collect all their things and dispose of any trash. We also need swimmers and parents to help take down the canopies and clean up the team area. If we are home, we need help getting the pool ready to open for our membership (putting chairs in their place, etc.).
For away A Meets, we gather at a local restaurant for a team lunch (Chili's at Manchester Lakes is a favorite). Please check e-mails for any post-meet plans.