How To Prepare For A Swim Meet

Week Leading Up To Meet:

  • A meet itinerary will be sent by Wednesday night or Thursday morning the week of the meet.
  • This itinerary will list the location of the meet, arrival times, and other meet centric information.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay rested

What To Bring (Swimmers):

  • Team Swim Suit (if you do not have a team suit, wear a suit of the team colors)
  • Team Cap (required)
  • Goggles (required)
  • If under 10yr old, a sharpie (used to mark events and heat/lanes on swimmers arms) -- see below
  • Sweat suit/warm-ups (The more warm gear the better. A warm swimmer, is a fast swimmer)
  • 2+ towels
  • Entertainment (books, cards, paper, pens, MP3 player).  Do NOT bring valuables that could be lost, stolen or damaged by water.
  • Gatorade, Water, snacks (fresh fruit, granola bars, etc.)

What To Bring (Parents):

  • Cash - for spectator entry fee and optional heat sheets/concessions.  Most swim meets have an entry fee of $2-5.  
  • Heat Sheets - this tells you when your athlete will swim and what lane they will be in - are also for sale, usually about $2 or available on MeetMobile
  • Snacks/Drinks
  • Dress in layers!  Pools can become very warm when they are full of spectators and swimmers.  
  • Stadium seats or cushions.  Many pools have concrete stairs/seats, while others have bleacher seating similar to the WWS Aquatic Center. 
  • Entertainment (club meets can sometimes last a few hours and your swimmer will not be in the water the entrire time)

When You Arrive:

  • Most meets require swimmers to Sign in (positive check-in) when they first arrive at a swim meet.  This lets the club hosting the meet know who is in attendance and ready to swim.  Be sure to arrive by the time designated on the meet itinerary so you will have time to sign in.  If you’re not sure where the sign in sheets are, ASK!!  Occasionally meets are "Pre-Seeded" which means swimmers do not need to sign in.  Always ask if you are unsure about sign ins. 
  • Next, your swimmer will need to find their coach and get ready for warm-ups.  Your coach will tell the swimmers where they are expected to sit along with other team members until individual events are called.  Parents are not allowed on the pool deck per USA Swimming standards and procedures.
  • After your swimmer has finished their last individual event, make sure that they check with their coach before they leave the meet.  

General Meet Expectations:

  • Swimmers are expected to arrive at the meet at the proper time listed on the meet itinerary for warm-up and be ready to get in the pool at the designated time. 
  • Arriving at the time designated on the meet itinerary will allow swimmers to have time to do an on deck dryland routine before getting into the pool.
  • Swimmers are expected to follow the coaches’ instructions during warm-up and for meet procedures.
  • Swimmers are expected to know their events and seeding and be on time to swim their events.  This information can be obtained from the coaches prior to warm-up.
  • Swimmers are expected to follow up with their coach after each swim to discuss their performance.
  • Swimmers are expected to support their other teammates and to be respectful to other teams competing at the meet.
  • Parents are expected to encourage their swimmers and support the team.

Swimmer Events On Arm

How to mark swimmer’s arm for meets

Before arriving at a meet, it is helpful for swimmers to know which events/strokes they will be swimming.   Heat and lane information for each swimmer will be listed on the heat sheet, but those generally won't be available until after warm-ups.  So to help your swimmer prepared...

1. Parents - Use the illustration below to draw a table for Event, Heat, Lane and Stroke.  

2. Parents - Fill in the Event and Stroke information before they arrive at the meet. 

3. Swimmers will then fill in the Heat and Lane once the heat sheets are available. 



E= Event

H= Heat

L= Lane

S= Stroke


Source: Bluff City Bluefins