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What to Expect at Swim Meets

 

Below are guidelines for swim meets. Please support the Gold Medal Swim School's goal for all swim meets: Fall in love with racing…."Racing is fun!" 

Racing

Swimmers 7 years old and younger swim 25 yards (1 lap). 7 and under start off the side, not the blocks. Swimmers who are 8 years old can choose to swim 25 yards or 50 yards for their races. Swimmers 9 years old and older swim 50 yards (2 laps) and have the option of starting off the blocks. All swimmers are invited to swim all four strokes (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle) but picking even one is great!

Awards

Racing is organized by age groups, gender, and stroke. Each race is called an "event" which are ordered and numbered. Each event will have a series of "heats" (races) within each event. Heats will have 8-10 swimmers in each, which are seeded (organized) by swimmer's times (slowest to fastest). Ribbons will be awarded for the 1st through 8th place of each heat. Medals are awarded at the end of the season championship for 1st-8th place of the EVENT (not the heat). 

Races are organized by time but if a swimmer is new and doesn't not have entry times, they may have a  more random placement. Watch the "Swim Life" video below to learn how to read and understand a heat sheet:


Team Spirit

Swimmers are expected to participate in meets as a team. Cheering for each other is highly encouraged. Team tents will be set up with team gear, tattoos, stickers, water, and Otter Pops. Swimmers are encouraged to sit together at the team tent, cheer each other on, play games, and hang out between events.

Coaches' Responsibilities

Gold Medal coaches stand at the team tent, behind blocks, and at the finish. We do not offer technique tips at swim meets as this is not the time for "corrections" but showing off what the swimmer's have learned. Gold Medal coaches encourage swimmers to be their best and stay positive!

 

Swimmers' Responsibilities

Find a coach or any Gold Medal coach and say "hello." Get ready to enter the pool for warm-up instructions. "Warm-up" at this age is a VERY loose term. Warm-ups are designed to develop good habits and get some butterflies out. Attend the team meeting, held after the warm-up. 

REPORT to starting block one event prior to your race! 
RACE and do your best! 
RETURN to team tent, get an otter pop, and celebrate! 
CHEER with friends! 
REPEAT again!
 

All registered swimmers will be given a personalized heat sheet when they arrive at the meet. This will help swimmers (and parents if needed) know when and where to report for their races. A sample personalized heat sheet is displayed below. A personalized heat sheet is provided for your swimmer by Gold Medal Swim School. Swimmers should still learn how to read the meet heat sheet (available here the day before the meet) as they will not be given personalized heat sheets when they move onto club, high school swim, or other teams.  Report to the correct event, heat, and lane. Swimmers should aim for a PR (personal record) time and RACE as fast as possible. Swimmers should hang out between events and play games, cheer for teammates, and relax. Swimmers are responsible to get to the starting area the event prior to their event.

What to Bring to a Swim Meet

Bring something to sit on, such as a folding chair or a blanket. Bring a swim suit, goggles, team shirt, team cap, and towels (one for each event). You may want to bring games, coloring books, toys, or anything else to pass the time. Snacks and water! Bring something healthy and hydrating like fruit or watered-down Gatorade. 

Parents/Guardians

Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time. Arriving early helps swimmers feel less stressed. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to cheer for their swimmers! Help ease anxiety by keeping it light and fun. Limit technique suggestions and encourage swimmers to RACE as fast as they can!!!!!

Give lots of high fives and smiles. Possible questions to ask include, "What did you think of your swim?" "Are you proud of your effort?" Help your swimmer return to the team area and relax, play with friends, and grab an Otter Pop! Take a moment to celebrate your swimmer. Swim meets are a time to shine and show off all the hard work they have put in during practice.

While the coaches are always ready and willing to help, they are not responsible to ensure swimmers are ready and in the correct place for they race. 

If you have questions or comments about your swimmers meet or practice performance, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the Competitive Department Leader.

GO GOLD MEDAL!!!!

Heat Sheet

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