In our last post, we discussed what happens before the races begin at a swim meet and today we will explain what occurs once the competition begins. Here's what you can expect:
Reporting to a heat
Swimmers usually report to their lanes a few heats before their actual time to swim. A race clerk will then confirm that all swimmers are in the correct lane, and then take them down to the pool once it is time for them to compete.
Depending on the event, you can expect there to be 4 to 8 heats. When your child is waiting for the next round of the event to begin, he or she may do some recovery swimming in an unused lane, depending on what the coach wants. Some coaches often want to talk to their swimmers to provide encouragement or tips for the next heat. Once the event has ended, the next one is called and the procedure starts all over again.
What parents can do
Between events, your child may have a few moments to spend with you before needing to report back to the pool. Take this opportunity to praise your swimmer's hard work and let him or her know that you're proud. If your athlete needs a drink or help or to change into a different racing swimsuit, this would be the time to provide assistance.
After the races end
After a swimmer has completed all events, he or she can go home. Before leaving, make sure that you check in with the coach to make sure that no races have been skipped. Awards are usually given to the coach at the end of the meet. Your child will received any earned awards at the next practice.