Swim Meet 101
Are you new to the Sharks Swim Team or just need a refresher, below you'll find answers to many questions about Summer Season Swim Meets.
Q: My child has never swum on a team before – can he/she try it out before we commit for the summer?
A: Yes! Please sign up, and attend the evaluation day prior to the first week of practice. The young children are assessed in the water with a coach to best determine the correct swim group the child should be assigned to for practices. There are a lot of kids who are nervous about the swim meets and the coaches can help with this. Meets are also something they can work towards throughout the season. Meets are very fun! There is no pressure and coaches are always there - even in the water to help with young swimmers. If plans change or swim team is not a good fit, please let us know so we can take you off the team distribution list.
Q: My child is just learning to swim (6 and under) – can he/she be on the swim team?
A: Please sign him/her up, regardless of their abilities! All new and young swimmers are able to use the first two weeks of practice on a trial basis, to see how they are progressing.
Q: Do you offer swim lessons?
A: Swim lessons are available with coaches – just set it up with your coach, all rates for swim lessons are the same regardless of the coach selected.
Q: What equipment is required for swim team?
A: Please view the Weatherstone Equipment webpage for recommended items. Swimmers are encouraged to wear a team swim suit to the swim meets. Team suit information is available on the website. All swimmers will receive a swim cap with team registration. Remember, If your child wears a swim cap in meets, it must be the team swim cap per league rules. Your child may also need goggles for practice and meets.
Q: When is the best time for me to talk to the coaches?
A: The best time to speak with coaches is any time outside practice and swim meet times. You can also connect with coaches via email and schedule some time with them.
Q: What is expected of the parents?
A: In addition to getting your swimmer to practice on time and on a regular basis, please make sure you communicate with the coaches and respond to sign-ups and e-mail requests. This is especially important as we try to manage a growing team. Parents are also expected to volunteer to help at swim meets and attend a kick-off meeting with the coaches at the beginning of the season. Parents are also expected to volunteer at swim meets, each Tuesday night from June through July.
Q: What if we go on vacation or my swimmer goes to camp?
A: Please declare your swimmer's attendance to meets via our website. There are many kids who miss a week of practice or a meet for camp or vacation, please don't let that deter your family from registering to participate! Summer swim season is about camaraderie, swim improvement, and outdoor fun.
Q: How many swim meets are there and is my child expected to attend every meet?
A: We appreciate having as many swimmers as possible at the six dual meets held on Tuesday evenings from June through July! It is a great experience for the kids, however we do not mandate the number of meets they are required to attend. The Shark swimmers will also be able to compete in two additional meets- Cary City Meet, and TSA Championship both take place in July. Coaches will share more information about both of those meets during the season.
Q: Is my child expected to stay until the end of meets?
A: The actual meets run about three hours, with warm-ups starting 30 minutes before the meet starts. Swimmers are encouraged to stay until the end of the meet and support the rest of the team, however “6 and Under” swimmers are usually able to leave after their last race, about half-way through the meet. We ask all parents to please inform the coaches if your child is leaving a meet early. There are lots of times the coaches need to fill spots on relays and will be counting on the swimmers who are in attendance.
Q: What should I bring to the meet?
A: There is downtime for swimmers between events at a meet. Please bring things to help your kids pass the time (cards, coloring books). Some kids like a blanket to sit on, and some kids go through multiple towels (warm-ups, and after each event they swim). You also should bring chairs to sit on, snacks, and money for concessions.
Q: Is there food at the meets?
A: There is generally some sort of food for sale at the meets (some clubs have a formal snack bar, others will set something up for the meet), and most parents also bring snacks/drinks that are a good fit for their kids. For home meets, our team will share the concessions that will be available via the weekly Sharks email.
Q: Why do I need to declare attendance for a meet?
A: Coaches spend several hours preparing for the meet and setting the swimmer line-up for each event. It is difficult for coaches to add or delete swimmers who do or do not show up at meets at the last minute. For swimmers who did not sign up but do show up at the meet, every effort will be made to add them to a heat. If your swimmer is signed up to attend but does not, it causes stress and frustration for the coaches and volunteers, and and the confusion may even add to the length of the meet. If you child planned to attend but has to back out at the last minute, please email/text the coaches as soon as possible so they can make the changes before the start of the meet. Not attending the meet after declaring you would also makes it difficult for the Kid Pusher volunteers to know if they are missing a swimmer or not.
Q: What if we have a change of plans?
A: Please declare via the website before the Friday prior to the meet. It is easier to cross someone out than to have people not indicate whether they can come one way or the other. If it is last minute, such as a sick child, please contact the coaches directly.
Q: What am I required to do at meets?
A: We rely on volunteers to run the meets. No experience is necessary, and there are several volunteer positions that are set-up for shorter shift times. The mock meet is a great way to learn some of the roles in advance of the meet.
Q: Does the team have any other activities besides practice and meets?
A: Yes! The team has an open house, a kick-off party and an end of season party. In addition, after each home meet, the team usually meets for ice-cream at Goodberry's (2325 Davis Drive, Cary). At away meets, there will be a PA announcement sharing the location for the after-meet ice cream social. This is a great way to meet the other team members and their families.