Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Insight #2

 Be prepared!

Whether you’re going to practice or a meet all you need is a suit and goggles, right? WRONG! Swimmers actually need a lot of gear. I sometimes feel like we’re moving when we go to a meet. Here is a rundown of what to pack.

1- the swimmer(s)
    No explanation necessary.

2- swimsuits
    More than one should be packed. My daughter’s suit was torn in a very bad place on accident by a teammate goofing off. She hadn’t packed a back up suit. Embarrassing!

3- goggles
     Again, more than one pair should be packed. Straps break at the most inopportune times. I highly recommend bungees. They adjust easily, don’t break easily, and my daughter’s goggles haven’t slipped since we bought them. They run about $6. You might also want a clear and tinted pair of goggles. Tinted goggles can make it hard to see in indoor pools but are great for sunny days. If your child wears glasses, prescription goggles can be purchased for under $20.

4- caps
     Yet again, pack more than one. They also tend to break at inopportune times. Caps come in latex and silicone. My children prefer the silicone caps. They are sturdier and don’t pull hair as much when being put on and taken off.

5- towels
     I pack one for warm-ups, one for each swim, and one for changing after the meet. They can also be worn as headgear.

6- sunscreen
     We don’t want crispy swimmers, do we?

7- parka
     These are wonderful when it’s chilly. We prefer the Speedo parka.

8-extra clothes
    Things get wet when you’re around a pool. Also, the weather can change during the day. You might want to pack some for yourself esp. when you have to count for long swims.

9- swim bag
     All this gear has to be carried somehow. They are also great for autographs.

10- food/drinks
     Swimmers get hungry! I give them something with protein right after practice. Light, healthy snacks are perfect for meets. Swimmers dehydrate even though they don’t feel the sweat. Water is fine. We also like PureSport. It is a nutritional performance sports drink with protein. Swimmers under 15 years can half the workout amount and do not need the recovery product.

11- entertainment
     This is mostly for meets. They can last for hours. Books, games, and portable DVD players are just a few suggestions.

12- sharpies/highlighters/pens
       Sharpies are used to write meet info on the swimmer. Highlighters are for marking your swimmer in the heat sheet. Pens are needed to write down your swimmer’s times.

13- chairs
       Not all pools have enough seating.

14- tent/shade
       Not all pools have enough shade/cover.

It is a good idea to research the pool the meet is being held at. You might not need to pack chairs and a tent. I hope this helps make your first meet more enjoyable.



  1. Great blog! I found it very informative. I would never have thought that so much preperation goes into a smimming meet. I also appreciate all of the "parent friendly" information because I have a son who is 9 months old and I will keep this blog in mind if I ever decide to get him into swimming. I think you write from a perspective that every down to earth person could relate to. No matter what you blog about next, keep that quality. Good luck!

  2. Thank you!

    Because I always have mine with me, I forgot to mention a very important item~ camera/video camera.

    So # 15 is a visual recording device of some sort. My favorite video is of my daughter's first race. It was a 25. She hit the wall, turned around, and kept racing. Priceless!