In the Deep End: Meet Etiquette

Carly Weigel, Reporter

With the boys state meet coming up this weekend, there’s some swim meet etiquette that’s important to know during the season. Here are some tips on what to do during a meet!

1. Be courteous to the other team and your own teammates. High five, shake hands, and congratulate other swimmers–they are working as hard as you are! Smiling at or talking with people before a race helps to get my pre-race jitters out, and helps connect with others. It definitely improves my attitude and mindset going into the race. It’s good to go talk to the coaches before and after the race. They can talk about what you need to work on and they give feedback on what you did well during the race. Before getting out of the water, wait for everyone to finish and then shake their hands. Being a City High swimmer doesn’t mean tearing anyone else down, regardless if they are on the other team or not, but rather encouraging everyone.

2. Be quiet for the start. By no means does this mean being quiet the entire time, but during the start it’s courteous and really important for both the swimmers and the officials. In order to make sure the race is as fair as possible, it requires being quiet for the start. Sometimes it can be hard to hear the buzzer with the adrenaline rush and focus that I have for the start, so it’s helpful if people are quiet until just after the start. In fact, that extra explosion of sound immediately after my feet leave the block adds a jolt of readiness that makes for a more exciting race.

3. Keep up with the events and what you are swimming. It’s no fun to miss a race; it’s actually really stressful. But keeping up with the order of events (in high school swimming, it’s the same order every meet) and asking someone if you aren’t sure is the best way to avoid those mistakes. Not only does it feel bad to miss an event and a chance of improvement, missing events also lowers the team score. Meets are a time when the team aspect really comes into play. Although the races are highly individualized (the exception being relays), the team is all there and cheering for you. It would be a shame to let down all your fans!

4. Eat and drink a lot. I used to have trouble hydrating during meets. Once I started bringing and using my water bottle, it felt like I had a lot more stamina to last the entire meet. Water is one of the best options to bring to a meet, but there’s also Gatorade or other energy drinks. There’s also the concession stands. I don’t recommend junk food like chocolate bars or popcorn. Instead, try a granola bar or an apple–something that will last but not weigh you down is a good breakfast before a meet. I usually eat scrambled eggs and a PB&J. Plus, I drink lots of water. The coaches are available to talk about what you should be eating, and we usually have some discussions about it throughout the season.

5. Keep up the energy! For a big meet, I get jittery about three days before the actual event, and it’s sometimes hard to keep up the energy during the meet. The best thing is, the team really pulls through during these days. Joking around and listening to music with my friends is the best way for me to calm down and make sure everyone delivers. The best meet environment comes from laughter, talking, and shaking out limbs over the spray of energetic splashers.

Swim fast and have fun!