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Meet FAQs


Is swim meet attendance mandatory?

While attendance at each and every swim meet is not mandatory, we would like for your swimmer(s) to be able to attend and swim in as many meets as possible with the team. For a swimmer to be eligible to swim at the final Championship meet, s/he will need to have participated in at least two swim meets during the season. If your child will not be able to swim in at least two meets, please contact any of your child’s coaches for more information about possible alternatives.


What is Championships, and why is it so important?

Championships is the culmination of the summer season. This is the final and biggest meet of the season with multiple RACE league teams, and is typically held at the Sewanee Natatorium (Fowler Center), where TigerSharks practices are held. This is an all-day event—a morning session for swimmers 10 & Under and an afternoon session for older swimmers—and it’s a big deal to the swimmers and coaches. Stay on the lookout for more important information about Championships, which will be provided as it approaches!


What swimsuit should swimmers wear to a swim meet?

If your swimmer has a team suit, s/he should plan to wear this to each swim meet. Although coaches prefer that the whole team wears team suits, if you have not purchased a team suit, any tight fitting practice suit should be fine and if it is purple, all the better! If you still would like to purchase a team suit, please contact any of our coaches, who can provide you with more information on how to purchase these at this point in the season. If you need help finding a suit that fits your swimmer, ask a coach or an older swimmer—we would be glad to assist!


Should swimmers wear a cap at a swim meet?

Your swimmer should wear whatever will make them most comfortable at a swim meet. We recommend that swimmers with longer hair wear a cap. We have TigerSharks team caps for sale for $5 each. Caps can be purchased from a coach before or after practice and they are sold at the concession stand at home meets; coaches may have them for sale at away meets. We sometimes have different color caps (purple or gold/yellow) for Championships. For older swimmers we recommend that a cap is worn, and for younger swimmers who would like to wear a cap at meets, we recommend that they attend practice with a cap at least a few days before the meet. This helps to get swimmers used to the feeling of wearing a cap. Coaches and older swimmers can help with putting on and taking off swim caps.


Why are swimmers writing on their arms with Sharpies?

You will see swimmers with information about their events written on their arms! Most swimmers choose to write their event, event number, heat, and lane for each event on either their arm or their leg. While this is completely optional, many swimmers find it helpful for keeping track of their events. All 10 & Under swimmers will have Age Group Parents to help get them to their races, so this isn’t as big of a concern for them. We do recommend that parents of 8 & Under swimmers write the swimmer’s name on their back, as this helps Age Group Parents, coaches, and older swimmers to keep track of your child at a busy swim meet.


Who can help my child during a swim meet?

There will be Age Group Parents who have volunteered to help the younger swimmers during a swim meet. They will be there to help your child in between events, and to help get them to where they need to be on time.All team coaches will also be present at each meet, and will be ready to assist your swimmer as needed. Older swimmers and volunteer swimmer coaches will also be assisting your child during a swim meet. We often have older swimmers accompany the youngest swimmers to where they need to be, getting in the water with them as needed. Remind your child to feel free to ask an older swimmer or coach if they have questions about where they need to be, etc. We want everyone to have fun, and we don’t want this to be a stressful experience for your child!


How can I tell which event and heat number we are currently on during a meet?

At the Sewanee pool (home meets), the event and heat number will be displayed on the scoreboard, which will also show each swimmer’s individual time for the current event. At away meets, procedures may vary; some people prefer to purchase a heat sheet and refer to this instead of relying on a scoreboard. If you need help determining which event number and heat we are on, feel free to ask an older swimmer or coach!


How do I purchase a heat sheet?

At our home meets in Sewanee, heat sheets will be available for sale at the concession stand, located upstairs in the Fowler Center lobby. The coaches and older swimmers will also have copies if you need to take a quick glance! Heat sheets will also be posted on the walls of the pool deck to provide swimmers with event information. At away meets, procedures vary but heat sheets are often available at a table close to the entrance of the pool; you may need to ask.


How do I help my swimmer to prepare for a swim meet?

You know your child best! If you have a younger child who has never been to a swim meet before, please remind them that they have nothing to be nervous about! All of your child’s regular coaches will be present during the whole meet to assist as needed, and just as importantly, all of their friends and swim team family will be there! This should absolutely be a fun experience for your child, and shouldn’t be a stressful event. If you have any concerns, please contact any of your child’s coaches, or speak with them after practice. It is also a great idea to help your swimmer pack for a swim meet the night/day before, as well as making sure your s/he attends practices regularly. In the days leading up to the meet, we will often focus on racing techniques, starts, finishes, relay exchanges, etc, that are all essential to your child’s performance at meets. More information can be found on the TigerSharks team website under Resources.


How can I check what events my child will be swimming in?

This varies a little bit. Typically at practice 1-3 days before a meet, the events that all the Sewanee swimmers will be racing are posted on the outside of Coach Max’s office window. We may also send these out in an email and/or post them on the website. Coaches think carefully about meet entries and make these assignments based on both individual swimmers and the team. If you or your swimmer have concerns about any events they are in, please talk with a coach, and we’ll do our best to arrive at what is best for the swimmer and the team


Can I sign up to help with swim meets, and what jobs are available?

YES!! Swim meets are a fun family and community event and they depend on volunteers! Please refer to the Meets section of the team website for job descriptions and sign ups.


Am I required to volunteer at swim meets?

Yes, we need parents in each family to assist with at least two swim meets. We understand that you will want to watch your children swim, and parents have told us that many of the volunteering positions provide some of the best seats in the house! While you volunteer, your child will be well taken care of by coaches, older swimmers and Age Group Parent volunteers. Year after year, Sewanee has had the best parent volunteers in the league.


How long do swim meets typically last?

With the exception of Championships, swim meets typically last 2-4 hours. Swimmers typically need to be at the pool (home or away) at least an hour before the meet for warm-ups, and volunteers at least 30 mins. before, but please check the schedule for each specific meet and any volunteer positions, as this is subject to change!


What happens in the case of inclement weather?

At home meets, if we encounter inclement weather, our policy is to wait 30 minutes after any thunder/lightening is heard or seen before letting swimmers back in the water. So while this may make the meets last a bit longer than normal, we make every possible effort not to cancel or postpone any meets.


What should my swimmer bring to a swim meet?

Your child should come to the pool wearing his or her team suit. They will also need 1-2 pairs of goggles that have worked well for them consistently during practice. Please check with your swimmer before the day of the meet to insure that their goggles are working properly! If you need help finding a pair of tight-fitting goggles, older swimmers or your swimmer’s coaches are happy to help.Your child will need at least one towel, and you may choose to send them with snacks as well. (No peanut products please, due to allergies.) A water bottle is also be a great idea, so that your swimmer can stay hydrated without repeated trips off the pool deck to the water fountain. The seating for swimmers and spectators varies from pool to pool, so it is often helpful to bring chairs and/or a blanket or extra towel. For meets at outdoor pools, sunscreen and hats are helpful; some swimmers prefer tinted goggles for outdoor pools. Some parents like to send their swimmers with some cash for snacks and/or a heat sheet, although snacks can be brought from home and swimmers do not need individual heat sheets. Some swimmers like to bring their own Sharpie marker (black or other dark colors show up best, and last the longest through the day of getting in and out of the water) for noting their events; many simply borrow one from a coach or another swimmer. Swim meets can be long for the younger kids. We encourage all team members to cheer their teammates on during their races; swimmers—particularly the younger ones—may want to bring a book or some other quiet activity for times when they are not swimming.


Where will my child sit during a swim meet?

Sewanee TigerSharks have our own seating section at home meets. We typically set up chairs the day before, and then place children by age group. Two volunteer Age Group Parents will sit with each of the groups of younger swimmers. Coaches and older swimmers will also be near by if a swimmer needs help with anything! At away meets, this is more variable. Sometimes we will be seated outside, sometimes on the floor inside, etc. Coaches will alert you and your swimmer(s) to the seating arrangement at a particular away meet a few days before whenever possible, and we will also aim to share this information via e-mail and/or the team website.


When does my swimmer need to arrive at the pool for a meet?

At home meets, warm-ups start an hour before the meet start time. This means your swimmer should be on deck, with a cap, suit, and goggles on, ready to warm up at that time. Most swimmers like to arrive 15-20 mins. before warm up times at home meets (allow more time at away meets), so they can set up their stuff, write down their events, and chat with their friends before warm ups. Your swimmer’s regular coaches will be on deck to lead them in warm ups before the meet.


Where can I watch my child swim during a meet?

Some volunteer positions will be stationed on the pool deck. If you are in one of those positions, you will be able to watch from there. At home meets, if you are NOT volunteering, you can sit in the balcony upstairs. Your child’s coaches and Age Group Parents will take great care of them. We try to minimize the number of people on the pool deck at any given time so parents who are not volunteering in positions that are on the deck are asked to watch from the balcony area especially when their children are not swimming. You are welcome to come down to the pool deck right before your swimmer’s race to watch them swim and cheer them on from the deck.


Whom do I contact if I still have questions? 

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact coaches, parents of experienced swimmers, or experienced swimmers themselves. All are glad to help! If the person you talk to doesn’t have an answer to your question, s/he will likely know who will!

Head Coach Alyssa Summers: [email protected]

Coach Nan Long: [email protected]

Board President Marion Knoll: [email protected]

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