If you're new to swimming, then swim meets can be overwhelming - if you're an old pro, here's a refresh on some survival essentials and tips for you!

Ocean, beaches or poolside - swimming is fun, but it's also a great aerobic exercise.  It improves your flexibility, mental health and more! If you're a swimmer, or getting into it, your first swim meet is just around the corner. So, we've compiled some favorite essentials and tips to keep in mind for beginners.

 Swim meets tend to start very early in the morning, so it's always a good idea to plan ahead and pack early so you can get a good night's sleep. 
Here are some survival essentials for your meet: 

  • Extra towels - it's a good idea to bring at least 2 extra towels, as you'll find your spare will be soaking. 
  • Extra swimsuit -  make sure you have a dry suit to change into if you have warm-up prior to the meet
  • Goggles + Cap - make sure you pack your swim googles + cap in a separate bag and place it in your swim bag so you don't lose it
  • Extra clothes - make sure you have dry clothing to change into after the meet and that it's appropriate for the weather if your meet is indoors or outdoors
  • Blanket - if your meet is taking place outdoors, it's good to have a blanket to stay warm on the dock between races
  • Healthy Snacks - bring some healthy snacks to keep your energy up and fueled early in the morning. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar, fat and dairy as it can make you feel sluggish
    during the race. Fruits, yogurt, cereal and nuts are great options. 
  • Water!- don't forget to bring water bottles to keep yourself hydrated for the meet, and avoid anything high in sugar. 
  • Something to do - bring books or cards to keep yourself occupied in between races 
  • Music - this is totally optional, but having some music to get yourself pumped up before the race helps clear you mind and gets you energized 
  • Misc - these items are great essentials to pack in your swim bag, but don't forget anything else you may need - a brush, shampoo, flip flops etc; 

Races can get intense, but always remember to have fun and learn from any mistakes so you can improve for the next one. It's always about improving and doing your personal best. 
Here are some other important tips to keep in mind: 

  • Sleep - make sure that you get a lot of rest the night before the meet. 
  • Coach - report to your coach before and after each race so they can help give you tips and feedback for each race. This is what they're for - motivating you and helping you get better!
  • Warm Ups - it's important that you arrive 15 minutes earlier and make time to warm up prior to your meet as it helps your body get energized without overworking it. 
  • Be ready - know ahead of time which races and events you will be participating in. It's your responsibility to be at the starting blocks on time as there is not always a timer or call to announce your event

The last thing to keep in mind is team cheer - you should always practice good sportsmanship and cheer your own teammates on - half the fun of team sports is sharing it with each other.  
What is on your swim meet survival guide? Share it with us. 


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