Representing the Club at Competitions
This page covers selection for the club’s team events a nd what is expected of a swimmer when they enter individual events at a swim meet.
If you are selected for a gala or are entering a swim meet you will be part of an Amersham team swimming for the club. It is important that you represent your club wearing the appropriate club kit (see below for more info).
Selection for Team Events
For team events (Novice galas, Thames Valley League (TVJL), Milton Keynes League and Arena League) teams are selected by the coaches. Meet dates are published well in advance and you should plan around the relevant dates. Team lists for these are published on the website, and you are required to login and confirm attendance online. Parents can also volunteer to help for these online. PLEASE remember it is very important that you make yourself available to swim if selected and if for whatever reason a swimmer cannot swim PLEASE discuss this with the coach ASAP.
Entering Swim Meets
These events are entered by the individual and the choice of which events to swim should be done with the guidance of the coach. When at the swim meet you are still part of the Amersham team even though everyone is entering different events.
At all times it is therefore important that you represent your club wearing the appropriate club kit and the swimmer has the right clothes and nutrition to help them perform at their best.
Transport is usually provided for away team events. The swimmers are well supervised and we like the whole team to travel on the bus to build a team spirit (it also takes the pressure off parents making sure your swimmer is there on time – because a late swimmer will be letting the whole team down, not just missing out on their own race!).
There is a charge for the bus (swimmers pay on the bus so please have the correct money – currently in 2017 it is £10 return) and usually there is also space for parents so this helps cover the club’s costs. Details of the time to meet are given on the team list and the bus leaves from the library car park (King George V Road, Amersham). The swimmers must report to the Team Manager who will tick off their name, and collect the money.
Please be on time, wearing team kit – Amersham Shirt, Amersham Hoodie and preferably black tracksuit bottoms with all your kit and food and drink (details below).
On the return journey the return time is usually on the club’s twitter feed and swimmers will be asked to message parents with the ETA. If parents want to take their swimmer back with them from a team event then the parent MUST inform the Team Manager of this. Please can parents remind swimmers that they must take all rubbish home and it shouldn’t be left on the bus.
If transport is not provided then there will be a time given to arrive at the venue. Please make sure you get your swimmer there on time as the coach will want to ensure all swimmers are there as team lists have to be submitted to the organisers before the start of the gala (including relay orders) and after this it is not possible to change the names and if a wrong person swims an event then this is a disqualification.
Once the team has arrived at the event then the team must stay together; even if waiting to be allowed onto poolside. It is important that the swimmers wear the club kit on poolside (see below for what to bring) and stay together on poolside. If a swimmer needs to leave poolside then they MUST speak to the Team Manager/Coach so they know where the swimmer is and they don’t miss their race. All swimmers are expected to stay to the end and support the team.
Swim Meets - Individual Entries
It is important to get to an event in plenty of time, remembering car parking can be an issue. At some swim meets (especially for the younger swimmers) the swimmer is REQUIRED TO SIGN IN and this is usually BEFORE warm up starts. If the swimmer forgets to sign in then they WILL NOT be able to swim. You must sign for every event you want to swim in a session. Other swim meets require a swimmer to withdraw if they are not going to swim an event (usually a form needs to be completed and given to the swim meet organiser, or if in advance an email can be sent). Please note that depending on the Conditions of the meet a swimmer can be fined for not withdrawing!
Warm ups – the coach will explain what warm up set is needed
Report for your race on time – The coach/ team manager will explain where and when to go up for your race, There is a holding area where swimmers wait and then swimmers are called up by heat to wait and then move forwards in line until their race is called. This can take a little time so a swimmer should keep t-shirt/shorts/shoes on until they are behind the block and then get ready to race as the heat before is racing.
Order of swimming – heats are usually swum in order of slowest to fastest with swimmers of similar submitted times grouped in heats together. If you have not got a submitted time (some swim meets allow this) then these swimmers will be in the first heats. Where there are going to be finals then the last 3 heats the fastest swimmers are cyclically seeded. The long distance events are not usually swum as finals but are heat declared winners (HDW) meaning placings are decided on the times set in the heats. Finals and the final heat of a HDW event are swum in spear head formation. This means that the fastest swimmers are in the middle of the pool with the slowest on the outside. You also find that now most heats are also spearheaded.
After your race you will be directed to get out of the pol at the side (DON’T CLIMB OUT AT THE END) as if there are electronic pads then climbing out can upset the timing/damage the pads, then collect your clothes and go back and see your coach and they will feedback on your race.
Swim down – after every event it is important to swim down (if there is a swim down pool) and the coach will tell you what to do. This again is much more important for older swimmers (to aid recovery). After the swim down the swimmer MUST dry and get warm and DRINK.
FINALS – some swim meets have finals at the end of a session – please check if you have made the finals and if you have CONGRATULTIONS it is another chance to race and a final feels different to swimming in a heat. The first time it can be quite daunting as often there can be music, maybe a parade on and your name announced before the race. If you get into a final the coach will expect you to race it.
Swim Meet Kit / Bag
- Warm up costumes/trunks – take 2 pairs, old ones are fine (in case things get lost!)
- Racing costume – ideally 2 – for younger swimmers these do not need to be expensive – just a tight costume – the club shop has costumes.
- Club t-shirt and black shorts to wear poolside – having tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie (ideally black/club) in reserve as sometimes it is cold on poolside for swimmers.
- Footwear – flip flops or clean trainers/socks for poolside
- Small bag to take on poolside (as often big bags aren’t allowed)
- Towels – several - depends how many sessions a swimmer has
- Club swim hat – 2 preferably
- Goggles – again 2 sets
- Food and drinks
- Money for locker / Padlock - Check before you go as some pools require padlocks for the lockers.
It is IMPORTANT that the swimmer has enough liquid to avoid dehydration. Pools are usually hot and it is important to have plenty to drink whether a shorter team event or a swim meet over the whole weekend. There is advice elsewhere but essentially:
- Water – in sports bottles
- Dilute squash
- Recovery drinks (really only for older swimmers)
- Fizzy drinks
- Glass bottles on poolside
Swimmers should have plenty of food with them. Please click here for a link to an article on the ASA website which you might find useful.
Team Events – when swimmers are going on the coach please remember they will have little time to eat during the gala (as relatively quick) so swimmers should eat before (even if it is a mid-afternoon meal) and then have food for the return journey.