Parents Helping Prepare your Swimmer for a Meet


Pack Bags: The night before a meet, parents can help prepare their young swimmer by encouraging them to pack their necessary belongings. Swimmers above 12 years should be capable of packing their own kit and ensuring that they have everything that they will need.


  • Always pack twice the food and water that you think that a small army would need.
  • There are some rules in relation to swim suits to be worn at meets, your coach will advise you on this before each meet.
  • Other essential meet belongings include a towel or two, Glenalbyn cap, goggles, team uniform to wear on deck (including warm clothes like the team deck coat), water bottle, and food.


Nutrition Before and During a Meet: Parents should help ensure swimmers are eating nutritious food the night before the competition, such as pasta. During the competition, snacks such as grapes, apples, oranges, and sandwiches are best for swimmers’ performances. Junk food such as lollies, chocolates, foods with refined sugar, and sugary drinks will impede swimmers’ performances by giving them a quick sugar rush followed by a crash of their energy and mood.


Supporters’ Uniform: We hope all our parents, volunteers, and supporters will be proud to wear the Glenalbyn supporter uniform and cheer for all our swimmers during races. This is a great way for parents and guardians to support their children and recognize all their hard work that they have done in the pool. Glenalbyn supporters are expected to sit together in the stands and celebrate our swimmers. At the NAC this is typically on the right hand side around half way down in the front 5 or 6 rows. In other facilities it tends to be the first person to secure seating will hold some more for our supporters.


Parents on Deck at meets: The Swim Leinster/Ireland policy is that only swimmers, meet officials, volunteers, and coaches may be on deck during a swim meet. This is to ensure swimmers’ safety and is a policy with swimmers’ best interests in mind. It also helps swimmers develop their independence and be part of our team.


Parents Volunteering for duties at meets: Clubs provide volunteers, generally time-keepers, based on the number of their swimmers attending the meet. It is a requirement that if your child is entered in to a swimming meet, you must make yourself available for volunteer duties. If unable to assist it is your responsibility to make alternative arrangements by finding a replacement volunteer.


Parents support their swimmers; Coaches coach the swimmers: The best way for parents to support their children is to help them remain positive and enjoy their swimming experience. If a child swims a time that is slower than his or her Personal Best, let the coach talk with the swimmer about what happened during the race. Often it is not about getting a PB, it can be about many different aspects of each race, pacing, different times underwater, a change in a stroke and so on.  If a swimmer races with technique that is seemingly not efficient, let the coach discus the swimmer’s technique. Chances are that the coach has been working with the swimmers on his or her technique before the meet and the swimmer has tried to implement it during the race, but sometimes it can be difficult to race using a different technique. Your support to your swimmer will mean a lot to them, especially when they have had a race about which they are not happy. Praise their effort, let them know they can do better next time, make them feel better about themselves and happy to be a swimmer. Leave the coaching to our coaches. Children look up to their parents and follow their examples. We expect Glenalbyn parents to obey all swimming rules, be respectful of fellow competitors, and be gracious in victory and dignified in defeat. One of the best comments to your child after any race is “I Loved Watching You Race!”


Coaches at Meets: Coaches will let swimmers know where will be the best area for them to store their bags during the meet, and where is best to “camp” while not racing, doing the warm-up or recovery, or cheering for Glenalbyn teammates. Our coaches will be present for all races to be swum by Glenalbyn swimmers at targeted meets.

Coaches will speak to swimmers before their races to finalise their race plan and give them the confidence for their competition. Afterwards, the coach will give swimmers feedback based on the coach’s observation of the race. This feedback can pertain to the swimmer’s technique, stroke counts, stroke rates, times, mindset, and execution of the race plan. It is the swimmers’ responsibility to find the coach before and after the race to discuss the plan and feedback. The easiest way for the swimmers to find Glenalbyn coaches after their race is to go straight to the coach on pool deck when the swim down is finished. The coach will have watched the race and will have feedback ready to give to the swimmer.