P.O. Box 6445, Alexandria, VA 22306     |     info@fbswim.org     |     703-627-4796
Fort Belvoir Swim Team
prepare you for what to expect when you arrive to the pool.

Before The Meet Starts

  1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled
    warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet
    information email to parents and listed on the PVS website
  2. Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets, swim
    bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place
    together, so look for some familiar faces.
  3. Find the check-in place. Parents are not allowed on deck so
    this may be a responsibility of your swimmer or your swimmer's
    coach. Make sure your swimmer checks in with his or her
  • If this is not done, the swimmer will not be allowed to
    swim that event. Check-in is required so that the people
    running the meet know who is actually at the meet. After
    check-in, the meet administrators "seed" the swimmers
    into heats. Heat and lane assignments will be posted, so
    be sure your swimmer knows where to look!
  • Sometimes the meet is "pre-seeded" and no check-in is
    required. You and your swimmer can find heat and lane
    assignments by purchasing a program.
  1. Once "checked in", write or have the swimmers write each
    event-number on his or her hand in ink. This helps him/her
    remember what events he/she is swimming and what event
    number to listen or watch for.
  2. Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports
    to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions. It is very
    important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. A
    swimmer's body is just like a car on a cold day-he/she needs to
    get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all
  3. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where
    his/her team is sitting and wait there until his first event is
    called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the
    bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.
  4. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups
    are over.
  5. According to USA Swimming rules (because of insurance
    purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are
    serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions
    concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a
    meet, should be referred to a coach. He or she in turn, will
    pursue the matter through the proper channels.

Meet Starts

  1. It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers
    he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers
    on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or
    they may have to wait awhile.
  2. Most meets are computerized. There are generally two ways a
    swimmer gets to his/her lane:
  • A swimmer usually reports directly to his/her lane for
    competition a number of heats before he/she actually
    swims. Check with your swimmer's coach for specific
  • In some novice meets, swimmer's will report to the
    "clerk of course" or “bullpen” (Swimmers should report
    with his/her cap and goggle). The clerk will usually line
    up all the swimmers and take them down to the pool in
    correct order.
  1. The swimmer swims his or her race.                                              
  2. After each swim:                                                                                
  • He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at
    each lane) his/her time.
  • Depending on the coaches instructions, the swimmer
    may be asked to do some recovery swimming if a "warm
    down" pool or lanes are available.
  • The swimmer should then go immediately to his or her
    coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each
    swimmer. Some coaches may wish to talk with the
    swimmer before her recovery swim.
  1. Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when                  
    discussing swims:
  • Positive comments or praise                                              
  • Suggestions for improvement                                            
  • Positive comments                                                               
  1. Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:                       
  • Tell him how great he did! The coaching staff will be sure
    to discuss stroke technique with him. You need to tell
    him how proud you are and what a great job he
  • Remind him/her to go back to the team area and relax.
  • This is another good time to check out the bathrooms,
    get a drink or something light to eat.
  1. The swimmer now waits until his next event is called and
    starts the procedure again. When a swimmer has completed all
    of her events she and her parents get to go home. Make sure,
    however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before
    leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay.
    It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim
    on a relay where your swimmer is expect­ed to be a member
    and she is not there.
  2. Results are usually posted somewhere in the facility. Awards
    are often gathered for a team and given to the coach at the
    end of the meet. The coach will give the awards to the
    swimmers at a later time.