the official website
Showing interest in the effort your child puts into his or her swimming, rather than the outcome of the competition is critical. Swimming can help children learn discipline and goal setting, and teaches the important lesson of how to deal with both winning and losing. Overall it's important that children achieve a high level of self-esteem, regardless of their performance in the pool.
The journey home in the car can destroy a child’s self-esteem so please leave any analysis of their performance to the coaching staff who will be able to provide constructive feedback.
Above all you and your children are there to enjoy yourselves in the world of swimming. So enjoy and be proud of all efforts and results your children attain.
• Check to make sure you know what time the sessions and warm-ups start and leave home in good time!
• Talk to other mums and dads before you go, you may be able to share lifts. Often charges apply for parking.
• The spectator galleries at events are usually hot and can be quite crowded especially at the start of a session. Wear cool loose clothes even in winter. Layers you can peel off are best. Lightweight trousers or shorts and t-shirts are the norm.
• Take plenty to drink, although you will usually be able to buy a cup of tea, coffee, sandwiches etc.
• You will have to pay to enter the spectator gallery. The amount varies depending on the venue usually between £2-£10 per person for the day with reduced rates for single sessions. .
• Buying a copy of the Event Programme for the session is recommended. This will enable you to follow how the competition is progressing and check when our swimmers are due to race. Take along a highlighter and pen as you will be able to use the programme to track how swimmers performances compare. As your enthusiasm grows you may well want to take along a stop watch but remember the official times rule!
• Unless prearranged parents are not permitted to enter poolside. The team manager will be the point of contact liaising between the swimmers and their families.
• Look out for fellow Celtic Dolphin spectators. Get to know people by sitting together and cheering on the team.
• Take something along to entertain yourself; newspaper, cross word, books etc. as there can be long periods between sessions and your child's events.
• Mobile phones are not permitted during a meet and many venues restrict their use within the building.
• Cameras can only be used if you register your intention to use one at the time of entering the spectator gallery.
A balanced diet and eating the right food prior to and during a competition makes all the difference to a swimmers performance.
Ideally, a hearty breakfast should be ate prior to a competition, however early morning starts can make this difficult. Porridge pots, snack packs of dried fruit and nuts, cereal bars and fresh fruit particularly bananas offer an 'on the go' alternative.
If a swimmer competes throughout a weekend-long meet it can be a very tiring experience! On every occasion it makes sense to be prepared, so that swimmers produce their best performances and parents and swimmers alike really enjoy the experience. Here are our Top Tips for Celtic Dolphins and their families to get the best of the competition experience.
Swimming competitions come in many different shapes and sizes. They are all great fun, but depending on the type of event and the number of entrants, they have differing durations of anything from one to two hours, to several days.
Swimming meets/ galas are also graded into different levels (1-4) with qualifying times set for each level so swimmers can sometimes be too quick or not quick enough yet for some types of Meet.
Generally galas last between one and three hours, however, open meets and national championships can run for a number of days and whilst you do get to go home or to the hotel in the evening this is usually followed by an early start the next day.
Carbohydrates such as pasta or rice mixed with the likes of protein rich chicken, tuna or beans are a great source of slow release energy and can be prepared in advance the night before. Sandwiches (whole-meal is best) are another firm favourite among our swimmers as are pre-cut cucumber, carrot and celery sticks and fruits such as grapes, blueberries and melon as well as tasty flap-jacks which can be nibbled on through out the day.
Chocolate is advised against, however, jelly cubes, chewy sweets and the likes of jelly beans and pop-corn offer a quick energy release for just before racing.
Combined with taking in plenty of fluids (avoiding fizzy drinks), the key is eating little and often for digestion and to sustain good energy levels.
• Take plenty to drink. Pools are usually very warm places, so don’t get dehydrated - it'll make you feel tired and you won’t swim well! Fizzy drinks are not recommended.
• Take along enough food to last the whole day - see Competition Fuel below for guidance.
• Take appropriate poolside clothes i.e. loose fitting t-shirts, shorts and pool shoes such as flip flops that are easy to slip on and off. .
• Don’t forget your towels! Suggest a minimal of 2 to allow for drying off after being in and out of the pool during warm up and between races..
• Take something along for entertainment. Electronic games are permitted or even schoolbooks, however please look after them as things can sometimes get mislaid and they must be put away immediately when requested to do so.
• If you bring your own food and drink, it is also a good idea to take along some change for goodies from the vending machines or facilities on site.
• Take spare costumes and goggles. A change of costume is a good idea if you are there all day.
• Swim hats must be worn when competing - spares are also always worth taking.
• Know your races and listen out for cues from the Team Manager and coaching team to go to the marshalling area for your race. Don't wander off as races can often progress at a pace.
• Off pool-side to prevent accidents do not go bare-foot; always wear appropriate footwear.
• Take advantage of the dedicated warm-up sessions to get a feel for the pool and its surroundings. Prior to your race warm up at pool-side - the coaching team will advise of the best exercises to do.
• At marshalling, know your lane and keep in order as you move through the various waiting areas. Use this time to prepare mentally for your race.
• As you move towards the starting blocks, put on your swim cap to cover all your hair and to provide a good seal around your head and ensure that your goggles are well fitted.
• Once on the blocks and under starters orders do no adjust your goggles as this could result in disqualification.
• At long events don’t spend all day on your feet. Enjoy the music and the atmosphere and cheer on your team mates but make sure you chill-out between races, otherwise you will quickly run out of steam!