Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
Hosting a swim meet of any size can be an overwhelming experience for teams. When you have meets upwards of 750 or 1,000 swimmers, there’s planning, prep and filling volunteer jobs multiplies. If it’s a championship meet, there’s more pressure for everyone on the team to have the meet run smoothly and make it a great experience for swimmers and their families.
I know what it’s like to put in hours and hours of work during a meet and be exhausted after tear down. But, there are few experiences as a swim parents that are more rewarding than when a meet is over, it was successful—and you were part of it.
That leads me to my list of reasons why it’s beneficial to you, your team and your swimmer to host meets:
On some teams, the meets are an important source of revenue for the team. Without hosting several meets a year, dues would be raised significantly, or in the worse case scenarios, services cut, or the team not survive. By helping out and making a meet successful, whether or not your child is swimming, is a win-win.
Donating your valuable time to something other than your immediate family, and doing something for the greater good of the community has many benefits. You’ll find unique satisfaction in taking the time to volunteer.
Getting involved directly shows your children what it means to be a good citizen. You’re leading by example by spending time helping others. Our children learn so much from our actions. You’re teaching your child to be a contributor, not a taker.
There’s nothing like a meet to get all parents working together for a common goal. When everybody is busy together, working hard, you’ll form a tighter community within your team’s families.
Thinking on your feet.
At meets, something is bound to go wrong. Whether a lane line snaps in two, or there’s a plumbing problem in the bathroom, we are forced to think on our feet, problem solve, work together, plus put our best face on it.
Being on the serving end of a meet, whether it’s in the snack bar or under the admin tent, reminds us what it’s like to be a gracious host, no matter what difficult person stands before us. Also, it’s a nice reminder to be a little more empathetic with the host team when you’re at an away meet.
It’s not all about your swimmer.
When you’re involved all weekend hosting a meet, it’s an eye opener. You’re not wearing blinders, focused only on your swimmer and their needs. You’ll see a swimming world full of swimmers, parents, grandparents, coaches, administrators, officials—a whole world to be thankful to be a small part of.
What other benefits do you to see from hosting meets?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.