7 Essential Items All Swimmers Should Bring to A Conference Meet

Photo Courtesy: Rob Hardie

By Kaylie Williams, Swimming World College Intern

Have you ever arrived at a big meet and then realized you forgot to pack some of the most important things for your race, like maybe your suit or goggles? With conference season underway, make sure you have these essentials in your bag so you’re ready to race!

7. Tech Suit/Goggles/Cap

Jul 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Leonardo De Deus of Brazil adjusts his swim cap before the men's 200m butterfly swimming final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports Images

There is always someone who forgets to pack the most essential part of their equipment – their tech suit! This has to be the first thing in your bag. Racing at a big meet such as the conference championship requires you to be at your best, and you can’t do that without your best fitting suit! Make sure you double and triple check your bag and throw in an extra suit in case you need it. While you’re packing, check for the other major essentials like your goggles and team cap. You don’t want to have to ask your teammates to borrow theirs when they need them the most.

6. Foam/Muscle Roller


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A cool down in the water can only do so much. Sometimes, you need to physically rub and stretch the muscles to help with soreness. It’s important for you to stretch and roll out before, after and between races, especially during a long, multi-day conference meet. Using a foam or muscle roller can help stimulate blood flow in the sore muscles, which will promote speedy recovery to help you swim your fastest race!

 5. Towels, Towels, and more Towels

Photo Courtesy: Discovery Trekking Outfitters

At any big conference meet that goes for multiple days and has a morning and evening session, you are going to go through several towels. It won’t hurt to pack three or four towels so that you can switch the wet ones out for dry ones. Nothing is worse than having to use and carry around wet towels!

4. Headphones and Music


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Do you have a favorite hype song that helps you get your head in the game? Or maybe you have a few songs that help ease those pre-race jitters. Maybe you listen to a certain song or artist to help you visualize your race and escape the pool deck for a few minutes. Whatever music you listen to, make sure you have your headphones nearby to pump you up or calm you down so you can be ready to race.

3. Bring Your Homework!

Photo Courtesy: Johannes Jansson

Being a successful student-athlete requires you to be a student first and an athlete second. At conference, chances are you will have plenty of time in between races or sessions to complete your work. It will only make it easier when you return to classes the following week, so why not get it done and get ahead?

2. Don’t Forget Food!


Photo Courtesy: Maxpixel

Food is so important to swimmers. Without proper nourishment throughout the meet, you will lose energy faster than you can replace it. So make sure to stock up on snacks and drinks to bring with you for in between races and plan to have a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner before and after the meet.

1.Team Spirit and Sportsmanship


Photo Courtesy: Kevin McCarthy

Perhaps the most important thing you can bring with you to a conference meet is sportsmanship and a bunch of team spirit. Sportsmanship goes a long way, you never know if someone just had the best or worst race of their career and showing support for a fellow athlete can boost their confidence at a time when they need it most. As for team spirit, you can never have too much! Show your pride for your team and cheer each other on until you lose your voices!

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Annie Cooper
5 years ago

Back in the 1980’s, I nearly missed the bus for MAAC Conference. The bus was at the curb, I was coming out of the cafeteria and sprinted, as fast as I could, into the locker room, grabbed my team suit, cap and goggles and ran to the bus. I spent the next however many days in the same clothes but had one of the most joyous meet experiences of my life. We sang on the bus in both directions and had a fantastic time.

April D-Dawn Coco
5 years ago

Allie Hanson

Steven Jackman
5 years ago

For a really big race along with the above, if you want to win and make history it helps to Be
1) Totally Relaxed
(but be alert & composed,
and do not be tense)
2) Totally Focused
(focus totally on exactly
on what you want to
accomplish “in a zone”,
and why; you want to
win for your coach, your
team, and your school)

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