9 Types of Competitors Found On Deck At Swim Meets

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

9 Types of Competitors Found On Deck At Swim Meets

By Jennifer Yoo

This is it. This is where it all pays off: the early morning practices, sets with long yardage, and hours upon hours of staring at a black line on the bottom of the pool. For every swimmer, the routine weekend swim meets are where they get to showcase their hard work and dedication. It’s a place for potentials to be realized and goals to be accomplished.

Meets are not just for improving times but also for social interactions. During competition, the ample down time serves as the perfect setting to people-watch. A wide range of characters emerge from each team at swim meets. Here are nine of the most common types of swimmers that you will come across at meets:

1. The Lone Wolf


Photo Courtesy: Colin Cassady

This swimmer is not much of a talker. They always seem to be in the corner by themselves, listening to music. It’s hard to tell if they’re trying to hype themselves up or plotting world domination, because their expression is constantly intense. No matter what is happening on deck, this swimmer always has at least one headphone in.

2. The Hype Man/Woman


Photo Courtesy: Samantha Schoenecker

This swimmer is the exact opposite of the lone wolf, as they are always right in the middle of the action. Due to the grand gestures and loud cheers that they use to motivate their teammates, they’re easy to spot on pool deck. Even if their race is quickly approaching, you can always count on them to provide encouragement or count for a distance race. It’s a mystery how they have so much energy for everyone on top of their own races, but their role as the team’s cheerleader never goes unnoticed.

3. The Nervous Nellie/Nell


Photo Courtesy: Grace Schwiederek

Similar to the hype man/woman, this swimmer is also easy to spot on the pool deck. As they walk into the meet, their backpack is on the verge of exploding with extra caps, goggles, towels, and bathing suits. It’s as if they are prepared for a swimming apocalypse. Even with all the extra padding that they bring, they show up behind the blocks way too early and simply sit or stand tensely with the look of terror written all over their face.

4. The Procrastinator

Opposite the nervous nellie/nell is the procrastinator. These swimmers tend to show up minutes if not seconds before the meet or race starts. Even though their coach begs, they never warm up or cool down. They simply run up for their race, swim out of their mind, and then disappear until their next race. They either don’t care or just like to live life on the edge: a coach’s worst nightmare.

5. The Next Olympian

You know or have heard of them. There is always a buzz surrounding this swimmer about how they’re seeded high and easily the fastest person at the meet. When you finally see or race them, you are completely star struck by their speed, technique, and ease in the water. They heftily sweep their races with incredible times that seem unattainable.

6. The Social Butterfly


Photo Courtesy: Kate Smarjesse

If you ever want to know about the next Olympian or the latest team drama, they’re the ones to go to. Constantly surrounded by people, they can gossip for the entire meet about anything. They are less worried about what happens in the water and more about the people involved with the sport.

7. The Picnic Packer

Either their parents or they pack enough food to feed the entire team. They are stocked with granola bars, Gatorade, and other goodies that they are always willing to share with their teammates. Swimmers flock to them throughout the meet, but their supply never dwindles. Even at away meets, they have a new batch of snacks for every day of the meet.

8. The Electronic God

They have brought every electronic form of entertainment and its charger. The dangers of bringing electronics to a pool never seemed to have crossed their mind. Now that they are here, however, they take extra care of their toys and are extremely protective over them. They have set up camp next to the nearest outlet to play throughout the meet.

9. The Troublemaker


Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

At every meet, there is one or a group of troublemakers. They either cannot get along with their teammates or cause some kind of disruption during the meet. As a result, their punishment is to stand next to their coach for a certain amount of time, depending on the severity of their crimes.

Share your experiences

Do you see yourself or your teammates on this list? Comment below and tag your teammates!

-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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Christine Rito
3 years ago

Ben Rito

Lyle Campbell
3 years ago

The value of this article is..

David Yeo
3 years ago

Kylie Richards Yeo

Tracey Hoyle
3 years ago

Charlotte May Crabtree

Irene Chong
3 years ago

Mama Angelia Ong
I’m the Lone Wolf when in triathlon race

Angelia Ong
3 years ago
Reply to  Irene Chong

Irene Chong yaaaaaa … But swim race you blur dugong with Sue Teoh

Irene Chong
3 years ago
Reply to  Irene Chong

Angelia Ong ????

Angelia Ong
3 years ago
Reply to  Irene Chong

Irene Chong hahahhahaa

Ben Yamsek
Ben Yamsek
4 months ago

Lone wolf all the way…

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