Tips and Ideas For How to Pass Time at a Swim Meet

Swim Meet - Passing Time

Tips and Ideas For How to Pass Time at a Swim Meet

At swim meets, there’s always some sense of routine. No matter what country you’re in, who your opponents are, whether the pool is indoors or outdoors, meters or yards, there is always some sense of familiarity. That familiar routine of a swim meet can become slightly monotonous over time. Beep after beep of the starting system, the incessant smell of chlorine, and every piece of your bag getting wet can get kind of old – no matter how much you love a sport. You’ve got to find ways to keep swim meets, especially the time between races, fun and upbeat. Here’s a list of a few ways to kickstart your swim meet fun and avoid meet fatigue:

Play a Board Game

It sounds odd for the pool deck. A board game? The games which are long and drawn out and come with tons of tiny pieces may not seem like the best suggestion for a bustling pool deck, but some board games are simple and come with minimal pieces. Some even come in travel versions, which are extra compact and meant to be played in small places. Not only will a board game keep you on your toes and keep your sense of competition heightened, but it will also keep your mind alert and ready, which can only benefit you from getting settled into a routine and experiencing meet fatigue. A few examples of compact board games to bring along to meets are Scrabble, Uno, and backgammon.

Bring a Journal or a Book

Between races, sit down and write. Write about your anxieties and fears about your race. Make a list of things to do before you die. Construct a fabulous story. Anything to entertain you and keep your mind busy. If you don’t feel like writing, bring someone else’s and read before your race. Reading can have numerous mental benefits that strengthen your smarts and your intuition, and that will only translate into your swimming by strengthening your mental attitude.

Do Your Homework

A weird choice. I’m sure some people are wondering what is wrong with me to propose bringing homework to an extracurricular activity. Bringing homework along for when you have a longer break in a multiple-day meet, or bringing it along if you’re at a meet and missing school, is a good way to reduce your stress both about the meet and to keep yourself from worrying about outside distractions. It’s also a great way to maintain your responsibilities if you’re a high school student or college student-athlete whose workloads is a bit more demanding than that of younger teammates.

Make A Music Playlist

Go around to your teammates and ask each of them to pick a song and make a giant music playlist. You could pick a theme like pump-up songs, or select a genre like pop or rock, or just ask everyone for one or two of their favorite songs. Put it together in a playlist on a platform like Apple Music or Spotify so that your whole team can experience it together. Not only is this a good way to stay busy, but it’s a great way to facilitate team bonding and get to know teammates a little better. You’re getting two for the price of one, and your coaches will love to see their swimmers bonding over common interests.

Learn A Clapping Game

When I was a young swimmer, all anybody did was learn the clapping game, “Miss Mary Mack,” to do with their own teammates and girls from other teams. For someone like myself, learning that one clapping sequence took quite a bit of time, and a lot of it I did in the bullpen at my races. It took time and practice, as well as concentration, and I had fun doing it. Maybe you will too.

Download An Interactive App

With everyone living in a technological world, downloading an interactive app is a great way to partake in inclusive fun with your teammates or with people who aren’t on the pool deck. Be sure to make sure that the app isn’t too draining of energy or is unsafe, but otherwise, it can be a good way to fill some time between those long races.

Whatever ways you may choose to stay busy and have fun at a swim meet, whether they be ideas from this list or something you come up with on your own, be sure to make sure they are relatively quiet, not disruptive and approved by your coaches. Coaches and teams have different rules on what are acceptable meet activities. Whatever activity you choose to fill your time at swim meets, so long as it’s approved and helps you achieve your goals, is good in my book.

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