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View Full Version : First time swimming USAS meet...nervous



pedergraham
February 1st, 2013, 01:20 PM
Hi all,
on Sunday, I will be swimming in my first USAS meet since I was 14. (I just turned 40). My husband (a fellow Masters swimmer and Stroke and Turn) thinks its great. My 8yo thinks it is so cool. (Could I freeze this moment in time?).

I have gotten a lukewarm response from the meet director and it is making me feel as though I might be out of place/not belong. Any advice?

BTW, the reason I am doing this is to get some NQ times in 200 stroke events. I live in a rural area and am having. Hard time finding masters meets this winter with the longer events, except for meets that conflict with my daughter's meets and/or are an 8 hour drive.

I certainly won't win any events, but won't come in last either. I am afraid of parent's thinking I am taking something away from their children.

Rob Copeland
February 1st, 2013, 01:54 PM
I work a lot of USA-Swimming meets in Georgia and there are a number of Masters Swimmers who participate in age group meets; including Robert Poiletman at age 68 and Marianne Countryman at age…well she has a couple of years on you. And I have never seen anything but respect from event hosts, officials and swimmers for our Masters.

If a meet director is not overjoyed to have more entrants (and money), provided they are not maxed out, then there is something wrong with the event director, not you.

If you are not appreciated where you are, then y’all come on down to Georgia and we will show you aquatic hospitality and get you and your daughter in our meets. Your husband can S&T!

sunruh
February 1st, 2013, 01:59 PM
get on the blocks and do your best.

you have to swim in the "open" age anyway, which means it is *open* to any age in usas.

you will be seeded accordingly, so you are not taking anything away.

swim fast,
steve

swimshark
February 1st, 2013, 03:03 PM
Try to relax and have fun. Rob is right, if the meet director has a problem, then the problem is with him, not you. I do 1 to 2 USA-S meets a year - usually the 400 IM. I am by far not the fastest but the respect I get from the meet director, timers, coaches and especially the swimmers is amazing. I bet you will find you will get a lot of respect as well.

gobears
February 1st, 2013, 03:19 PM
I did my first USAS meet in 20+ years a few years ago. Couldn't believe how nervous and uncomfortable I was before I went to the meet. I have to say, though, that I had far more nice comments than anything else once I got there. IMO, most people think it's really cool that someone "old" can even swim in a meet! Just go and have fun. Don't let anyone who doesn't get it get you down. You'll be great :banana:

sok454
February 1st, 2013, 03:31 PM
Good luck! Just reading this makes me excited for my first meet in 25 years this coming March. I just hope to not get too smoked!

ekw
February 1st, 2013, 03:35 PM
I've been wondering about swimming USA-S meets - USA Swimming doesn't make it clear how you can register as unattached. Do you have to be affiliated with a club to enter? Do you need to have a coach?

knelson
February 1st, 2013, 04:27 PM
Do you have to be affiliated with a club to enter? Do you need to have a coach?

To register as unattached contact your LSC office. You don't need to be affiliated with a club, but unattached swimmers are supposed to be assigned to a coach (for insurance purposes, presumably) at a meet.

orca1946
February 1st, 2013, 05:01 PM
Have fun for you !!! Do not let others tell you how you should feel ! 1st or near the end should not make a diff.
now Do it cuz you want to. Tell it how it goes !

fmracing
February 1st, 2013, 08:14 PM
I find its a lot of fun to go in there and smoke all the high school kids at a usas meet. The parents all seem to get a big kick out of it when an old guy can still throw down with the youth. Don't worry about it though. You will b glad u competed.

jaadams1
February 2nd, 2013, 01:16 AM
I find its a lot of fun to go in there and smoke all the high school kids at a usas meet. The parents all seem to get a big kick out of it when an old guy can still throw down with the youth. Don't worry about it though. You will b glad u competed.

I have fun racing (and training) with the kids. I'm 35, and while I'm not "smoking" them, I'm definitely giving them some good races. In my LSC, I'm in the top 20% or better of the 15 & over kids. My LSC isn't the biggest or most populated either though. I do get lots of respect though, especially when they see how I do with the 200 Fly, 400 IM, and distance stuff against the kids. Just this last weekend I raced a 15 year old boy in the 200 Fly...he beat me by about 5 seconds, but really congratulated me for doing "so well" in the event. I thanked him graciously (though I was 5 seconds off my best time). I get quite a few good positive comments from other parents and officials at the meets as well. I did get one off-colored comment (from an official) that I just ignored, but thought it was strange that one of the officials would make a comment like she did.

pedergraham
February 2nd, 2013, 08:30 AM
Thank you all for the encouragement. It was a big help. I will report back...my session does not start until 3pm on Sunday. 200IM, 200back, 200breast. I officiate in session 1...with a 50 and 25 breast stroke for 8&unders. Hope that does not ruin my karma. (Last meet I DQ'd my own child...)

poolraat
February 3rd, 2013, 11:51 AM
Last meet I DQ'd my own child...)


That's tough! I've dq'd my son twice, once for a backstroke turn infraction, and once for a false start. He said the false start was my fault because I held them too long before sending them.

I have swam USA meets a lot since master's meets are few and far between out here. My best memory is being in the lane next to my son for the 50 free. It was fun to race side by side. I even managed to stay with him until the turn. Then he seemed to find another gear and left me in his wake.

pedergraham
February 3rd, 2013, 07:53 PM
Well, it went fine. I have to say that I missed the social aspect of masters meets--catching up with swim acquaintances and hearing what they've been up to. My husband switched lanes so he did not have to officiate my lane in the 200 IM. Got a NQT in the 200 breast. Now, back to the training...3 months to Indy.
thank you for your support and encouragement!

gobears
February 3rd, 2013, 08:04 PM
Well, it went fine. I have to say that I missed the social aspect of masters meets--catching up with swim acquaintances and hearing what they've been up to. My husband switched lanes so he did not have to officiate my lane in the 200 IM. Got a NQT in the 200 breast. Now, back to the training...3 months to Indy.
thank you for your support and encouragement!
Way to go!!!

swimshark
February 4th, 2013, 07:50 AM
Great job!

Britt03
February 4th, 2013, 08:42 AM
Great job!
I competed in my first USAS meet just a couple of weeks ago (unattached, without a coach). I tried to get some USA standard times in. I deck entered the meet so I swam in the first heat, outside lane. I was nervous and felt weird swimming next to 12 year olds. But they had a blast, even came over to me and started chatting before the races.
I, as well, missed the social aspect during this meet. But that's what we have USMS meets for! The USAS meet I swam at was gigantic (6 hours prelims swam in 2 pools simultaneously) and I think that was my only negative experience and really turned me away from coming back for day 2 (apart from having an injured shoulder).
I look forward swimming some more USAS meets in the future. I hope to be able to catch some smaller ones.

ekw
February 4th, 2013, 09:29 AM
I'm kind of curious about how USAS meets run now compared to back in my day. I could see wanting to swim in one some day. I might tag along to one of the meets with some friends whose daughters swim.

Another question about swimming unattached - do they take care of assigning you to a coach for meet purposes or is that something you have to work out in advance?

Britt03
February 4th, 2013, 10:39 AM
I'm kind of curious about how USAS meets run now compared to back in my day. I could see wanting to swim in one some day. I might tag along to one of the meets with some friends whose daughters swim.

Another question about swimming unattached - do they take care of assigning you to a coach for meet purposes or is that something you have to work out in advance?

I can only speak from the one experience I had so far. I was hoping to run into a few coaches I know at the meet but unfortunately, it turned out, they were all at a different meet that day. So when I signed up, I was asked a few questions about where I train, who I swim with normally etc etc. I guess it was sufficient for passing without being assigned to a coach. The only problem I had was warm up since the lanes are assigned by teams. If you are unattached, you are bound to whatever open space you can find in the pool/dive pool/kiddie pool etc.
I am sure it depends on the meet director if they let you through without being assigned to a coach or not. I had communicated with the meet director beforehand by email, I believe that definitely helped.

Rob Copeland
February 4th, 2013, 11:28 AM
The USAS meet I swam at was gigantic (6 hours prelims swam in 2 pools simultaneously) and I think that was my only negative experience

I had communicated with the meet director beforehand by email, I believe that definitely helped. You mean it wasn’t the diesel fumes from the generator Tech had to bring in because the power went out? Otherwise we usually keep within a 4 hour session time limit.

Cathy usually does a great job running meets. But I'm somewhat biased.

Rob Copeland
February 4th, 2013, 11:31 AM
Another question about swimming unattached - do they take care of assigning you to a coach for meet purposes or is that something you have to work out in advance?
USA Swimming 202.3.4(A)
"Any swimmer entered in the meet, unaccompanied by a USA Swimming member coach, must be certified by a USA Swimming member coach as being proficient in performing a racing start or must start each race from within the water. It is the responsibility of the swimmer or the swimmer’s legal guardian to ensure compliance with this requirement."

There is no other rule about unattached/unaccompanied swimmers that require the assignment of a coach, so if you want a coach assigned for the purposes of warm-up and representation, it is up to the swimmer. However, if you ask most meet directors will help you out.

fmracing
February 4th, 2013, 11:36 AM
What Rob said^

I swim unattached at USAS meets all the time and have never been asked about having an "assigned" coach. I know more than a few coaches who would vouch for my ability to perform a start as far as safety is concerned but to date have never been asked to provide such proof.

wwoelbel
February 4th, 2013, 11:47 AM
While I currently dont have any plans to swim in a USAS meet, I am curious about one aspect of this. Several folks have either stated or implied that they are USAS officials. I am a "Non-Athlete" member of USAS as I am an official and I am an athlete member of USMS. Would I need an additional USAS "Athlete" membership to swim in a USAS meet?

Curious

Rob Copeland
February 4th, 2013, 11:56 AM
While I currently dont have any plans to swim in a USAS meet, I am curious about one aspect of this. Several folks have either stated or implied that they are USAS officials. I am a "Non-Athlete" member of USAS as I am an official and I am an athlete member of USMS. Would I need an additional USAS "Athlete" membership to swim in a USAS meet?Yes.

Britt03
February 4th, 2013, 01:58 PM
You mean it wasn’t the diesel fumes from the generator Tech had to bring in because the power went out? Otherwise we usually keep within a 4 hour session time limit.

Cathy usually does a great job running meets. But I'm somewhat biased.


Cathy did a great job running the meet. As usual :) You guys do a great job. Waiting around due to the diesel fumes definitely blew it for me though. But I am already looking forward to some more USAS meets. Wasn't my weekend. Diesel fumes gave me a great excuse.

jaadams1
February 4th, 2013, 07:25 PM
While I currently dont have any plans to swim in a USAS meet, I am curious about one aspect of this. Several folks have either stated or implied that they are USAS officials. I am a "Non-Athlete" member of USAS as I am an official and I am an athlete member of USMS. Would I need an additional USAS "Athlete" membership to swim in a USAS meet?

Curious

Yes.

And the weird part of all this...As a coach/official, you have to go through the background checks for the safety issues set forth by USA Swimming, but as a registered swimmer (as an adult) with USAS, no background check is required.

knelson
February 5th, 2013, 10:08 AM
as a registered swimmer (as an adult) with USAS, no background check is required.

We've been over this before, but I don't think it's that weird. As a swimmer you are not in a position of authority like a coach or official is. Not to mention, if background checks were required for adult swimmers when would this kick in? As soon as someone turns 18?