by David Gracey
Early summer marks longer days, pleasant mornings, getting to sleep in later and, yes, the annual ritual of swim team. The Gracey family is now in its seventh year of doing summer swim team. We have joined the thousands of other families in Atlanta for daily treks to the swimming pool, wet car seats and soggy Goldfish.
Our primary goal in joining our club’s swim team was to drown-proof our kids so we could be more relaxed around the pool and at the beach. If they actually had fun doing it, well, that was an added benefit. What we discovered, however, was swim team is a great way for our kids to make new friends, have fun and for Louise and me to meet new people. Plus the kids really have started looking forward to it each year. When my kids were young and they could only get in the water if they were clinging to an adult, I remember looking with envy at the parents with older kids who were casually lounging around the pool, in regular clothes, carrying a margarita in hand and reading a book! I dreamed about the day when I could be that parent. Well, the kids are now older and would rather play with their friends than their parents, so everyone is much happier. Swim team helped my kids get to that point much sooner.
My first swim team meet was as an adult and I couldn’t believe how long they took. They were interminable and mind-numbingly boring. So the second season I signed up to volunteer at the meet and I noticed the meets went by much quicker. So a tip for new swim-team parents: volunteering is much better than just hanging out, plus you get to meet lots of other parents and the meets go by faster. It’s good stuff. But whether you volunteer or not, swim meets are completely chaotic and it’s easy to miss one of your swimmer’s events, which is extremely frustrating. And since the score is not posted, most folks have no clue how their team is doing.
But this season has brought a game-changer with regards to keeping up with your swimmers, their times and what place they came in. There is an iPhone App called MeetMobile which keeps up with just about everything you need. Once you install the app, you select your particular meet and then tag your swimmers as ‘favorites’. Here are five AMAZING statistics that MeetMobile tracks in real time:
- All the events your swimmers will participate in
- The current swim event/heat taking place (extremely helpful if you are herding cats in the bullpen and can’t see the scoreboard.
- Each swimmer’s actual swim time including the amount of time shaved off the swimmer’s best time for that event
- Overall place your swimmer finished, not just in that heat
- Current meet score for both teams, including breakdown by men and women
Here are a few screen shots:
So my words of wisdom for new Swim Meet parents are 1) volunteer for something (timing is my favorite and 2) get MeetMobile to track those swimmers. You’ll not miss another event.
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