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  • Hilary Irons

Dolphin Update: First Meet Prep Info, Thursday June 15, 2023

Greetings! While updates are usually sent out at the start of each week, the start of the season creates a need for multiple informational updates. We have lots to prep for next week, and we are excited for our first meet!

1) First Meet Details:

a) This meet is "away" at Westover Pool in Harrisonburg. Please plan to arrive to the pool at 5PM. The address is: 305 S. Dogwood Drive.

b) If you are unable to atten this week's meet, WE NEED TO KNOW. All swimmers will be assumed to be eligible to swim unless we know otherwise. There are two ways to sign out:

  1. Sign out on the paper forms on the bulletin board as you enter the club pool

  2. Go into your swimmingly account (from a web browser) and mark your child as absent.

  3. If neither of those work, simply let Coach Lauren know.

c) Before you arrive: use a sharpee to write your swimmer's number on their left arm, triathlon style (which is to say, vertical down the arm). Ex: S




d) Suggested Packing List:

-Your swimmer(s) with team suit, cap and goggles ;-)

-Multiple Towels

-Layers, weather pending (sweatshirts, sweatsuits, blankets)

-Portable Chairs

-a tent or umbrella if it is sunny and you desire shade

-Snacks - light and easy snacks so swimmers are fueled but not overly full.

-Water or Electrolyte Drink

-Money for Concessions, if you prefer to buy

-Your phone/device for volunteer roles such as timing, etc...

e) The meet officially begins at 6PM. Here is a basic timeline:

+5PM: Guest Team Arrives.

+5-5:25PM: Host Team Warms Up (lap swimming in pool).

+5:25-5:50PM: Guest Team Warms up

(during home meets, this is when our junior dolphins will complete their race)

+5:40PM Volunteer Meetings at the ScoreKeeper's tent, including:


-Stroke & Turn + Relay Take Off

+5:50PM Swimmers for events 1-5 report to the clerk of course.

+5:55PM National Anthem

+6PM: The meet officially begins!

Meets are usually complete by 9PM (barring weather delays). When your swimmer(s) has completed his/her/their events, you are free to depart for the night.

3) In order to run a successful meet, we need parent volunteers. Please click the sign up genius to sign up for a job. Note: it is required that parents volunteer for at least 3 meets. And often, given our team size, we need parents to volunteer as many times as they are present for the meet.

Volunteering is FUN, I promise. You get a front row seat to the action of the meet, and the engagement fosters enjoyment. You will witness so many really cool things first hand; including but not limited to: children facing a challenge; overcoming fears; developing skills and achieving personal bests; displaying sportsmanship; excitement of competition; working with parents from the opposing team; gaining understanding of the sport; etc... Time passes quickly in a well run meet!

One common fear around volunteering is that you will mess up. I assure you that this is not an issue. There are back up systems to ensure success in a meet. You are a competent, capable adult. If you can drive a car, you can successfully click a button on your phone screen!

Click here to sign up. See job descriptions below:

-Timer: basic, entry level position. Anyone can do it. You, grandma, teenage sibling. All you need is a device that can download the swimmingly app, and connect to wifi.

-Relay Take Off: also basic, entry level. This position is needed for events 1-7 and event 58-63. Can sign up for just the starting 7, just the 5 at the end or both. You will watch the feet of the swimmer on the wall. When that swimmer takes off, you look down to see if the swimmer in the pool is touching the wall. Easy, peasy.

-Stroke & Turn: this is a HIGH NEED on our team. Training Required. The rules of swimming are in place to protect swimmers, not to penalize. The benefit of the doubt ALWAYS goes to the swimmer. And, no need to feel guilty about DQing a swimmer. You are only responsible for reporting what you saw, and if a swimmer made an error - they will learn from it and it will make them better in the long run.

-Clerk of Course: this person helps get our swimmers in line for the upcoming events. If you like to organize things, then this will role will be just so satisfying!

-Computer: We need multiple people to learn this role. It's a comfortable, front row seat to the action and under cover of tent! The system runs itself, for the most part. And you will work together with the host team to confirm results. If you are savy with your iPhone, then you can manage this role. Amy Lenz has historically filled this role, and Patrice has assisted. Amy will be away for most meets this season, and Patrice will be filling the role in July. This meet is a great opportunity for a new person to step in without needing to take on a lot of responsibility (away meets are much easier on any team).

4) Summer Swim Philosophy:

Summer swimming can be competitive. Historically, the Dolphins were the top team in the valley for 4 out of the past 7 years (sans covid). Covid impacted club membership, and as a result - our team size.

But, what we wish for all participants is that you would develop a love for this sport. On a personal level, summer swim is one of the only things I actually require in our household. I require this for many reasons. First, we love the Dolphins! Second: it provides structure to our summer; it gets us outside and active (hello, vitamin D); it develops strength and cardiovascular fitness in a low impact environment. Swimming is a necessary life/survival skill (swimming). Swimmers compete with others, but also just for themselves. It is both an individual and a team sport. Out of summer swim, you can get as little or as much as you desire.

That said - the weather is not cooperating. The pool is cold, the outside temps are comfortable (not hot). If your swimmer is suffering, please prioritize their love of the sport. There is a balance to be had in developing grit - navigating cold temps; discovering what we are capable of; versus having to fight with your swimmer to participate. Please prioritize cultivating a love of this sport, of our team, of the Spotswood Club experience.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns, as I am happy to help support your experience on this team.

-Go Dolphins!

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