It was a slow meet

What does this mean? As a parent it means it took forever. Started late, ended late and had 25 heats of 200 breaststroke and 24 heats of 400 IM. Half of them swimmers with no times. That my friends is a slow meet. I sometimes feel as though I am watching a season change from the one 3 foot square window on the opposite side of the pool. It never fails that the one tiny beam of sunlight comes in that window, bounces off the pool and straight into my eyes. I have come to appreciate seeing the light, it means that it is still the same day that I arrived. Slow meet. Five or more hours right?

Not so fast. Literally. A “slow” meet I guess is one with slow kids. Or everyone swims slow. You are really screwed if all the slow kids, who swim slow have a meet at the slow pool. I think it is an excuse. A lame one at that.

I understand NFT (no faster than) meets. All the super fast kids are pulled out. But I don’t even consider these slow meets, as a matter of fact, my kids always get best times at the big one we participate in each year. Grace got a freaking medal in breaststroke at one, I mean how can you hate on the NFT meets when your kid medals at their drowning stroke? No one does, these are never the “slow meets”.

Apparently a friends of mine’s child swam at a slow meet this weekend. The swimmer (who is stupid fast by the way) failed to get a best time on any of her six races. And she scratched one race. Later, I was told that the swimmer intentionally swam slow and never intended to swim the scratched race, she only signed up for it to psych someone else out.  She swam slow because it was a “slow meet”.  Her mom meant, beneath her.

I am left scratching my head on this one. I don’t understand why anyone would go to a swim meet and not attempt for a best time. I could not care less what place my kids get in a meet (slight disclaimer that at the Olympics this goes out the window should one of my kids actually go). Bottom line, swim as fast as you can, every chance you get. I am 100% fine with my kids tanking a race. My head would explode if they intentionally bagged a race.

I assume at the higher levels there is some strategy in swimming at various meets.  But I don’t believe that exists for 13 year olds.  It just feels like a big excuse to me.

I don’t ask my kids for best times every time they swim, I don’t even think that is practical.  I simply want them to try their hardest and to have some reflection on the botched races.

5 thoughts on “It was a slow meet

  1. Hi there,

    Great read, where were the parents that allow their swimmer to act in that manner. Every race counts. They can’t PB every one but they have to race every one.

    By the way my daughter swims for Halton Hills Blue Fins and I enjoyed listening to you on Coach Mike’s pod cast. Do you have a direct email that I could contact you?

    Thanks, Lisa (aka Aquaonthego)

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I enjoy your writing and it usually it draws a chuckle from me. My advice is enjoy these years as they go by fast and your girls will be gone before you know it. My swimmer is in her next-to-last swimming in college. It seems like yesterday we went to those “slow meets” where I would grind my teeth waiting for the “next to the last heat” and “circle seeding” to kick in. No way, no how if you go to enough of these meets (monthly?) is your kid going to swim best times at every meet – it just doesn’t happen that way.

    Kids swim at “not their best” for a variety of reasons – including 1) they don’t really care about the meet but Mom and Dad want them to swim it; 2) coach hasn’t “tapered” them because he wants them to peak at a “big” meet and; 3) it drives Mom & Dad crazy (which is always fun for any teen). Don’t worry about it. Pretty soon, if your kids have some talent (along with a commitment to hard work), you will have the opportunity to enjoy Championship meets like “Tom Dolan” and “Junior Nats.” These meets are at a much higher level than Junior Olympics and bring on a new level of excitement and anticipation.. Believe me, everyone goes all out at those meets and its “tears city” if your swimmer doesn’t do well. Your daughters may also go on to swimming in high school – a great experience swimming on a team, however, no one goes really fast until Districts, Regionals and for a select few, the big State meet at the end of the season.

    October Open? Who cares! Relax Mom.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks and I know my kids will grow up fast! I think you misunderstood me though, I don’t care if they don’t swim their best, I was annoyed to hear of a swimmer not swimming her best because a meet was beneath her. (I personally think she tanked because she hasn’t been practicing as hard as she should!).

      My oldest has swam Dolan and JO’s for four years, makes finals at JO’s and swam Zones this year (she is 13). Junior Nats is on her bucket list!!! BUT she only got to those meets BECAUSE she gave her best at meets such as October Open! Katie Ledecky swam October OPen this year. She has a reputation for being a doll and never thinking a meet was beneath her.

      I totally understand older swimmers tapering and peaking. I definately don’t care if my kids get best times at every meet. I just want them to try hard and have a great attitude. I don’t even care if my kids cry for legitimate cause. My 10 year old missed a goal time at the last meet of summer season and sobbed for 30 minutes after the race. She had no idea what place she got and she even got a best time. But she was disappointed because it was her last time to hit that goal as a 10 year old. She came this close. I hugged her and told her I loved her….for like 29 minutes and then I told her she was annoying me!

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