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.