Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Weekend on Deck

During this time of year, the pool deck is our second home. Snapper has swim team practices 4 days per week. And from September-December, and again March-May, she has meets just about every other weekend. We've just entered our third year of swimming, and I feel like we finally have this routine down.

Here's what a meet weekend looks like for us. 

Friday Night
  • Wash towels/parka/team clothes if necessary
  • Pack the cooler. Typical meet fare includes: string cheese, yogurt, fruit, carrots, chips and salsa, turkey slices, peanut butter rice cakes, water, and Gatorade.
  • Pack the clothes bag. On cold meet weekends like this one was (it was 45 degrees when we arrived at the pool yesterday), we pack: Parka, sweats, team hoodie, under armor, 5 pairs fuzzy socks, Crocs, slippers, team t-shirt, gloves, ski cap
  • Pack the swim bag. Our swim bag always includes: A book, Snapper's Nintendo DS, towels for after warm-up and each event, 3 pairs of goggles, 2 team caps, and Mom's clipbox.
  • Load the clipbox. It is a plastic box with a clipboard on top. In it I keep: 2 highlighters, 2 sharpies, 2 pens, USA motivational time standards, Florida Age Group Championship time cuts, and the heat sheet. I use all of those items to get Snapper ready for her swims, and to keep track of how she's doing.
Saturday Morning
  • Wake up at 6:00 and get dressed for the meet.
  • Eat a high-protein breakfast. This morning we had apple slices, sausage and scrambled eggs.
  • Load the car. Besides the cooler, clothes bag and swim bag, we take: our canopy, 4 chairs, a thermos, cocoa mix, and cups, blankets, camera bag, advil, and visors/sunglasses/sunblock.
  • Make sure Pepper has an activity bag packed. He usually brings: his travel Lego table, his Leapster and games, and a few action figures.
  • Warm-ups usually start at 8:00, so we leave our house early enough to arrive 15 minutes prior to warm-up. Today we left at 7:15.
  • Arrive at the meet. Set up camp, write Snapper's events on her arm with a sharpie, and debrief with the coach. 
  • Snapper warms up while we finish setting up camp.
  • Enjoy the meet! Today it started at 9:00. Cheer for Snapper, cheer for teammates, visit with other parents, take photos, take video, get critiques from coaches, make memories, have a great time. We always manage to have a lot of fun.
  • When the meet is finished--today it finished at 12:45--pack up camp.
  • Go out to lunch with favorite friends from the team.
  • Head home.
  • If the meet it a 2-day meet, we put wet gear/towels in the dryer. I refresh the cooler and highlight Snapper's events on the next day's heat sheet while the towels and clothes dry. Then I repack the clothes bag and swim bag. Snapper always likes to have a soak in a hot tub while I get ready for the next day. 
  • Repeat Saturday
  • Download photos from the camera and camcorder, and upload photos and video for family to watch.
  • Record Snapper's times in my swimming spreadsheet.
She had a great meet this weekend. In December, our team is traveling to a larger, regional meet in Gainesville. In order to swim at that meet, the kids have to have earned qualifying times. When those times were posted, we were really excited to find out that Snapper was qualified for several events! This will be a very fun experience for her because the meet is being held at the University of Florida pool, and we will be staying in a hotel! What an exciting thing for a 9-year-old! 

There were a few more times she wanted to try for this weekend: 50 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, and 200 IM. She swam her heart out both yesterday and today, and earned qualifying cuts in all 3! In addition to those, she will be swimming 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 50 backstroke, and 100 IM at the Gainesville meet next month! She is also qualified for 100 breaststroke and 100 freestyle, but opted to swim the other events instead. She may get to swim on a relay team too, but we won't find that out until later. We are super proud of Snapper. She has worked really hard for this, and her diligence and determination is paying off. Here are a few fun photos from this weekend. 

Sneaking a peek at mom during warm-up

 Waiting for the Medley Relay with buddy T

She swam the breaststroke leg of the relay. Here's her awesome start!

Going fast in 100 backstroke! The writing on her arm is her reminder of what events/heats/lanes she is swimming.

Snapper had a fabulous 50-yard breaststroke swim today.

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