Hosting a Dual Meet: Pre Meet Communication

As the host of a dual meet, you need to recognize that the quality of the meet experience is reflective of your team and your school. Is it fair? Maybe not, but it is true. For the visiting team and it’s fan’s, it is probably the only exposure they will have to your program and you want to make it a good one.

One easy way to set up your meet for success is with some quality and consistent communication with the coach of the visiting team. It’s a great opportunity to cover some logistical items, make them feel welcome, and also to let them know you are prepared for the role of hosting them.

I usually, I like to send an email out 2-3 days before the day of the meet and here are the non-negotiable items I include

Please reach out to the visiting team’s coach via email at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours before the day of the meet you are hosting.

Things to include:

  1. Ask whether they would like even or odd lanes. Provide them with some perspective where lanes the outside lanes are in relation to where their team will be sitting. This will assist them (and you) with getting meet entries buttoned up
  2. Some detail on where the athletes should enter the building and how to get the pool. Who hasn’t wandered around an entire school looking for the pool?
  3. Some detail on where their athletes can change
  4. What events you would like exhibition heats for and ask if there are any additional events that they would like exhibition heats. I believe in getting kids as many swims as possible so whatever it takes to get that works for me. It does impact meet entries when one team has exhibition in an event and the other doesn’t. We’ve all seen the JV of one team seeded in the first heat with the exhibition while the other team’s JV swims alone.
  5. If there will be a livestream and if there is, the link where parents can access it
  6. Hopefully we are past this, but any COVID restrictions for athletes
  7. What time the pool will be open for warmup
  8. Any special events that may extend the meet (Senior Night, Parent Night, etc.)
  9. Anything unique about the facility that would be good for coaches to know in advance (example: Orono starting end is 5 ft deep)

There may be other things, but this open’s the dialogue between coaches lays out some important things on the table to help ensure the meet get’s off to a good start. It won’t fix a malfunctioning timing system or a couple late changes due to a sick kid, but you’d be surprised how far this will take you.

Dual meets are a great way to show off how your program operates….or doesn’t. Make sure it does by putting in a little time up front.

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