What to Bring to Your Child's Swim Meet

This summer, my daughter joined the swim team.  She loves the water and immediately loved swim team.  Every week we had at least one meet, and I quickly learned what are some good essentials for swim meets.


While you don’t want your child eating a lot of food at a swim meet, snacks are good to have on hand for when they get hungry or if there is a lot of time between events, as well as a drink.

Hair bands.

I can never seem to have enough hair bands for the pool, so I make sure I keep several in my bag for swim meets.  This way I can use one or two at a meet and have more for next time if I forget to refill the ones we used.  Plus, there have been many occasions where another swimmer can use a hair tie and I’m happy to help provide one.  I have two girls with long hair, and it is a must to have hair in a ponytail or braid, underneath a swim cap.

Swim caps

Swim caps are usually a requirement for meets, but also a great idea for practices – not only do they help streamline in the pool, they coordinate with team colors.  Not to mention the benefits of not having tangled hair or hair get in the way during swimming.  Swim caps do rip (even Michael Phelps ripped his swim cap right before swimming a race in the Rio Olympics!) – so make sure you have a backup.


Same with goggles – these are essential.  We always have our #1 pair, but an extra one or two for backup in case a strap breaks or anything else happens. We have also lent goggles to other kids that lost or broke theirs.


My daughter swims in more than one event at a meet, so I make sure we have multiple towels.  There are warm ups, then she does several events.  Every time she gets out of the pool, she likes to wrap herself in a towel.  I would at least bring two to start – one for between events, and another for drying off at the end.  I find that microfiber towels are great because they aren’t bulky, and they dry fast.

Something to do.

Our swim team spends lots of time cheering on teammates.  But sometimes there can be some (or a LOT of) downtime – like the events are delayed, etc. – it can’t hurt to tuck a book into a pocket of the swim bag.

Swim Meet

Change of clothes, something warm.

This can depend on the season or if the pool is indoors or out.  For our summer meets, the kids generally dry out in the sun and my daughter wears a skirt or beach coverup robe home, but you may want to bring warmer clothes (sweatshirt, pants) or change of clothes depending on the weather and pool.  Plus, we often go out after a meet instead of going right home, so it is nice to be prepared.

And last of all, don’t forget to bring team spirit!

What are your swim meet must haves?


Also check out What to Buy When Your Child Joins the Swim Team.