Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Sports Mom's Survival Guide

More than half of the 16 years that I'm a mom, I've been a sports mom.

I've been with them through several aquathlons... I even ran alongside my oldest when she did her first aquathlon when she was 9 years old because she was so scared she couldn't finish the 3k run. 

I've chaperoned them to different provinces when they qualified for the national championships for Palarong Pambansa and Batang Pinoy.

I am currently a swim mom, and enjoying it so much!

August 2008 when they were all going to Futbol Fanatics during the weekends,
years before the Azkals was even formed

January 2010, one of the last times J joined a RIFA (football) tournament before focusing full time on swimming

March 2010, J doing her first aquathlon (400m swim + 3K run)

 Taken 2011 where my B and her varsity teammates won the RIFA (football) tournament for their age group

March 2011 when they joined swim meets at the club just for fun. 
R (leftmost) was just 6 years old here, B (the only girl in the middle) was 8 years old.

I've willingly endured staying under the sun ALL DAY just to cheer for them while they compete.
Taken in 2009 when my J was playing for the school soccer varsity

I can't even remember if we talked about coordinating our white outfits here.
But we do coordinate about bringing the essentials: foldable chairs, big umbrellas, coolers, etc

These supportive swim-dads don't mind the heat either.

Taken in 2011 

Fast forward to 2016, one of MY favorite things to do on weekends is STILL to watch my kids compete. I don't really mind the heat and the day-long wait. I just really enjoy watching them!
May 2016 | My view from the bleachers of the Rizal Memorial Complex 

It's a great coincidence that I spent the Mother's Day weekend at the Rizal Memorial Complex doing the very thing the I enjoy the most!
Within each swimming event, the kids are divided into groups called heats. The heats are arranged in a way that the slowest 8 will swim the first heat. The fastest 8 swimmers will swim the last heat. Within the heat, the seeded/fastest swimmers are assigned the middle lanes.

Swim Meet Survival Guide:

Whether your child is just swimming for fun or is into competitive year-round swimming, here's what you need to help you survive:

1. Arrive early on the day of the meet. This will give your kids time to do their warm-ups properly. This also gives you time to set up in a nice shaded spot. Swim meets lasts the entire day, and your kids will need an area to rest in between heats.
During the course of the day, my kids swim 4-5 events only, they have a lot of time in between to rest and play with friends.

2. Extra suit, extra goggles, extra swim cap for your swimmer. Anything can happen during a meet, including torn suits, broken goggles or a misplaced swim cap. I've always made sure my kids brought along an extra set so they can continue without any worry should any of those happen.

3. Healthy Snacks - bring some healthy snacks to keep your energy up and fueled.

Carbohydrates such as breads and pasta are good choices for lunch as muscles rely on carbs for fuel.
Fresh fruits are good for snacking on.

Water, 100% fruit juice and sports drinks are appropriate at a swim meet. Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink after the meet; they provide protein for muscle repair and carbohydrate to re-fuel muscles.

Ice cold water in vacuum insulated Lock & Lock water containers 
Chocolate drink for their after compe drink. 
Ice gel packs serve dual purpose: to cool down my swimmers during the day and to keep the cold temp inside the cooler.

4. Sun Protection.

5. Stay Hydrated! Don't forget to bring water bottles to the meet. I'm so lucky to discover the newest Lock & Lock Stainless Steel Water Containers. These containers were able to keep our water ice-cold until the end of the compe.
Lock & Lock tumblers are vacuum insulated so they can keep your favorite drink hot or cold 
for at least 6 hours.

Very convenient to carry anywhere with its ONE TOUCH opening. Their slim design makes them very handy and sleek, I can see my daughters bringing this every time they go out with friends. It can easily fit their tiny bags, and I don't have to worry if they are drinking enough water every time they are with friends.

I also love that it has an extra feature to guard against accidental spills. The kids can just slide the switch to put it in its locked position and they know it won't accidentally open.

But the most important thing you can bring to a swim meet is a relaxed + positive attitude!
Cheer for your kids and encourage them.  And remember, the goal in swimming is not to win. The goal is to clock in their PB (personal best).

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