Swim Meet Checklist: Everything You Need to Pack for your next Swim Meet


Congratulations on signing up for a swim meet! Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or a newcomer to the world of swim team, being a well-prepared will make you a confident swimmer! With these essentials, you’ll be ready to dive into the pool and give your best performance. This is a complete swim meet checklist that will cover cover all the swim meet essentials you need to ensure a smooth, stress-free, and successful competition day.

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Swim Backpack, water bottle, towels, goggles, swimsuit, and snacks for ready to go for a swim meet.

1. Swim Gear


Your swimwear is arguably the most important piece of equipment you’ll need. For competitions, a high-quality racing swimsuit or team-issued suit is best. Competitive swimsuits are designed to reduce drag and improve your performance in the water. Remember to check the rules and regulations of your swim meet as some competitions have specific guidelines on what type of swimwear is allowed. (This is especially true as swimmers get older or more competitive and wear tech suits)


A good pair of goggles is essential for clear vision underwater. It won’t matter how the googles look if they won’t stay in place during the dive or start of the race. Ensure they fit well and are comfortable to wear for extended periods. It’s advisable to bring a spare pair in case of any mishaps.

Swim Cap

Swim caps help streamline your head in the water, reducing drag and protecting your hair from chlorine. Silicone caps are popular for their durability and comfort. Some swimmers prefer latex or lycra caps, so choose the one that suits you best. Always bring at least one extra since they can rip! You may want to have a few extra hair elastics on hand to put hair up in a ponytail or bun before putting on a cap.

Training Tools

Some coaches ask swimmers to bring a kick board or other training gear for warm-ups. Talk with your team about what training gear should be be brought to to the meet.


Bring at least two towels: one for drying off after your swim and another for use between events. Quick-dry microfiber towels are a great choice as they are lightweight and absorbent.

2.Clothes for Warm-Ups and After Races

Team T-Shirt

Show your team colors and mascot with your Team Shirt and other team gear. This is also great for dry land warm-ups and sun protection during outdoor meets.

Pool Deck Sandals or Flip Flips

Footwear is essential for walking around on the pool deck, to the restroom, or around the meet facility.

Sweatshirt or Swim Parka

This is a must for indoor winter meets! Something warm can also be useful for summer meets with early starts or late races when it’s cool.

Dry Change of Clothes

Nothing feels better than getting into warm, dry clothes after a meet! Keep these in a waterproof bag or in your car to ensure they stay dry until you are ready to change after the meet.

A swim backpack ready to go for a meet with a towel, sunscreen, flip flops and sunscreen.

3. Water and Snacks

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial for peak performance. Bring a large water bottle and sip water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated.

Healthy Snacks

Pack nutritious snacks to keep your energy levels up during a long meet. Fruit, energy bars, or energy chews are excellent choices. Check out some of my favorite sports snacks for kids here. Avoid sugary snacks that can lead to energy crashes. Stick with foods that you have tried before practices and you know will agree with you.

4. Supportive Gear for During the Meet

Swim Bag

A spacious, waterproof swim bag will help you keep all your essentials organized. Look for one with multiple compartments to separate wet and dry items.

Deck Chair or Mat

Swim meets often involve long periods of waiting. A foldable deck chair or a comfortable mat to sit on will make these waiting periods more comfortable.

Sun Protection

For outdoor meets make sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat. For long, outdoor meets, a portable tent or large umbrella for the teammates to share is a good option!


If there are any inhalers or other medication you are prescribed to take during meets, make sure to have them safely stored in a waterproof section of your swim bag.

6. Extras for a Great Meet Day

Headphones and Music

Listening to music can help you relax and stay focused before your race. Create a playlist of your favorite motivational songs to get you in the right mindset.

Heat Sheet or Meet App

Heat sheets are essentially the program or order of events for a swim meet. They list the event, heat, and lane assignments and keep the swim meet organized and moving along. Having a copy of the heat sheet (printed or digitally) will help you keep track of your races and ensure you don’t miss your event.

Positive Attitude

Encourage your child with positive reinforcement and help them stay calm and focused. Remind them that the most important thing is to do their best and have fun.


Swim meets can be incredibly exciting and stressful at the same time. With the right gear and preparation, you can focus on your performance and enjoy the competition! From swim gear and training equipment to personal items and mental preparation, every detail counts. Pack your bag the night before, double-check your checklist, and get ready to make a your next swim meet your best one yet! Happy swimming!

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