Masters Meets

I just began really learning strokes in July 2022. I am competitive (with myself) and want to establish some official times to help guide my training. 
I don’t want to totally embarrass myself at a meet. Are there slower swimmers at these meets? Like, 1:40 100 Fr slow? 

Top Replies

  • I had the same concern going to a meet.  Yes, there are slower swimmers.  The heats are are seeded by time (the one I was in was slowest seed times to fastest).  Go out, establish some times for yourself, and have fun.  It is not quite as intimidating as it feels at first.

  • if you just learned the strokes and are going 1:40 in your 100 yard free, you are a rockstar! There are all abilities, ages, and times are USMS events. I agree with that you should sign up and give it a try. 
    If you are very competitive, you can look at our event results to help guide you: Starting at the 2021 - 2022 season so we can see full results. 

  •   Here are five reasons to give it a try:

    This part is especially appropriate: 

    I’m not fast enough. Everyone is welcome at Masters meets, regardless of speed or ability, and regardless of age, body type, or fitness level! There are just as many high-fives and cheers for the slower heats as there are for the fastest swimmers. The Masters community is universally encouraging to newcomers, and is always delighted to see people try something they haven’t done before.  

  • Yep, I read this article but don’t entirely believe that last point. However, I’m coming from a long running background and am used to being ‘middle of the pack’. I’d settle for bottom quarter at this point for swimming. But dead last in every event might be demoralizing.

  • You will be amazed at the different levels of skill at any given swim meet!  Here in Georgia, a typical meet includes several regulars that rank in the top three in the world, as well as several regulars that look like they are going to drown before they get to the other end of the pool.  They all receive applause, and nobody seems to pay much attention about any of it, because they are all there to have fun, socialize, and swim.  

    Before my various physical issues, I used to be ranked in the top 30% in breaststroke, and I made National Qualifying Times until hip surgery in 2014.  In contrast to that, I also swim the 200 fly and rank in the bottom few each year.  Now, at age 60,I rank low in everything, because I can no longer race at 100% effort.  To get over feeling demoralized, I changed my mindset, and I tell myself this: Even at my slow speed, I swim better than the majority of adults in the world!  More than 1/3 of adults can't even swim the length of a pool.

    I also changed my focus from the clock to stroke technique.  My goal in each race is to swim with the best technique my body will allow during any given race.

    Just go out and have fun, and don't worry about embarrassing yourself.  Nobody will be paying any attention to you.  Really.

    Oh, another thing:  One way you can improve your swimming is by having somebody shoot some video and posting it here on the forums.  As you can see by the threads I posted asking for a critique of my strokes, I received some great suggestions!  

  • you're not alone. I've been encouraged to go for it and challenge against yourself not compare with others. I also am slower than usual but it will be an unforgettable experience :)

  • Thank you, Badger.  I will be attending my first meet (well, it's been 42 years since I've competed) in January.  I was hoping they would seed it by time, regardless of age!!