Why Self Marshalling?
Ultimately the swimmers spend less time waiting for their event after warming up which has many advantages physically and mentally. It is likely that once adopted and running smoothly at a regional level, Swimming Queensland and Swimming Australia will likely consider self-marshalling for major events too.
The process will follow something similar to what many of our senior coaches and parents may remember during their swimming careers and will place more onus on the individual swimmers and team managers to ensure they stay focused on the progress of the programme.
Three simple steps and we can all make this a positive change.
1: Ensure your swimmers are aware of the change and understand they need to “turn up” at the start end of the pool a few heats before their race. It would help the younger ones if you write their heats and lane numbers on their arm so they remember them. (and so the lane chiefs can spot it). Keep an eye and ear on which event is swimming in the pool. The same as you would listen to “Marshalling to event x” Announcements, listen for “in the pool” announcements.
2: Point your swimmers to their coaches. Coaches are across the process and the first ones to assist their squads. Your swimmer should be sitting with their team, and close to their coach. Your coach may need the help of a team manager, put your hand up and volunteer to assist all swimmers. Most important, talk with your clubs coaches and work together as a team to make sure your swimmers get the most from any meet.
3: Yes, it can be scary when something changes, but it’s usually us as parents that get worried, our swimmers are very smart. Given the information in a positive and reassuring way, our swimmers will make it happen. Reassure them and have them report to their coach for final instructions.
Spare a thought for the club hosting the event. They are volunteers just like all of us. Help them by volunteering where possible, by doing that time keeping role, by stepping up when asked. if you cant, work between your team members to figure out how you can help.
All Tech Officials on deck, as well as all volunteers in pink vests, are there to help. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions, don’t hesitate to provide all positive input. Suggestions are fantastic, negativity helps no one. There are many digital and face to face opportunities to provide input to the process and help make this a fantastic transition for all swimming in Australia.