At every swim meet PMA is designated a lane or two at specific times to warm up in. The warm up times are usually between 6:15 and 7:30 am each morning of the meet. Each group of swimmers will be assigned a time to warm up and those times will be emailed to swimmers signed up for the meet.
The most important reason to attend warm ups it that no two pools are set up the same way. They may seem to look alike, but there are many differences. The starting blocks will be different. Some will be higher than others, some will have less traction than others and some may not allow a swimmer to place their hands in the same position as other blocks. The walls of the pool will be different as well. A common complaint is “the walls are slippery”. The clarity of the water also seems to change from pool to pool. Children often come out of the pool and claim that they couldn’t see the walls very well. The backstroke flags at each pool have the potential to be different. The swimmers will not be aware of any of those things that have the potential to change their races dramatically if they do not get in their warm ups. Warm ups are used more for familiarizing yourself with the pool than actually preparing your muscles for the race.
This is also when the coaches take a head count, start preparing for relays as well as have a few minutes to talk to each of them before the racing starts. They are also required to scratch no-shows during warm ups to make room for deck entries into those heats. We don’t plan the warm up times to be so early to be mean. It is in the best interest of your swimmer(s) to make it to the warm ups at each meet. It will only help their swims.