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Why is it important for my swimmer to be at the meets if she is not scoring points?

In dual meets, only 1st to 3rd place score points, while there may be 30 or more swimmers in some events. Yet we say every swimmer matters to the team. How can that be?

First of all, athletics are unpredictable. Just because your swimmer hasn't scored points in previous weeks, doesn't mean they won't; this may be the week. It might be that your swimmer has been disqualified in the past, but this week it all comes together and they win! It has happened, more than you might think.

Secondly, relays require depth. If your swimmer is not on the "A" or "B" relay, which are more likely to score points, they still matter. The "A" or "B" relay may false start, in which case the other relays become very important. Swimmers also love to swim with their friends. The more people who show up, the more relays we can have, and the more swimmers that get this experience.

Thirdly, the team benefits when all its members are present. The swimmers support each other, cheer each other, and help each other pass the time in the pits. Their teammates really do miss them when they're not there.

Finally, and possibly most immediately noticeable, the individual swimmer benefits because he gets to see the results of the week's hard work.  The emphasis of the Wells Branch Armada team has traditionally been on individual improvement, or "dropping time" (beating your own previous personal best), as well as winning. In a sport where there is only one winner in a race with 30 or more participants, this is a way that everyone can be a winner. While you can't control who you swim against, you can work to improve yourself.  Weekly awards and recognition such as Fast Fishy and Triple Drop demonstrate the team's commitment to this philosophy.

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