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Big/Little Buddy Program

We have designed the Big Buddy program as a way to help “new to the team” swimmers with the ins and outs of our swim team. There is a lot to know and learn, and it is enormously helpful for new swimmers to have a point of reference as they join the Gators. As stated before, the Gators are 100% volunteer run, and that sense of community and volunteering spirit is not for our parents alone. Our veteran Gators are relied on to be Big Buddies for our new swimmers. If you are a veteran swimmer, you may be assigned a Little Buddy for the season.

Big/Little Buddy duties are outlined below:

Big Buddy

  • Introduce yourself during practice and help answer any questions your Little might have
    • Do they know where the locker rooms are?
    • Do they have their swim cap? Do they know how to put on their swim cap?
    • Do they know that they have to rinse before getting into the pool?
    • Help with basic swim lingo (pool deck, heat sheet, starting block, events?, 25 vs 50)
  • Check in with your Little at the first home meet
    • Do they know where to go for warm-ups?
    • Do they know what events they are in? (maybe snag a Sharpie and write it on their arm!)
    • Help your Little show up for their first event and cheer them on
    • answer any met specific questions they might have
  • Periodically check in with your Little to see if they are getting the hang of everything and if they have any other questions
    • Where do I pick up my ribbons?

Little Buddy

  • Introduce yourself during practice and be ready with a few questions you have about the team or logistics
    • What are the different strokes I will learn/need to know?
    • What is the best way to have my goggles so no water seeps in?
  • Check in with your Big at the first home meet
    • Where should I set up my stuff?
    • How do I write my events on my arm?
    • Should I be on the block, or to the side?
    • What if I touch the bottom of the pool during my event?
  • Periodically check in with your Big to ensure you are getting the hang of everything and if you have any other questions
    • How do I know what number I am in a relay?

If you have concerns or cannot fulfill the duties above, you will need to connect with a Team Parent at [email protected] or [email protected] to determine if you are excused from being a Big/Little Buddy. This program builds team spirit, fosters family connection and ensures camaraderie for years to come. 

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2024 Gator Buddies -TBD

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