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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 Gator’s 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 a Big Buddy 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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