The first year we heard about trying out for swim team here in Houma, I’ll admit, I was afraid. We were told of the evening practices during the school year and gruesome Saturdays spent in the 95 degree heat. My son agreed to try it and see what happened. What happened? We fell in love with swim team. He is now into his third year of swimming, and his 5-year old sister joined the team this year, too.
Here are some reasons why this mom loves swim team:
- It encourages my children to be athletic. This is the obvious, right? My kids would rather be reading a book or watching YouTube any day over being active. Swimming does not feel like they’re working out so hard, even though they are.
- They make friends from other areas. Our swim team is comprised of kids from all over the parish. This helps them branch out from the same kids they see in class/school every year. There are some really great friends we have that we only see during the summer.
- It helps me give my children more independence. I can be quite the “helicopter parent” and watching them be in charge of themselves, go on the pool deck and compete while I’m on the sidelines, is healthy for both of us.
- They learn to win some and lose some. Not being on other sports teams my kid had no experience with this concept, to a degree. I believe this helps them grow in all aspects of life.
- Swimming is an individualized sport. So although their team may lose the race or swim meet, they may beat their personal time, which is a win. There are very few instances where one can “make the team lose.”
- They learn how to be on a team. They learn how to listen to a coach, good sportsmanship, and how to encourage their fellow team members.
- It’s only for a short time in the summer. They swim from the end of April until the end of June. By the time they decide they are tired of it, it’s over. It seems to be just the right amount of time (and ends before the heat of July!)
- My children are learning to be expert swimmers. Even if they don’t make it to the Olympics, I feel swimming is an invaluable skill to learn and master. I love the idea of knowing my children are strong swimmers for life.
- There is a future in it. Our local high schools have swim teams, and you can earn scholarships in college for it. (And of course, there’s the Olympics!)
- The “gruesome, all day meets” are actually a lot of fun. It is just like tailgating! We bring all sorts of toys (fidget spinners,) and snacks, and hang out all day with friends.
I am so glad we decided to give swim team a try and hope they continue swimming competitively for many years.