Competitive Swim Teams: The Road To Success
Competitive swim teams are on your mind. Your child has always seemed more like a fish to you, and you're sure that she'd enjoy the thrill of victory. But she's still young. And you're not sure where to start. If you're considering helping your child to enter the world of competitive swimming, understanding the how's and why's is one of the first steps in the process.
Before you make any major decisions, take a look at how you can help your child to start her swimming journey and why being on a team has boundless benefits.
Who wants your child to start swimming? Does she, or do you? Before jumping in head first, make sure that she has an interest in it. Yes, she may enjoy splashing around in the bath. And she may have fun paddling around in Grandma's pool. But if she's completely against formal instruction, you'll have an uphill battle.
Chances are if you're considering swim lessons (and eventually competitive swimming), you child has shown some sort of desire when it comes to all things aquatic. Play this up and discuss how much fun she'll have in the pool. Some children, especially if they're particularly young, simply don't know what they want. There are so many things to do and everything looks kind of interesting. If she's saying no to swimming because she thinks you won't let her try ballet, too, make sure that she knows that she doesn't have to pick one over the other. Right now, she has room to try several different activities.
Start with the Basics
Even if your child can competently swim in the pool, she doesn't necessarily have the skills to get started on a team yet. This is where swimming lessons come in. They provide the basics that your child can build on as she improves.
She'll learn about different types of strokes and get plenty of practice in. And as a bonus, your kiddo is also getting the physical activity that she needs to stay healthy.
Not all competitive swim leagues are high pressure. Start your child slow with a neighborhood league or a summertime swim program. Signing her up for a summer swim league at your local pool or community center gives her the chance to see what it's like to compete, but without any pressure. If she does well there, suggest a more competitive league—as long as you, her coach, and your child feel that she's ready.
Participating in competitive swim teams can help your child to build physical skills, get activity, and develop in other areas as well. As you move through the process of starting swim classes through actually joining a team, your child will learn how to set goals and function in a team environment. Whether she goes on to swim competitively for years, or stops after high school, these are skills that your child can use over a lifetime.