Parents, summer is rapidly approaching. Parents around me are abuzz discussing summer plans for their kids pending summer break. Some parents are scheduling camps, summer nannies and family help to provide childcare while at work. Others are scheduling activities to make it through the summer with their kids at home. Do not forget, one summer option is to join your local swim team.
My first ever experience with a swim team was the year my daughter joined. Heading into our third season, I have become a big fan of summer swim team. I often encounter parents who are skeptical of the daily practice commitment, but a swim team has many benefits for kids and parents.
In the end, your kids will become stronger swimmers after participating in most practices. Our oldest knew how to swim prior to the swim team, but she honestly looked like a fish flopping around on dry land 99% of the time. We have been amazed to watch her learn the different strokes. In addition, the daily practice helped her improve her strength and endurance.
Our middle child was five when he joined last year. Our son refused to get his face wet for five years, and he could not swim. By the end of the swim team, he could swim the entire length of the pool! He was no Michael Phelps, but learning to swim was a huge improvement. I found it to be better and cheaper than some more expensive swim lessons that are offered in our area.
One of the best benefits is the energy burn. Most neighborhood swim team practices occur in the morning. All of June, my kids begin their day at the pool swimming laps for 30-45 mins based on their age level. Instead of running around my house like maniacs in the mornings, they channel that energy by swimming at practice. With energy burned and a trip to the pool, my kids are typically more manageable on swim team days.
An additional benefit is kids learn at an early age of some of the benefits of daily exercise. I can only imagine how my outlook on health and exercise would have been learning at a young age instead of waiting until my adult years.
Community and Teamwork
It is a good place to make friends and build community, and a good opportunity to introduce kids to being part of a team. Typically kids practice with their age group. If you join a local team, they will likely encounter kids from their school and neighborhood that they may have had a chance to meet. In addition to your kids building community, it is a good place for parents to connect. With nothing to do but watch our kiddos swim laps during practice, parents often spend practice meeting and catching up with one another. Swim meets need parent volunteers to be successful, therefore parents often meet each other while working the meets.
While these are all great benefits, your kids will likely mostly enjoy the pool time, candy at concessions, ribbons for events, time with friends and the a party at the end of the season.