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Family Life, Uncategorized

June 7, 2024

Summer swim team insanity : a love -hate relationship

The swim team is a T H I N G, friends!

Recently we made a trip to Dallas and I was sitting around a table of new friends. Some had signed up for the same swim team and voiced some frustrations. It didn’t take long into our conversation for them to express how overwhelming it can be as a new swim family. I had to giggle as I remembered being that parent four years ago and wondering what exactly had I done by saying yes to the madness?

As we journey into our third summer swim season I have decided that there is a love-hate relationship with the sport. Growing up I was not an an athlete like my husband. Swim team was never an option and to this day my swimming abilities can keep me alive in a body of water, but that is about it. My husband was adamant as our three children were growing up that swimming was something he wanted for them because of the many benefits. He also happens to love swimming. It took a few years under my belt to agree that this activity truly is good for them. Activekids.com has an article titled, “The 7 benefits of summer swim.” https://www.activekids.com/swimming/articles/7-benefits-of-summer-swim-team-for-kids It lists things that swim teams can help children with things I would have never anticipated. It can promote emotional regulation, math skills, increased lung capacity, full body strength and of course the life saving benefits of being a strong swimmer. It is also a great activity for kids who might have difficulty in team sports. Instead of stressing about getting a ball in a goal, the goal is for them to beat their individual times each week. My favorite part of the summer swim season is the bond that is formed with our neighborhood kids. As a family that does not go to our local public school, these friendships have been a gift..

Practices usually start in May as the end of the school year is wrapping up, but June is when the real fun begins. The 4+ hour scorching hot Saturday morning swim meets where ice cream or snow cones are usually on hand. Our neighborhood has meets on Monday evenings which I prefer, so our June weekends are free. The event itself is long, overwhelming at times but is fun to watch the kids swim their hearts out . The meets conclude with thrilling team relays where parents and swimmers surround the pool with excitement and cheering. The stars are high in the sky by the time we load up to go home and our little swimmers are usually exhausted and happy. My advice to new swim parents is to go into it as you do with any new activity with your children, flexible and expecting an education of the “lay of the land” for your swim team. Every team does things differently, but I hope I can give you some things to expect, tips, tricks, and ways to make life easier.

What to expect:

Lots of time at the pool. Practices are usually daily throughout the swim season. In June our team has morning and evening practices. You can pick one or kids can do both. We send our kids as often as possible to practices, but the summer schedule can be crazy. For swim meets expect to spend many hours at the pool. Parents bring chairs, something for shade and food. Also know that you will probably have to volunteer to help at some point in the season as a timer or with the children. Preparing a healthy dinner for your swimmer to eat is always a good idea as it is fuel to keep them performing their best. Another suggestion is to print the heat sheet before the meet so you can follow along. Knowing the language of the strokes and how to write races on your child’s arm are an education in itself. This blog post from MyfriendMeg.com is fantastic with more details on what to expect. https://myfriendmeg.com/swim-team-101/

Things you will need:

*Pro tip: Write or print out your list of items needed for swim meets and attach it to your bag. This way it will be easy to gather everything and you hopefully wont miss anything important like a swim cap on the day of!

Praying these words help you not feel so alone or lost this swim season as you watch your sweet fishies glide across the water. Yes, this sport requires quite a monetary and time investment but it is a wonderful activity for children and families alike as summer traverses along.

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