As we head into our sixth season of Summer Swim Team, I thought it would be appropriate to bring this post back out of the archives. All three of my kids look forward to summer swim and some of the best summer memories have been made thanks to our time on the swim team. If you haven't signed up yet – check with your local team – they may still be taking registrations!
This weekend marks the official kick-off of another summer and the opening of neighborhood pools across the country! Summer Swim Team is one of the best activities for building self esteem, creating new friendships, and it offers an amazing value for the money. My kids have been doing summer swim team for six years and it is a topic of conversation all year long!
Here are my top 5 reasons why your kids should give Summer Swim a try!
1. Just about anyone can do it! The only pre-requisite at our pool for joining summer swim is the ability to swim (anyway, anyhow) across the pool. No previous swim experience required. Just a desire to work hard and learn. And as an added bonus, swimming is a life long sport and useful life skill.
2. Affordable. If you live in a neighborhood with a community pool, chances are you are already a member of the pool. Summer swim fees tend to be relatively inexpensive – considering your child can practice 5 days a week and participate in multiple swim meets through out the summer. If you don't have a neighborhood pool, check with your local YMCA, parks and rec department or local private pools for additional options. As far as equipment goes, you really just need a one-piece swim suit and a pair of goggles to get started. Some teams will give your swimmer a team swim cap – others may require you to purchase it. Either way, they are not too expensive. (My favorite online resources for high quality swim gear at great prices)
3. Social. It is real easy to make friends with kids you train with just about every day! My daughter and her friends do their best to get from one end of the pool to the other first so that they have more chit chat time while waiting for their team mates to finish up. Then there are the swim meets themselves – tons of cheering for each other, writing sayings like “eat my bubbles” on each others' backs, and relays!
4. Fitness. Whether your child plays soccer in the spring, basketball in the winter, or gymnastics all year long, swimming an hour a day 4-5 days a week for the bulk of the summer just improves their overall fitness level. Cross training is excellent for any athlete.
5. Self Esteem. Regardless of what skill level your child starts the summer with, it is just about guaranteed they will improve as the summer goes along. Last summer my daughter started the season off too scared to start her races on the blocks. With some positive coaching and lots of practice, she was diving off the starting blocks with ease by the time finals rolled around. Our league rewards kids with heat winner ribbons, generous placement ribbons, and the kids get an award of some sort at the end of the season.
During our first summer swim season I was a little overwhelmed at what seemed to be organized chaos at the first meet. By volunteering to do one of the many jobs it takes to run a swim meet, I quickly learned the ins and outs of the chaos – it wasn't as crazy as it initially appeared to be.
All youth sports require parent volunteers in order to be successful. Summer swim is no different. Whether you help as a timer, scorer, clerk of course, marshall or in the snack bar, I guarantee your child and their team will be very grateful for the support!
Make some memories this summer! Get your kids involved in summer swim and watch them flourish.