1. Swim team teaches both individual and team skills
There is a definite personal drive that needs to happen for your child to win races in their individual events. Even though they are focusing on their individual performance, the team concept surfaces when your child’s points make the difference in their team winning or the extra kick in their last lap of their relay was the reason they pulled ahead for the victory. Teamwork is a concept that will help them in their lives.
2. Swim team is a healthy social outlet
Even if your child isn’t Michael Phelps or the fastest swimmer in their age group, swimming offers an instant social life. There is so much downtime during the meets, that kids have time to goof around, play cards, and chat. There is room for kids to learn to be leaders or be really good followers.
Timing the races or helping out with concessions help build relationships and community.
3. Swim team offers a benefit for a lifetime
Swimming is one of those sports that offers benefits for a lifetime. Getting the swimming bug as a small child can lead to a life of gifts from swimming that could include a scholarship to college or a job as a lifeguard. Later in life, good swimmers also have the edge in triathlon competitions or may choose swimming as the low-impact exercise they need to stay fit or to rehabilitate from an injury.
4. Swimmers may be smarter
In a 2013 study, The Griffith Institute of Educational Research in Australia suggests that children involved in swimming lessons at an early age reach important milestones sooner than their non-swimming counterparts. According to Griffith’s study, language development, confidence, and physical development are all achieved sooner in “swimming kids.” I find that later in their teen years, these disciplined kids tend to be more focused, stay out of trouble and choose more challenging classes in school.
It’s not the times they achieved on a certain race that your kids will remember from their years on swim team. It is the hamburgers, italian sodas, ‘decorating’ a rival pool’s grounds with toilet paper in the middle of the night or the look on the coach’s face when the swimmers pushed him or her in the water after a victory. All good stuff you don’t want to miss.