Is Your Child A Natural In The Water? Consider Competitive Swimming!

One thing that many parents do is sign their young children up for swimming lessons, religiously taking their children to classes. The primary reason for doing this is for safety concerns. They want their children to be able to swim. However, many of those parents do not realize that swimming is a great competitive sport to be involved in all the way through college. In fact, 7.4% of male swimmers and 7.6% of female swimmers in high school go on to compete at the college level. 

If your child is a natural in the water, he or she may benefit greatly from being on a competitive swim team. It's an amazing aerobic sport that strengthens their heart and lungs, as well as their self-esteem and confidence. Here are several things to consider before signing your child up for competitive swimming. 

Find the competitive swim team in your area.

Throughout the United States, there are different types of competitive swim teams and leagues. It's important to choose one that matches your child's goals and abilities. You will likely find competitive swim teams at your local YMCA or YWCA, as well as recreational leagues. Many high schools, and some junior high and middle schools, have competitive swimming also. If possible, watch a practice or attend a swim meet to get an idea of what is involved in competitive swimming. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to do well in it. 

Make a list of pros & cons.

Depending on what teams are available in your area, you may have a difficult time making a decision. If so, it's time to make the proverbial checklist of pros and cons for each team. Here are several things to focus on: 

  • the experience of the coach(es) 
  • how much it will cost
  • if there are fundraising opportunities
  • the requirements of the swimmer 
  • the requirements of the parents 
  • the distance and frequency of competitions 
  • the philosophy of the teams

It's a good idea to meet with the coaches, especially if you are having a difficult time making a final decision. The coach's goal for the team should fall in line with your goals for your child. Be sure to involve your child in this process, particularly if they are older and considering applying for college scholarships for swimming. Should this be the case, tell the coaches before signing up to be on the team, as it shows that your child is dedicated to doing their best.

To learn more, talk to companies like the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.