My kiddos have been part of a swim team since 2011. When we first joined, our only objective was a physical activity for good health and fitness. Swimming has since become a major part of our lives.
Personally, I did not have a preference for what sport they chose. Over the years, we’ve tried BMX, dance, skiing, and Taekwondo. We also occasionally take part in trail runs. Yet swimming is the sport that we’ve stuck with the longest.
I haven’t written extensively about our swim team experiences, but here’s a fun peak at her first swim meet.
High School Swim
This past winter, my daughter has been swimming on the high school swim team in addition to our year-round swim club. There is an increased level of intensity – she is required to attend 5 or more practices each week to compete in the swim meets. In club, though we aimed for 3-4 practices a week, there was no penalty if we missed or were unable to attend.
As such, she has had less free time and has thereby had to learn how to better manage her time. Yet, high school swimming has been a great experience for many reasons. My daughter says,
I like high school swim because it feels more like a family. We cheer for each other through the whole meet and we have lots of fun socials like Kozy Pie Night.
Though hubby and I both grew up here and also began our professional careers here after college, we have only recently moved back. Her participation in high school swim has helped us to feel more connected to the community.
Lessons Learned Through Sports
Whether it is club sports or a high school team, taking part in sports has been very beneficial and we’ve recently reflected on what we’ve learned over the years.
Some days, at the end of our lessons and errands, my kids will say they are “too tired” to go to swim team but they go anyway.
There are those moments when they have been so tired they want to quit but don’t.
Young athletes are capable of getting burned out, too. Here’s a post exploring How to Avoid Child Burnout
They learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.
They learn to take care of their body. To get enough rest and to fuel their bodies with the right foods.
They learn to take care of their equipment.
They learn to manage their time and not procrastinate in completing their coursework and household chores.
They learn to work with others and to be good team mates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.
They learn to deal with disappointment when they don’t get that placing or time they’d hoped for, but still they go back week after week giving it their best shot.
They learn to make and accomplish goals. We meet with their coach periodically each season to discuss their goals and what areas they need to focus on.
They learn to respect, not only themselves, but other athletes, officials and coaches.
They learn that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight.
Did you know only 2% of high school athletes receive college scholarships? Chasing a Sports Scholarship may not be your best route to college.
They learn to be proud of small achievements and to work towards long term goals.
They develop life-long friendships and create lifelong memories.
Being active gets their heart pumping and their blood circulating which promotes good health and life-long habits.
They develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others.