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Benefits of Swim Team for Kids

Updated on January 14, 2013

We Had Our Own Relay on the Swim Team!

Our four children on the swim team
Our four children on the swim team | Source

Top Benefits For Kids Joining the Swim Team

  • Exercise and life skills
  • Individual and team sports
  • Making friends
  • Self confidence

I have always viewed reading, riding a bike and learning to swim as essential skills for young children. When we had five children under five, the thought of joining a pool and being able to manage the group was daunting. However, we found a pool that is a perfect fit for us and we have been members ever since.

We love our summer pool. Not only does it have an amazing neighborhood atmosphere, the prices are reasonable and swim lessons and swim team are including in the membership rate.

We joined three years ago and began participating in swim lessons immediately. Last summer was the first year our family participated in swim team. This year, four of the five kids were members of Team Barracuda!

There are some amazing benefits for children on the swim team.

Our Children Enjoyed the Summer Swim Team

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Daughter in the bullpen waiting for race. Her twin is waiting behind her for the next swim race.My daughter finishing her first swim race without stopping. She was so proud!My boys getting ready to compete head to head in backstrokeSon competing in a freestyle event
Daughter in the bullpen waiting for race. Her twin is waiting behind her for the next swim race.
Daughter in the bullpen waiting for race. Her twin is waiting behind her for the next swim race. | Source
My daughter finishing her first swim race without stopping. She was so proud!
My daughter finishing her first swim race without stopping. She was so proud! | Source
My boys getting ready to compete head to head in backstroke
My boys getting ready to compete head to head in backstroke | Source
Son competing in a freestyle event
Son competing in a freestyle event | Source

Exercise and a Life Skill

I joined the swim team when I was five years old. Back then, we had to swim forty-two feet to our catcher (just over halfway in the pool). Participating on the swim team, we quickly learned how to perfect our strokes, breathe properly and how to dive into the water.

We were practicing one of the best whole body exercises, swimming.

Swimming is a great workout for anyone starting an exercise regime due to the lack of impact on the joints and the body in general. Additionally, there are benefits to learning to swim including understanding water safety and the ability to tread water.

A couple of years ago, I would not have let the children attend swim parties. I was not confident in their water abilities. Swim lessons allowed me to feel better about my children's water safety. Swim team has allowed me to become very confident in their abilities.

Cheer for Your Friends During a Swim Meet

While you compete in individual events, all swimmers are part of a team.
While you compete in individual events, all swimmers are part of a team. | Source

Swim Programs Have a Team Atmosphere

Swim team has both individual and team components. When competing in an individual event, your goal is to improve upon your personal best time. Your ability to place in the race generates points for your team as well. If you are in a relay, you and three of your team mates compete together to improve upon your relay’s personal best time. Like individual events, relays generate points for their entire team.

Swim team is an excellent sport for children who benefit from an individual sport atmosphere, but also want to be part of a team.

Swim Team Finals!

Our relay consisted of some of my best summer friends. At age eight, our relay running to the blocks during swim team finals
Our relay consisted of some of my best summer friends. At age eight, our relay running to the blocks during swim team finals | Source

Making Friends on the Swim Team

However, swim team is more than just swimming in races. In fact, we spend more time sitting than competing. What happens when you are on a swim team and it is not your time to swim?

This is when friends are made and team bonding occurs. Between races, you might be sitting with your team mates playing card or cheering on others that are racing. When I was a kid, we brought our sleeping bags, jello packs, snacks and hung out with our friends until we were reminded it was time to head to the bullpen.

In the bullpen, the swimmers wait to be organized by event numbers and heats. While you wait, kids continue to chat and have fun.

Some of my best friends growing up were on my swim team relays. My kids made new friends this summer as well.

Most Improved Award at the Swim Team Picnic

My daughter was very proud of her most improved award on the swim team
My daughter was very proud of her most improved award on the swim team | Source

Swim Team Increased Our Children's Confidence

Summer swim team usually runs from June through late July. In addition to becoming more proficient swimmers, the kids are proud of the progress they made this summer. They know they are better swimmers and this has increased their self confidence.

My daughter was named most improved girl for the swim team this year. She began the season needing to stop on the wall for the 25 meter freestyle and ended the season swimming the whole length without stopping. My boys each received medals for qualifying for finals.

The look of pride and awe in their faces when their names were called to receive their awards made the season a success.

Our Two Year Old is Still Practicing During Swim Lessons

When will my two year old join the swim team?
When will my two year old join the swim team? | Source

Are your children on the swim team?

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Our Whole Family on the Swim Team?

I look forward to our two year old joining swim team. He can’t swim yet, but he is doing swim lessons and getting more confident in the water. This year, we even had one relay entry that was all four of my children in one race. They came in solid last, but I could not have been more proud of my kids or the fact that I was the Mom to every kid on the relay.

If you belong to a pool and your children can swim a length of the pool, consider joining the swim team. The exercise, life skill and team experience is an amazing way to spend the summer break with friends.

Comments

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    • profile image

      UAHS Men's S&D 

      4 years ago

      I'm now in my mid twenties and have been swimming since I can remember. Swim team not only taught me a valuable life skill - It gave me some of the best aspects of life. I swam at the elite levels of Ohio Swimming through Div. 1 High School, to Collegiate swimming and sure I learned fitness, diet, discipline, confidence, socialization and how to manage my time. But the more valuable things came off what I could take away from swimming - I grew confidence in open water swimming where I took up surfing, began water skiing and wakeboarding from my love of the water and the lake, took the skills that translated from that and from what I had already learned in snowboarding and looked into snow skiing, grew an appreciation for the beautiful lakes and nature itself in the Mid-West, took up Walleye Fishing on Lake Erie, swam in the ocean without fear, took up cycling in the off-season training regimes and began triathlons. All of these things I do and love today I owe to swimming. It was the only sport that was good to me that I was good at myself.

      But I have to say this, the whole team thing is a bit overplayed - you get to a level where you're racing against yourself more than anyone else eventually. Sure relays are great but teenage politics gets in the way of that every now and then; There's not much your teammates can do for you if you screw up, no slack will be picked up, no one will cover for your error. You swim the race you have and hope for the best. I'm not saying that swimming is very much an individual sport, but what I am saying is the team component can be very minor unless you have a group of swimmers who develop chemistry. Team Chemistry can really shine if it's there but if it's not, then it's kinda brutal. That's why I love swimming for giving me water polo. Water Polo almost completely removes any sense of individualism and gave me some the greatest times of my life. I will always have swimming to thank for that. Truly it is one of the greatest sports for children. So have your kids around the water and have them explore the activities it brings - it's a wonderful place to be.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      m5coff, thanks for the comment! That is great that you could find practices at such an inexpensive price. My kids are doing swim team again and getting stronger at swimming at each. It is such a great life skill and sport!

    • m5coff profile image

      m5coff 

      5 years ago

      I just found a local SLC swim team that is $2.50 a practice! I have a stepson who is just now expressing interest and I think it would be a great experience. He'll start soon and learn so much from his peers that his Dad and I cannot teach. I coached a swim team in Arizona for many years and it was one of the best experiences of my life and I recommend it for all types of kids.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading, ElleBee. You are right. Having all the kids on one team is a huge advantage. That doesn't happen in many other sports. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 

      6 years ago

      This brings back so many great memories of swim team for me! You mentioned lots of great benefits of swim team - it instills confidence and self-discipline, allows for individual competition and being part of a team etc. I think one of the greatest benefits is that most swim teams have a wide range of ages, which gives the continuity of staying on the same team as well as works perfectly for large families since all the kids can be on a team together!

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading, Jimmy! Swimming is absolutely a necessary skill. Between our beach vacations, going to the pool, etc, water safety and learning to swim is so important. And, swimming is such great exercise. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jimmy!

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Being on an island surrounded by water, it was a must that our children learned to swim as early as possible, they love swimming and it could save their lives one day.

      Thanks for a well written, interesting and beautiful hub.....jimmy

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      We are very fortunate with the pool we belong to. Even so, some summer programs are $75 per summer and that is not that bad when you consider the amount of instruction they receive. Summer swim teams are definitely for both casual and competitive swimmers. Winter programs tend to be more expensive and more competitive, but great if that is your child's sport. I hope you are able to find a good program for Mindy and the rest of the kids!

    • Debi Gnau profile image

      Debi Gnau 

      6 years ago from Kettering, Ohio

      I love that your pool membership includes swim team! Mindy is in swim lessons and we have been thinking about putting her on a swim team. However, it is year round and the cost is about $7-$800 a year! I had no idea that swim team could be so expensive! I will have to see if I can find a summer team for next year. I would rather her try it out short term before investing that much money!!

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      I have met a handful of adults who wished they were better swimmers. We love beach vacations and the ability to swim sure helps with the water! Thanks for reading, Natasha!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      I wish I'd been on a swim team as a kid! I'd love to be a stronger swimmer today. It's so great that you encourage your kids to be active!

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