As a parent, we want our kids to be active and involved. I know we have tried getting our kids to play sports – soccer, baseball, softball, basketball. One sport I never considered is competitive swimming.
I was honored to attend ‘Meet the Moms’ out at Skyline Aquatic Center and not only meet some great mom’s of competitive swimmers, but learned so much about the sport of swimming that I would love for my kids to get into competitive swimming themselves!
The ‘Meet the Moms’ panel included:
D.A. Franklin – mother to 4 time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin
Mary Gen Ledecky – mother to 18 year old Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky
Jeannine Leverenz – Tucson native and mother to Olympic bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz
Nancy Moreno – a local mother with two boys currently in competitive swimming
They shared with us some great stories, tips, and memories of having children in swimming.
Competitive Swimming as a Sport for your Kids!
Some of the reasons competitive swimming as a sport is great for kids:
- Teaching your child to swim is a safety issue, especially in Arizona when drowning is so prevalent. Of the four moms we got to meet, at least 2 mentioned that their child started swimming early as a safety precaution (and were actually Arizona residents.)
- It gets your child out from behind the computer and video games and active.
- Competitive swimming teaches time management.
- It is a great way to make new friends.
- It’s fun.
- It teaches accountability.
- One of the mother’s stated that it helped their child with learning and helps with focus.
- The health benefits.
- You can swim your entire life (without worry about concussions in football, or throwing out an arm in baseball, or growing old!)
The moms were great and I was truly enjoyed meeting them. They had some really great reasons on why competitive swimming is a good choice and they even had some tips:
- Get involved in the team and the families. The more involved you are, the more fun it is for everyone involved. Remember though, get involved as a parent not a coach.
- Let your kids develop their own interest in the sport. Don’t push them into it, let them lead. One of my favorite memories that one of the moms shared was when her daughter not only got up on her own at 5:30am every morning for practice, but even in the winter, wanted to practice. During back strokes, she would catch snowflakes with her mouth. She wanted to practice.
- Make sure it’s their own commitment, not yours. What your child puts into their swimming is their own choice.
- Knowing when to use mom trump card. Fortunately, we were reassured that it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes, mom has to trump swimming.
- Talk to the coaches.
- Be patient with your child. Be their best cheerleader.
And lastly, some of their best memories were the car rides driving to and from the pool, having private time with their kid.
There really are some great things about competitive swimming and if it’s something that your children are interested in, you can check out SwimToday.org to learn more about swimming and find a swim club near you.