Academic Benefits of a Swim Team for Kids and Teens
Swimmers are talented in and outside of the pool. Swim teams in high schools and colleges tend to have some of the brightest and best students. Why, you might ask? The sport of swimming requires patience, diligence, and hard work, just as many other sports require the same skills. However, swimmers often possess different skills that help them excel in the classroom. We will be discussing some of the traits swimmers possess that they learned through their sport, and how these skills can translate to the classroom and beyond.
Competitive swimming is a very time consuming sport. While I was in high school during the peak of our season, we were swimming two hours in the morning, had an hour of lifting after school, then another hour and a half of in-water practice. That equals 4 and a half hours of practice time today, and that does not even include the time it takes to get ready after practice before school, and to drive to and from the pool. Overall, I would say that during high school, I was dedicating easily over five hours of my day to my sport during the height of the season. 5 hours. That was a over fifth of my day!
Other than swimming, most of my time was consumed with being in school, or doing homework. Once you take those two activities out of the equation, all I had time for was to eat, rest a little bit, and sleep. My daily routine was very rigid, and I did not have much room to deviate from my schedule. Because of this, I learned the importance of time management and not procrastinating. I was able to get everything on my to-do list done because each task had a designated time schedule, and I was able to keep myself on track!
I’m sure I am not the first person to say this, but swimming practices are boring. The black line you stare at does not change, and you can only sing so many songs to yourself in your head. Successfully completing practices day in and day out teaches you a tremendous amount of self-discipline. Sure, you have different sets and workouts you are completing, but the premise is the same.
Swimming teaches you how to do things correctly, all of the time. My coach always used to tell me that how I practice will be how I race, and that is very true. It is important to always practice like you are swimming in a race, and you will consistently improve. That is much easier said than done, and it takes a lot of discipline to constantly force yourself to work hard. But once you start seeing results, the process of working hard will be so much easier and well worth it.
Swimming is a tough sport. If you are swimming competitively and working to lower your times, even the smallest fraction of a second can seem like a huge milestone, especially in the shorter races. Swimmers must learn to set their expectations high for themselves, while also setting realistic milestones along the way to their ultimate goal.
For example, when I entered high school, 50 freestyle time was about a 27.5, but my goal was to swim the race in under 25.0 seconds by the time I graduated. Two and a half seconds in a 50 yard swim is a LOT of time, and the goal seemed a bit out of reach at times. However, my coach made a point to sit down with me and break down my big goal into smaller, more attainable benchmarks. Every tenth of a second I dropped was that much closer to my goal, and suddenly, my goal was not as far away as I had initially thought.
Swimming is a different type of sport. You are a part of a team, but you are swimming your own race and setting your own goals. It teaches you how to be intentional about your goals while also keeping the best interest of your team at heart.
All sports teach children valuable life skills that they will be able to take with them outside the sport. They learn how to work hard for something they want, how to manage defeat and disappointment, and how to be patient. Swimming is special because it requires a tremendous amount of hard work and discipline for a small result, even as small as a fraction of a second. Swimming is very technical, and those involved in the sport will learn great time management skills.
Sunsational Swim School provides the basis for teaching people how to swim. Through private swimming lessons, the students are opened up to a number of ways they can improve themselves, both inside and out of the water.Book your swimming lessons at your home or community pool today to give your students skills they will use for a lifetime.
Olivia Darr’s bio:
Swim Instructor in Columbia, SC
Hi! My name is Olivia and I've been teaching swimming lessons for over two years now. I've worked with children for a number of years. My experience includes: Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the swim team I coach for. I just graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in August 2018 with a degree in communications and marketing. I love teaching swimming because I love helping kids become comfortable in the water and helping them become more confident!