As “veteran parents,” we are often asked why swim team matters so much, or why would we “give up” our summer to swim, or do you really “have” to go to those long meets.
Like anything worthwhile, the answers depend on the family and the commitment. For our family, I’ve learned some important things about why swim team matters to our family (and many other families).
Learn to Swim
When my daughter was five years old, she could barely swim half the length of the pool. Previous swim lessons hardly helped because 15 minutes a week isn’t what she needed – she needed the peer pressure that comes from swimming with kids her age.
Within a week, she was swimming the entire length well. Within two weeks, she knew her times and she was talking about how to improve.
All of a sudden, we were those parents who could enjoy a pool party and not hover by the side of the pool – all because our kids could swim!
Friendships across the Ages
Ygnacio Wood is so much more than learning how to swim. Swimming is one of the few sports where kids of all ages – 4 years old to 18 years old – are all part of the same team. It is fantastic to see an 18-year-old girl high-fiving a 6-year-old who just completed a great swim.
As my kids grow up and are now teenagers, they are starting to be the “old kids” who are cheering on the little kids and becoming the leaders of Ygnacio Wood.
Put Swim in Perspective
We have made many great friends at swim team, and we enjoy spending time with our friends at meets and giving our kids the opportunity to be part of the larger community of our team.
However, there is more to a summer than all swimming. We are recreational swimming. We miss practices sometimes, or we miss meets. We take vacations throughout the swim season and miss events. We love Ygnacio Wood, but we still do things away from swim team.
Our kids don’t skip practices. My teenagers spend most of the day (after practice) with their swim friends. They participate in the many Seahorse traditions and get-togethers that happen throughout the summer. We place a high value on our swim season experience.
Ask any parent… you’ll get a story that may be different, but our families are pretty committed to Ygnacio Wood.