When summer strikes there nothing better than diving into a pool of cool water, not only that – when it comes to a workout, it beats a sweaty gym hands down. And the good news is, whether you are old or young, fit or not so fit, fast or slow, if you can swim, there’s a place for you in a swimming club. The benefits are endless.
There’s something that makes people who you wouldn’t ordinarily cross paths, become friends. Maybe it’s down to the simple fact that when you stuff your clothes into a locker, and stand on the poolside in your swimsuit or trunks, clutching a swimming cap and goggles, you’re really just the same as everyone else there. All that matters is whether you can keep your head above water to swim a few lengths.
And for kids, they’ll find out what being a team member is all about. Enduring the pain of a hard session breeds a desire to encourage others when they’re flagging (‘Come on, only four more lengths to go!’). And the euphoria and pride generated when the swimming coach dishes out praise at the end of a session goes a long way. Club mates text each other asking when you’re next going, and why you skipped that early-morning session last week.
As they bond with their swimming mates, a team spirit blossoms. There’s nothing more fabulous for parents to see their child being cheered on, or cheering their friends on, during competitions. Nothing will boost their confidence and self-esteem more, making it far easier to persuade your child to join a swim team than, for example, go running! And unlike other seasonal team sports, you’ve an all year round sport here. No summer long break, kicking their heels.
It’s simply so much more than slogging up and down the lanes in splendid isolation, being shouted at by a coach. Where else are you going to get that seamless cooperation that enables you all to stay in one lane, swimming at your own pace, so impossible to achieve in a public session.
Very quickly, you work out who is fastest on stroke x, who is having a good day, has bags of energy, and who is having a rubbish day and really just needs to be left to work out their frustrations, or perhaps needs that extra bit of encouragement because they really need it that day. Once you’ve worked that out, you become close, and closeness breeds support. Struggling to master your breaststroke, ask a fellow swimmer and they’ll love regaling the many ways to improve.
So if you’ve never considered swimming with a club, or think you need to get fit first, remember you’ll find some of your best friends here – people you don’t speak to, yet know you inside out. Plus your kids will build a passion for water, for life. Oh, and you’ll get to keep cool too.