Only five days until the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming airs on NBC. You can watch the trials live June 25 – July 2. Did you know that fans rank swimming as their favorite summer Olympic sport? I can’t say I’m surprised by this, when I think of summer I picture swimming in a pool, sand castles and the bright sunshine.
You can see the Olympic Time Trials pool being built on a time lapse video below. I found it pretty fascinating to watch.
I was a fish when I was growing up. Matter of a fact I was even on a youth swim team at one point in my life through our local YMCA. However that wasn’t always the case. When I was very young my mom put me in swim lessons and I was so scared that I refused to put my head under water. The swim instructor actually told my mom she was wasting her money because I was clearly not ready and refused to participate. That’s when my parents decided to buy a pool for our backyard and let me get comfortable with the water at my own pace. By the next year I was swimming and the following year I was joining a competitive swim team.
Last week I took part in a Q&A discussion with the ladies from USA Swimming to learn all about SwimToday.org. SwimToday.org is an online resource for moms with a one-stop shop to get all the information you need to make entering the sport of swimming as easy as possible. On the site, you can: find a place to swim in your area, self-assess your ability, and learn the benefits of swimming and fitness.
The number one reason moms should get their children involved in swimming is safety. Water safety and swimming know how is so important to prevent accidental drowning. Drowning is the 2nd-leading cause of accidental death for kids 1-14. Swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 80%. Plus swimming is a whole-body exercise with low-impact therefore a life-long fitness option. Most kids love playing in the water and they don’t even realize they are exercising.
Below are a few of the questions asked during our session with the ladies from USA Swimming:
Q: At what age should I start teaching my child to swim?
Most places that offer swim lessons begin when the child is six months old, but there are places that do “Mommy and Me” classes as an introduction to water at an even younger age.
Q: What is the right age for kids to start learning swim strokes? Should young kids focus on strokes or fundamentals?
It depends on what you are comfortable teaching them. Focus on the fundamentals first, but if they know the fundamentals, you can move on and teach the strokes whenever they seem ready. The goal is for kids to have fun and be safe and comfortable around the water.
Q: How can I give my child the confidence to swim without arm floaties?
USA Swimming advocates against flotation devices, because they can give kids a false sense of security. Try to avoid any kind of flotation aid, and get your child in swimming lessons. There is no substitute for professional swimming instruction, and instructors are trained to help kids with their fear of the water and help them acclimate to the water at their own pace.
Q: For kids interested in competitive swimming, what type of time commitment should they expect?
Summer league teams require a minimal time commitment, take place during just the summer months and are a great way to get kids started in swimming. Summer leagues are often offered through local YMCAs. The actual club teams usually have two-hour practices each day, which are similar to the time commitment involved in other sports like basketball or soccer. The club finder tool on SwimToday.org will help you locate clubs with competitive swimming programs that fit your family’s needs.
Full Disclosure: I wrote this post in partnership with The Motherhood and USA Swimming. All opinions are 100% mine.