How to Prepare Your Child for Competitive Swimming
Swimming is a positive, healthy activity that a person can enjoy throughout his or her lifetime from infant to adulthood. The main purpose of swimming lessons is to teach essential water safety basics and swimming skills, ensuring a swimmer’s safety when in and around water.
However, swimming can also provide a swimmer with endless opportunities for achievement and introduce fitness principles that encourage a healthy lifestyle in the form of competitive swimming. Whether your child is interested in individual or group competitive swimming, here is your guide for helping your child prepare for swimming achievement!
A Smart Start
Before your child begins competitive swimming, he or she will need to learn basic swim skills. Children as young as six months old can start developing aquatic readiness and acclimation through a swim survival program. Texas Swim Academy recommends starting your child in Survival Swim class that provides a one-on-one environment where students learn basic water safety and where they can build comfort and confidence in the water.
Once swimmers reach the age of 4, they can be introduced to the different swimming strokes. It’s recommended children start lessons as early as possible to not only build a love for swimming early on, but also acquire a solid foundation to build upon more advanced swim skills.
Once a child has a basic swimming foundation established as well as a good understanding of the four basic swim strokes: butterfly, freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, he or she is ready to begin competitive swimming. First experiences with competitive swimming usually begin at the local level through community centers, local recreation departments, area swim leagues, or school-based swim teams. Texas Swim Academy partners with many of the local swim teams and leagues in the Katy and Houston areas; click here to take a look at the list. A good competitive team or league should include instruction or technique and offer opportunities for friendly competition against similar-aged swimmers.
For extra practice, our Pre-Competition program can advance a swimmer’s skills and prepare them for competitive swimming or training.
Swimming, as a competitive activity, means swimming against other children. Your child’s first swim meets will start off as local and regional meets. There are a variety of types of meets, depending on your child’s age, league, and regional area. Local neighborhood groups will compete with other nearby groups and school leagues will compete against other leagues in the district in a variety of events such as the butterfly or freestyle. Based on your child’s particular league, your child may participate in a relay race with others on his or her team. As your child progresses, he or she may participate in larger national meets.
Swimming is an activity that not only ensures a child’s safety in the water, but an activity that can be enjoyed from childhood to adulthood. A competitive environment will give your child the opportunity to improve swim strokes, achieve goals, and make new friends. Bonus: the training and practice from a competitive league helps keep your child physically fit and motivates them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on local leagues in the Houston and Katy areas, please visit our Community Sponsorships page. To learn more about the Pre-Competition program at Texas Swim Academy, please visit our program page.