10 Milestones for Swim Parents

by SwimSwam Contributors 4

May 14th, 2018 Swim Mom

Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham 

Through the years of swim parenting, there are many milestones from the first time your child wins their heat to signing day for college. Some milestones are universal while others are unique to a parent’s individual experience. These moments stand out and add to other exciting memories of being a swim parent.

Here is a list of 10 milestones that I experienced:


Mommy and me class in the pool and the surprise when your baby actually swims right before your eyes.


When your oldest child is able to swim across the pool and join the local swim team.


The first swim meet, feeling completely overwhelmed and scared to death—as the parent—not the swimmer. What have we gotten ourselves in for?


Entering the door to our first team banquet where my children immediately ran away to sit at a table with their friends. Finding out there were plenty of other lonely parents to sit with.


Traveling to a prelims/finals meet with a hotel stay. Enjoying the quiet time between sessions, when we get to nap with our children. This is almost as nice as watching them swim.


Purchasing a really expensive tech suit—only to have it rip right away.


The pride and relief when your child earns their first tech suit by reaching a national-level meet.


Discovering how much fun high school swimming can be—especially the league and conference meets. Cheering with parents in the stands for your team and children.


Realizing that your child is being recruited for college swimming and all the years of early morning drives to the pool mean something.


The first and last college conference meets. Spending time with the most fun swim parents ever.

What milestones have you experienced as a swim parent?

Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog: http://bleuwater.me/.

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Swim Mom
5 years ago

Some of my best times as a mom have been at the away meets when my daughter was young. Naps, movies and just one on one time between prelims and finals. It was great and then poof she was older and discovered the fun of team travel. I can’t wait for number 10 this fall. It has all been wonderful.

5 years ago

My daughter had her first meet at 5 and her last meet this March at NCAA’s D1. We have experienced each milestone and they were the best! She is now a swammer. Now we all will adjust and she will bring the lessons learned everywhere she goes.

5 years ago

Oh yes… reading this brought tears to my eyes. First time in the water with the oldest as a baby jus a few months old, through his first overseas swim meet at aged 8 (which was also his first time swimming indoors, first time in long course pools.. and coach Dave K put him in the 200 free!), to when he snapped his goggle strap with nerves at that same race…..to chaperoning him at a meet overseas with two other boys aged 9 and 10 (now they are 23 and 24), giving all the nervous boys hugs……to seeing the shaved heads of the 11 year old boys at Carifta…. then fast forward… taking the oldest to swim at Loughborough, where… Read more »

5 years ago

Wow can I relate! I have had two college swimmers. The first is finished with his career and the second one just finished her freshman year .It has been unbelievable journey with many ups and downs. The lessons for the kids have been all encompassing and will serve them well the rest of their lives. I don’t want that last milestone to ever come and that’s when it is all over.