10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful to be a Swim Parent

by SwimSwam 18

May 14th, 2018 Club, Lifestyle, Opinion

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham


My kids have always been good sleepers. I never had an issue with bedtime.


Homework. Swimmers don’t have time to procrastinate. They often work ahead.


Hard Work. They value working hard. Success came to them, not through raw talent, but through their work ethic.


Accountability. Swimming taught my kids accountability for their actions. Our coach illustrated how attendance affected his senior group in terms of percentages of best times. The numbers did not lie.


Goal Setting. Swimmers learn this skill early on trying for a red or blue time or a JO cut and beyond.


Toughness. Swimming gives kids self-confidence. Swimmers are tough physically and mentally.


Stress. Meets teach swimmers how to handle stress. A former swimmer said her coworkers marvel at how calm she stays while they freak out over deadlines. “Deadlines are nothing compared to being the anchor on a relay at Nationals or standing on the blocks at Trials,” she said.


Friendships. Not only with teammates, but throughout our LSC, and college team. I’m talking about my kids’ friendships, and mine, too! Swimming is a family.


Rewards. My daughter told me that she’s not into “instant gratification.” The whole concept is foreign to her.


Persistence. My kids never give up. On anything. Whether it’s getting into a class that’s full, or landing a show at the college radio station, they will not take no for an answer. Persistence comes after countless hours in the pool, eventually achieving goals.

What are you thankful for as a swim parent?

Elizabeth WickhamElizabeth 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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7 years ago

Swimming is a family, a support system, and the pool is alwas there to allow my daughters to work through pain, heart ache, and troubles. It is a supportive, unending hug for swimmers in good and bad times!!!!

Charity Weaver
7 years ago

I love how swimming had taught my daughter team unity, they are ALWAYS there for each other inside & out of the pool. They lean on each other, count on each other & support each other through all aspects of friendship. Swimming had taught my daughter dreams, goals & how to achieve them one start, one turn, one Lao at a time.

7 years ago

To #8 I would add that due to the high number of hours swimmers spend in the pool, they develop strong friendships with their teammates. Swimming is a high “parent involvement” sport. So swimmers are generally good kids. In the teen years, peers have a huge influence.

Anne Lane
8 years ago

Goal Setting!!!!HUGE life skill. They will hard this for theirvguture success.

Lisa Dibbayawan
9 years ago

It keeps my teenage boy out of trouble. We live in a country where it is easy to drink & cheap to take drugs. Try turning up at training at 5.30am with a hangover. My son trains rather than party.

Sean McGonigal
9 years ago

All of these are very true. I just wanted to add that my children have elite core body strength due to swimming. My son is also a football player. He at 162lbs could easily handle 225 plus OL players. He’s one of the strongest players on his team of which has been in the top 25 in USAToday in high school football teams. My 2 swimmers are both strong beyond their natural size.

9 years ago
9 years ago

mine is clean kids and equipment after practice on the car ride home vs. the stench of hockey and soccer, etc.

Reply to  jman
8 years ago


During swim season, I know that the kids are going to get wet and clean at least 4 times a week, more for meets…..and now my 10yo is staying at the pool to shower with a friend, so I don’t have the argument when she gets home about getting in the shower.