11 Signs You Are Officially a Swim Parent

by SwimSwam 33

May 26th, 2017 Club, Lifestyle

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

It didn’t happen overnight, but there was one day I realized we’d made the leap to become a full on “swim family.” It was years ago when I stopped racing between Scouts, tennis, karate, piano, ballet and to the pool. By cutting out a lot of those activities, our lives became streamlined. My kids were the driving force to say they wanted to focus on swimming.

I remember with embarrassment when the president of our swim team called and asked if we could volunteer more hours at a home meet. “Sorry, but we have a life,” we said. Little did we know what our life would become. A year or two later, I joined the swim team’s board and my husband was meet manager. Our kids went from seasonal part-timers to dedicated year-round swimmers.

Here are my 11 top signs that you’re officially a swim family:


You have a car large enough to haul your kids, their friends and pop up tents to meets.


You do more than three loads of towels per week and own a ridiculous number of swim towels.


Your family vacations are planned around championship meets.


You look forward to out of town meets to catch up with your friends, who honestly, you only know from meets.


You’re on a first name basis and friends with swim officials and administrators.


You and your kids’ drawers are overflowing with an abundance of swim t-shirts, not only from their team, but from various meets.


You’ve joined Masters and are working on stroke count, balance and rotation.


You know who Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers and Nathan Adrian are. (Seriously, ask a non swim family—they might be able to recall the names Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin.)


You know neighboring cities from their pools.


You have apps on your phone called Deck Pass and Meet Mobile.


You read SwimSwam.com daily and subscribe to SwimSwam magazine.

What signs say you’re officially 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.

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5 years ago

12) Your child discovered year round swimming and soccer is out the door.
13) You design a quilt based on all your time at the pool.
14) Your 10 year old has been swimming for 4 years now and is already talking college scholarships for swimming and scouting out which college she wants to swim for based on meets you attend.

Swimming swimmom
5 years ago

Omg! So guilty!

5 years ago

your breaststroke was pretty good at master’s nationals. You need to try senior Olympics at Pasadena or San Diego, you might get a medal since Senior Olympics competitions usually have less swimmers and the medals are cool. You just have to worked on the underwater pool in breaststroke,

Reply to  cynthiacurran
5 years ago

I mean pull.

Elizabeth Wickham
Reply to  cynthiacurran
5 years ago

Thank you! I really had fun at master’s nationals.

5 years ago

Another one that wasn’t listed is that you and your significant other birthed a child, and decided to pay a truckload of money to put that child back into the water.

Daneille Myers
5 years ago

Cheering for my daughter Precious
I love you baby girl.your doing a great job. Keep up the great work. I am so proud of you.

6 years ago

The 12th step I became a swim official so I could help the team host home meets.

6 years ago

How about: 1) you know exactly where the power outlets are in every pool so you can work between your kid’s heats 2) You can calculate the exact time between your kid’s heats to see if a trip home between is worth it. 3) You know more kids from other swim clubs than from your kid’s school. 4) Your alarm goes off before 5am more often than it goes off after. I could go on . . .

Aunetti Smith
6 years ago

Yea as a grandmother raising a grand daughter that has joined the swim team a year&1/2 ago. Where I was a swimmer . 2 out of my 4 kids was swimmers. Yep I get it. When she wanted to join last year. I was beyound happy. And I sit and watch proundly . It Brings back so many memories. Yes I can pick out her in crowd. She glides smoothly throught the water& is fast. & Surely Not fighting the water at all. ( As she tells me she sees others slapping the water while swimming. ) She has define her strokes well. So yep I got them all. I look forward to the swim meets.