Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
This past weekend, I was at my second swim meet where I was the swimmer. I made the plunge once before—a year ago. I worried all week as the date of the meet approached. What had I done to myself? Why did I sign up for the meet?
Here is a partial list of things I worried and stressed about: diving off the blocks, flip turns and breathing. I remembered that last year I couldn’t get out of the pool and swam to the ladder. This year, I can get out of the deep end. That thought made me realize all the things I had done to prepare for this meet. I also reflected on my children’s meets and how much practice, time and effort they put in.
Here are six positive things I thought about before my swim meet that can help your kids prepare for meets, too:
I had gone to practice consistently.
I had improved my diet to make sure I was properly fueled.
I stayed hydrated.
I worked on dives and flip turns with my coach and felt more confident.
I started a stretching regime that included warming up my shoulders.
I was one year stronger and better at swimming than at my first meet.
Swimming Masters gives me a whole new appreciation for the dedication of age group and college swimmers. I’ve learned first hand about how hard they work, how great their technique is and how hard it is to swim fast. I understand how difficult it is to get to the pool when you don’t feel like it. I also understand how nerve-wracking it can be to show up at a meet and compete. But, like my favorite ref told me this past weekend, “Relax and have fun. It’s only a swim meet!”
What thoughts do you share with your swimmers before a meet? What benefits do you think joining Masters brings to swim parenting?
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.