Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
Swimming is a wonderful activity the entire family can enjoy. We want our kids to be active, healthy, learn all the life lessons swimming offers. But what about us? If you’re looking for something active and fun to do together as a family there are many choices like running, skiing, hiking, golf, tennis, and yes, swimming. Kids naturally love to be in the pool and it makes us old folks feel good, too.
Here are six reasons why swimming is a great family sport:
Everyone can learn to swim and be part of the team.
All levels and ages are welcome, once the minimum age requirement is met. Many teams offer learn-to-swim programs for those not ready for the competitive team. Also, parents can jump into a team’s Masters program regardless of their level of expertise. The entire family can participate at their own level.
Teams need us to be involved.
There are many volunteer opportunities on a swim team, from hosting meets, to helping out with public relations, fundraising and more. It’s a good feeling to help with your children’s team and know you’re making a difference. You may get a sense of satisfaction being a parent behind the scenes while your kids are in the pool.
Weekends together as a family.
Away meets provide family bonding time hanging out in hotel rooms and the pool deck. There are a lot of hours where your kids can’t escape family time. These weekends help create family memories that will be cherished for years.
Your kids will love to help you with technique.
Once you get in the pool and lap swim on a weekend with your age group or college kids, they will jump at the chance to help improve your technique. When you’re newer to swimming than your kids, they can revel in being more accomplished. Maybe they’ll help you at a Master’s meet with your cap and towel—and cheer at the end of your lane.
It’s a healthy activity for everyone.
Having everyone in the family swim shows a family dedication to health and fitness. When the parents swim, too, they are role modeling an active and fit lifestyle. Swimming is low impact for older family members and works out all the major muscle groups, plus is great for our hearts and lungs, which is good for everyone.
You’re in it together.
It’s a shared experience of being in the water and completing challenging workouts. Swimming with a coach and teammates can give parents a different perspective than being on deck watching. It can also give parents a new sense of respect for their children’s accomplishments in the pool. Although swimming is fun, it’s hard, too. Getting in the pool helps us understand what we’re asking our kids to do on a daily basis.
Why do you see swimming as a great family sport?
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.