An extremely broad and comprehensive study out of Australia’s Griffith University has confirmed what we’ve known all along.
Swimmers are smarter…at least at the preshoool level.
Reported by Julie Rasicot, the Griffith Institute for Educational research suveyed over 7,000 children under the age of 5 throughout the United States, New Zealand and Australia, and they found that kids who swim score much higher than the normal population on cognitive development, language development and physical development.
If you swim or swam for a year-round team, you’ve probably heard this before. Swim-parents and coaches attest to it, but now we have conclusive evidence.
The first time I heard it — and really considered the validity of it — was at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. I heard it from the gentleman who appears in the video above, a famous coach some might describe as a little bit crazy.
Matt Biondi and Janet Evans were capturing headlines as multi-gold medalists from Team USA, but the Aussie standout was Duncan Armstrong. (Duncan claimd gold in 200 meter freestyle by drafting off of Matt Biondi for 150 meters, then blazing home on the final lap, winning in world record time, 1:47.25.) Duncan’s coach, Laurie Lawrence, was more famous for his hoots and hollars from the pool deck. He jumped and jigged around, screaming and slapping his hat on his leg. Laurie’s celebrations are like nothing I’ve ever witnessed on deck. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t help but look for Laurie whenever you know he’s at a competition. In quieter moments, he was a soft-spoken advocate for the sport, singing it’s praises. Swimming makes kids smarter was his go-to line.
Laurie’s been an advocate for swimmming ever since 1988 when he started a Kids Alive Drowning Prevention Campaign. With government support, the program is nation-wide down under.
Laurie Lawrence coached other Olympic greats, such as Steve Holland, Tracey Wickham and Jon Sieben.