Discipline, resilience and grit. Teamwork, sportsmanship and camaraderie. These are traits that set your child up for success in life – wherever they choose to go. There has been abundant research done that reveals the benefits of participating in competitive sports for children.
But for most children – except the most gung-ho of the lot – it is extremely intimidating to join a competitive swim squad while fresh out of their Learn-To-Swim program.
From gaining independence in the water and learning the basic strokes, the focus now shifts to learning how to move fast through water and other technical skills required in a swim competition. These include movements like tumble turns and starts from the diving block. Overall fitness also becomes a priority. Maintaining a good balance of power and stamina is key to the development of any athlete.
But how do you know if your child is ready to be groomed into a competitive swimmer?
1. They love swimming!
One lesson a week doesn’t quite cut it for them. Pool times are happy times. Of course, some kids just love splashing around, which brings us to our second point:
2. They can get a wee bit competitive.
You might have noticed that little extra effort they put in to win, be it a race or board game, or even just seeing who reaches the top of the playground slide first! That competitive streak in them is just waiting to be nurtured into a disciplined and motivated strive for excellence.
3. Fast is fun.
Speed is naturally attractive to some of us. If your child has learnt their basic freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke, and enjoys moving fast through the water, a pre-competitive program might just be what they need to take their swimming to the next level.
Swimming can be more than just fun and games at the pool. The journey as a competitive swimmer is one that offers a constant push for excellence and learning. A pre-competitive programme is designed to bridge the gap between Learn-To-Swim classes and a competitive swim squad. This ensures that each athlete enters the squad prepared both physically and mentally, ready to test and push their limits in the pursuit of speed.