Raise Winners – Get Them Swimming!

With half term approaching, we caught up with some of the athletes at Thame Swimming Club to talk about how swimming benefits them. We’ve had a great insight into the world of competitive swimming this year since becoming key sponsors of our local swim team. Whilst we’ve always extolled the virtues of swimming for a healthy lifestyle, it’s fascinating to see what a profound effect that time spent in the water has on children and teenagers.

• Swimming helps me to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it involves physically challenging training sessions which allow me to stay active and motivated. Swimming means a lot to me as it motivates me to strive to be the best competitor and athlete that I can be and to try my hardest at any challenge I face.

• Swimming is a great life skill to learn. From the commitment and determination I put into swimming I have gained other traits such as a real drive to do well in all aspects of my life. For example, it really helps me to strive to do well in school and achieve the best I can. I love the feeling of getting a personal best or winning a race, or a medal. One of the best feelings is cheering on my team mates when they race too!

• Swimming also keeps me healthy and fit, and it motivates me to try other sports in school. People are always amazed when they find out how committed you are and how much training you do. Swimming also teaches you about highs and lows: you don’t always get the times you want, or you might get injured but you learn to deal with these things at a young age which I think is a great life lesson.

• I love the sport and have been training for 6 years – since I was 10 years old. It keeps me fit both physically and mentally. If I want to swim I know that I must be well organised with my school work. I love to compete, and this helps me with other personal goals in my life, as I know if I work and try hard enough at something I can succeed.

• Overall, swimming is a great way for me to make new friends and to stay fit and healthy at the same time, which is a win-win!

· You learn respect for your coaching team.
· You learn discipline: it’s hard getting up at 5.30am 3-4 times a week.
· You learn to be an individual yet also how to be a part of a team, supporting and cheering your team mates on.
· You learn how to deal with disappointment when the plan doesn’t quite come together.

Ode of a Competitive Teenage Swimmer

Red goggle marks around your eyes when you get to school,
Getting up before the cockerel cries to head for the pool,
Humongous mounds of hours spent to shave just a few seconds off your time,
Apology letters to party invites sent because missing a training session is a crime.
But at least you remember your childhood when anything could be eaten:
Brownies, chips, chocolate and pies
And how you must focus on not being beaten by your nemesis who is also training hard,
You might not be perfect, but swimming is fun, especially outdoors in the sun!

Whilst team sport is undoubtedly a positive thing for children to be a part of, it’s the specific benefits of swimming that seem to have a profound, all-round effect on young people – a determination and sense of confidence that seems to permeate all areas of their lives.

  1. Teaches young people the important safety skills to prevent drowning, which is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among under-14s
  2. Is low-impact so causes few injuries
  3. Helps prevent childhood obesity – an increasing health problem – and in turn can help prevent juvenile diabetes
  4. Requires controlled breathing that’s similar to the breath work done in meditation. A great break from revision or ritual before exams!
  5. Lifts the mood and helps us switch off. Being submerged in water helps to blur and quieten the amount of sensory information our minds and bodies are used to processing all day.

If this year’s endless summer got you thinking about installing a family pool at home, give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a site visit or talk over pricing options for a range of pool models and specification. For those parents keen to know more about competitive swimming, you can find out more from our friends at Thame Swimming Club.

Many thanks to the swimmers at TSC who contributed to this post. Have a great half term!