Participating in summer swim league is a joyous and memorable part to many-a-kid's vacation. For most, summer teams provide an introduction to competitive swimming; a positive experience for both kids and parents can lead to continuing in the sport year after year. Today's guest post comes to us from Holly Robb, founder of The National Association of Swim Moms who recognizes that swim moms (and dads) are special and deserve extra support and attention.
As a mom, the key to keeping the household running efficiently is being organized. As a swim mom the key is to be organized, organized, organized -- from remembering to pack snacks, to bringing a back up pair of goggles -- the swim mom always has to be on her A game. Listed below are 5 tips to help navigate the waters of competitive swimming.
- Whether it be a practice or a swim meet, always, always pack your bag the night before. As your child gets older make sure they become organized and pack their own bag! Include the essentials: Bathing suit, towel, goggles, cap, sunscreen (face and body), flippers,water bottle and snack. You may also need a change of clothes and a toiletry kit depending on your schedule after the pool.
- Never leave the house without a back up pair of goggles, cap and swim suit. It's inevitable that your child will loose, break or misplace one of these items so be prepared.
- Nowadays, most swim meet entries are handled online. As a parent, make sure your child is with you when signing up for their events. It's important that they are completely aware of the events they are swimming in the meet. This will eliminate a potentially uncomfortable situation . Also remember to print our a hard copy of the events that you signed up for. Many of the swim meets I've gone to only to find out my daughter was not entered. The hard copy will immediately fix this issue.
- Be prepared to volunteer! What's the best way to learn the sport of swimming? If you volunteer as a timer, place judge, meet official, office clerk, you will quickly learn the ropes of competition age-group swimming. Be sure to share VolunteerSpot with your team - it's one of the very best ways to get parents organized quickly to help at meets during the entire season. (Online scheduling, sign-ups and email reminders save time and are super helpful!)
- Check the team website regularly and always stay in well connected with your child's coach. As your swimmer gets older, his/her progress can sometimes be measured by group placement. Watching them develop not only as a swimmer, but as an individual will help you understand a coach's rationale. Picking up a few tips from the coach about skills and meet strategy can help you with the knowledge needed to be a supportive swim mom to your child.
As a swim mom of two, I dove in head first with very little knowledge of the sport. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a first time swim mom, please join the National Association of Swim Moms - www.NAOSM.org. It’s an excellent one-stop resource with helpful tips, coaches instructional videos, Olympic swimmers' testimonials, and much more. In addition, the site has an online store with deep discounts and free shipping (for members) on all your swimsuit and equipment needs!
Thanks, Holly, for sharing your tips with our VolunteerSpot readers. Please add your own swim mom (and dad) tips below by clicking 'comments'. Here's to a wonderful summer swim season!