I grew up with two older brothers. Being the youngest has definite advantages (my brothers *might* have called me spoiled a time or two) but it also comes with its own unique challenges. I was never going to compete with them physically or outwit them or read harder books or do anything “first”. They were always a few years ahead of me, and nothing I could do would change that. On the flip side, being younger and smaller meant I had to work REALLY hard when we played sports together, and that effort helped me become a better and stronger athlete.
I’m a big believer that sports are important in building strong, healthy kids, but sports do so much more than provide great exercise. They build teamwork and perseverance and they help kids understand disappointment. But most of all, sports help build confident kids. I played soccer, and all those hours in the backyard with my big brothers helped me feel more confident when I played on my own team.
Now I have 2 kids of my own, and they both love to swim, and I’ve seen first-hand how swimming has helped build their own perseverance and confidence. They both began when they were still in swim diapers, and have spent years in the warm-water pool at SwimWest. They’ve made friends, built relationships with their swim instructors and learned valuable lessons about individual effort.
My son has worked through each level at SwimWest and is now swimming for an hour each week in his Shark classes. He’s seen how putting in effort each and every week can help build on his skills and improve his strokes. He’s learned how to master specific skills, shave seconds off his times and where he needs to improve. His confidence has grown as he gets ribbons, passes levels and receives praise for his skills.
Confident swimmers (or confident athletes) make for confident kids. The skills they learn in the water (or on the field!) build confidence in their everyday lives. By seeing results from their effort, they are learning to work hard for results in school. By cheering on friends in the water, they are learning to build relationships. By working through problem areas, they are seeing how to overcome obstacles. All of these things work together to build confidence outside of the pool by giving them essential tools and strategies to be successful in any area.
No matter what your child loves to do, giving that interest an opportunity to grow and develop will help in other areas, too. I believe that kids should have something they do really well – whether it’s swimming or soccer or dance or theater. Being successful in an activity can help them feel more confidence, build their friendships and give them new goals to work towards.
If you’re interested in swim lessons, please call us to set up a trial lesson!