My kids are big swimmers. They take several classes every summer, one has particpated on swim team, they swim at their grandparents, friends and the beach frequently. As I spent the last few years waiting for kids in class or team practice, I began to feel that this sport is really amazing for kids bodies and minds and for some reason, maybe under rated.
This is my commercial for swimming.
1. Swimming keeps your body and mind healthy. Swimming is amazing exercise for all kids, no matter what their level. The physical exertion is huge, but because the exercise is low impact, kids can work longer and receive more of the benefits of rigorous.
It is a great sport for overweight kids because they can move easily in the water. And asthmatic kids are said to do much better with swimming than any other sport. Kids with autism or attention disorders often do very well in swimming too.
And unlike other sports where you might not get play time because of your skills (or lack of skills), in swim everyone is swimming the whole time.
The effect on the mind is just as amazing. When my daughter first started swimming, she had a hard time falling asleep at night and often complained of stomach aches. Swimming cured her racing and unsettled, worrying mind. Not only was she working out stress through her body, but her mind was basically benefitting from long meditation sessions. She told me when she swims, it is like she is flying and she is free. I have read similar accounts from swimmers who feel the pressures of life melt away as soon as they start swimming laps.
2. Swimming has the benefits of both team sports and individual sports. For the noncompetitive kid, swimming offers the camaraderie of a team, but the ultimate competition is always against yourself; trying to beat a time, or perfect a stroke or flip turn.
3. There are few injuries in swim Because of the low impact nature of swimming, injuries are rare. The biggest potential issue might be muscle over use, but swim coaches should know how to condition their team so that this is never an issue.
4. Being a good swimmer keeps kids safe around pools and on boats. That is pretty obvious, but my kids seems to have assumed a very safety conscious attitude around water and it makes me feel much more secure at events where water is involved.
5. Swimming is a life long activity. This is one of the biggest benefits of swimming. You can swim when you are old! The gift of proper form and built up endurance as a kid will help swimming carry you through your life as a paradoxically gentle and rigorous activity.
Do you have kid swimmers in your house? What are some of the benefits you have noticed?