The Benefits of Competitive Swimming:
After years of enjoying competitive swim team, here are some of the things our graduating swimmers say have benefited them the most:
1. Swimming provides a structure to the day: a twice per week after school ritual as a young child later becomes a daily workout (sometimes, twice a day!) as a senior swimmer. Dedicating a few daily hours to swimming will teach time management skills, self-discipline and the ability to set boundaries and priorities.
2. Swimming is an individual activity as well as a team sport: The nature of swimming, a sport measured by the clock, allows each swimmer to set and achieve tangible goals (every goal is different!). In addition to competing for themselves and their individual goals, on a swim team, they will be a part of a larger group with a support system for their successes and failures along the way.
3. Work ethic pays off: Swimmers see their practice effort directly reflected in their times, reinforcing that hard work and sacrifices make a big difference in success. Age group swimmers often begin double-practices at the age of twelve. They learn that they must make some compromises, i.e., skip the late-night movie in order to go to bed on time and wake up ready for morning practice. This dedication will spread to all areas of life and teach the child to strive for balance.
4. Mind Body Connection: Studies shows that competitive swimming leads to higher academic performance. The rule doesn’t apply universally, of course, but researchers noticed a difference in classroom achievement between those who swam only for a high school and those who continued on the rest of the year with a club team. As for those who swam and those who didn’t do any outside activity, the gap was even more pronounced. The busier you are, the better you work!
5. Swimming builds strength differently: Swimming is a whole-body sport with a much lower rate of injury than that found in other athletes. Plus, swimmers are fit and fabulous! Swimmers' muscles have to work harder to perform aerobic activity with the water resistance, and as a result they get stronger, longer, leaner and more flexible.
6. Swimming can help plan the future: High school and college swimming are unique experiences. Not only can scholarships and recruiting help with admissions or with finances, but swimming in college will continue to build character and provide a group of supportive friends who will encourage one another along the way.
SPY swimmers go on to compete at every level of college competition- club & intramural, NCAA Division 3, NCAA Division 2, NCAA Division 1 and occasionally, NCAA Championships, USA Junior Nationals, USA Nationals and Olympic Trials.
Some of the colleges and universities our graduating swimmers have attended (and competed for) include:
- Cornell University
- The Johns Hopkins University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Brown University
- Dartmouth College
- Lehigh University
- Bucknell University
- The University of Virginia
- Virginia Tech
- Loyola University of MD
- Emory University
- Washington College
- Rensselaere Polytechnic Institute
- St. Mary's College of MD
- University of Maryland (College Park and UMBC)
- James Madison University
- University of Michigan
- Clemson University