We are pleased that you have chosen swimming and think you will be happy with the choice you have made.
1. Swimming is the #1 activity in the country. The United States Swimming (USA) age group swimming program is America's largest program of guided fitness activity for children. Age group swimming builds a strong foundation for a lifetime of good health, by teaching healthy fitness habits. Unlike other sports, participation is not age-related. It is an activity that can be continued throughout one's life.
2. Swimming exemplifies and develops desired values, attitudes and behaviors. In competitive swimming, no one sits on the bench; there are no fights, disputed calls or subjective scoring. Achieving successful outcomes is related to hard work, skill and determination, not lucky breaks or bending the rules.
3. Swimming does not have gender barriers. Competitive swimming is one of the few sports in which the achievements of male and female participants are equally valued.
4. Swimming is one of the best ways for Physical Development and Intellectual Competence. Swimming is considered the ideal activity for developing muscular and skeletal growth by many physicians and pediatricians. Why do doctors like it so much?
• Swimming develops high quality aerobic endurance, the most important key to physical fitness. In other sports an hour of practice may yield as little as 10 minutes of meaningful exercise. Age group swimming teams use every precious minute of practice time developing fitness and teaching skills.
• Swimming does a better job in proportional muscular development by using all the body's major muscle groups. No other sport does this as well.
• Swimming enhances children's natural flexibility (at a time when they ordinarily begin to lose it) by exercising all of their major joints through a full range of motion.
• Swimming helps develop superior coordination because it requires combinations of complex movements of all parts of the body, enhancing harmonious muscle function, grace, and fluidity of movement.
• Swimming is the most injury-free of all children's sports.
• Swimming is a sport that will bring kids fitness and enjoyment for life. Participants in Master's Swimming programs are still training and racing well into their 80's.
• In addition to physical development, children can develop greater intellectual competence by participating in a guided program of physical activity. Learning and using swimming skills engages the thinking processes. As they learn new techniques, children must develop and plan movement sequences. They improve by exploring new ideas. They learn that greater progress results from using their creative talents. Self-expression can be just as much physical as intellectual. Finally their accomplishments in learning and using new skills contribute to a stronger self-image.
Recent reports indicate that American children are not as fit as previous generations. Participation in swimming contributes to a healthy lifestyle now and sets a pattern for life that includes physical activity.
5. Swimmers make life-long friends. Being a competitive swimmer means spending hours with teammates. A key component of the sport is providing support and encouragement to others. Standing by teammates during both victory and disappointment is the foundation for enduring friendships.
6. Swimming provides personal growth opportunities. Competitive swimmers have the opportunity to travel in the USA and to other countries to attend meets. Having the experience of meeting swimmers from other places broadens horizons and increases tolerance toward others.
7. There is more than one way to win. For many sports there are only two outcomes: either you win or you lose. For swimming there are a number of ways a participant wins; he/she can swim in a new event, better a time or make a final. It is not just a matter of winning a medal or ribbon.
8. Being a member of a swim team means being involved. For most recreation and sports activities, parental involvement means paying the fees, providing transportation and contributing to the end of year party. Because of the nature of swimming, parents have a more extensive involvement in the team activities. For example to have a swim meet, you need a pool and a minimum of about 50 volunteers per session performing various tasks from timing, starting, judging strokes and turns, results, concessions, hospitality etc.
9. Having professional coaches. For most recreational activities, the coaches are volunteer parents who have an interest in the sport and may or may not have formal training in coaching. In swimming the coaches are professionals: this is their job and their chosen career. Coaches have to take courses, pass tests and continue upgrading their skills in order to maintain their certification. Before hiring a new coach and every two years after that all coaches have to undergo a background check via USA Swimming coach credential process as well as be up to date with their certification in First Aid, CPR, AED, Coaches Safety Training and Athlete Protection education.