With the Olympic Games finally upon us, we know that many young swimmers will be watching the games and wondering: how can I make it to the team?
While we won’t claim to have the secret to Olympic success (and websites like USAswimming.org have lots of helpful technical information for you and your child to look through), there are a few ways to improve your overall endurance and understanding of the sport in order to build your foundation for success. Take a look at our list of tips below.
Get comfortable in the water
For every successful swimmer you see on TV, there’s a foundation of love and comfort in the water. It’s likely that, as kids, these swimmers could not get enough time in the water—whether it be through strict after school practices or fun times with friends.
If your young swimmer has dreams of making it big in the sport, the best way you can help them is to get them to be comfortable in the water. Associate pool time with fun, laughs and positivity, all while maintaining an atmosphere where they feel safe and secure.
If your child is too young to articulate their love for the sport—but still demonstrates excitement and enjoyment in the water—you can support them by playing with them in the water and spending lots of quality time there.
Once your child is older, a good way to build their stamina as a swimmer is to practice endurance-building exercises. They should swim laps regularly, an activity that can be made even more fun by adding friends into the mix and turning it into a race. Always be sure to offer plenty of water for them to drink—because swimmers still need plenty! —and give them breaks when needed to catch their breath and relax.
With practice comes great results. Give your budding swimmer a chance to get in the pool regularly, such as after school and on the weekends. This will give them a chance to get even more comfortable in the water, all while building endurance and trying out new techniques.
…but don’t forget the power of a good break
Of course, even for extremely skilled athletes, there’s always room for a break—especially at this young age. Relaxing indoors or simply splashing around in the pool with friends can be great ways to wind down, especially after lots of practice.
We hope that these ideas help your young swimmer conquer the water with skill and confidence. By giving them a good foundation and always practicing safety in the pool, you can help them get well on their way to success!