Without a doubt, swimming is one of the most beneficial activities out there for health. Research even shows that swimming is, in a sense, a fountain of youth, with studies that have resulted in slowed physiological factors associated with the aging process among adult swimmers. But what does swimming do for our youths? More.
Certainly, swimming conditions their bodies for strength and longevity, but other plusses of team swimming such as mental, physical and social benefits can ultimately chart their course in life. How? Competitive swimming provides all the necessary life-associated tools to prepare them for success on the terrestrial world.
â€œSwimmers tend to become hard workers and have the ability to work well with others because of the environment they were in during their years on the team,â€ says Ron Aitken, head coach for Las Vegas-based Sandpipers of Nevada. As one of the top club swim teams in the U.S., Sandpipers of Nevada provides a premier youth swimming program for novice swimmers to Olympic hopefuls. The organization enriches lives and ensures that participants experience a healthy lifestyle through swimming and learning life-enhancing values.
Here are the top 7 life lessons learned from swimming:
1. Goal-setting – Setting realistic goals in the pool correlate to goals they will set for themselves in life. Understanding what it takes to reach the goal, step-by-step, paves a clearer path for future goals, such as education and career.
2. Managing time – Teenagers juggle school, friends, family and other activities, in addition to swimming. Managing time is critical in todayâ€™s world. Learning the importance of attending meets and practices on time, to fitting in homework during down time (even if itâ€™s in the car) give youths a clear understanding and benefits of time management.
3. Cultivating people skills – Swim teams comprised of co-ed swimmers allow teens to socialize and develop interpersonal skills. This translates to social environments at school, work and other communal activities. In addition, swimming is as much an individual sport as it is a team sport. The camaraderie that results from such a dynamic environment offers other life-long benefits, such as self-confidence.
4. Overcoming obstacles – While there will be instances when swimmers donâ€™t achieve their intended goals, they, together with the support of their coach, family and team, learn avenues to cope. Swimmers learn about the importance of sportsmanship and discover how to handle tough competition and emerge victorious every time.
5. Understanding the value of commitment and hard work – The practice schedule of swimmers is demanding. Swimming requires commitment on an ongoing year-round schedule, but swimmers very quickly understand what it directly equates to in everyday life.
6. Boosting self-esteem – Getting good at something positively ignites the impression one has on him or herself. This provides the catalyst for growth and confidence to try anything the future has to offer.
7. Finding your Ohm – The meditative benefits are unparalleled. Swimming provides an outlet to release pent-up energy, clear the mind, and push oneâ€™s internal re-set button. Swimmers emerge more energized and ready to take on the day and learn how to tap into their relief outlet when needed.