Swim Club or Not to Swim Club, that is the question!
Are you thinking of putting your little one(s) in swim club? I find myself having this conversation with many parents that are inquiring about competitive swimming and here is my reply:
I was a competitive swimmer from age 8 – 17 and my daughter was from age 10 – 17. So if your swimmer is competitive, has a love for swimming, and has strong strokes than by all means go for it.
However, I find that since WETS students can learn to do front crawl and other strokes at a very early age, their parents get really excited and think that “maybe swimming is my child’s sport”, and they move from our lessons to a club. While in the club, many become disappointed and return to WETS.
The reality is – at WETS with only 4 students in a class – your swimmer is getting a lot of attention with stroke building and correction. We start with swimming short distances to build the stroke correctly and then add distance to build endurance later. In swim club there can be up to 8 swimmers in a lane, in a large pool, and there is very little stroke correction. It is difficult for a coach to evaluate strokes when the swimmers are training in a middle lane. Also, keep in mind that the public pools are noisy and wavy and can be overwhelming to young swimmers. Another thing to consider is that often swimmers get bored swimming length after length, day after day, week after week.
To help transition WETS swimmers to a swim club we have developed the WETS Squad Club. We meet once a week, have 6 swimmers in a lane, and work on the 4 competitive strokes of Front Crawl, Back Stroke, Breast Stroke and Butterfly. The swimmers are also introduced to the proper start, turn and finish for each stroke. Once a month we introduce other aquatic sports such a synchronized swimming, water polo, snorkeling and triathlons. We also participate in the Fun Mini Swim Meet in February with the Ogopogo Swim Club. If they love it you will know, and if they do make the move to a swim club they will be far better equip to meet the challenges after this experience. You, the parent, will also have an idea of what a swim meet is all about, and the volunteering that accompanies it.
Founder and Trainer of WETS