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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tails Up!

This summer our boys swam for the local swim team.

Swim team seems to have become the soccer of the summer. Everybody's doing it.

I was a little skeptical last summer when we started, but it has turned out to be an amazing experience for our boys.

The only requirement for joining the team is that you need to be able to swim 25 meters. It doesn't have to be pretty or fast; you just have to be able to do it. From there, the coaches teach the kids new strokes, better technique, and most importantly, good sportsmanship.
We have an amazing group of coaches who care so much about each swimmer.

Last minute instructions.

Curly was late to the game by not learning to swim until he was 8. He didn't join the team until he was 9, so this year was his second. He's way behind the other kids his age, but his coaches have been amazing with him. They encourage him at his slower speed every bit as much as they encourage the faster kids. They are excellent with paying attention to each child, despite the fact that it seems like there a million of them, and they know what needs to be corrected for each child. One of the head coaches knew his time goal for the year (which Curly set himself), and he would stand at the side of the pool cheering for him just as if Curly was about to win the Olympics.
Always asking questions.

He always yawns when he's nervous.

Little Bear learned to swim last summer, and this year he was ready to be part of the team. He was the second youngest little boy on the team, and they were absolutely adorable together.

Swim team was amazing for Little Bear. Normally a shy, anxious, perfectionist child, he truly blossomed in swimming. He was outgoing, making new friends with ease. He was confident and comfortable. He loved competing (though he did not like losing, so he swam as hard as he could!), and he was always really proud of himself for learning something new.

At the beginning of the summer, he could only swim freestyle. Then one week they taught the beginners back stroke, and bam! They were swimming back stroke in the next race! I couldn't believe how quickly they were able to teach a new stroke. Although they didn't race the newest swimmers in any other stroke, they did begin working on butterfly.

Something like a dive.

And Tiny Dancer? She was just a spectator this year. She made friends with some other younger siblings and spent many hours on playgrounds with them. She learned to swim about 4 weeks ago. Within a week, she was able to swim a 25 on her own! Next year, she'll be part of the team, too.

I am amazed at how much my children learned about swimming this summer. But I am more amazed at the dedication and care of the coaches for all of the children on the team. It was an incredible experience for all of us as we made new friends and spent many summer hours together.  
Part of the tent city that is created at each meet.