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  • Writer's pictureSigma Swim

How to Survive Your Child’s First Year as a Competitive Swimmer

Updated: May 19, 2021

Children sometimes get signed up for swim lessons just to learn how to swim and end up liking the sport of swimming. Here at Sigma Swimming we offer programs for all ages and abilities.

Many of our best swimmers started in our swim school and as time went on they moved up from swim school to pre-team and eventually to our nationally ranked swim team. This is the time when your swimmer will start to compete in swim meets.

The first year as a competitive swimmer can be a very exciting and challenging new world for young swimmers. Some swimmers start competing as early as age 6, but most are a little older. As parents, this can also be a whole new world and it will also be a learning process for the parents. It is important that the swimmer attends most practice sessions which will help them improve and be ready for those meets. Check the Sigma Swimming website for available meets and sign your swimmer up for meets he or she qualifies for and if you are not sure what your swimmer qualifies for simply ask the coach or site coordinator. They will gladly answer any questions. Just make sure you don’t miss the deadline and if you do, ask if he or she can still be signed up.

Here at Sigma Swimming we have instructions for both swimmers and parents to make the learning process a little easier. Some of these instructions are:

  1. No swimmer sits alone, meaning find your team and sit with them. We want everyone to feel they have a comfortable home base.

  2. When not swimming, cheer on your team mates when they are swimming.

  3. Write your events, heats, and lanes with a sharpie on your arm so they know when they swim. Pay attention to the timing board and possible announcements.

  4. If your swimmer is under the age of 12, ensure he/she stays on deck (pool area) and does not wander off to the stands to visit family or friends. This will prevent missing a race.

  5. Sign your child in for his or her events when arriving at the aquatics center. If you are running late, call a team mate or text your coach because if the swimmer is not checked in, then he/she will not be able to swim.

  6. Make sure you arrive EARLY for warm up because it is important for your swimmer to get some practice (strokes, turns, diving) before racing.

So, what does your child need for these first meets and any thereafter?

  1. Competition suit which costs about $45-70. It also doesn't hurt to have a spare suit just in case something happens to the competition suit. Just make sure it is tight fitting.

  2. Two sets of googles that are designed for racing from brands such as Adidas, Speedo, TYR which cost about $20.

  3. A few towels to make sure your swimmer can stay dry when not swimming.

  4. A camping chair is always a good idea because some meets may have limited seating available for the swimmers which are around $10.

  5. Water bottles to keep your swimmer hydrated (VERY IMPORTANT).

  6. Nourishing snacks such as fruits, protein bars, boiled egg but stay away from sugary snacks.

In conclusion, get ready to travel to pools around the Dallas Fort Worth area on Saturday or Sunday mornings or afternoons. Find a seat and enjoy the meet, cheer, talk to other parents, take pictures or even videos. This is also an exciting time for the parents and you will make new friends. So enjoy this new and exciting time and do not worry about your young swimmers because our goal is to help them have a positive experience and learn a whole new world.

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