We are quickly reaching, if not the end of the season for many leagues, at least the mid-way point (where does the time go??). It’s been a whirlwind of cheers and chants, snacks and backpacks, chlorine and cozy towels. And maybe, just maybe, your young athlete has caught the ‘swimming bug.’ Perhaps, they’re not quite ready to hang up their swimsuit for the year.
“What’s next??” they might be asking: “When do I get to compete again?”
Although summer swim team comes only once a year, your young athlete need not wait a full 12 months before breaking out their beloved swimsuit. USA Swimming, the United States competitive year-round swim team (a.k.a. club) governing body, oversees thousands of club swim teams. Club swimming has all the glitz, glamour, and goggle-marks hallmarked by summer league, but with the opportunity to splash around all year long.
Read on to learn more about club swimming, the perks of joining a competitive year-round swim team, and why summer league has already prepared your youngster for club swim’s rigors!
What is USA Swimming?
USA Swimming governs most competitive year-round swim teams in the United States. In addition to regulating club teams and meets, USA Swimming maintains youth athlete protection via its Safe Sport tenets. All regional, state, and national level qualifying meets are sanctioned by USA Swimming (even the Olympic Trials!). National level/professional swimmers (think Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, and Caleb Dressel) are USA Swimming athletes. With what seems like infinite teams distributed across the United States (and most likely several in your city/town), there are so many opportunities to continue enjoying swim team!
Why Year-Round Swim Team?
As nationally respected entities, club teams advance concepts your swimmer may have already encountered in summer swim. From drills to workouts, club swimming lends a focused lens to training. This elevated experience better prepares youth swimmers for higher levels of their sport (e.g. high school and college).
Skills acquisition, goal-setting (both short- and long-term), and attention to detail (e.g. looking at splits, race strategy, and training cycles) will make your kiddo stronger than ever for next year’s summer season or help with cross-training for other sports. Year-round swimming is also where you find more experienced ‘career’ coaches. These coaches have dedicated their lives to instilling passion for swimming and continuing the United States’ strong tradition. Further, just like summer swim, memories made during club swim will last a lifetime.
How has Summer League Already Prepared My Kiddo?
Most year-round programs require swimmers to, minimally, know freestyle and backstroke (if not also butterfly and breaststroke). This is great news for summer swimmers who already spend their vacation months perfecting the strokes!
Further, summer swimmers are conditioned to racing (the average summer swim schedule has a meet every weekend!) as well as the flow of meets. During summer swim, athletes learn to track their events/heats/lanes and have been introduced to the concept of relays. They are passionate about supporting their teammates and already know just how fun the sport of swimming is!
Altogether, as we begin to leave summer swimming behind us, rest assured! This does not mean your family must leave the sport of swimming behind just yet. With so many options to find a team near you, you need look no further than year-round swim team. SwimTopia is sure your young athlete will find a club that best fits their interests and desired level of competition!