Swim meet season is happening. Last weekend we had our season opener at Rio Del Oro. It was a fun day in the Sun and with kids playing and racing with friends and parents getting to know each other.
While swim meets are not mandatory to be on the AQM, they provide huge value for the kids who participate in meets.
I often hear: We are not competitive. I don't want to push my kid(s). I don't want my kid to feel bad about his/her-self. I don't think my kid is ready.
Our summer league meet schedule is a where new swimmers in the sport start - even Katie Ledecky started on a summer league team as a youngster.
And for our older more experienced swimmers they also have growth opportunities as they compete in these meets. Flat out swim meets are FUN. But the idea of meets is horrible.
The reality is meets are one of the components that makes swimming the Time of Your Life (Green Day song). Ask the parents who have come before you, their kids are long gone from the AQM, but they still get the AQM emails as it's a great reminder of a special time in their families lives.
At the end of it, there are so many heart warming moments through a swimmer's career and these moments are found at swim meets.
Below is a list of 10 benefits of meets. (Found on our website)
They are fun. Yes, swim meets are really a GIANT play date, but your house stays clean.
Incredible learning environment. While the swim races are short and the number of laps they do are much less than a practice, your child is an engaged learner. Your child will be more interested in receiving coaching from us because there is a meet and they want to do well. Versus practice where another adult is telling them what to do.
During warm-ups your child is receiving coaching. This is another swim practice for your child with teaching. Many youth sports are now offering private lessons, which affect your pocket book. Here your child receives additional coaching without you having to pay.
The meets are FREE for you. Our team pays for each swimmer's league fees. Our year round competitive program or those who do Fall USA know the incredible value of no entry fees + pool fees. In those meets families spend $80-90 for a meet for two children.
Your family finds a place to BELONG with the AquaMonsters community. The Davis AquaMonsters swim team is not about fitting in, which is usually about hustling for other people's approval. Instead at the AquaMonsters, kids are accepted for who they are and belong in our community. The beautiful thing about the Monsters is you will find your people and also belong.
Your child develops confidence. Getting up on the block, walking into Schaal Aquatic Center at UC Davis (for some kids), racing across the pool. Your swimmer does this. They get to be proud for what they are accomplishing.
Your child develops resilience. Will they get disappointed? Absolutely. Raising hopeful children is from learning how to move through the disappointment. It is not about making sure your child is never disappointed. “Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we’re always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they’ll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own.” ~Brené Brown
Your child develops courage. They are going to fall. And they will learn they can get back up. They will learn to go beyond their mental limitations of what is possible for them. They will lean on courage. And in this world we all need courage.
Your child learns to take care of themselves and personal responsibility. For the younger kids that means taking care of their goggles. Drinking water at meets to hydrate. Through the older kids - being responsible to take care of their equipment, pack up for meets, put on sunblock, nourish their bodies with fluids and food, get a good night sleep the night before.
Your child has the opportunity to earn a RED or BLACK monster towel. These towels cannot be purchased anywhere. The only way to get the towel is to earn them with obtaining a certain number of PB's (personal best times). This is an awesome opportunity to cultivate healthy striving within and staying out of "compare + despair" about other kids. Last year there were about 85 RED towels earned and there have been less than 25 BLACK towels earned throughout the years.