After hearing the glowing reviews of the neighborhood swim team by some mom friends, I decided to sign my kids up this year. They had had swim lessons these last few years, but just a few, and only to learn the basics. Being on the swim team meant daily (during the week) practices, and learning the strokes. Both kids started the season as coach assisted swimmers. That means they both had a coach in the pool with them as they swam down the length of the pool.
We didn't realize that for the 7 and 8 year old age group, Duncan would not be allowed to have a coach with him at the meets. So, that first meet was a little scary for him. He got in the pool (after much discussion with his coach) for backstroke, and when the horn sounded, he turned over and did freestyle to the end of the pool! He got out and hugged me and cried. Poor boy! The next week, however, he was ready!
Those first few meets he would swim a couple of strokes, then hold onto the rope, then swim a bit, then rest. The meet at the pool where the young swimmers finished in the deep end (12 feet deep!) was especially challenging. It all started at the starting block. Even though I'd avoided any mention of The Deep End, he is an observant little boy. He knew it was Deep! He got on the block to start the race, the horn blew, and he stood there. I saw the coaches talking to him. He got down. I thought he was going to scratch. Then, all of a sudden, one of the coaches picked Duncan up, and tossed him in! The crowd gasped! I was all, "What the...???!!!" Once he was in the pool he swam a bit, rested a bit...until he got to the abyss (because, seriously! I think it really looked like that to him!) He paused there for a while. The crowd for both teams started cheering him on. He swam, he rested...he made it! Everyone cheered! He got out and fell into my arms, crying. He was so scared. I was so proud! He didn't give up. The coach that threw him in hastened to tell me that she had his permission to do that!
By the last few meets Duncan was swimming freestyle and a respectable backstroke without stopping at all!
Miranda was part of the 6 and under age group. The little ones are allowed a coach with them, but the race is automatically disqualified. Not a big deal for newbies. She has improved a great deal, too. But, honestly, I think she appreciates swim team more for the social aspect.
On your mark, get set...
Go! Miranda was known as "The Girl that Doesn't Get Her Hair Wet." When Miranda and her coach got to the end of the pool, Miranda said, "We won!"
Duncan swimming the backstroke.
And, he finishes!
Miranda loved the young coaches!
There are a lot of pictures of Miranda, looking like a turtle with her head out, but with a huge smile on her face! When she did stick her little face in the water to blow bubbles, she concentrated so hard on the bubble blowing, that her arms and legs stopped the stroke!
Duncan jumps in for freestyle.
I know it's blurry, but it's still cool to have an action pic!
And, he's done!
Both kids earned a trophy for participating on the swim team this year. I used to be one of those parents that didn't think kids should get trophies for participation, but these kids were so proud of their awards, that I saw that it was worth it, and that their efforts were worth awarding!
Duncan also received the coaches award for Most Improved Swimmer for the 7/8 Boys. We couldn't be prouder of this little guy!