Summer Olympic Time Trials | USA Swimming & SwimToday.org | #SwimToday

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The summer Olympics are quickly approaching and OurKidsMom has teamed up with USA Swimming / SwimToday.org to keep you up to date with the latest information regarding team USA and their activities. Last week I was honored to be apart of an awesome group conference call with two iconic Olympic swimmers as well as a couple of wonderful ladies from USA Swimming.

– Karen Linhart, USA Swimming Public Relations and Social Media Director
– Jamie Fabos Olsen, Marketing and Brand Development Director, USA Swimming
– Lindsay Mintenko, National Team Managing Director, USA Swimming, gold medalist in swimming in the 2000 Olympics and gold and silver medalist in swimming in the 2004 Olympics
– Emily Silver, Athlete Relations and Family Program Manager, USA Swimming and a silver medalist in swimming in the 2008 Olympics

They gave us a quick overview of SwimToday.org and showed us a couple of resources that stood out to me that I wanted to point out for you. SwimToday.org is an online resource that provides moms with a one-stop shop to get all  the information they need to make entering the sport of swimming as easy as possible.  On the site, you can: find a place to swim in your area, self-assess your ability (take the swimmer quiz), and learn the benefits of swimming and fitness.

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I know that when I watch competitive swimming it inspires me to get active. Another link on SwimToday.org is to the Speedo Pace Club. It’s kind of an all around fitness trainer for swimmers. You can choose how you want to train and it will guide you to your goal.

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Your kids have asked to take lessons or join a swim team… but what really are the benefits of swimming – why should moms get their kids involved?

1) SAFETY 2) FITNESS 3) SOCIAL

SAFETY
Drowning is the 2nd-leading cause of accidental death for kids 1-14
Swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 80%

FITNESS
Swimming is a whole-body exercise
A low-impact sport, it is a life-long fitness option

SOCIAL
As an individual sport, swimming teaches work ethic and goal-setting
As a team sport (swimming is both!) swimming builds social skills and teamwork

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We also had an open Q&A session at the end. There were some very interesting questions that were brought up. Here are the top few I wanted to share with you:

Q: At what age should I start teaching my child to swim?

A: Most places that offer swim lessons begin when the child is six months old, but there are places that do “Mommy and Me” classes as an introduction to water at an even younger age.

Q: What is the right age for kids to start learning swim strokes?  Should young kids focus on strokes or fundamentals?

A: It depends on what you are comfortable teaching them.  Focus on the fundamentals first, but if they know the fundamentals, you can move on and teach the strokes whenever they seem ready.  The goal is for kids to have fun and be safe and comfortable around the water.

Q: How can I give my child the confidence to swim without arm floaties?

A: USA Swimming advocates against flotation devices, because they can give kids a false sense of security.  Try to avoid any kind of flotation aid, and get your child in swimming lessons.  There is no substitute for professional USA Swimming mom and kidsswimming instruction, and instructors are trained to help kids with their fear of the water and help them acclimate to the water at their own pace. 

Q: What are the expenses for swimming lessons and team swimming?

A: It varies by location and club, but a full session of swim lessons (approximately 8 lessons) generally costs about $50. USA Swimming partners with about 525 participating clubs nationwide on their Make a Splash charitable effort, which provides every child in America with the opportunity to learn to swim.  Swim clubs on SwimToday.org with a water drop next to their name provide a designated number of swimming lessons for free or at a discounted cost.  The distribution of free or discounted lessons is club-dependent, and you can ask your local club about it directly.  If expense is a concern, visit SwimToday.org and enter your ZIP code to find out if a swim club in your area is a Make a Splash partner.  More about Make a Splash: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2092&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

Q: Is there anything kids can do outside the pool to help strengthen their swimming skills in the pool?

A: It depends on the age of the kids. Coaches will probably tell your kids if there are exercises that might help them outside of the pool, but if your kids are younger and just getting involved in swimming, the best thing they can do is enjoy the sport and get involved in other sports.  In competitive swimming at an older age, you could add push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups outside the pool.

Q: What are the health benefits of swimming?

A: Swimming is one of the best all-around exercises out there for toning your body.  It is better for your knees than running, and it’s very good for your cardiovascular health.  In addition, being active generally sets a good example for kids. 

Q: What is your advice to moms of young athletes in general?

A: The most important thing is to allow kids to make their own decisions regarding their sport, and to make sure they enjoy it.  Encourage them to try new sports and identify what they love to do, rather than starting them in just one sport from a young age.  If they want to take a break from their competitive sport and the intense training, allow them to do so.  Burnout is very real.

Q: How can we support the swimmers involved in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials June 25 – July 2?

A: Tweet using the #SwimToday hashtag, follow @USA_Swimming on Twitter (where you can also find Twitter IDs for U.S. swimmers competing in the Trials), encourage your friends and family to watch the trials and cheer the athletes on, and host Olympic watch parties using Splash Bash resources from USA Swimming: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1611&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

 

Want a little more excitement? Once we saw this time lapse video of the Olympic Time Trials pool being built I was ready to see them race!  It’s amazing and exciting to see it come together!

 

Support the US Olympic Swimmers:

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Follow and tweet using the #SwimToday hashtag

 

Disclaimer: This is a paid campaign through TheMotherhood. All opinions are 100% my own.

Comments

  1. Wow! Awesome video. That is fantastic! I think every kid should learn to swim especially if they live near or around water. Thanks for sharing.=)

  2. My son (15) joined the high school swim team last season. He dropped it about half way through.

    Last week he talked to me about wanting to join again. That made me very, very proud- to know he knows of the difficulty, the possibility to feel awkward for not having completed the last season, and to still be willing to give it another go.

    It’s quite a disciplined sport.

  3. Abi R. says:

    Great info, thank you!

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