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Teen swimming lessons - what next?(17 Posts)
My 14 year was recommended by her previous group swimming teacher that she tried club swimming as she thinks she has very good swimming posture. When she went for the low key trial, she hadn't done turns and diving in the water (at the start) and some of her strokes needed tidying up a bit and the club coach recommended she does this before she took her on.
The club recommended about 6 private lessons to get these from a private coach at this leisure center. Fast forward one year on, my daughter is still doing the one-to-one weekly. We found she has many bad habits that needed correcting and she has improved so much.
I have brought up the idea of encouraging her to try the club swimming again, she is pretty adamant she doesn't want to as she wants to stay with her private coach. My suspicion is she was scared by the level of swimming she saw when she went for trials. The reason I wanted her to do club swimming was perhaps to get her to push herself more. At present she only does swimming for 30 mins a week with her coach and sometimes we have a fun swim together at our local gym.
My question is should I keep nagging or rather encouraging her to try club swimming or should I just let her stay with her one-to-one coach? She is very happy with her coach and she has improved her stokes greatly, The one-to-one coach gives her things to works towards. The last few weeks she did some lifesaving skills - things like swimming in pyjamas and treading in the water. At the moment she is working at finishing her gold award.
I was happy for her to start club swimming and retain her coach until she felt confident at the club but my daughter doesn't see the point of club swimming.
Club swimming involves a lot of laps. With a good stroke, she will probably manage, but the other children her age will probably have been doing this 4+ sessions per week. I would ask her coach to do some endurance work with her, plus work on starts and turns; I think this will give her more confidence.
I think that is the problem Shockers that at that age most of the children would have been doing this for a while at the club. Maybe I should just let her stay with the coach.
Her starts and turns are ok now but I think she still has memory of the trial and how everyone was just swimming effortlessly all going up and down to what must have felt like eternity for her in the water with them. Her private coach gives her some endurance work but she only does 30 mins whereas club swimming is one hour. The club coach said she can work on that with her once she got her techniques sorted.
I bumped into her previous group lesson coach who referred us to this club in the first place and she asked me to really encourage her to go to the club as she has a good posture for it. Her own two sons swim there.
The problem is there is nothing in between for her. Somewhere to just enjoy swimming with children her age without wanting to do any competitions. It seems beyond primary school swimming classes and club swimming there is nothing else in between.
Why don't you investigate triathlon or life guarding? There are clubs for both near me and look fun for teens. The big swim club I went to had a squad for the serious swimmers (national types) and then squads for the committed but untalented.
Even me, a plodder who never one a thing trained everyday. The serious teen swimmers at my club were training twice a day for an hour at a time.
There's plenty of water sports that require a good standard of swimming.
If she's not keen I wouldn't push it. Friends I have with DCs who do club swimming have basically sold their souls - sessions several times a week at silly times (early mornings/late evenings) and weekends given over to competitions/galas. Let her keep up her lessons which she enjoys and let her have the rest of her spare time to do other things she enjoys.
Are there any synchro or life saving groups nearby? Life saving can be good for getting part-time jobs too, so I believe, though not sure on ages. Jut know quite a few friends used to be lifeguards as weekend/summer jobs!
As others have said - lifeguarding? Or diving/ water polo/ synchro? Do any of those appeal?
Oh yes her coach now recommended one life saving one. It's just me dreading working up to be at the pool 7am every Saturday for two years. It just means 7 days a week I will be getting up early as I have church on Sunday. I guess I can't have it all. The two club sessions where Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
My daughter is quite sporty and she is involved and enjoys another sport where she already commits 4 hours a week so perhaps I am being unreasonable. I just thought swimming will be a nice break from her hard sessions from the other sport. I will consider you suggestions, if she doesn't like them, I will let it rest and just let things continue as they are.
Look at different clubs not all clubs are run the same dd was invited to join one last year and they have different sections - improvers and squad both sets get the opportunity to swim in galas they have sessions for diving and turning, endurance and stroke technique. This is the norm here all the clubs offer this and their are about 5 in our area.
I think the main problem is she's just not used to swimming for long enough and won't have built up the stamina. To be honest she'll never do that on 30 minutes a week.
Dd who's 11 is a 'decent' club swimmer (i.e. to anyone not involved in swimming she looks fantastic yet she's only ever won a couple of races at low-level galas and is unlikely even to qualify for county champs let alone anything higher). Her squad is one of the more junior ones yet she swims three times a week with the club for an hour or one and a half hours at a time and for an hour a week with school. If she's still swimming at your daughter's age she will have been doing this level of training for years so yes it does look pretty effortless - and I would have thought it would be almost impossible to break into unless your dd really wanted it and it doesn't sound like she does
I would echo the advice to look at sports where a good level of swimming helps but you don't have to be club standard
Echoing what Basildon above said - DS1 was swimming 5 times a week (1.5 or 2 hour sessions) at age 11 or 12 to make good competition standard. Not sure whereabouts you are, but we try to catch children at aged 8 or 9 to start competitive swimming, a 14 year old would have to be really outstanding to get a squad place, and competition opportunities can be limited.
You may have clubs that offer fitness squads with no requirement to compete that might suit you, or you could look at rookie live saving (would need to be 16 to do a life guarding course), or water polo? Or biathlon / triathlon / pentathlon?
Our local clubs offer a "swimming for fitness" group for non-competitive swimmers who participate in other sports. They swim because they enjoy it and because it brings overall benefits, and they do stroke development/stamina but also occasionally other water-activities like water polo at the end of the session. That didn't exist when I was 11 - it was competitive swimming or quit (I quit).
Thank you all for your replies. I will look a bit more into alternatives, she certainly enjoys swimming but I can't keep her on the 1:1 forever. I have just looked into water polo here and it seems to only be only offered by the very top competitive clubs. Do girls do water polo too, most seem geared towards men and boys?
I will check and see if any local clubs offer the swimming for fitness group. That would be fantastic if I can get that round here. There is a rookie club at our club but it is mainly for younger children. There is one for older children called survive and save however the nearest center is almost 12 miles away but it seems to be one term for the first part so I will consider this one too.
Do they have a local life saving club? That's a good option for swimmers who don't like swimming laps.
I haven't read the whole thread yet but your DD is quite old to just be starting out at club level.
My own DD is only 11 and has been at club level 2 years, regional for a year.
She spends approximately 9 hours in the pool over 5 days which includes 2 early mornings and also 50 minutes land training.
I can't really offer much advice on which route to take with your DD but thought I would let you know just how intensive it is.
Good luck with whatever she chooses :-)
I'd agree with that too, my youngest started at the swimming club at 7 after passing the ASA gold award, now we're doing galas just about every other weekend and training twice a week, they started 18 months ago.
I think you are right to look for other alternatives I think to succeed at club level there needs to be a drive from within the child. My friends DD is enormously successful, but only because she is constantly asking to be taken to the next meet to get the time.
My DD was also suggested club, but does not have that drive so we just swim for pleasure now.
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