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Does anyone child do comparative swimming?

(63 Posts)
Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:17:18

Dd has been given the chance to try out for a swim club which claims it's the first step towards eventually competing

She trys out this week and obviously I know she may not make the cut this time around however I'm interested to know what goes on. Before I rearrange everything work etc wise in order to try and accommodate this is it really something worth doing that can lead to other opportunities or is it just more money and waiting around at pools grin

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:17:56

Competitive swimming rather

Ffs phone

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 12:20:18

I used to do it as a child. My dd wants to do it, she is a very good swimmer but already competes in other sports and I'm struggling to fit it all in.

Friends whose kids do it spend a lot of time ay the pool, eg all day Sat and sun last weekend. They find it very boring spending so many hours poolside.

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 12:20:49

Sorry this is 9 year olds.

Nowthereistwo Tue 11-Apr-17 12:22:59

I'm worried about the cost/benefit of this in terms of amount of time you need to commit to be good/on the team. Do they get enough out of it to make it worthwhile long-term?

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:29:06

Me too I mean she already does other stuff after school I'm just loathed to limit sports stuff as it's what she enjoys and is good at and if she does this club the cost at this moment isn't very high and by the time she's 11/12 she can probably get herself to these things but I would also like to know if there are benefits as you say smile

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 12:30:06

Depends on the child whether they enjoy it! It's good exercise, team sports etc as per any competitive sport.

Whitelisbon Tue 11-Apr-17 12:30:23

My dd was on the swim team for 3 years, and decided to drop it after summer last year.
It's a lot of money, and time hanging around swimming pools. Early mornings, late nights, etc. And we went through hundreds of pairs of goggles, swim hats, costumes.
Dd loved it, it was great exercise and she made some fantastic friends, but it all became too much in the end up, with school, homework, other clubs, and family time all suffering.
She quit last year when she was 13, and I was very relieved.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:42:25


Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:47:57

And how old is old enough to get themselves there and back including taxis if need be?

MaidenMotherCrone Tue 11-Apr-17 12:52:53

Family member was at National level, at the pool 5am 5 days a week and Sat/Sun was all taken up with meets.

It's a huge commitment to get to that level.

Scabetty Tue 11-Apr-17 12:53:50

Dd did this for a few years. You need commitment as a parent. Early mornings and evenings. Weekends at galas. Always chasing county/regional times. Dd loved the social side but time as a family was limited. I have other children who had other interests so we juggled. No harm having a try out though.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:58:46

Yes i will see how she gets on and go from there. But I can't vomit to 5am starts I have another child and a job eye

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 12:58:52


Scabetty Tue 11-Apr-17 13:19:28

To start those times may not be necessary smile

FATEdestiny Tue 11-Apr-17 13:19:36

Is it a teaching swimming club or a competitive-only club?

My 3 children swim for our local club, its a teaching club - which means it accepts swimmers (ASA Level 5 and above) and teaches them to swim. Then also has a competitive squad who train and are coached, rather than being taught to swim.

Anyone can join the club, it just offers swimming lessons at a cheaper price than the leisure centre. So great value, no reason not to.

Then squad members are selected from within the club teaching group. These are swimmers with talent. Then teams of children are chosen from within the squad for each gala.

So you have no massive commitment joining a teaching club. Its just teaching your child to swim. Likewise it's no great commitment to join a competitive squad. You don't have to complete if the child doesn't want to. But a great way to keep fit, make friends and excel in your sport.

The commitment begins with gala selection. These are of the form "open meet" - which means any squad member can choose to pay and take part. Or league/county/regional gala's - you get selected for these so are not required to pay, but obviously there is a time commitment.

In short, just joining a swimming club is not any sort of big commitment. At all. There's a sliding scale of commitment, you don't dive in at the deep end (see what I did there? grin) with massive amounts of commitment straight away.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 13:27:40


It takes stage 7 and above. Which runs twice a week but you only need to attend one. So she will have swimming lesson on one day and club another day. This I can just about do.

However it's what happens from there if she gets a place after this trial grin

We are also attending a gala although not sure if this is linked or not.

It was only her 1st stage 7 lesson confused

helenwilson Tue 11-Apr-17 21:54:41

Hi, my daughter is 8 and she swims for a very good club. You have to do a trial to get in, but there are squads to suit both children who want to swim competitively, and squads for those who don't (or who are not fast enough). The coaching is MUCH better than bog standard leisure centre type lessons, so my advice would be to trial and if you are offered a place take it, you can give it a go and see what the squad options are. Our club do filter out the children who aren't going to cut it as competitive swimmers - but they still get to swim in the recreational groups and the coaches are still very good so it does suit everybody.

In terms of commitment, my daughter does 2 x 1 hour sessions on week nights and 1 x 2 hour session from 7-9 on a Saturday. She is in the top stream for her age group, however may not get into the next squad in September as she probably won't get the required times (relative to the fact that they all develop at different ages). My daughter does love it, she leaps out of bed at 6:15am on. Saturday morning relishing the prospect of two hours of butterfly - I wish I had the same enthusiasm !!

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 21:55:57

She tried out and she got in so will find out now which path she takes now

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 23:14:40

Oh and well done to your dd she's very young still and clearly very motivated and hard working. What a star smile

SkiBike007 Tue 11-Apr-17 23:23:20

It's fantastic fitness if they really enjoy it. My DD age9 recently finished level7 and joined the competitive side of the club. She loves galas but is starting to learn that it's ALL about "times". She previously only done 20L in a learn to swim session but did 50+L last week in the hour long training session. She amazed herself, but most importantly enjoys doing it. She loved practicing off the blocks and working on tumble turns etc she inspires me to swim more grin
Good luck to your DD.

MyfatheristheKing Tue 11-Apr-17 23:34:53

My dd swims for a club and she loves it. She was scouted at 6 and has been there for two years now. There are clubs closer to us so it's means traveling for us, myself or DH take her and have to stay as it's too far to come back home and then back to the pool for pick up. It's long hours and she works bloody hard but loves it and it keeps her fit. That is the only thing she does as it's five times training a week with extra in the holidays.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Apr-17 23:54:29

Wow look at all your talented children go!!!

Whether or not this leads to anything she's excited at being accepted so we will see what this brings. Dp is also happy to take her so I don't have to worry about work yet will save the rearranging for if it becomes serious.

She loves her sport and she really loves swimming.

Lifeisabeach Wed 12-Apr-17 07:18:38

My 8 yo DS has just finished level 7 and went to a trial at our local club last night. We thought he would be joining the academy - which works towards ASA stages 8, 9 and 10 and would be 1 hour a week. But the coach said he's really good and can skip that and join the junior squad. I've looked on the website and they train 4 hours a week.

I'm not sure whether we can commit to this and whether it's too much. He's already in a triathlon club and does 1 hour each of swimming, cycling and running a week with them. Plus athletics club 1 hour a week too.

I need to speak to the coach to find out more, but is 4 hours a week at 8 years old the norm? I didn't know whether he would be allowed to start with just 2 sessions but I'm guessing they expect commitment and to do all 4 hours.

ealingwestmum Thu 13-Apr-17 11:13:38

Hi OP, we're probably a few more years down the line than previous PPs', but can concur with some of the negatives of competitive swimming...hours spent poolside, swimming hours before/post school, weekends taken etc.

My DD is now 13.5, came into competitive swimming later than most so was on catch up but has really closed the gap now and is still enjoying the sport. One of reasons is I think this is because she is still seeing progress over a short time, where some of her peers who were seen as child prodigies have plateaued, down to a mixture of lack of patience (body changes slows down progress) and the 13/15 attitude barrier. It really is a long time to spend in a pool if you don't love it.

is it really something worth doing that can lead to other opportunities

This is quite subjective, I can only talk from personal perspective, but it really helps my DD to organise herself across all things she does, and having a physical outlet helps her with her academics. Yes, there's lack of time to study, but what she does, she does it efficiently and still to a high standard. Also is very resilient (swimming has lots of knock backs), but has a group of friends outside her school life that helps through the fickle early secondary years. It does impact on other things she's had to give up now due to commitment to training (we're at 14 hours per week), but it's offset by being around people who get it. She's at peace from withdrawing from school sports squads, but if she chose to walk away from competitive swimming, there would be a recreational squad at her club with flexibility on sessions. But she's competitive - I think it would be all or nothing for her.

Lots of parents say when their children give up, what a waste. There will be potentially more things to gain that are not so easy to quantify but are character defining, therefore we'll have no regrets here when that day comes.

Re independence from 11/12 - absolutely encourage it. The less time you spend pool side/making other family members suffer, the better. There's a big uber-share thing at DD's club (but humble TfL works for us smile Take a deep breath also around other swim parents...they are HUGELY competitive, but if your child has a good attitude and appetite to improve through the peaks and troughs, this can often out-swim those with early innate ability that just burn out for one reason or another.

Good luck with your DD's swimming!

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