Why swim?

At a time when communities are concerned about gangs and violence, I would like to invite you to come to a local swimming meeting. You will find that about 100 young people are involved. There are many other places where these young people can stay on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings. Multiply this by several different locations across the country.

Swimming is usually administered by a state swimming organization as part of a national program sponsored by the US Swimming Federation (USS). The USS is an organization that oversees amateur competitive swimming in the United States. As the national governing body for the sport, the USS is a member of the US Olympic Committee and the International Swimming Federation.

Nationally, more than 20,000 volunteers are registered as non-athlete members of the USS each year. Interested individuals donate their time, energy and expertise to serve as officers, administrators, coaches and workers at all levels, from serving on national committees to joining the local swimming club. Utah Swimming currently has 240 non-athletes and 1,600 registered athletes.

A complete aquatic sports program should be developed and implemented, including swimming lessons and a pre-comp swimming team program in all pools. These water sports programs often lead to the formation of an official USS group swimming team, where each swimmer pays an annual registration fee to the USS for an additional $ 20.00 to $ 30.00 per month. This money will be spent on team training fees and other expenses

During a meeting, six swimmers enter the pool at once. They are grouped according to age and ability. Each of the six groups of six has an even chance to come first. But really the problem is not coming first. Every swimmer has a personal best time with prior pool experience. The goal of each swimmer is to reduce their personal best time. As a result, there are no losers, all are winners.

There should be no rules about the number of swimmers a team can have. Anyone who wants to work and improve can be in a team. Anyone who wants to work can be a winner. Who can value the value of this experience to young people who are positively engaged in self-improvement and hard work?

Some schools are considering the possibility of closing all swimming pools in the district to save money and avoid liability issues. Interestingly, no one cared about the possibility of a basketball court being torn down or a football field being torn down. In some states, pool time may be required for age group swimming groups. We have become a community where all decisions are based on the “bottom line”. Can our social values ​​be based on money or trophies?

Communities or schools in many parts of the island provide reserve time in recognition of individuals and the community as a whole involved in participating in the USS Swimming Championships. In a group of young people you can not find a better way to get rid of drugs and other anti-social behavior.

Come to any swimming meeting and pick any parent at random. Ask them what their child has gained from swimming experience. Any parent will tell you about the unparalleled development of self-confidence and discipline that comes from participating in any other form of sport or activity.

Swimming usually does not have a great deal of fame or notoriety, except during the Olympics. As a result, coaches are less likely to be motivated by selfishness to create “winning” teams. Age group coaches are generally not hired or fired based on their win-lose record. They have a great deal of personal time and effort invested in helping individuals grow and develop and help swimmers define success in their own personal way.

Although many valuable values ​​are understood to be inherent in sports participation, they may not be automatically accessible to everyone involved. Not only are there values ​​to pursue, but most of our youth have values ​​that are accessible and accessible. It’s not just about saturating a community with organized sports leagues or improving physical education programs in schools. Many young people, including many participants, do not actually benefit from the sport for a variety of reasons, but at least because of the “affordable” concept that is prevalent today.

Participating in sports should be a vehicle for personal growth and the development of a positive self-image. The process involves two main components:

1. Its proper perspective on winning it. There are winners and there are “winners”. If he or she is satisfied with any sport, everyone wants to “win”. However, success can be expanded to include progress on many levels. Each person can learn to set their own personal goals and define “success” in their personal way.

2. Sport values ​​create an environment that provides the essential experience of being more accessible, but also motivates people to develop the self-esteem needed to participate in the sport, to learn the skills needed and to approach life with confidence – as well.

Complete well-functioning aquatic sports programs are designed to develop the skills and attitudes that help a person take charge of their life and feel like a winner. A study of swimming in the United States shows that participation in aquatic sports makes a list of interesting features:

– Individuals acquire strong work ethics
– Individuals gain greater physical fitness
– People gain mental toughness
– Individuals acquire goal setting and winning skills
– People gain strong self-esteem

Further research shows that 35% of those who start swimming leave by the age of 16 due to conflicts with the personalities of those who execute the program, which is primarily incomplete or inadequate.

The objectives of a swimming club should be:

1. Provide opportunities for social and emotional development.
2. Provide a healthy and valuable physical and entertainment outlet.
3. Provide opportunities to learn sportsmanship and develop awareness of team collaboration.
4. Provide and provide an educational environment.
5. Provide opportunities to learn good health habits.
6. Provide training and competition to help develop valuable attitudes.
7. Provide a comprehensive experience base not only for those with high skills but for all.
8. Provide opportunities to develop good work habits and self-esteem.

Note that the goal of developing national champions or a winning team is not stated. Neutrality should not be anyone’s goal – everyone should strive for excellence. However, the real winner in age group swimming is often not the winner of the competition, because he or she may fail to reach that other goal in the program, which may be more important. The only justification for this program is that it always exists for the benefit of every child.

It is difficult to argue that success is important, but children are more important.

In 1979, two groups, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, and the American Academy of Pediatrics approved the Bill of Rights for Young Athletes. This “Rights Act” should include all approaches to training. We cannot imagine that the pain of one child’s defeat can be the thrill of another’s victory, that victory is the only reward, and that defeat is a punishment. Children and psychologists know this to be untrue. The ability to deal with physical barriers and, subsequently, to compare one’s abilities with those of others is a natural part of a child’s development and is essential for building a sense of competence and secure self-identity. Everything is the main ingredient for the game’s competitiveness and self – motivation – but it should not come at someone else’s expense. Learning to win and losing are parts of the same process. Children can be taught to define “success” in their own way, and their efforts for personal growth and development will be considered successful.

“If you make it, it will come.” However, this is simply not true with regard to pools. Attempts should be made to reach out to the community to encourage and encourage participation, not only attractively but also financially. Pools can sit empty and you will never run a program when you take the position that you will not be able to recruit staff until there are enough participants to pay you the staff responsible for the pool program. How do you recruit a lifeguard when you have to tell him or her that you may not be able to give them hours if not enough people are involved in the program? It just won’t happen. Establishing funds, recruiting staff and finding participants.

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