Perhaps your child recently finished swimming lessons and is now interested in continuing to grow their skills. Maybe they’ve developed a love of the water and a competitive spirit you want to support. Or possibly you’re looking for a safe form of healthy recreation for staying active.
No matter the reason, Swim Team can be a great option for keeping kids moving, helping them learn about healthy competition, and having fun. To help you decide if Swim Team is a good option for your child, we reached out to Jen Rezac, director of swim programming for Life Time Aquatics, to get her insights on some commonly asked questions about the offering.
What are the benefits to enrolling my child in Swim Team?
There are four primary advantages I’d encourage parents to consider:
- It’s instills life skills. Learning to swim — and being a strong swimmer — is a crucial, life-saving ability. The World Health Organization estimates that drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. Swimming also teaches attributes such as dedication, perseverance, and goal setting that can benefit individuals well beyond their swimming days.
- It improves fitness. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that works the entire body, focusing on endurance, strength, and flexibility. If you develop healthy habits as a child it can lead to staying active as an adult.
- It teaches teamwork. Swimming is both an individual and team sport. At meets, swimmers compete individually for their best times but also contribute to the team total score based on how they place in their events. They can also participate on relay teams.
- It offers a community. Many of our swimmers build a second family on our teams. They form strong friendships with their teammates, which improves their social well-being.
What differentiates Life Time’s Swim Team from others?
We offer consistent practice schedules and locations in our top-of-the-line facilities. Many other teams must rent space, therefore are subject to the days, times, and locations that are available.
In those instances, parents often need to wait in the bleachers while their child practices. At Life Time, parents do not need to be present, and can choose to leave the building or use the time to get in a workout, schedule a spa service, or relax in our lounge areas. If you have multiple children, your other kids can enjoy the Kids Academy while their sibling swims, or even learn to swim themselves in our swim-lesson program at the same time. In locations that feature LifeCafe, you’re also just steps away from a healthy grab-and-go meal option after practice.
There is also no fundraising, and your child practices in their home pool but competes at meets with all the other Life Time swim teams in the area.
Which ages and abilities can Swim Team accommodate?
Children are typically 5 years or older when they join Swim Team, and there are different levels available for different abilities. Those who join don’t even need to have grasped the basic foundations of swimming or be able to swim the length of the pool in freestyle and backstroke. They will learn those skills.
What are the different Swim Team options available at Life Time?
- Summer Swim Team: This is the perfect introduction to the program. It’s fun and laid back, yet children still get a chance to compete.
- Developmental Swim Team: This is a great option for those who just completed our swim-lesson program and want to experience team swimming. It’s year-round and offers an introduction to meets.
- USA Swimming Team: This is also year-round and is our most competitive option. These swimmers compete against other teams who are part of the USA Swimming Association.
What credentials do Life Time swim coaches have?
All of our coaches are required to be Lifeguard Certified. Those who work with our USA Swimming Team also have their USA Swimming certification. Many coaches additionally have their American Swimming Coaches Association certification.
What is the time commitment like?
The Summer Swim Team is held multiple days a week over a period in the summer. Most practices last 45 minutes to one hour. Swim meets are typically held once a week.
The Developmental Team practices are typically held two or three days a week, lasting 45 minutes to one hour. Your child can continue on the team as long as they’d like or until they’re ready to move to the USA Swimming Team. Swim meet occurrences vary, but usually take place a few times throughout the school year.
The USA Swimming Team, depending on the level, can occur anywhere from three to six days a week with practices lasting between one to two hours. Swim meets are usually held monthly.
How do I know if my child will enjoy Swim Team?
You’re always welcome to try it! Summer Swim Team is a limited-length program, while our year-round teams can be started and canceled at any time with provided notice.
Beginning your child in the right level will make a significant difference in their perception of Swim Team. We recommend starting them in the Summer Swim Team or Developmental Swim Team. Both require a tryout where we’ll place your child in the best level for their ability.
What precautions are being taken to keep Swim Team kids safe?
Safety is our number one priority at all times. We follow state and USA Swimming guidelines. If you want to learn about our COVID-19 safety protocols, you can do so here.
Do I need to be a Life Time member for my child to participate in Swim Team?
Yes, Swim Team is exclusively available for Life Time members.
Where can I sign up or learn more?
You can find more information and contact details at mylifetime.life/swim.