Parents often ask me if their child is ready to start competitive swimming. Below are a few points to to consider before getting started.
A good time for a swimmer to start competitive swimming is between the ages of 8 and 12. However, it's never too late to start!
Swimmers need to be able to comfortably swim at least 50 metres and have a basic understanding of correct technique.
If a child enjoys swimming fast and likes spending time with their friends from swimming, that's a good start.
Competitive swimming suits swimmers who are energetic, driven and want to work hard to improve their performance. Some swimmers like to train with a goal in mind and like the feeling of pushing themselves to the limit.
5. Time commitment
Coaches will recommend swimmers attend around 2-3 swim meets each school term and most meets run for around 3-4 hours. Swim meets are held at pools around Metropolitan Melbourne such as MSAC (Albert Park), Aquanation (Ringwood), Watermarc (Greensborough) and also at our home base (MARC). A list of the various swim meets for each squad can be found on our squad information pages:
The main costs involved with being a competitive swimmer include:
- Annual M1 Membership - approximately $125-170 (depending on age)
- Purchase Club uniform - around $105 (for a cap, t-shirt and shorts)
- Swim meet entry fees - around $30-40 per swim meet
The attitude of parents can make or break the competitive swimming experience for young swimmers. Parents need to have the maturity to understand that their child wont necessarily be the fastest in the pool and wont get faster every time they swim.
Give it a shot!
Sometimes the only way to find out if they are ready is to give it a shot.
You won't know unless you try!