The wonderful sport of swimming. The benefits are endless. The best investment you'll ever make as a parent.
What are the benefits of swimming? It builds character traits that employers desire. The best investment you'll ever make as a parent.
“I firmly believe that the sport of swimming gives young people so much more on top of their academic qualifications and athletic prowess. In my business career, I have also both worked with, and recruited, a number of people with strong sporting backgrounds, and would argue that the swimmers come out on top!” Nick Holmes
The following life lessons aren’t things you can include in your cv. It’s not taught in a classroom at school, college or varsity. You only learn it in the school of hard knocks. All the great character traits that we will discuss in this article are developed over the course of your swimming career.
You can unleash these life lessons to achieve success in whatever venture you choose in your future. Swimmers do have experience and skills that employers desire. Through their hard work and persistence, they’ve developed traits that will serve them well in the workforce.
What are the benefits of swimming?
The benefits are endless…Here are 10 personality traits for building character through the sport of swimming
1. The Importance of Resilience
How can you help your child to become more resilient? Resilience is a psychological strength to bounce back from challenges and overcome failure. It is the mental reservoir of strength to tackle problems head-on. Even when facing the unthinkable, resilience empowers people to gather the strength to survive, overcome and succeed.
Assist your child in developing their feelings of capability by giving them opportunities to accomplish specific skills. Swimming as a sport will help them have positive views of themselves and their abilities, seeing themselves as fighters rather than losers. Start taking active steps and learn why the sport of swimming may be the best investment you’ll ever make as a parent.
2. Confident swimmers make for confident kids. Confidence isn’t something you are born with. Confidence is the most beautiful thing you can possess. With confidence, you have won before you have started. Children who lack confidence will be reluctant to try new things.
Children need to trust their own capabilities. Swimming, in particular, provides that added bonus of learning to be in control of an environment which can potentially be unsafe. Once accomplished, it will make them feel as though they can achieve anything!
Learning all the technical skills in swimming and progressing towards their goals, will get them well deserved praise. Praise also boosts confidence. Working hard at something they enjoy will build their self-esteem, and they will feel capable and accepted for who they are.
3. Self Discipline. Lack of self-discipline is one of the things that hold you back from accomplishing what you want in life. It takes courage, and a lot of hard work and dedication to be a competitive swimmer. Hard work and dedication are critical. Swimmers learn that having a routine is critical to their success. Motivation and commitment play an important role in the achievement of their goals. Motivation is closely connected to self-discipline, the ability to monitor and control ones own behaviours.
Swimming will strengthen their self-disciplined to be able to focus and make better choices. Swimmers work inside their passion. They have learned that when you are doing something you love discipline comes naturally. They will never put off anything that is hard, but they will power through any task to accomplish what they want to achieve.
4. Setting goals is a driven process identifying a new target, skill, or endeavour you want to achieve. Then, you plan to achieve it, and you work to complete it. Goal setting is a process and a skill. Swimmers spend many hours training only to knock off split seconds of their times set previously. It’s not always about winning but achieving PB’S (personal best times).
Setting goals gives swimmers long-term vision and short-term motivation, measuring and taking pride in your achievement raising your self-confidence as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set. Goal setting doesn’t stop the moment you write out your goal. It is an ongoing and evolving process. One goal is never enough. Once a goal is accomplished, a swimmer will set the bar higher and work harder to achieve the next.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals – Goethe. Working towards your goals with passion will change you and you will fall in love with the ‘new you’.
5. Work ethic. A good work ethic always sometimes requires abnormal levels of effort. Strive to make working hard, your talent! You will never go without success in the pool and life. Swimming cultivates a strong work ethic. Even the most successful athletes can’t only rely on their talents to get by forever without hard work.
Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But the effort, nobody can judge effort. Because effort is between you and you. Effort ain’t got nothing to do with nobody else – Ray Lewis. Hard work gives you much more than just results. It unchains your mind and soul to allow you to give your everything to the task at hand.
They learn that success doesn’t happen without a good work ethic. If you only show up at the pool and do the bare minimum amount of work required, how can you expect to improve? There are no easy shortcuts to success in life, or in the pool. To reach your goals, hard work and dedication are critical.
Swimming teaches you that training hard, working on technique and stamina in the water is key to becoming a good swimmer. To be dedicated, consistent and to push yourself to achieve goals will get you far in the pool, and general life.
To maintain a good work ethic, you need to be persistent and able to persevere and handle the pressure.
6. Accountability is the willingness to accept responsibility for your actions, reliably deliver on your commitments, proving to others that you can be trusted to do what you say you will do.
We often hear coaches say, “is this the best you can do”? Swimmers will train their mind and their body to understand what 100% effort really is. Long-term success in whatever one wants comes from people who have learned accountability for their actions and do not seek to blame others for their shortcomings and failings.
7. Team players. Although swimming may seem like an individual sport, our swimmers learn to be part of a team. Swimmers work with all different types of people and develop the skills to reach goals together. Being an effective team player requires individuals to have the right frame of mind backed up by consistent actions to motivate each other.
They learn to be a part of something greater than themselves. Appreciating teammates and knowing your role is a great advantage in the workplace. Ever wonder why so many swimmers seem to have sudden incredible speed when it comes to racing relays?
There is something that happens when you race for something besides just yourself.
When you can gather the effort and the desire to achieve a common goal for the team, incredible things start to happen. Being part of a group of swimmers will challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them, and they will change your life forever.
8. Mental focus, winning mentality, criticism, pressure and setbacks. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Swimmers don’t quit in the middle of training or competition. They learn to focus on themselves and take their minds away from all the disturbing elements. They surround themselves with positive people (teammates) and believe in themselves, no matter how difficult the situation is. That is the difference between winners and quitters.
Swimmers aren’t afraid to take risks and continue to set goals that allow the swimmer and the team to win together. Swimmers can handle criticism and use it to improve their performance. Being a technical sport, coaches will forever advise them on how to improve their strokes and techniques. They cannot allow their ego to take control. They listen, observe, and make the changes necessary to improve.
It’s crucial that they learn from their experiences and are able to accept positive criticism. It’s not always fair and things won’t always go their way, but they will bounce back.
9. Time management. There are only 24 hours in a day. When you learn to take control of your time, you improve your ability to focus that enhances efficiency. A swimmers recipe to accomplish a goal is to fit training, school and normal routines into 24 hours but maximizing energy, the importance of sleep and the need for recovery. Therefore planning & prioritising is of utmost importance.
Swimming teaches children to be aware of the time. All their training sets and laps are linked to time. They continuously watch the clock during training. Taking of split seconds is and achievement. Time is part of a swimmers DNA.
10. Living a healthy lifestyle. Business owners are always looking for productive staff. Look no further than a swimmer! They are healthy and fit. They don’t take sick leave except when absolutely necessary and they don’t take smoke breaks as they don’t feed their bodies poison. They are focussed and goal orientated and will be highly productive in any organisation.
Swimmers understand that meeting the challenging demands of swimming, proper nutrition is critical. Competitive swimmers can burn 1000’s of calories in a few hours, depending on the intensity of the workout. Nutrition is the cornerstone of a swimmers performance. Without proper nutrition, you will not reach your potential. They focus on the tiny habits that nourish their bodies with the nutrition it needs to achieve optimal health.
By living a healthy lifestyle you value yourself and have good self–esteem, you feel secure and feel confident about your abilities.
The sport of swimming will develop strong but openminded youth that will stand up for what they believe. It takes an immense amount of strength and courage to be willing to stand up in the face of potential adversity. They will and can achieve excellence in their lives through swimming.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle