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I Want My Children to Love Swimming


Hi Gary,  I have twins.  They are 9 years old.

I started swimming very late in life and I love the sport a lot, but I don’t want to be overbearing with my kids so I have them do all sports. Currently they are in basketboll 2-3 times a week and every weekend they swim for an hour about 1k.

I want them to love the swimming as much as I do.  One kid loves to compete and the other loves the water but two years ago when he was too young we went to a competition that was freezing and he did not liked the experience so he is not too keen on competing in swimming but he loves competing in basketball

My question is what do I do for them to like swimming and competition.  They are both very competitive boys but I am perplexed why the one that likes competing in other sports does not like competing in swimming.  If I made a mistake by sending him to a competition too young. Is there anything I can do to reverse the mistake?  And also in the summer I am planning for them to swim everyday 1k  (except Sat and Sun) and basketboll three times a week. They will have no other activity.   I wanted to send them to a summer camp in Florida but thougth their level is not great.. and  instead of raising their self confidence in swimming I may be hurting them.. any advise?  I will be greatful for any advise you can give me.



Hi VF,  Firstly, I admire that you would like your children to enjoy swimming for a lifetime, like you do.  It is a great sport and fitness / recreational activity for people of all ages.

In regards to your son who does not like competing in swimming, he may just want to try other sports and there is nothing wrong with this.  While a child’s first experience at a swim meet should be a positive one, it does not necessarily mean that they will not come back to competition swimming one day.  I would keep encouraging him to do some swimming and over time he may want to take part in a competition again.  The swimming will help his fitness and body development for other sports especially a game like basketball.

One other suggestion is that when you take them swimming over summer, once they have swum the 1k play some games and include in them some mini races.  This would be a great activity to guage how competitive he is in the pool, whilst having fun at the same time.



The Swimming Expert

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One Response to I Want My Children to Love Swimming

  1. veronica forster July 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    thanks gary. they are now in a basketball camp with the spurs.
    when they come back in august I will swim with them.. i asked them whether they wanted to swim with their coach or with me and they told me they will swimm with me.. I changed it to 3 times per week… and do lots of fun in the pool.

    what summer camp do you recommend for begining swimmers (for next year) with the goal of not extensive training but the idea of getting them to like the sport. I thought maybe I will go to Florida and just hired personal lessons for both of them one on one or the two together… If they like the coach then it will be a good start. dont you think?

    They only swim once a week due to their tough schedule of music, choir, basketball-3-4 times per week.. so I can not send them to a swimming camp where the kids their age are much better as this I am sure will not motivate them as they are very competitive and whatever sport they do they want to be at least as good as the rest of the kids..

    also the other questions is the kid that does not like competition his feet swims all styles as if it was breastroke.. he is very good in breastroke.. I am trying fins so he can not do this in free style or in backstroke.. besides fins any other idea?..

    sorry to bombard you with all this… and thank you for your response.. 🙂

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