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  • Aug

    Tips On How To Juggle School And Competitive Swimming

    As parents, sending your kids back to school can be a whirlwind. This is especially true for swim parents who are always on the go, shuttling their kids to and from the pool, to school campus, and back again. Instilling time management at a young age becomes a key factor in maintaining a healthy balance between school, sports and fun.

    To that end, we’re sharing a few tips and tricks on how to help your little ones juggle the full-time job of school and year-around, competitive swimming.

    Start by defining goals. Defining goals, both academic and athletic, will help motivate your kiddos to give their very best effort in everything they do. Being goal-oriented ensures that they don’t lose direction along the way, because they know exactly what they’re working towards. When they get frustrated, overwhelmed, or lazy, remind them of their end goals and encourage them not to give up. 

    Hold them accountable. They’re kids, so they will complain, and they’ll do it often. They won’t want to go to morning practice before school, and they most definitely will not want to study when their favorite TV show is on after evening practice. Hold them accountable to prioritize their time on their own, but make sure they know the consequences. Try buying them a weekly planner so that they can commit to swim times and study hours on a calendar!

    Make the most of time in the car. If you’re traveling far, to and from the pool each day, make the most of the time spent in the car. Bring your kids a healthy, after-school snack, and have them do a homework assignment (or two) on the way to swim practice. They’ll likely be drained after practice, so getting them in the habit of completing their homework before they get home is a huge. Every spare minute counts!

    Reward them. We’re not above a good bribe, and eliminating distractions can make a big difference in time management skills. Use television, computer and phone time as a reward for when they get home from practice, complete their schoolwork, and put in a solid amount of study time. Teach them that school should always be a priority, but there’s room for fun and games, too.

    Give them educational activities to keep them busy on meet day. Of course, nobody wants to have to study on a weekend, but you should take advantage of the downtime at swim meets. Give your little swimmers an educational game to play with their teammates, or a book, to keep them occupied and out of trouble in between races.

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    2 years ago.
    Good article. I would add one item: Prep time is essential! Prepare 24 hours before. As a swim mom, I find myself too, juggling my schedule to accommodate kids schedule. Am still finding a balance with my career as a professor and the urge to go back into holding a traditional position in Communications. If you're prepared 24 hours before -- then everything falls into place.
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