Second Chances Girl - a Miami family and lifestyle blog!: The Ultimate Survival Guide for New Swim Parents

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Ultimate Survival Guide for New Swim Parents

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and The Coca Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SaveSnackScore #CollectiveBias

So you are a new swim parent.....welcome to the club! Swimming is an incredible sport that we are very lucky to have our children participate in. Swimming teaches kids to work together as a team as well as to challenge themselves over and over again. It's competitive, it's time-consuming and requires lots of dedication. But don't worry, as an "old-timer", I'm here to share some practical advice on how to survive as a new swim parent!

As a parent and a swimmer's biggest fan, you need to make sure your child has all the gear they need at practice. Being prepared is so very important for them to be able to perform in the water. As a parent to two swimmers, we have gone through a lot of gear and I will share with you exactly what we use:

  • Mesh bags to carry gear
  • Goggles 
  • Training fins
  • Pool buoy
  • Swim caps
  • swimsuits
  • towel
  • flip-flops 

Boredom busters
Becoming an amazing swimmer takes dedication from both the swimmer and the parent. We spend two hours a night, 5 nights a week at the pool. That many hours in the same place can become extremely boring and monotonous. This is where you must get creative as a parent. To cure boredom, I read novels and magazines, go over homework, work on my blog (thank goodness for wifi), exercise, catch up with friends over the phone, cheer on my swimmers and sometimes, I have been known to take a nap. 10 hours a week is a lot of time so there are days where I use this time to run errands like going to the grocery store. Use your time wisely and just like any sport, plan ahead to be the ultimate sideline hero!

Once again, 10 hours a week is a long time so I am sure you will get hungry sitting on those bleachers. I know I do. I pack my bag with lots of snacks to keep me from becoming hangry. I have been known to pack fresh fruit and oatmeal bars but my favorite snack is definitely a snack-sized bag of RITZ Bits Cracker Sandwiches. Paired with an ice cold POWERADE, RITZ Bits Cracker Sandwiches are my guilty pleasure! 

POWERADE 8 pack 20 oz bottles and RITZ Bits Cracker Sandwiches are affordable (swimming is expensive enough!), delicious and a lifesaver for busy sideline or bleacher bound parents! Oh and be sure to share with all the other parents hanging out by the pool. If you are a big RITZ fan like me, be sure to use these coupons on your next purchase at Walmart:

  • coupon neck hanger on POWERADE (8pk 20oz): Save $1.50 on NABISCO 20-pack Multipack
  • coupon sticker on boxes of Nabisco snack packs : Savings of .75 when you purchase a 12-pack or larger NABISCO Multipack

Swim Meets
After a couple weeks of practice, your child will be invited to participate in their first swim meet. In my opinion, swim meets are the best part of swimming. Swim meets are where your kids get to show off everything they've learned and have bonding time with their fellow teammates. Your child's first swim meet is a nerve-wracking experience for both your child and for you. With a little preparation, you can all make your first swim meet a memorable one. 

Pack appropriately:
For your child: all their swim gear mentioned above, plus extra goggles. You ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS need extra goggles and competition suits. For the meet they will also need a chair to use while they wait to swim, robes or swim parkas to keep them warm while waiting, extra towels, sunscreen (for outdoor pools) and fresh fruit to snack on.

For the parent: a chair to sit, pens and markers, cash for entrance fees and to purchase a heat sheet and snacks. I highly suggest purchasing hear sheets. These are like a program and let you know when your child is swimming. Without a heat sheet, I would be terribly lost at meets.

Remember, the swim meet is about your child and their team. Step back and let the coaches do their thing. You are there to be their biggest cheerleader and jot down their times. That's it. Unless they are incredibly gifted swimmers, the first swim meet is for them to get their first times. This is very important as these times are the basis for them to work harder at practice and get "placed" in their next competition. Be very supportive and YELL!!

I am so very happy that you have decided to join the swim family. I say family because we are all in this together, no matter where your child is swimming. Please feel free to share all your child's accomplishments because they deserve it. I have shared a lot of information here but I promise it is all very helpful information I wish I had known when we first started. For more ideas on how to be a sideline hero, click here!

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