Sports are a great way for your child to develop fitness skills, learn the value of healthy competition, and develop self-confidence that extends to all areas of life. Some sports lend themselves to child development better than others, and swimming has always been one of the best.
Unlike many other sports, swimming is more than a simple pastime that provides a bit of distraction and exercise.Swimming is a practical skill that could very well save your child’s life some time in the future. Click To Tweet
From infant water survival courses to advanced swim lessons and swim team, there is a wide variety of programs that can help prepare your child to be alone in the water. But safety and survival is not the only reason why swimming is one of the best sports for your child’s development.
What sets swimming apart from other sports is the fact that it is done in a foreign environment. This helps to put your child out of their comfort zone, and teaches them to be flexible and cope with unfamiliar surroundings.
At the same time, research has shown that humans have something called the mammalian reflex, which is the natural ability of the body to slow the heart and shunt blood toward the vital organs when submerged in water. While water may not be our natural habitat, it would appear that our bodies are wired on a subconscious level to swim—and to even dive to great depths!
In other words, swimming is one of the few sports that sees us operate out of our natural element—at least consciously—while at the same time reintroducing us to a medium that our bodies are subconsciously designed to thrive in. This apparent contradiction may be caused by the fact that we spend our first nine months of life in the amniotic fluid of the womb, then are suddenly thrust into a land-locked, oxygen-dependent existence where we often learn to fear submersion.
This parallel to our first nine months in the womb may also be why many children with anxiety, autism, and other learning and cognitive challenges tend to find comfort and solace from being in the water. Being surrounded by the comforting presence of the water can help us to relax, and this relaxation can be further bolstered by the almost hypnotic, meditative experience of swimming laps.
Of course, swimming also involves all of the normal developmental benefits that are found in most sports, such as self-discipline, team dynamics, a healthy sense of competition and accomplishment, and of course a high level of fitness. In fact, the conditioning received from swimming can even help to reverse or control certain health problems. Australian Jamie Mitchell—competitive swimmer and lifeguard, 10-time prone paddle champion, two-time stand-up paddle champion, professional big wave surfer—initially started swimming because his doctor prescribed the sport to help him deal with the asthma he suffered from as a child. Three decades later, Jamie’s asthma is completely in control, and he is arguably the greatest waterman to ever live. And now his young daughters are now learning to swim, paddle, and surf too!
Whether you are looking for a competitive sport for your child or simply seeking a way for them to expand their world, get some exercise, develop a new skill, or learn safety in the water, swimming is one of the best activities out there. All they have to do is dive in!
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you or your child learn to swim and be safe in the water.
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