- Swim team is lifelong, family affair
- Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause
- Creating a tradition of giving
- Information overload
- More than a class, Stacie's Otters is a life lesson
- Learning the Ropes and other hints at the Y
- What gets your moving?
- Learning a life skill
- Fitting it all in during the holidays
- Trying to get it all done
Swim team is lifelong, family affair
- Ronda Graff
Three days a week since last September, kids have streamed through the YMCA lobby, headed toward the swimming pool for the YMCA youth swim team practice.
The kids rush through the building to the locker room - hopefully all taking a shower - before heading out to the pool for an hour of laps, treading water and stroke perfection. O.K., maybe not perfection, but still better than most of us can ever fathom.
The YMCA youth swim team wraps up its season this weekend with a championship swim meet in Fremont. Dozens of swimmers will make the long haul from McCook to Fremont to compete against fellow YMCA swimmers from across the state.
And almost all will be bringing their entire family along.
For many, being part of the YMCA swim team is a family affair and one that has been part of their lives since they could walk. For some, even before they could walk as they sat through their siblings’ practices.
Almost all of the swimmers - and not just in McCook - seem to have a brother or sister on the team or have had a sibling who swam in the past.
When a swim team mom pulls up in front of the Y, multiple kids pour out of the vehicle. Bathrooms at home have piles of wet towels draped over the shower stall. And personally, we buy goggles in bulk, just because someone is going to use them and they seem to grow legs and wander off.
Swim meets are truly family events. Once a month, the families drive to a YMCA for a swim meet where the parents have the “privilege” of sitting through a day-long meet.
But what makes swimming truly unique is that kids of all ages are competing on the same team. They are all in the same place at the same pool on the same day. Rarely are the parents split between different venues...except for the occasional high school and Y meet overlap.
Swimming is also a lifelong sport. A sport that athletes are able to compete in from the moment they can make it across the pool until….well, until they don’t want to be seen a swimsuit any longer.
So after the swimmers hit the water this weekend for the last time this winter, they’ll take a break for a couple months. But most will be right back at it soon after Memorial Day as the summer swim league begins.
There will still be towels piled up in the bathrooms and goggles will be lost on a daily basis. The only difference will be that the kids will be able to ride their bikes to the pool, while mom gets a short break from carpooling.
With winter continuing to hang out, the youth soccer season at the YMCA has been pushed back several weeks. Originally scheduled to start this Saturday, teams haven’t even had the chance to hit the fields for practice yet, much less get the fields ready for games.
While teams are being formed, parents who are the true epitome of procrastination can still sign up their kindergartners through eighth graders. Games are planned to begin Saturday, March 23. Of course, that’s presuming we can find the fields at Barnett Park by that point.