It has been a real pleasure talking to our students and their parents and listening to stories of triumph, place-getting as well as the fun they had in participating. One of the recurring conversations with parents was the fact that they "just wanted their child to participate and not be sitting all day being just a spectator".
If your child is nearing the age when they can become eligible or weren't quite ready to compete this time round, here are some tips to get your child ready for the school swimming carnival the next time it comes around.
1. Consistency is the key:
Turning up regularly to your lessons is extremely important in skill acquisition. Just like learning other physical skills such as tennis, surfboard riding, ice-skating etc swimming requires time and practice. Turning up to your lessons is vital to the learning process!
2. No Breaks over Winter:
The next block of school swimming carnivals start again in December 2020 (Catholic Primary Schools) and in February 2021 (Public Schools). So, we have roughly 10-12 months to prepare. By "taking a 3-4 month break over winter" and returning in September/ October it leaves only 8-12 weeks to "catch-up" to lost skill practice and swimming fitness levels. It's even less if you take into account a summer holiday vacation. This places a child's preparation at a disadvantage compared to the child who swims all year round maintaining and further developing their swim skills and swimming fitness levels. So my tip is to swim through winter for the best possible preparation. We have indoor heated facilities all year round, so no matter what the weather outside the learner will be comfortable.
3. Dives and Turns Classes:
Enroll your child in our dives and turns classes to prepare their diving and tumble turning skills for race day. These classes teach your child how to do a dive and tumble turn and they run all year round. We have classes on both weekdays and weekends so check with our reception staff for further details and availability.
4. Race Skills Course:
Over the January school holiday period we had amazing success with students participating in our "Race Skills Course". Many students benefited from our coaches expertise and tuition in further advancing their race starts, turns and streamline skills in all four competitive strokes. We will be running a Race Skills Course every school holidays.
5. Swim Club / Friday Night Races:
Turning up to a school swimming carnival for the first time can be quite daunting. To help make the experience easier and more enjoyable why not come along to our Friday night races with Jones Swim Club. Everyone is welcome. Jones swim club is a caring and supportive environment and a great way to be introduced to swim races. The races are held every second Friday night. Please check with our reception staff for more details.
Hopefully the above tips help in giving parents a few suggestions on how to best prepare your child to prepare for the next swimming carnival. As always if you have any further questions, please contact one of our friendly staff who will be more than happy to help you. We want to see your child excel!
Author: John Sortwell - Centre Manager, ex-competitive swimmer, father of 3 and aquatic educator for over 25 years.