Ten years ago I had to bribe my three oldest to join the summer swim team at our pool.
I told them they would get a donut at every meet, a special treat at the end of the season and the chance to take part in the annual swim team camp out at the pool. The bribes got us through that season and a few more until swim team went from something they had to do, to something they loved to do.
This year marks their 10th year as Rollingwood Seals, and I am so glad I resorted to bribery a decade ago. Not only have the kids flourished as swimmers, they have forged fast friendships. Swim team has given their summers’ structure; it’s given them confidence, and it’s opened doors to them. Without swim team, Adam may not have tried out for water polo this year and Maggie probably wouldn’t have become a life guard.
Our summer swim team is a community that I have also enjoyed. I’ve made more friends than I can count, learned new skills — such as how to line up kids and keep them in order, and I’ve even started swimming myself.
Here’s a small sampling of a decade of Steins on the swim team to kick off the start of the summer swim season.
|Second year on swim team! Feeling the seal pride.|
|Adam has always had lots of team spirit!|
|Lil and Adam rocking an 8 and under relay.|
|Jonah got roped into swim team at age 4.|
|He was a serious Lil Seal.|
Once, Coach Courtney bribed Jonah $1 to swim .
|He does pretty well on his own now.|
|His relay team last year even beat the pool record.|
|Swim team is lots of fun.|
|It’s hard to have to forgo a meet for another sport.|
|Coach Joe has taught the kids a lot.|
|Even how to play Egyptian Ratscrew.|
|But more importantly, he’s taught them to be leaders.|
|And what it feels like to be part of a team.|
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.