PHOENIX, Arizona, November 3. IT'S cold, the deck is packed with hundreds of 10-and-under swimmers, and the events are about to begin. Where's my coach? Where do I go? I need to go to the bathroom! What lane am I in? What event am I swimming?
In the world of video game distractions, this morning's breakfast, Moms running late, how does a Mom cope with letting the 7-year old out of the car to deal with pool strategy all on their own? Basic instinct is to hold young children's hands, stay with them at all times, tell them where to go, and write their events on their arm with an ink pen.
Spending years of doing just that, one Mom surprised her children with a special event grid stamp for their championship meet. It was an instant hit with all of the other parents and swimmers. TC Zimmerman of Alabama says, "After writing EHL dozens of times, I wanted something more efficient. The response received from my children's surprise stamp was overwhelming, so I patented the ‘Swim Stamp.'"
It's been just over two years since the Swim Stamp (www.swimstamp.com) hit the swimming community. Coach Sue Shank of Suburban Swim Center in Newtown Square, Pa., says, "The young new competitive swimmers at their 1st meet have terrible anxiety. Whenever they line up at the beginning of their meet, they will now have structure. This will calm their nerves so they will not miss their event."
The Zimmerman kids began swimming at their neighborhood pool, the same pool their father swam at over 30 years ago. Fritz placed 27th in the nation for 10-and-under breaststrokers. The Swim Stamp created by his mom could have played a key role in his ability to focus on his event lineup vs. just being lost in a crowd of over-anxious kids.