15 Ways To Tell You Come From a Swimming Family

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

15 Ways To Tell You Come From a Swimming Family

By J.P. Mortenson

Due to the sport’s all-consuming nature, swimming inevitably becomes a family affair. And once your family becomes a swimming family, the sport will affect your home life in more ways than you could have ever imagined! Here are 15 ways to tell you come from a swimming family.

1. Somewhere In Your House Is A Dedicated Gear Area.


Photo Courtesy: Amelia J. Brackin

This place is full of mesh bags, old see-through swimsuits, goggles, caps, and has a distinct smell of chlorine.

2. There Is Also Probably A Bucket Of Old Medals And Ribbons.


Photo Courtesy: Vaughn Ridley/Swimming Canad

After many years of meets, what was once so precious now just seems to pile up.

3. Chlorine-Fried Hair In Family Photos.


Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto / Deepbluemedia

No need to pay for haircuts when it just breaks off, and who doesn’t love that nice green tint?

4. Unending Amounts of Moisturizer.


Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

In swimming families, dry skin becomes a family-wide epidemic due to constant immersion in large bodies of chlorinated water. Moisturizer becomes an intimate family friend, as you probably have bottles of moisturizer in your car, shower, bag, and basically any other place you can think of.

5. Parkas.


Photo Courtesy: Chandler Brandes

For swimmers, parkas are like a warm hug that you get to wear on your way to the pool right up until the horrible moment when you have to take it off and jump into the freezing water for warmup. If you come from a swimming family, there are probably swimming parkas stashed all over your home, and you almost certainly have become either the recipient or donor of a hand-me-down.

6. Early Alarm Clocks.


Photo Courtesy: Flickr

Beep! Beep! Beep! It is 4:30 a.m. and still dark outside, of course indicating that it is time to go to the pool! If you come from a family of swimmers, it is almost a guaranteed that your family rises earlier than most.

8. Wardrobes That Are Full Of Worn Out Team And Meet Apparel.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

After years of being on teams and going to competitions, your family is likely to have large quantities of team shorts, shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and basically any other type of garment. Even parents seem to accumulate quite a bit of gear.

9. Stocked Fridge.


If you come from a swimming family, your fridge is probably overstocked with any type of food you can imagine, and it will shock you how quickly it all seemingly disappears into thin air. Your family’s grocery bill also probably resembles the national debt.

10. Family Vacations Only Being in August.


Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Anyone who thinks swimming is “seasonal,” think again. December break? Think “training.” Spring break? Think “training.” The good news is that most swimmers get a couple weeks off in August.

11. The Unending Barrage of Wet Towels.


Photo Courtesy: flickr

Some swimming families have to have two dryers. And don’t even think about the towels that get forgotten in a swim bag for a few days. The good news is that most towels are new-ish, as many towels get orphaned at swim meets and practices. 

12. The Summer Olympics Are a Must-See Family Blockbuster Event.


Photo Courtesy: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

At the Olympics, swimming is shown prime-time, and swimmers are among the leading men and women. Can we do this more often than one week every four years?

13. A Noticeable Lack of Land-Sport Ability and Coordination.

110603-N-AD372-308 PANAMA CITY, Fla. (June 3, 2011) Students at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center play underwater football to cool down after physical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Abraham Essenmacher/Released)

Photo Courtesy: Abraham Essenmacher

In nature, there are water animals, and there are land animals. For that same reason, if a swimmer is a two-sport athlete, the second sport is usually water polo.

14. Parents Who Are Willing To Wait For Hours To Watch Their Kids Swim For 30 Seconds, And Who Run And Hide At The Sentence “We Need Timers!”


Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

Parents are champions for enduring swim meet marathons, and Mom and Dad are no fools.

15. Kids Who Have Learned How to Annoy Each Other Because You Spend So Much Time In The Car Driving To Meets.


Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

Do you love singing every verse of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” three times? Do you love hearing it?

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.


  1. Mark Arzaga

    Terry Mac Michelle Arzaga Mikey W Arz Wilfred Arzaga 😝

  2. Brid Browne

    Leza O’Donoghue how many of these can you relate to, it’s the endless towels for me and I actually have some of the exact moisturiser they have in the picture!

  3. Sharon Rinaldi

    Sounds about right… but still the greatest sport ever!!!

  4. Ainslie E Gordon

    Vacations in between short-course and long-course or in August!!🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  5. Toni Darr

    And forgotten wet gear in the swim bags😜

    • StevenandKim Sykes

      Becca Sykes All of it is true, and we wouldn’t change it for anything😘

  6. Rich Davis

    All true after 3 kids who all made it to national level!!!!

  7. avatar
    Arlene Miles

    This article is somewhat naive. We had a competitive figure skater, a hockey player and finally a swimmer. Most of these points are applicable to other sports,, including the August vacation. The only points that were not applicable were thrones involving chlorine and towels.

    • avatar
      John John

      Let the man publish his article in peace! Do you just go about hating on random internet lists about swimming that have no impact on your life? Lay off woman.

      • avatar

        Someone got up on the wrong side of 2019 today. YOU need to lay off.

      • avatar
        Barry McCockiner

        Not even brave enough to show your real name huh? John John is standing up against toxicity and if you don’t watch out YOU will be next my friend.

    • avatar
      John John

      Let him post his list in peace Arlene! Do you just go around hating on random internet lists with no bearing on your life? Lay off woman.

  8. Marie Moffitt

    When you belong to a multi-generational swimming family, you also have that moment in every family gathering, including Thanksgiving dinner, when one or more people start waving their arms around, demonstrating some point about swimming strokes.

    • Kari Koenig Walter

      Or remember a time from a race 20 years ago but can’t remember to put the milk away….

  9. Kari Koenig Walter

    Hey Fosters- looking good on that cover shot!! Reading this list was like TBT – and can’t say that I miss it AT ALL! 😂 Best of luck to all those dedicated swimmers (and parents!) out there! 🏊🏼‍♂️🏊🏻‍♀️

  10. John McCormack

    Nailed it… and clogged drains from a shaving “party”….

  11. avatar

    They forgot to mention the dry rack/s in the kitchen as swimsuits nowadays are not allowed to dry in the sun.

  12. Anne GB

    No communication matters here. The great thing about swimming is that “anyone” can swim. We remember well training next to some of the “elite” Commonwealth Games swimmers – and teaching “learn to swim” to the kids.

    • Anne GB

      Got to say Les Mills and Ms Timbers – great support – and always the focus on training and lots of practice for the main meets and “event/s”!!

    • Helen Jane Willdridge

      Louise Willdridge 1, 2,6, and 10 seem to fit too 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️🥇🥈🥉

  13. avatar

    Nice. But…. need 1 more. 1 of the parents begs off work for a Friday swim meet becaused the 3 day meet needs officials.

  14. Michelle Matson

    Fleur this definitely Team Turner-Parker!! 🏊🏻‍♀️ xxxxx

    • Fleur Turner

      Michelle Matson love it and so true!!! Kept reading going “yep” 😂😂xxxxx

  15. Emily Siebrecht

    Lara Siebrecht Deborah Siebrecht quite a few are accurate here – ‘designated gear area’ – aka Keller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.