6 Ways Being Part of a Swim Team Can Enhance Your Life & Career

Cali Condors Swim Team

6 Ways Being Part of a Swim Team Can Enhance Your Life & Career

Being a part of an athletic team, no matter the sport, provides far more than just fond memories with friends and athletic accomplishments. Not only can being a part of a team help you to learn about yourself and your teammates, but it can also provide a number of significant benefits in the professional world. It’s often easy to overlook the positive impact participation in team sports can have on an individual’s life after their competitive athletic career is over. Swimming just happens to be one of the very best.

1. Goal Setting

One of the first things coaches often do at the start of each season is have their swimmers set preseason goals. This provides swimmers with a blueprint for the season that they can strive to achieve from start to finish. With this practice of goal setting, motivation is heightened to the point where swimmers want to work progressively harder to reach for the sky. The beauty of goal setting is that not only does it provide immense satisfaction when the goal is reached, but it is something that we can utilize outside of the sport as well. Although not every goal may be achieved, that is okay because it still provides an effective stepping stone to improvement and gives you the opportunity to the best you can be. 

2. Better Team Player

After spending countless hours practicing together, competing at swim meets, enduring long bus rides, etc., a good swim team experience shows you what it’s like to be a family. Having a strong bond with people on your team who come from a wide variety of backgrounds is extremely beneficial in the workforce as well. Genuinely caring about everyone around you and rooting for their success is an excellent attribute. No one wants to see you fail with swimming on a team, and your teammates will give their all to help you succeed. The team will cheer you on in your biggest race and congratulate you when you succeed or be there for you if you come up short. Either way, being a solid team player correlates to future professional work. You will be ready to operate as a unit, striving for a common goal.

3. Time Management

Another massive benefit of swimming on a team is that it forces you to manage your time through a more thoughtful lens. Managing school, home duties, jobs, and athletics on top of it all is a skill that swimmers practice for years. Whether a swim team has one, two, or three practices in a day, swimmers will have plenty of experience in managing time. This skill can help immensely in the professional world when it comes to working productivity and efficiency. 

4. Adaptability

If anything is certain with swimming, it is the fact that nothing is certain! There are always going to be curveballs that come your way that you don’t expect. Whether it is a practice cancellation, a set that is far more difficult than you anticipated, a cramp, a coaching change, or an injury, we as athletes have to deal with challenges such as these every season. Being able to adapt to surprises is a skill that can help you in the workforce because, as with athletics, challenges will come up out of nowhere in the real world. Adapting quickly to these unexpected challenges as a swimmer will prepare you for similar challenges in your future career.

5. Open-Mindedness

Yet another critical component of being successful in the workforce is having the willingness to accept criticism. Any swimmer you ask would confirm that coaches have criticized them throughout their swimming experiences. Whether it is due to an aspect of technique that could use some help, poor habits outside of the pool, attitude, punctuality, or anything else, it is vital to set aside your pride and recognize that your coach has your best interests in mind. Improvement requires change, which stresses the importance of finding weaknesses in your habits and making changes.

Being on a swim team introduces you to people of all different kinds of backgrounds that you might not have otherwise met. You might not agree with or even get along with everyone you shared a lane with, but you made it work. This tolerance is an excellent practice for the professional world.

6. Resilience

Swimming also helps you to be resilient. There will always be times where you don’t want to get up for early morning practice, times where you feel horrible during warmup and struggle to remain positive, times where you are upset with someone, etc. Being on a swim team, especially for a long time, helps us to be able to handle these difficulties and get through them gracefully. Knowing that you just have to deal with negativity and then handling it well are challenges that swimmers ultimately get a lot of experience with. Being able to fight through mental and physical limitations will undoubtedly benefit you in the workforce any time you have to deal with similar issues. 

After being on a swim team for long enough, you start to realize that there is so much more to value besides just being able to stay in shape, improve in the pool, and enjoy time with friends. While these are thoroughly enjoyable aspects of being a part of a team, there are so many lifetime benefits that extend beyond the typical competitive swim career and into your future career. 

You always hear people talk about how swimming is a lifetime sport, but what they don’t talk about nearly as much is the multitude of life lessons it can provide. Without a doubt, these life lessons will give you a huge boost in your career, no matter which one you choose.

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

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