Important Life Lessons We Learn From Swimming

Coach-Swimmer trust
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Important Life Lessons We Learn From Swimming

By Megan Balbo, Swimming World Intern

Swimming teaches and lends each of us so many important messages. We all know the stereotypical things that you learn from swimming like time management and life saving skills, but these are just the surface level lessons from swimming. Swimming teaches us so many important skills that we will use for the rest of our lives.


  • At the heart of swimming is the relationship between a swimmer and their coach. This relationship is built on respect, but most importantly it is built on trust. If a swimmer does not trust the judgment and training of their coach, they will fail. A swimmer needs to trust the process that their coach has lined up for them in order to succeed. The swimmer-coach relationship is a partnership; it brings teamwork and trust to the success of both the swimmer and the coach.
  • In order to succeed a swimmer also needs to trust themselves. In order to be the best swimmer you can be, you need to have trust in your body and its abilities. Trust what your body can do for you.  It is not always easy, but this trust in yourself will teach you to use the connection between your mind and body throughout life. It is essential to trust and believe in yourself.


  • Swimming is hard. We push ourselves every day to our body’s physical and mental limits. This is something that most non-athletes never become comfortable doing, and certainly are not comfortable with it at young ages like many swimmers. Swimming teaches us to set goals and do everything in our power to get ourselves there. Without this motivation, none of us would ever be successful. This motivation and drive to succeed will stay with us for the rest of our lives, both in and out of the pool.


  • This is not something that many people like to talk about. On the surface swimming teaches us how to succeed and be happy with ourselves, but more importantly it teaches us how to deal with heartbreak and disappointment. Sadly, it is extremely common to hear about the swimmer who did everything right and could not achieve their goals. It happens to most of us at some point and it is devastating. Swimming allows us to learn to deal with these moments and not let them deter us from success in the future. Overcoming adversity is one of the hardest lessons that we face in life. Swimming exposes us to a large amount of adversity early in life. It shows us how to take control of ourselves and let each setback make us stronger.

Swimming is not only a sport, it is a lifestyle. The life that we lead prepares us for our future and brings us perspective. The lessons that we learn from swimming will follow us through life. Some of these lessons are difficult to handle, but in the end they make us stronger swimmers and more importantly stronger people.

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