The Pros and Cons of High School Swimming

middleton high school swimming

The Pros and Cons of High School Swimming

Swimmer will gain fresh perspectives and skills if they have the opportunity to swim in high school. When entering high school, a swimmer can continue to swim with their club program, even though high school swimming offers its own set of benefits. There is a more significant focus on working as a team, exciting competitions, and the swimmers’ championship schedule can be thrilling. Practice and dedication are also necessary for success in high school swimming. While there are many benefits to swimming on a high school team, there are also some drawbacks or challenges to consider.

The Pros

Team Camaraderie 

“Being on a high school swim team provides swimmers with a connection that can be hard to find in some clubs.”

There can be a seasonal split from an age-group swim club when high school swimming begins. Even though it’s common for some swimmers to continue with their age group, the friendships on a high school team are truly special. Being on a high school swim team provides swimmers with a connection that can be hard to find in some clubs. Another advantage of swimming in high school is the opportunity to interact with new swimmers and make new friends. It is wonderful to have a group of positive and encouraging teammates, mainly while practicing and getting ready for competitions. Team-building activities also strengthen the bonds between swimmers as the season progresses. Swimmers in high school tend to think differently than in club swimming since they are now more concerned with the team’s success. Knowing that fellow swimmers have one’s back, cheering them on, and treating them with respect is enough to motivate a swimmer to give their all in every race.

More Fun! 

“The fun and creative chants bring the team together as they wait for the competition to start.”

Swim meets in high school are just more fun. Even when diving is added, the meets are shorter than swim club meets. Most high school meets are duals, which are a lot of fun because it’s one team against another, and the winner is decided by points instead of individual times. At dual meets, there is a lot of excitement because they get your adrenaline pumping quickly. It’s great when the team gets amped up with a pre-event cheer. The fun and creative chants bring the team together as they wait for the competition to start. Championship events like conference, sectional, and state competitions are full of action and anticipation because each swimmer has the chance to be the best athlete they know they can be. Swimming in high school is also more organized because each swimmer has to follow a strict schedule and meet high standards. But when most of the team is on the same page, it’s fun and easy to work together.

The Cons

Time Commitment 

“Swimming and academics are two activities that might take some effort to juggle.”

Swimming competitively in high school is time-consuming and demanding. When swimmers commit to morning and evening training, they may start to crave a lengthy break. Even regular weight training can leave high school swimmers tired and sore because of how busy their schedules are. It can be hard for swimmers to get used to a new schedule for training and practice. The training aims to help swimmers cope with the demands of more intense competition, but swimmers will inevitably adapt and become accustomed to the training. Also, swimming and academics are two activities that might take some effort to juggle. A swimmer may experience difficulty focusing in class and begin to wonder what is happening. It’s a natural response to the new routine, and things will settle down and get more manageable for the swimmer as time passes. Some of the most impressive multitaskers are high school swimmers.

Shorter Season 

“The shorter season increases the importance of training for competition because there is less time between meets.”

High school swimming seasons are generally shorter than club seasons. Four months may seem like a long time, but the time spent in practice and bonding as a team make the season fly by. The shorter season increases the importance of training for competition because there is less time between meets. Make the most of the team’s time together, whether it’s in the pool or at a team-building event. There may or may not be an even number of first-year and second-year students, etc., on a high school swim team, but the senior members of the team deserve a memorable last season. For seniors, the finality of their last year in high school might make the time fly by even faster. But if the high school swimmers are dedicated and work together to build the future team, they will all learn from the experience.

Swimmers will gain fresh perspectives and skills if they have the opportunity to swim in high school. Being on a high school swim team provides swimmers with a connection that can be hard to find in some clubs. There is no denying that being a high school swimmer comes with its share of both pros and cons. Swimmers can find a downside to every upside and vice versa. It’s up to the swimmers themselves to decide on their focus.

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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FlutterFly
FlutterFly
1 year ago

Con: swimming fast to get to state at any expense (including horrible technique!), then being physically and mentally broken for at least 6 months after the season ends.

WI
WI
1 year ago

The con that most of us club coaches have in the upper midwest is the lack of consistency within training. Typically in southern/ eastern/ western states club athletes will compete with their HS programs and train with their club programs. In the upper midwest some of our best athletes choose not to swim HS because this is not a thing that is typically allowed.

Our LSC sees a huge drop in performance after the age of 14 especially within the boys. Distance swimming is almost non existent, this we can point towards the HS season in lack of continuity and the way it lines with USA champ meets.

Just a thought most colleagues of mine are having throughout upper Midwest. We agree the importance and think everyone should have the equal opportunity but feel our HS athletes do not.

Josh
Josh
6 months ago
Reply to  WI

I’d love to see the data to back up your claims of performance drop offs past 14. High school swimming in Wisconsin is incredibly rewarding. It’s where 99% of the top athletes choose to compete and has resurrected the joy of the sport for a lot of burned out swimmers on the brink of quitting.

The truth is the vast majority of top Wisconsin times are coming from high school state. And the vast majority of college bound swimmers are coming from high school programs.

Mike Griggs
Mike Griggs
1 year ago

Seems that the “Cons” are in reality “Pros”

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