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Old 08-12-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
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Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

My 4 1/2 year old is a swimming fool. We've been very assertive about teaching him to swim. This summer though he just went all out. The kid is awesome, lol....of course I think that. He can dive all the way down in 9 feet and retrieve something and return to the surface. He can swim just like on the swim team with a flutter kick, turning his head (sort of) to breathe, one arm at a time. He learned the backstroke today. I called the YMCA and their aquatics team is awesome (I swam with them for a year or so). He can swim with the youngest team, but he can't compete until he turns 5. It's $225 from now until December and then another $225 in January. It's only $125 for the summer. There are also $30 swim fins, $30 spandex trunks, goggles, and all that jazz. He really wants to do it. I let him watch when we went to the Y, but is he too young? I mean, I know he can do the swimming part. I just worry about the maturity to follow the rules, but doesn't have to start somewhere? We work as houseparents two weeks on two weeks off (no flames please. It's our job for now until God moves us), so a sports team is hard, but the Y has said it's perfectly fine for him to come when he's home and not when he's not. They will write down exercises for him to do when we're at work. He just kind of fell into this, and he really wants to do it. It's a big commitment money wise though for a 4 year old, but so is any sport or activity that I've looked into. He's also an only child if that makes any difference. Anything to get him with other kids is good for him. Any ideas or advice? Another option is for me to work with him until January and start him then to see if it's really something he enjoys before we commit.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

I think if he enjoys it you should go for it. If it doesn't work you can stop and try again when he is older. You said that this is a good program, and he loves swimming. I think it will be great for him. My oldest does Taekwondo and my youngest will start in December (the dojo does not take children under 5years and his b-day is in December). It is a commitment both in time and money, but it is worth it because the kids love it. Joining in sports not only gives kids a chance to interact with other kids socially but also teaches sportsmanship, confidence and discipline. Not to mention it is a great way to keep kids physically active. I do not push my kids to compete in tournaments, but I hope they will choose to do so when they are ready. I do not put a whole lot of stock in "winning" but healthy competition can be good for a child. As far as "housparents", I don't know what that means so I have no advice there. I take it you are home about half of the month and away the other half? Will you be able to keep him working during the time you are away? I think that would be the biggest concern, if he can keep up only attending half of the time.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:23 PM   #3
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

My little brother was only 2 1/2 when he started swimming with us...my sister & I were on the team & they let the babies swim towards the end of our practices.

I think 4 1/2 is plenty old enough to join!
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

I think this is just like any other sport. Many people start their children at 3 or 4 in ballet, gymnastics, or soccer to name a few. If your son likes swimming I say go for it. I loved swimming and think I got a lot out of it, even at a young age. Have fun, and when it is no linger fun, don't be afraid to have him explore new things.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

It sounds like he's ready, I say go for it!
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:24 AM   #6
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

Can't hurt to try. I would say sign him up for the first session and see how it goes.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:01 PM   #7
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

We went for the evaluation swim. The lady on the phone tried to talk us into swimming lessons. However, once the coach saw him, she said he was awesome. She said he has to be able to turn his head to the side to breathe before she can put him on. She said if he was older, they would just work with it, but that he's just 4, so we could do it with him. She agreed that swimming lessons would do nothing for him. SO, I'm going to be working with him in the Y pool from now until January (he freaked out a little because the pool is so big, not that he had trouble swimming it) on the breathing and getting him more confident with his backstroke. After that, he's good to go. She saw no problem with him being ready in January. He would have been ready today if he'd been older. I saw the banners there and this aquatics team has won the long course YMCA National Championship every year for the past 4 years. They had awards, trophies, and banners all over the place, so I was excited that they think he's going to be good to go just before he turns 5. I want him to have something that he can do that he has a natural aptitude for that he can do even though we're only home half the month. He was disappointed, but he's begging me right now to go swimming so he can be on the "team." If he makes it by January, he'll be one of the youngest ever to make the team. lol...not that I"m bragging on him or anything.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:37 PM   #8
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

Go for it! I was on our city swim team for years and loved it.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:09 AM   #9
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Re: Is 4 1/2 too Young for Swim Team

I just wanted to say that I think it's great that your son has such a great natural ability/talent. I swam competitively (in my younger years) and loved it! I hope he has a great time when he makes it onto the team, you never know he may the next Michael Phelps
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