Yeah, it is worth it…

By Reach for the Wall Staff Writers and Kimberly Rooney / Contributor.  

It is an Olympic year and swimming around the DMV has been at an all time high these past few weeks.  PVS swimmers are swimming all over the country as they are rounding out what has been an amazing short course season.  We are seeing a lot of people in the industry putting things into perspective.  If you haven’t already checked them out, read Swimming is not a sport of instant gratification by the founder of Fitter and Faster, David Arluck, and When things go wrong by swim coach, Jenni Halem.  At Reach For The Wall, we are very fortunate to have so many professional contributors, but sometimes a parent just nails it.  As is the case below.  This is the Facebook musings of swim mom Kimberly Rooney.  She just returned from the NCSA Age Group Champs meet in Orlando and this is what she had to say:

A question I get often about my kids in sports, especially swimming – “is it worth it?” I scratch my head at this question because it doesn’t even occur to me to ask.  If you mean will they get a college scholarship? The answer to that is – well of course we wouldn’t turn it down but that is not why we have our kids in sports. Is it because they have a chance at pro level?  Highly unlikely but a kid can dream and I would never squash that dream, but again, that is not why we do it. So why pay all that money and have our week nights and weekends filled with sports and miss out on so many events in life?

Joy.  When a kid smiles from their head down to their toes when they are doing what they love even when they have a bad competitive day, a bad time or a bad game but they still wouldn’t trade in that day for anything, then you follow that joy.

Friends.  The friendships and quality conversations and jokes and instant bonding through sport is worth every penny alone without a single victory.

Work ethic. High level sports requires discipline, hard work and a positive attitude.

Good grades.  The saying ‘if you want something done right, give it to a busy person’, nothing more true than that.  When you are a athlete you get your work done quickly because you have no time to procrastinate.

Athlete-coach relationship.  Good coaches give you the truth even if it hurts, but when they finally give you the “that was awesome”, you believe them and you know they mean it and you worked hard for that compliment

Sports are a craft like art.  There is technique, strategy and patience in every sport.

Health.  To be a great athlete, you need to be healthy and learn a healthy way of living, Nothing but good comes from that.  It will carry our kids through life no matter what the outcome.

If they never ever get a scholarship or play when they are in their adult years, who the heck cares?  If we as parents can help our kids to follow their joy and play out their dreams as much as possible while we have them under our roof, then we have a chance to say anything is possible if you take the first step to try.

I will get you to your practice – the rest is on you – win or lose – you tried, I am still here no matter the outcome. The return on investment is more than the win/loss column.   It’s a lifestyle.  So yeah – it is worth it.

photo courtesy of Kimberly Rooney, her son being congratulated by his sister who came to Orlando just to cheer on her brothers!  Congratulations to your kids for an amazing season and hats of to you for being a great mom!

2 thoughts on “Yeah, it is worth it…

  • Apr 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

    For my Nickel it’s been coaches, friends and health. She started to swim when she was tiny with coach Liz & loved gymnastics, but needed a pacemaker when she was 5. That’s when swim became the ‘best’. It was the one she could stay with- no matter that her pacemaker was near her stomach (put near muscle there to protect it). 6-7 years later, we have Coaches Liz & Michelle who she adores, plus friends w/lots of teams & a sport she will never give up. All keep her happy & strong.

  • Apr 4, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Absolutely worth it. I love watching the kids cheer for each other and meet friends on deck from other teams. My son has been lucky to have fabulous coaches who have been so supportive. He has grown so much as a person due to swimming. My husband and I love meeting other swim parents as well. Thank you to the reachforthewall parents for these great articles


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