View Full Version : Should I join the swim team or not?

August 15th, 2008, 03:51 AM
I am pondering to join the YMCA swim team or not. I am a 14 yr old male, who's been through all the swimming lessons starting at age 5. I have done little competitive swimming, but I know all the competitive dives, strokes etc. I am curious if the YMCA is even a good place to master my skills, or if I should find another place. I also don't want to be blasted away by everyone else either.

Also, do many swimmers have stretch marks? Because I have those from a MAJOR growth spurt during one summer - and I need some suggestions for covering them up.

August 15th, 2008, 07:45 AM

congratulations on taking the next step to becoming a swimmer. are you going to be swimming year-round? if so, i would also check out the local uss clubs.

i come from cincinnati, which has excellent swimming programs at the ymcas, so i personally think the ymca is an excellent place to start. this may not be the case near you, but i have found that nearly every branch has swimmers of all levels and coaches who can handle all levels of swimmers. contact your local ymca coach and ask about his/her experience with new swimmers, number of swimemrs, etc. find out a lot of just basic info about the club.

stretch marks aren't a big issue. i have them from gaining/losing weight, but i have friends who grew 8" in a year and have them. it is your personal level of comfort that matters. my friends and i do not cover them up, so i am not sure how to cover them up. at least you have the better kind of stretch marks and not the fatty ones like me!

let me know if you want more info.

August 15th, 2008, 09:10 AM
I’d recommend taking a look at the programs offered at your local YMCA(s). The Y can be a great place to develop your swimming skills or it can turn you off swimming completely.

There are large differences in swim programs at Ys. Some Y’s have excellent swim programs, and dedicate resources (coaches, pool time, separate competitive pools, etc) to support a number of workout groups/teams suitable for a wide range of skill levels. Others Y’s are limited to a single pool, shared among recreational swimmers, lessons, aquatic classes, etc, such the environment is not conducive for competitive swimming (insufficient pool time, water temperature too hot, etc)

Personally, my family had a bad experience with the Y swim team. When my local Y opened and started a swim team, they couldn’t decide what level swimmer they wanted to cater to. They advertised competitive swimming for all levels and attracted over 100 swimmers, with skill ranging from barely able to keep their head above water to a few that made state cuts in several events. But they didn’t want to commit adequate resources. My son had up to 17 swimmers in his lane making practice pretty much useless. The max in my daughter’s lane was 7 but she was in a lane with the state cut swimmers. The workouts were tended to be geared for the higher level swimmers where she couldn’t come even close to making the intervals, was constantly lapped, often before she had her initial sendoff. She left many a practice in tears. As if that wasn’t enough, she was 13 swimming in a Mixed 13-18 age group, meets were limited to a single official heat, thus she never got an official swim in a meet. Needless to say, my kid swam only one season at the Y, and from what I heard the next season was even worse. I admit that much of the problem was growing pains of a new swim team but it was enough to turn my (any other) kids away from swimming for the team.

However, while the experience with the Y swim team was a bust, the Y offered fitness/conditioning, and stroke clinics throughout the year that worked out well for my kids. The coach was great and size was limited based on the number of lanes dedicated clinic. Practices were only twice a week, both kids had dramatic improvements and were well prepared for their High School, Junior High School and Summer swim teams.

It seemed that our experience was not unique, and the Y is making some major changes in the swim program. The coach who ran the clinics is going to be the swim team coach, and has been courting my kids to come back, but they’ve moved on to other activities, and are interested in only the clinics rather than the swim team.

August 15th, 2008, 06:46 PM
Man u should go for a club and ur only 14? u will do great. Im 17(going on 18 in september) and i didnt start club swimming until November off last year. Now going into my last year of high school i feel more confident than ever! and stretch marks?? pfft dont even worry about it, my freshman year in HS i wieghed 192 pounds then over the summer i trried really hard in the summer league and dropped down to 170. right now im currently at 160 and ofc i have the S marks to go with it but idc. i feel like im in great shape :p except putting on my size 28 fs2 jammer now thats a little pain. But really just go by what the others have said and good luck

August 15th, 2008, 06:57 PM
This is not a universal truth, but by in large a good club team will be better than a good YMCA team. The YMCA always reminds me of dealing with a city government ..

August 15th, 2008, 07:10 PM
If you have the desire to swim competitively...go for it!

Check out the Y and see what they offer and how well they do in the meets. We have one Y team in our area that rocks. Check out local club teams in your area and do the same thing. Talk to the coaches and see what kind of vibe you get. Then look at your budget and schedule and decide what team would be the best fit for you.

Good luck!

August 16th, 2008, 12:25 AM
I have decided that I will join the YMCA swim team.

Now to just find a good swimsuit. Does anyone know a good supplier in the Valley of California? (Near Stockton)