Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quack! Quack!

My kids have never had official swim lessons - unless you count the two hours they had last summer with our swimming pools life guards.  And to me that doesn't really count.  Because they just spent that time kicking and blowing bubbles.  But I guess you've got to start somewhere.

So this year, I put them on the swim team.  I had heard from several people that it was a great way for the kids to really learn to swim and it was cheap. So guess what kids?  You are going to be on the swim team! 

On the very first night of practice, the coaches had all the kids swim from one end of the pool to the other.  And they told the kids that if they needed to hold the ropes and take a rest and catch their breath they could do that.  Apparently my kids didn't hear that. 

The whistle blew and all 99 kids on the swim team started to swim their first lap.  And while all the kids were swimming, I kept hearing a strange gasping sound.  I said to Jennifer, "What's that strange noise?"  Then a few minutes later I said, "Now I hear crying? Who's crying?"

It turns out the strange gasping sound was Peter trying to catch his breath and the crying was Sarah.  I went to the edge of the pool to check on them and they both got out crying and saying, "We don't  like this.  We don't want to be on the swim team!"

The swim team coach (who also happens to be Sarah's Kindergarten teacher) came over and reassured them that if they needed to catch their breath they could stop and hold the rope. 

And then I gave them a huge pep talk about how we are Cotells and Cotells don't quit.  I said this several times and something seemed to click in their heads.  And for the last two weeks, before every practice, I said, "We are Cotells!  What does that mean?"  And they both answer, "We don't quit!"  And they have been swimming their little hearts out (and taking frequent breaks on the ropes) ever since!

Last night was their first meet and I will admit, I was just as nervous as they were.  Before we pulled out of the driveway, I said a  little prayer out loud in the car.  After which Peter said, "I'm still nervous."  I tried unsussessfully to convince him that nerves would make him go faster.

I am proud to say that Sarah completed all three of her events and Peter completed both of his.  They are both very slow (especially Peter who came in last both times) but they didn't quit even when they were scared or tired. 

Peter was very dejected by his last place finishes so I told him that we aren't going to worry about how he finished against all of the other kids but that we are going to work to improve his time next week.  That seemed to appease him a little.  Although, honestly, I think his main worry is that Sarah is going to get a ribbon and he won't.  (Which she probably will because there weren't as many 6-year-old girl swimmers as there were 7-year-old boy swimmers.)

The team name is the Ducks.  And here are my little ducks.  Quack! Quack!

Before the meet.  (Aren't the cute in their little Speedos?)

Sarah at the beginning of the Freestyle Relay
Here she comes and she's sticking close to that rope!

Made it!
Peter (in lane 2) at the beginning of the 50m Freestyle.
Here he comes - slowly but surely!
And there he goes back to the other end!
Here is Sarah waiting for her next event.  The kids like to write on themselves with Sharpies.  This says, "Go, Ducks, Go!  and Quack!"   (Our team name is the Arcadia Ducks.)


Kimberly said...

What fun! I was never on a swim team, but my grandma's sister had a pool. And she lived about 50 steps away from our house, so I got swim in her pool, which we called the "cement pond". It was built in the 60s and literally was made of cement! Ha ha. I remember helping paint the walls of the pool before filling it up each year.

Pool memories are the best!

Denise said...

I love it, go ducks go.

Kim said...

I have also heard that being on the swim team really helped a child's swimming ability. Way to give Peter a goal to reach for next week. They are cute DUCKS!

RR Mama said...

GO DUCKS!!! I love they are learning to swim and having fun doing it. You are such a great mom for encouraging them even though they were nervous. Good luck on the next meet.

Heather said...

I can see you chanting "We are Cotells" it!!!
Looks fun!

Wendy said...

I never thought of swim team as being a good way to learn to swim better. I thought you had to be pretty good already to be on the team. That's good news though. Ethan will be taking lessons this summer at Baptist and I would love for him to be on the team next year. It's such great exercise without them really realizing it's exercise!

Corey~living and loving said...

HOw wonderful. I hope they continue to get better, and enjoy it. :)