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From A Swimming Parent

FROM A SWIM PARENT: (rewritten with permission)

Some ask, "Why do you have your kids in swimming? It costs a lot of time and money. What do you do it for? 

To them, I respond, "To be honest, I don't pay for my kids to be in swimming. I'm actually not too concerned about swimming." 

They reply, "What does that mean? If you're not paying for swimming, then what are you PAYING FOR?" 

I tell them the following, 

"I pay for them to be inspired to have dreams, to set goals and to reach beyond themselves." 

I pay for them to be learn discipline of their bodies and minds, and to understand what it means to take care of both - for a lifetime. 

I pay for them to learn to work with others; to be good team mates. 

I pay for them to experience success, and to be a strong and humble champion. 

I pay for them to feel disappointment - when I can't shield them from the hurt of not achieving their goals - and for them to do so with grace, and with dignity. 

I pay for them to pick themselves up and go again, to never stop and to never be satisfied, until their goals have been reached and surpassed. 

I pay for them to learn that it takes many hours, days, weeks, months and years of hard and smart work, planning and guidance from coaches, to create a champion. To learn that success takes time. 

I pay for them to have the possibility of forging lifelong friendships. 

I pay for those moments when they are too tired to keep going ... and they keep going. 

I pay for those moments when they come home from school too tired to go to practice, or when they're blurry-eyed in the morning, and they go to practice. 

I could continue, but in short, I don't pay for swimming. 

I pay for the opportunities that swimming provides my kids to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives. To give them the chance to be blessed by the presence and teaching of others, like their coaches, and for the wonder of being a blessing to others. 

So far, from what I've seen, it's a pretty good investment."