Parents often come across the main conflict of balancing multiple after-school sports and activities for their kids. Some after-school activities may be more demanding and time consuming than others. In swimming, there are different tiers of swim programs to choose from, based on the level of commitment you and your child are willing to give to the sport. In the world of swimming, there are multiple commitment-specific levels of programs to choose from.

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     The first option for a year-round swim team program and the lowest level of commitment would be a pre-competitive year-round swim team. Premier Aquatics has a pre-competitive year-round swim team called the Aliso Viejo Flying Fish. Their mission for this swim team program is to give young swimmers a fun, safe, and exciting environment to decide if a more competitive swim team is the right fit! Joining a pre-competitive swim team allows any swimmer to reap the multiple benefits of swimming year-round, without the overly competitive nature that a lot of year-round swim programs have. This would also allow your child more time for other activities. For example, they would be able to commit to maybe 2 swim practices a week and allow time for another sport, rather than being tied into multiple swim practices weekly.  In addition, the flexibility that a semi-competitive program such as this one allows is rare. These types of programs are awesome because children can participate in other sports without having to commit to swimming alone. 

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     The next option for a year-round swim team program would be a competitive year-round swim team. Most competitive year-round swim teams will have multiple tiers within the overall program. The level of competition and commitment will depend on the swimmers’ age and ability. A lot of swim programs will rank swimmer tier by their individual event times. At this level, the competitive nature escalates in correlation with the level of commitment. Top tier level swimmers will often be asked to commit to practicing six days a week, a couple hours a day. Sometimes, swimmers may even be asked to commit to two practices a day. Additionally, swim meets at this level are very long, usually consisting of a whole weekend’s time and travel time. Typically, with year-round competition teams, attendance and commitment are hugely focused on as well. Coaches at the competition level will require swimmers to be at practice every day. If your child is ready to commit to one sport and give it their all, a competitive program such as this would be the best fit.

     It is very common for young athletes to get overwhelmed and burnt out of sports from starting too early on. For this reason, it is important to consider your options when choosing the best your-round swim program for your swimmer. Programs will range from non-competitive, to semi-competitive, and up to fully competitive. If you are unsure of where to start, always explore a non-competitive option first, in order to give your child a chance to explore the sport!

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