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Balancing School and Swim Practice

Nothing is more important that good performance in academic work in school for our young student-athletes.

Every practice, as children leave, and say goodbye, I say “Study hard, get smart, become an intellectual!”. Its done in a light-hearted way to remind them that after practice, that’s “what’s next” in their life, or should be.

Now we’re closing in on the end of school year, with upcoming tests and related “due dates”.

At the same time, we’re at the beginning of the long course season. The work we put in in the pool NOW, is paid off in July at various championships. Without consistency NOW, there is no payoff later on.

For the 60 years that Age Group Swimming has existed, it has been proven for literally millions of swimmers that they can uphold their commitment to training AND study well and get good grades. Its an exception in swimming when a child does NOT get good grades. Partially because there is real URGENCY to study when you can when a few hours each afternoon are taken up in training. When swimmers are NOT training, they get the attitude of “oh, i have all this free time now..i can goof around for awhile and get to studying later”. That never works out very well.

Everyday I ask children about their homework. Sometimes I hear, “I don’t have any.”  My response is always the same “YES, YOU DO.”  Get your books out and WORK AHEAD…even if you only comprehend 10-20% of what you are reading, that’s a 10-20% jump ahead rather than seeing/hearing it in class for the first time. When you’re in school, you ALWAYS have homework…open the book and “get ahead.”  Study is like any other habit….do it 2 hours a night EVERY night, and you’ll avoid having to be up and working at 11 PM or later on some of those nights……steady, consistent work is the key, in school and in swimming.

Homework EVERY DAY for all ages. Study Everyday. Swimming practice consistently as well.  Studying ahead removes anxiety and keeps the student on the leading edge of the class, not the trailing edge.

“Study Hard, Get Smart, Become an Intellectual!”  DAILY. Lets be equally consistent with both practice attendance and daily study. It’s hard work…but it’s so much better than being unprepared, anxious and upset later.

Parents, please share this with your children.

All the Best, Coach John

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