Let's try to clarify a common misconception: Beginning to attend swimming lessons is not just about learning how to swim. On the contrary, there is much more to gain from getting in the swimming pool with your swim instructor next to you. One of the most underrated virtues that swimming classes can cultivate, is the strengthening of teamwork ethic.
Swimming is about effective cooperation
The general view about all individual sports is that most of the success depends on the athletes themselves. Since there are no other persons next to them for support, when they enter the race, any results are up to their merit and effort. While this argument is quite valid there are more aspects to discover. First of all, there has to be fruitful and effective cooperation between the swim instructor and the beginner swimmer who is introduced to the magic world of swimming. The quality of their relationship is usually the decisive factor that determines the level of swim expertise that the students will reach as well as their long term commitment to swimming. Beginner swimmers who completely trust their teachers and develop good chemistry with them will most likely keep swimming as frequently as possible. On the other hand, a non-effective swim instructor could discourage their students from continuing their swim classes and learning how to swim effectively.
The role of age in developing teamwork skills
Young minds assimilate information quicker than adults. This is another critical part of the great role that swimming can play in developing teamwork skills. Let's take two striking examples: Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps. Two emblematic world-class swimmers who left their mark in the sports. What is their major common characteristic? Both of them started their swimming lessons at a very young age. Thorpe was five years old and Phelps seven when they made their first dive in the swimming pool. The latter has revealed that the wish of his mother that his son would learn how to swim was the only reason he began attending swim classes. Similarly, Thorpe followed her older sister to her swim classes by chance, as she followed the advice of taking up swimming for strengthening her broken wrist! What's more impressive is that he had to overcome a chlorine allergy he had as a kid. For both, Thorpe and Phelps, teamwork was essential for their future growth as world-class athletes. The bottom line is that the younger one begins taking swimming classes, the more are the chances of acquiring and fully developing a teamwork ethic.
Swimming reinforces family bonds
Apart from the fundamental teamwork with the swim instructor, young learners will also reinforce bonds with their parents. Again, such reinforcement is much more likely to occur when swimming lessons start from a young age. As parents need to be present during the swimming sessions of their kids, there emerges a greater affection among family members. Youngsters feel safe knowing that their parents are next to them while parents feel a certain sense of pride watching their kids learning a new, essential life-saving skill. At this point, teamwork expands including three sides: The kids, their parents and the swim instructor. Chances are that this would be the first time that children would experience such multilateral communication. As they are gradually becoming more competent swimmers, their level of trust in their parents will naturally rise. Knowing that they are next to them is not only greatly beneficial for their sense of safety but it's also a great upgrade of their teamwork skills. They will learn to trust and hear their advice and they will begin formulating the principles of effective teamwork. Such development for them can produce significant advantages in their adult lives.
Why teamwork is essential for success
Incorporating teamwork as a core principle is a factor of success. Indeed, without teamwork, there is not a single individual-no matter how gifted he/she may be- who can reach the optimal point of success. The full realisation of one's potential comes only when there is efficient and meaningful teamwork. This is an unwritten law. It's not only that issues like productivity, learning and communication are enhanced. It is also that there is greater satisfaction when a team of people work harmonically together. Humans are social beings and their satisfaction and happiness do not come only from their own, personal accomplishments. Of course, it's important to believe in yourself and be well-equipped for facing any difficulty that life brings. However, it's the people that are around you and the level of trust and effective teamwork that will make the difference. Failing to work within a team will ultimately lead to failure in reaching your goals. And last but not least: Because of our social nature it's always better to reach success within a team. Joy is for sharing and teamwork ethic provides the greatest example.