Henry has tried a number of different sports, and decided his favorite was swimming. He's taken lessons for a few years, and spends lots of time in the water at the lake house in the summer. So he decided to join a swim team this summer.
However, he did not take swimming lessons this fall or winter (simply because Dave and I were trying to cut back a little bit). So when Henry had his first practice a few days ago, he was definitely overwhelmed. He was among the youngest in his group (ages 11-14), and many of those kids had been a part of a winter conditioning program. The poor kid told me at the end that he didn't think that swimming was his sport. He said that he was exhausted and couldn't keep up.
It was extremely hard to see him so discouraged like that. He had been looking forward to joining swim team for so long, and one practice had completely taken the wind out of his sails. I was kicking myself that I did not keep him in lessons this fall and winter. I did not do enough to prepare him, and as a result, he was begging me to quit. :(
After practice, I went to talk to the coach. He told me that Henry could be placed in a younger, more instructional group that would condition him for the summer swim team season as well. Henry was willing to give it a try, so we signed him up.
On Thursday night, I brought him to the new practice group. Henry swam for an hour and a half! He was in a small group of three, which meant that he had a lot of personal attention. He listened intently and worked hard. I was so proud of him!
After practice this time, Henry was a changed young man. He came out of the water with a big smile, full of confidence and enthusiasm, and reported to me that this practice was "2000 times better than the other one". ;) The kids can go to practice 2 or 3 times a week, and he actually asked me if he could go 3 times!
Here he is in the middle front of the picture...
In June, Henry will have his first races, and with the help of this instructional and conditioning program, he'll be ready!
And it just so happens that Henry's swim practices are at his cousin Braeden's school. After Henry was done, we went to see Braeden at his play practice. Braeden is playing the part of the Pharoah in Aida.
Henry was so excited that I bought him his own team bathing suit and goggles. When we got home, he was carrying the goggles everywhere with him. At night he keeps them near where he puts his glasses, on his dresser (and on his piggy bank!)
I am praying that this will be a good experience for him, and that he's found a sport where he can work hard and feel some success.