Before a child can swim competitively they need to be comfortable in the water and are ready to go above and beyond getting their head wet! When people think of swimming, they normally think of either the Olympics or summer league. In reality, there are about three levels to swimming: summer league, high school swim team, and competitive (or club level) swimming. There are several swimming clubs in Des Moines offering instruction for a variety of ages and skill levels of swimmers.
Swimming is excellent exercise and is considered a lifelong sport because it’s low impact (it doesn’t strain or stress joints the way more jarring activities like running can). It’s also a skill that could save your child’s life.
Obviously, to swim you will need to have access to a pool. It may be a bit of a drive to get to practice, if you’re not located near one. With limited pool time, early morning or late evening practices are not uncommon. And, drowning is always a risk anytime a child is in the water, but any reputable coach or team will have rigorous safety procedures in place.
Kids with determination and focus who are self-motivated and love the water!
Recreation Teams: Generally practice two or three times a week, often only in the summer and participate in a local meet once or twice a month.
Competitive Teams: Kids under 10 may practice two or three times a week for 45 minutes, all year long. As they move up the ranks, swimmers’ practice time increases to two hours per day five days a week. Meets are more frequent and can easily last for several hours or an entire weekend.
- Swim Cap
- Towels or Chamois
- Team Gear (t-shirts, warm-up suits, etc.)
- Swimsuit: $25+
- Goggles: 10+
- Swim Cap: $5+
- Towel or Chamois: $10+
- Flip-Flops: $2+
- Team Gear: $10+ (may be included with registration)
- Registration: All ages – start at $50.00
- Club Fees: $300 to $600 for beginners to $1000 to $1500 or more for elite swimmers
- USA Swimming Membership: $50+ per swimmer per year
- Meet Entrance Fees: $4 to $5 per individual event, plus a small entry fee, for a typical total of about $50
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
Fees vary according to what is provided by the organizing entity. Please keep in mind some registration fees are one time, others are monthly. All costs are approximate. As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
There are several swim clubs scattered across the metro. A handful are listed below. Schools also offer opportunities to swim.
Rams Swim Club – Altoona
Ankeny Aquahawks Swim Team – Ankeny
North Side Otters – Des Moines
Indianola Tide YMCA Swim Team – Indianola
Johnston Blaze Swim Club – Johnston
Central Iowa Aquatics – Urbandale
Waukee YMCA Rays Swimming & Diving – Waukee
Walnut Creek YMCA Swim Team – West Des Moines
What do you think, is swimming a fit for your kid?