Saturday, 21 January 2012

Youth Sports Weekend: Swimming NSW Country Regionals

This is my second 'Youth Sports Weekend' link-up where I am sharing with you a youth sporting story. Last week, Stats Dad from the USA linked up a fantastic, humorous post  about the trials and sacrifices parents make as they become Youth Sports Parents. 

If your family has participated in a Youth Sport or physical activity, please add your link to the bottom so you can share your sporting stories too! It is my hope to build a community that will support , encourage and motive families to participate in youth sports and an active lifestyle.

Today was my 8 year old daughter, Flash’s first big swimming carnival; the NSW Country Regional Meet held at the Australian Institute of Sport.

There were over 30 swimming clubs from southern regional NSW competing at this carnival. It was a very, very big day!

I decided to enter Flash in the carnival principally to gain experience swimming at a big swim meet. The age groups for the races started at 9 years and under. So Flash, who is only 8 would need to compete against the 9 year old girls as well. We have also just returned from holidays, and Flash has not done any formal swim training in about a month. I was worried she may be a bit rusty. So, I had told her many times not to worry about the competition, but just to concentrated on swimming well and achieving good times, no matter what her overall place was……which would be fine if she actually ever listened to her mum J.

Her first race was the 50m butterfly and despite everything I had told her, she was very, very, very nervous. She seems to be especially nervous in the marshaling area. 

 It must be so hard for an 8 year old to stand up on those diving blocks in front of all those people……

 Weather it was lack of training, intimidation and nerves from the he size of the meet, or the competitors, Flash swam 5 seconds slower than her previous best time and she ended up placing 8th  in the 9 years age group.  I told her I was very proud of her and that she had done really well at her first big swimming meet. Although I tried to reinforce that there were no expectations on her, I think she put a lot of pressure on her self. I think this pressure also contributed to her nervousness.

I have to say however,  that she didn’t appear to be upset with the outcome of the race…but I did notice a steely resolve and renewed determination for her next race.

For her second event, the 100m freestyle, Flash seemed to have relaxed a little and was not as nervous. ….and she was amazing!!. She swam a great race, very close to a personal best and  ended up placing 2nd in the under 9’s over all.

Flash is second from the bottom in the gold cap.

Despite the earlier nerves and anxiety, Flash was extremely happy and  proud of her silver medallion. I know this photo is a bit cheesy, but I just has to show it because its really shows how happy she was!

Today, flash needed to find a part of her self, deep inside that was strong. Strong enough to race her very best against older kids, with hundreds of spectators watching on.

I hope that in the future, in circumstances where she may be in need, she will be able to draw on this same strength and belief in her self. This is one of my favorite benefits of Youth Sport…the development of character.

  I am so proud her for her effort today. Not just her effort in swimming, but of her strength of character to participate at her first major swimming carnival.

If you have a Youth Sports story, photographs, or a physical activity your family has enjoyed. Please add your post to the link. Together we can form a community that will support, encourage and motivate other families in the pursuit of a healthy, physically active  lifestyle.


  1. Oh wow, what a great result for Flash...she will soon learn to get used to the whole nerves thing...they really can be your best friend!

    1. Thanks Karla! That's a great tip about nerves being your best friend! I'll tell her one of my famous friends....and ironwoman, with a OAM told me!