Summer Swim Team in Atlanta…What’s All the Fuss About?

It’s June! For families all over Atlanta, that means no school, summer camps, sunshine, and…swim team!

In full disclosure, I understand just the mention of swim team makes some people chuckle in disbelief. What sane person would commit their kids {and themselves…} to daily practices and hours-long meets in the middle of prime vacation season? 

Did I mention it’s June? It’s really, really hot.

If you’re one of the skeptics, I get you. I truly do. In fact, I remember being one of those people when I first heard about summer swim team. But, then I gave it a shot. And, the truth is, I wasn’t sold at season one.

I’ll never forget my first swim meet with then 5-year-old daughter:

Wait, you want me to write on her arm in Sharpie marker?

What does “heat” mean?

Everything is moving so fast…but it’s taking SO LONG.

I am so over the loud horn blowing in my ear.

Did I just swim a 25 freestyle? Because my clothes are literally drenched – in sweat.

Did someone just hear thunder?

I want to go h-o-m-e.

Fast forward about 8 years. That 5-year-old girl I mentioned is in her third year coaching “Little Waves,” our swim team’s starter program for preschool swimmers. All three of my younger kids are also a part of the fun and have grown up at our swim team pool. The truth is that this has become one of the most favorite things we do all year. 

I love summer swim.

Why in the world, you ask? There are so many reasons, but here are some of my favorites. 

My kids are killer swimmers. Not only do they get themselves across a pool, but they do it with ease – freestyling, backstroking, butterflying and breaststroking. It’s a thing to behold.

During the summer when we lack consistency and schedule, swim team practice anchors us a little bit. And, it’s such great exercise for my kids who would otherwise be bored out of their minds. I don’t feel so badly about the inevitable summertime TV and  X-Box fest when we’ve been swimming our little hearts out all morning long.

I’ve made great friends. It’s so funny because I always tell my kids my “friend reunions” happen in the opposite way than theirs do in the fall when they reunite with their school buddies. I love seeing all the people I haven’t seen all year – with the exception of a random Publix or Target run-in – once the summer rolls around!

It’s FINALLY a sport that all four of my kids can do together. Hallelujah and the angels sing. In a world where I am literally running around like a crazy person attempting to get my children to a million places all over town [at the same exact time, of course], swim team is a one-stop shop!

My kids get to witness awesome teenagers giving back. This is something special. It takes a lot of manpower to operate swim teams all over this town, and a large number of those devoting their time to make it happen are teenagers. My kids love their teen coaches. They have such a special impact on the little swimmers they are coaching. In a world when teens often get a bad rap, swim team is a shining example of the potential that exists during the teen years.

Swim team is a place where everyone is celebrated. This may be my favorite part. Sometimes my kids are fast, sometimes they are not. But, there is always a group of people surrounding the pool during every race, cheering them on. (Forget the fact that their heads are underwater and they can’t always hear well – they feel it!)

I understand that swim team isn’t for everyone, but if you’re on the fence… jump in! And, please just give the whole experience a chance. I’m so glad I did. I honestly couldn’t imagine my summers any other way. 

Atlanta swim team families… raise your hands! Why do you love summer swim? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to share.


  1. Great article. The Atlanta Swim Association is one of the largest summer swim leagues in the country. I agree with everything you wrote especially the social and community aspects of summer league. There’s more going on than just swimming!

  2. Heck yes! It’s the only “old- school “ activity left-
    When we (5 of my 7 are on summer swim team- the 2 oldest were at one time) are at the pool, we step back in time- it’s a simpler life- pb and js, watermelon, chlorine showers, tired kids, playing cards, summer crushes, etc- not to mention the awesome workout and a skill that lasts a lifetime-

  3. BEST MEMORIES EVER OF SUMMER SWIM!!!! Ditto every single one of your points!!!! Thanks for crystalizing all of this so perfectly!!!

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