The idea of a “team” atmosphere is key to the high level of performance of competitive swimmers. However, finding the right team for you may be a bit challenging. When searching for a team, common must-haves include location and coaching staff. But, have you ever considered the special benefits of swimming for a particular team?

Most swim teams practice at recreation centers or country club pools. Although, a seemingly overlooked group of elite swimmers train at YMCA’s.  Competitive teams such as PYP, SYS, and TYS, all train at local YMCA’s.

By swimming for a YMCA, you are able to unlock hidden benefits that other teams do not have access to. Some unknown facts about swimming for a YMCA include being able to compete in championship meets that non-YMCA teams are not allowed to compete in. When swimming for a YMCA, you have the opportunity to participate in State and National Championships.

Many competitive swim meets require you to obtain “cut times” that allow you to participate in a certain meet, such as FLAGS and Senior Championships. Although to compete at YMCA State Championships, you only need to attend a total of three (3) YMCA hosted meets. Furthering your path to YMCA Nationals, you will need to achieve qualifying times.

During the weekend of February 10th through February 12th, the 2017 YMCA State Championship Meet was hosted at the YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, Florida. With a total of six (6) teams competing in the meet, phenomenal swims were seen throughout the course of the three-day meet. Multiple YMCA swim teams across the state of Florida competed in the championship meet, including SYS, PYP, YCF, TYS, YFFC, and YSF.

Following the YMCA State Championships, the YMCA National Short Course Championships will be held in Greensboro, North Carolina at the Greensboro Aquatics Center during April 3rd through April 7th. The YMCA National Long Course Championships will be hosted in Greensboro, North Carolina as well, during July 31st through August 4th.

Competing in a YMCA National meet allows swimmers that are in their high school years to earn the chance to interact with collegiate coaches. By obtaining national qualifying times, you have the opportunity to understand the world of college swimming in a better way.

When searching for the right team for you, consider all of your options. Competitively swimming for a YMCA will open doors for you that no other group is able to do. The multiple benefits of swimming for a YMCA continues to grow as the swimming world increases. Researching the perks of swimming for a YMCA is key to learning more about the swimming world. Now go out and experience the YMCA atmosphere for yourself, and any future swimming opportunities!

Written By Ashley Schrader