Swim Team: The next step for young swimmers who want to make new friends, improve core strokes, learn racing basics

Kids swim team | Chicago Blue Dolphins


Some parents bring their kids to Chicago Blue Dolphins to learn swimming fundamentals and water safety, and then they move on to other sports. For other parents, their children have a true love of the sport and want to continue learning and improving their swim skills. Instead of adding more “classes” for your kids, we formed the Chicago Blue Dolphins Swim Team.

It’s the ideal bridge between swim classes and competitive racing for swimmers ages 6 to 12 years old. Once swimmers have learned the core strokes in our classes, they graduate to the Swim Team, which combines conditioning and exercise with advanced skills training. Our swimmers continue to improve their core strokes, and they learn key racing skills like starts, flip turns and streamlines.

Ronan Dexter Hashimoto Andrew, age 7, joined the swim team at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. While he loves being in the water with his friends and learning the butterfly and breast strokes, his Mom sees so many additional benefits.

“He has made new friends,” says Karla Hashimoto. “And he has improved significantly since we started. His form for freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke has certainly made him feel more comfortable swimming lengths of the pool.”

Karla also likes that her son is truly learning every stroke and becoming an all-around good swimmer. In addition, he’s building strength and stamina while he’s getting exercise, which is important to her.

What are the Details?

The swim team meets from 5:15 pm – 6:15 pm Monday and Wednesday and from 9 am to 10 am Saturday at Swift Elementary School, which is at 5900 N Winthrop Ave. in Chicago.

Students can choose to swim once, twice or three times per week.

Swimmers who have graduated from our Intermediate 2 swim class are automatically eligible to join.

Children who have completed classes at another swim school can join the swim team if they meet the pre-requisites. We invite you to schedule a free 10-minute evaluation with one of our coaches. Simply call the office at 773-342-7250 to schedule it in advance. The evaluations are conducted in the pool at Swift.  

What Can You Expect from the Swim Team?

We want the youngsters on our swim team to:

  1. Develop Technically Strong Strokes — Our coaches apply our proven teaching system to help our young swimmers improve on their skills to be mechanically strong and efficient swimmers.
  2. Practice with Purpose — There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a lot of swimming “back and forth” where your child is making the same mistake over and over. Our practices push the limits of our swimmers but with the ultimate purpose of training the right strokes and habits for race day.
  3. Build Great Practice Habits and Racing Skills — Swimmers who stay in the sport and succeed in the long term do so because they have great practice habits. We teach our kids how to practice well by understanding the goals of the sets and teaching them to recognize whether they are achieving those goals (e.g., time, stroke counts, tempos, etc.) We also work with the kids to learn racing skills like starts, turns, and streamlines, so they nail them on race day.
  4. Be a Great Teammate — The best memories of competitive swimming are usually about the people you meet on the team.  We want to teach our kids how to be a positive member of a team and community. We encourage a spirit of shared goals, mutual support, and respect. Our swimmers will take those lessons from the pool back to school and into the rest of their lives.

While we don’t emphasize going to meets every weekend, we do periodic time trials with the kids and are looking at attending occasional swim meets as a USA Swim Team.

Ready to Join the Swim Team?

What does Karla want to share with other parents who are considering the swim team? “The swim team enables a child to learn and perfect the different swim strokes,” she says. “The coaches and receptionists are so helpful and engaging. They truly want to help make sure the swimmer understands the lessons, and the receptionists make sure that information is passed on in a timely manner…My son has gained new friends, and the coaches have truly helped him to become a better swimmer. He looks forward to swim every Monday and Wednesday.”

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