Health & Fitness

Swimmers at 15: Rite of Passage

The teenage years are “interesting” enough for kids. With the looming arrival of the big 16th birthday when they will finally be eligible to drive, they’re looking at a one year countdown to freedom that they have never experienced before. But for swimmers, 15 is different. There is no waiting for passage. 15 is the year that swimmers reach adulthood in the swim world. From here on out, they’re in it with the big boys (and girls). As a swimmer, 15 is when they see competition like they’ve never seen before. provides a peek at Michael Andrew and his passage into swimmers’ adulthood in a recent piece by Casey Barrett. Please enjoy reading it here. As Michael’s 15th year progresses, it will be interesting to see how this amazing holder of almost all group records competes against the world – not just other 14 year olds. (Or for NAG records – against every other fast “18 and under” out there.)

Also consider that Michael Andrew signed an endorsement deal that made him the youngest US Swimmer to go pro. The deal means he won’t be able to compete in college) so his years as a late teen may be different than those of the other Michael that this Michael is continuously compared to. But Mr. Andrew has already posted times faster (for his age) than Mr. Phelps ever posted (at that age).

Regardless of what happens with Micheal Andrew, or what happens in the swimming “careers” of all of the young swimmers to make this rite of passage, this is a time in their lives when things change. These kids may be forced to re-examine their skills. They may get a little ding in their self-confidence. They will suddenly be the little fish in a big pond.

So even though your 15-year-old swimmers may not be feeling the pressures and excitement of the “Big 16” milestone just yet, they are feeling the pressures and excitement that the swimming world imposes on them!

Just something to think about.

Image Credit: saramarie9321

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