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“I’m a synchro girl!” Who knew!

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Blog Posts | 5 comments


It is with mixed emotions that I am now a “synchro-mom.” I am getting used to spending Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings at local high-schools with pools with deep-ends and microphones blaring techno music—under water. (Carpooling may soon free up some of those times…)

Part of helping children be healthy and happy is providing opportunities for them to move and be active in fun ways. Along with trips to the park and the local ice-rink or pool and rec centers*, I’ve looked for more organized sports opportunities. I loved being on a swim team (largely for the summer dances with tater tots and DJs that happened after the meets), and running gave me a level of fitness and confidence I could not have achieved with the day to day outdoor play. In high-school soccer, I learned to play with a team, and lose with grace (we were pretty bad.)

M has been less-than-enthused about: karate, tap dancing, creative movement (she was two, it was hysterical), and she has outright refused: swim-team, soccer and hockey. I don’t think kids have to do organized sports to be healthy and happy, but it can be a fun way to move and is a wonderful option. It was amazing to watch her face light up as she got out of the pool (okay, was dragged out) after the first practice. She declared, “Mom, I’m a synchro girl!” (Only later did I find out this involves “knoxing” her hair into a hard little waterproof helmet, which we do for the first time this weekend…) Team sports can help build social confidence, or give an outlet for a social child.

Why I love synchro:

1) Only one week-night practice. Swim team and other sports are usually three nights per week, and I won’t give up my family dinners without a fight. I like them too much, and I have to walk my talk as a childhood feeding specialist. (It throws off our routine, which we thrive on, but it’s worth it. We eat dinner at 4:30 on Tuesdays, instead of a snack a little earlier. She gets home right before 8 pm, usually famished, and has a second go at dinner, sometimes eating it from a thermos in the car.)
2) Our coach is amazing. No nutrition talk, or talk about bodies. Just encouragement and teaching skills.
3) Girls of different ages support one another. I love that the high-school girls are expected to take time to teach the newbies how to do a “walk-over” or “pretty lady.” (I know, I am adjusting to a sport with a move called “pretty lady.”)
4) It builds her skills with listening, following, and eventually teaching others. She relies on her teammates, and down the line will likely perform in smaller and individual aspects as well.
5) There is fun music.
6) There is a level of athleticism and aerobic activity that builds fitness and endurance—without breaking a sweat!
7) At least on this team, there are a variety of body shapes and skill levels.

We’ll see how this plays out, but for now it’s awesome! Has your child found “their sport” yet? How do you deal with the demands of practice and family dinners?

*This is easier for some than others due to financial, time and location concerns, I can only share my experiences here…

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  1. cecile

    We did not find the perfect sport yet, Chiara is not really interested. We did swimmimg for a while, and it was OK. I guess she would like synchro, but that will be for later, I’m not sure they do that here. For now, she loves violin, and we are trying to adjust to that one night a week. Your idea of early dinner is great, actually !

  2. Fat Grad

    So glad to hear that M has found something that she loves so much. Personally, my favorite workout is water aerobics, so I suspect that synchro would be right up my alley as well! I love it because you get an INTENSE workout without getting too sweaty and gross. When I started water running I was surprised to find out that you can actually break a sweat in the water, but a quick dip under takes care of that. My boy is hooked on gymnastics and karate. We almost gave up on gymnastics last year because he was throwing tantrums every day because he hated doing bridge. Now that his muscles are stronger, bridge is one of his favorite moves! Gymnastics meets twice a week, and that poses us the most trouble because it is from 4:30-5:30 and a twenty minute drive. We generally give him a hearty snack and then have dinner when we get in at 6. We alternate between take-out, leftovers, sandwiches or something else really quick, and one of us staying at home to cook instead of watching practice. It’s always intense, but worth it because he has so much fun and learns how to do heart-stopping moves without killing himself. Karate meets at different times and we can work around dinner more easily. I wish that I had a synchro class nearby. Good luck with the knoxing!

    • katja

      Thanks! I’d love to do water aerobics! I would have a hard time with gymnastics, or wrestling, okay, skiing, figure skating… I guess anything where the kid could get hurt 🙂 I don’t there there are many injuries in synchro, but I’ll keep you posted! Dinner is a challenge. Glad your son found things he loves to do and that you help make it happen!

  3. Lisa in Boston

    That all sounds awesome, but please tell me she will only have to “knox” her hair for actual events, not practice? Sounds very labor intensive 🙂 My 7 yr old has not found her team sport yet, she’s declined to take any class except gymnastics and the class she takes does not have a competitive team. I would like to see her participate in something team oriented. She loves swimming, dancing, and I can see (and have had knowledgeable adults/teachers comment as well) how physically adept she is and imagine her doing well in all sorts of sports. I’m trying to be encouraging without pestering. M’s excitement about synchronized swimming gives me hope!

    • katja

      Not practice, just shows, but still, how about a sparkly cap instead??? It’s hard not to pester. I think it’s just waiting for the right fit at the right time. Having her best buddy into didn’t hurt either! What about synchro> Loves to swim and dance? Do them at the same time 🙂