Swim Team: More Than Just Swimming! – by Sarah Barnett


Manassas Park Sharks Swim Team

Our Aquatics Division is very excited to announce the formation of the Manassas Park Shark’s Swim Team! This has been a goal of mine for many years, but thanks to the addition of some key staff members, I’m finally able to make it happen!  Until now, our swim lesson program ended with School Age Level 5/6, with no in-house options for our advanced swimmers to hone their skills and build endurance. Upon completion of Level 5/6, swimmers often had to create their own workouts, join a more competitive swim program, or swim for a summer swim team.

The Manassas Park Shark’s swim team will give current swim lesson “graduates” and other local summer swim team participants the ability to swim almost year round, without having to join a competitive and expensive year-round swim club! Additionally, since we will not be offering a summer swim season at this time, participants will not have to choose between their current summer swim team and the Manassas Park Shark’s!  We will offer 2 seasons: Fall and Spring. The Fall season will run from mid-September through mid-November and our Spring season will run mid-February through the end of April.

As we prepare for our inaugural season, I thought I would share with you the important life lessons that you will learn from participating on a swim team. 

Procrastinating does not make anything easier:  There are no truer words when it comes to swimming.  Most swimmers do not WANT to get up at 4:30am to get to practice, but hitting snooze on the alarm clock isn’t going to magically push back your practice time. Additionally, most swimmers do not WANT to jump into a cold pool at the start of practice, but standing on the deck isn’t going to warm up the pool any. Once you have made the jump (whether out of bed, or into the pool), you’ll always feel better than if you waited around to avoid it!

You get out of something, what you put into it:  It takes a lot of hard work and patience to improve at almost anything in life. Swimming is no different. If you want to improve your swim times, you have to not only show up to practice, but also work hard at practice. If you don’t show up to practice, or just float through it (pun intended), then you shouldn’t be too surprised if you don’t improve your times as much as someone who comes to practice ready to work. The same can be said for most things in life!

After a big performance, treat yourself!  I am going to call it like it is, most young swim team participants’ favorite part of swim team is the snack bar! How often are kids allowed to consume copious amounts of sugar that early in the morning? It’s basically required that your races are fueled by Pixie Sticks and Laffy Taffy! What else do you think motivates these kids to get out of bed that early on the Saturday morning?

Finish what you started:  In the world of swimming, this is of the utmost importance! Once you’ve jumped into the pool, you can’t give up! Basically, if you stop swimming, you may be at risk of drowning- and nothing ranks higher on the scale of potential swim team embarrassment than having to get rescued by the lifeguard mid-race. It’s much better to finish minutes after everyone else, then to end up in the arms of a lifeguard!

These are just a few of the important lessons that you may learn while participating on a swim team! We hope that you will join the Manassas Park Shark’s swim team this fall to help improve your swimming and making new friends!

Registration for the Manassas Park Shark’s Swim Team can be found here.

If you have any questions or would like additional information about this program, please feel free to contact me!

Sarah Barnett is the Operations/Aquatics Manager for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 x1482 or via email at s.barnett@manassasparkva.gov.


  • Maurice Stevens
    / Reply

    I am currently the Head Coach for MPHS Varsity Swim and Head Coach for the Stonewall Park Swim Team. Just checking to see if the Sharks are in need of any coaching help for the upcoming season. Thank you😃

    • City of Manassas Park Parks and Recreation
      / Reply

      Thank you for reaching out, Maurice! Could you please email Sarah Barnett, Aquatics Manager, at s.barnett@manassasparkva.gov with your information?

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