Multiple Teams · The Difference Between Club Swimming and High School Swimming

By: Sarah Niezgodzki

OwlFeed Journalist


If you know anyone who plays sports, you’re probably aware that almost every sport has club teams and high school teams. That’s no different for swimming, so I decided that I would delve into that subject by talking to swimmers about what’s so different about club swimming versus high school swimming.

One of the obvious differences between the two are the difference in the seasons. Club swimming takes place all year, whereas high school swimming goes on between the months of August-October.

Another thing that separates the two are the coaching staff and the swimmers in general. For club swimming, you have coaches who you don’t really have any prior experience with whereas your high school coaches are usually teachers at your school that you know. As for the swimmers, in high school you swim with only people from your school, and on your club team you have people from a bunch of different schools.

I had the opportunity to talk to swimmers who participate in both teams. When asked what the main differe

Photo Credit: Rachel Johnson

nce between the practice experiences, freshman Raven Roberts said that in her experience high school practices are generally “shorter with easier intervals” whereas club practices seem to be more intense.

This could be due to the fact that she and senior Rachel Johnson go to practice for their club team twice a day most of the time and also go to high school swim on top of that so it is exhausting.

The difference doesn’t stop at practices, the meets also have their differences. Raven Roberts explained how for club meets she feels like she tries “to stay focused and there is a lot more competition”. Rachel Johnson shared similar feelings and added how high school meets seem more slow to build up because of how many heats there are.

It is a cool experience to be able to swim with people from your own school but also have the opportunity to meet people from other schools and make lasting friendships by also being on a club team. Though, Raven said that there is a slight edge to high school swimming because she “doesn’t know how fast the other swimmers are” so she tends to worry about her races, since most people in the world of club swimming know of each other and other people’s times.

Overall, the differences are quite small and Rachel expressed that she likes swimming for both teams because she is able to “help her teammates on their technique which makes her feel like she is contributing to someone else’s success”.