Here is the first guest post that we’ve had from a WAVE parent. Kai’s family is passionate about the sports of water polo and swimming and wanted to share with the WAVE family his experience with our program. Enjoy the read. 

As a member of the Capital Wave family for over 8 years, I wanted to share my thoughts on the evolution of the club into a dual sport club over the past few years.  I used to be a member on the Capital Wave board when the idea of evolving into a dual sport club was proposed.  I will admit, I was skeptical at first.  My kids wanted to play water polo, not take swimming lessons or take part in swim competitions.  But after reviewing the proposal in detail, it just made sense.

Jump to June 2022, my daughter was only 8 years old and she was invited to her first water polo tournament in Montreal in the 11U age group.  She was obviously a little overwhelmed playing against bigger kids, and truthfully, she didn’t do very much for most of the tournament.  But then it happened, a moment I’ll never forget; her first tournament goal.  And it wasn’t some sort of epic skip shot from the point or a backhand shot from the hole, it was off a swim off.  Her teammate was fighting for control of the ball during a contested swim off and, as you will see in a lot of 11U games, all the other athletes were just lined up in the center of the pool watching.  Then as soon as her teammate won control of the ball, she just took off!  A lob pass into open water and she was off to the races, nobody could catch her.  All alone in front of the net, the shot and a goal!  Without the speed, power and drive she acquired from swimming, she would not have scored that day.  And the big smile she flashed to her coaches (yes, coaches, not her parents!) after that goal was priceless.

Needless to say, I am completely sold of the dual sport philosophy of Capital Wave.  You cannot score if you can’t swim.  You cannot cover your check if you can’t swim.  You cannot help your team if you can’t swim.  Yes, as a parent, watching a practice where your child is “just lane swimming” isn’t the most exciting thing in the world.  But the fundamental skills it develops and confidence it builds are priceless.  They aren’t just swimming 50 meters free, they are practicing for the swim off.  That backstroke they are doing, that’s how they will keep moving as they receive the pass and flip over to keep momentum going.  That whip kick from the breaststroke?  That gives them that power to accelerate, turn or jump out of the water.  Shots, passes, formations and tactics are all extremely important, but none of it matters if you can’t swim.

If you haven’t tried water polo before, I’d recommend you give it a try.  Back in the day, Capital Wave used to have an adult recreational program and I tell you, it was not only a ton of fun, but a crazy good workout for a “non-swimmer” like myself.  That really made me appreciate how effortlessly coaches and athletes swam and how much it benefited them.  Nothing like getting schooled by a 13-year old to put you in your place!  Pool time is precious and we need to give our athletes as much time as possible, but I think having a “parents’ polo” practice/scrimmage once or twice a year where the kids coach/cheer on would really be beneficial for the Capital Wave family.  Go WAVE!

Kai Szeto, father of Yana (Junior Waves A) and Victor (17U Boys)