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Parent Expectations

 

PARENT BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES

To have a successful program there must be understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The fun your children have and the progress they make depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind that we ask you to read and pledge your agreement to the following parent guidelines. These guidelines will help you keep your child's development in the proper perspective and help your child reach his/her full potential as a swimmer, while having fun!

1. The Coach is the Coach! When parents interfere with opinions as to how the swimmer should swim or train, it causes considerable, and oftentimes insurmountable, confusion. If you have a problem, concern, or complaint, please contact a member of the Pool Committee, and refrain from complaining to other parents. If you must talk to the coach regarding your child, please do so before or after practice, not during practice and especially not during a meet.

2. The Coaches and only the Coaches decide lineups and swimmer positions for meets. Many factors go into deciding meet line ups, including but not limited to: swimmer times; practice attendance; attitude; and team morale. None of these factors has precedence; rather it is the whole package that determines swimmer placement.

3. The Coaches need to run practices. All swimmers will benefit if the coaches can run practices without external interruptions. Some of the youngest swimmers may easily become distracted by the presence of their parents, so be prepared to move a little farther away from the action if your child is constantly doing things that interrupt his or her focus on the team practice. Examples of this behavior include frequently leaving the pool to seek parental comforting, trying to draw mom or dad into the water to assist the child, or simply horsing around to seek attention. Please give the coaches the first opportunity to handle any such misbehavior; they will not hesitate to ask you for additional help if they need it.

4. Have FUN! Remember, the Garner Dolphins are part of a summer league, and as such we foster a relaxed, social environment for beginning as well as experienced swimmers. We provide many opportunities over the swim season for socializing and getting to know other parents and swimmers. Take advantage of these occasions for family fun!

The Ten Commandments for Parents of Athletic Children

Edited and reprinted from The Young Athlete by Bill Burgess

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I.

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Make sure your child knows that -- win or lose, scared or heroic -- you love him/her, appreciate their efforts, and are not disappointed in them.

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2

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Try your best to be completely honest about your child’s athletic ability, his/her competitive attitude, their sportsmanship, and their actual skill level.

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3

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Be helpful, but don’t coach him/her on the way to the pool or on the way back, or at breakfast, and so on. It’s tough not to, but it’s a lot tougher for the child to be inundated with advice, pep talks and often critical instruction.

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4

Teach them to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be "out there trying," to be working to improve his/her swimming skills and attitudes. Help him/her to develop the feel for competing, for trying hard, for having fun.

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5

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Try not to relive your athletic life through your child.

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6

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Don’t compete with the coach.

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7

Don’t compare the skill, courage, or attitudes of your child with other members of the team, at least within his/her hearing.

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8

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Get to know the coach so that you can be assured that his/her philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to have your child under his/her leadership.

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9

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Always remember that children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized. Temper your reaction and investigate before over-reacting.

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10

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Make a point of understanding courage, and the fact that it is relative. Explain that courage is not the absence of fear, but a means of doing something in spite of fear of discomfort.

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