Swim Parenting and Athlete Development

SSC Parents,

It has come to the attention of both Mark and I that we are having an increase in parent attendance at SSC practices. There will never be a rule against or policy regulation for SSC parents, however it is our obligation to help guide parents on how to best support their young athletes and their development in sport.

The dynamics of practice participation and engagement can be drastically changed with the presence of parents on deck. It is a hard dynamic to understand and almost impossible to see for yourself until you become a third party observer. However, there is endless research available in the sports psychology field that suggests there are better forms of support that will give your child the best chance to develop and succeed. One of the most researched topics is parent attendance at practices and involvement in every day training and commitment.

I know this topic has been addressed with SSC before and is clear in our senior groups with very limited parent spectatorship at those practices. I truly appreciate the parents that resist the urge to come and watch.

For our newer families please take the time to try and understand the dynamics of sport and the role of parents in sport. Parents have a role to support and positively believe in their children's ability without pressuring, correcting, or critiquing the process and development of the child.

Without getting into too much detail I found an article geared towards soccer parents and to help them understand this situation. It simply and clearly outlines why parents should not whatch practice. Please take the time to follow the link below and read the article. I have also posted a link to USA Swimmings website and their parenting section which is an incredible resource to help foster healthy growth and development in the sport. I often have parents ask if there is anything more than they can do to help their child to succeed. I almost always respond with no unfortunately swimming is their own and the only and most important thing a parent can do is support.

Link to article on watching practice:

Link to USA Swimming Parent Resources:

Thank you,

Coach David