Weekly Bulletin #5

Weekly Bulletin #5

Hello GSH swimmers and parents,

I hope that everyone is doing well, one more week has passed, we are starting the month of May, looks like soon we are all going to be allowed to begin breaking the isolation slowly. I know that everyone is profoundly waiting for this, I am.

We don’t know when swimming is going to be allowed again; all Ottawa recreational centers are closed until June 30, we have a summer program for July and part of August ready to shoot it out in case pools are open. We are allowed too; we will let you know as soon as we hear back from the city authorities.

We will try to adapt and offer programs as the rules allow us. We will keep you informed as information flows.

Today, I am going to talk about the athlete triangle.

We all share the same final Goal, Help the Swimmer to become the best version of themselves that they want to be.

We have talked about all that an athlete needs to do, but we also know that it is tremendously hard to accomplish and focus by themselves. So, what coaches and parents do will impact directly and will define the type of person and athlete that our swimmers are going to become.

There is a lot of research that has shown the power of connecting the three dots in the triangle. Parents naturally have a relationship with the athlete, the coach creates a working and training relationships, but the parents and coach’s relationship is the one that gets tricky and becomes the harder one.

It shouldn’t be that way as both share the same interests towards the athlete. But there is not enough information that helps parents to play the correct role that will boost the potential.

Parents may feel that the coach can’t cover enough so, they submit to the temptation of “helping” the coach by; showing the race or practice videos, taking splits, comparing the swimmers with a peer that is growing together or worse with siblings, debriefing races or practices, adding extra private lessons, making the kids work extra at home, etc.

When parents were athletes, swimmers or coaches, there is the temptation to disagree with what the coach is teaching or the approach that the group has. Hence, it is easy to have a conversation with the swimmer and express previous knowledge.

While all of those actions have the best intentions, they do much harm than benefit. The simple reason is that those should be directed only by the coach, and then the trust and confidence in the coach gets broken, creating a barrier instead of building a bridge.

Schoolwork coaches agree that the school should be the number one priority on the athlete’s life. Still, they also need balance; swimming is more than doing laps, it is part of the discipline formation, there is not a harder thing than having 100% practice attendance and still have good school grades, even at high school were teachers give them a lot of homework.

I could extend for hours with examples, but I want to focus on the ideal relationship between the points of the triangle.

Parents and coaches must communicate and play their roles, avoiding all temptations to step into the counterpart role. The same trust environment should be built. I haven’t met the perfect parent, the perfect Coach or the perfect athlete. We all are persons, and our nature is to make mistakes, but success is built through deep practice where failing and learning from it is essential.

I will continue next week with roles and actions that parents can do to help to build bridges between the dot of the triangles.

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I wish everyone a great week, 

Luis Luebs