Manta Ray Partners

The Best Kind of Feedback You Can Give- 3S Model

Feedback is critically important for helping your child get better. It can be the first step toward
positive, productive change. Give the right kind of feedback and your child will flourish!  Give the
wrong kind of feedback and you can negatively impact their development and their love for
swimming. We believe in the “3S Model” for giving feedback to our swimmers.

3S = strategy, skill, support.

All feedback should fall into one of those three categories. The coaches’ goals when giving
feedback are to (1) reinforce preferred behaviors, and (2) to focus on developing future skills,
habits or behaviors. To provide that feedback effectively, we try to speak calmly and use
unemotional language, while being as concise as possible. It’s best to give one or two specific
comments – too much information can be just as bad as none at all. The third s, support, is
where parents have an opportunity to make a big impact. Giving the right kind of feedback
provides the support and validation your swimmer needs to continue to give his or her best.

Below are some suggestions from Jeremy Boone, author of Parent Your Best, for positive ways
to support your child.

Phrases that don't work:
• Why did you…
• You should have…
• If you only…
• We talked about…
• You could have won if…
• What were you…
• Asking close-ended questions

What to say after a meet:
• I love to watch you swim
• I’m proud of your effort today
• I knew you could do it
• You’re getting better every meet
• Wow what an improvement
• Your hard work is really paying off
• I can tell you are having fun

And remember, sometimes the best feedback is just listening.