YOUR ROLE AS PARENTS
Competitive swimming programs provide many benefits to young athletes, including self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming healthy and physically fit. As a parent, your major responsibility is to provide a stable, loving and supportive environment. This positive environment will encourage your child to continue. Show your interest by ensuring your child’s attendance at practices, and by coming to swimming meets.
Parents are not participants on their child’s team, but contribute to the success experienced by the child and the team. Parents serve as role models and their attitudes are often emulated by their children. Be aware of this strive to be positive models. Most importantly, show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents and teammates.
If your child has a poor swim race and feels badly, talk about it. Emphasize the positives. There is always something good to say about a race! There is nothing wrong with a swimmer acknowledging a poor race; they should know when they did not perform well. Many times a swimmer learns more from a poor race than a quality one. That is part of swimming, and part of developing life skills. Learning how to recover and rebound from a disappointing performance can help a swimmer perform better not only in the next competition but in life in general!
Be enthusiastic and supportive!
Remember that your child is the swimmer. Children need to establish their own goals, and make their own progress toward them. Be careful not to impose your own standards and goals. Do not over burden your child with winning or achieving best times. Learning about oneself while enjoying the sport is the most important part of the swimming experience. The swimming environment encourages learning and having fun which will help your child develop a positive self-image.
When Your Child Has a Disappointing Race
If your child has a poor race and feels bad, talk about the positives. There is always something good to say about a race! There is nothing wrong with a swimmer acknowledging a poor race; they should know when they did not perform well. Many times, swimmers learn much more from a poor race than a quality one. That's part of being a swimmer and learning life-skills. Be positive and let the CRay coaches handle any of the negative aspects. The parent's role is to be supportive.
Let the Coach coach!
The best way to help your child achieve goals and reduce the natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. No one likes to make a mistake. If your child does make one, remember that this is a learning experience. Encourage your child’s efforts and point out the positive things. The coach is the only one qualified to judge a swimmer’s performance and technique. Your role is to provide support.