Remember that your child is the swimmer. Children need to establish their own goals and make their own progress towards them. Be careful not to impose your own standards and goals on your child.
Do not overburden your child with winning or achieving best times at every meet. The most important part of your child's swimming experience is that he learn about himself while enjoying the sport. This healthy environment encourages learning and fun which will develop a positive self-image within your child.
The best way to help a child achieve his 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 he is still learning. Encourage his efforts and point out the things he did well. As long as he gave his best effort, you should make him feel like a winner.
Rules for Parents
Leave the coaching to the coaches. Do not pressure or offer swimming advice. Understand that all coaching decisions are just that. Coaches are not perfect, but will try to do what they feel is fair and right. If you have a coaching concern, please feel free to arrange a meeting and work it out together. This approach encourages a positive, problem-solving relationship for swimmers, parents and coaches. (see Problem Resolution Procedures)
Stay informed. Check the swim box frequently and read any informational bulletins. This is the swimmer and parent's responsibility. We encourage our swim families to participate in swim-related activities.
Be patient with your swimmer's progress. Every athlete progresses in a different manner. Keep in mind that improvement, long term, is the ultimate goal for a happy successful career. Be supportive through the inevitable ups and downs of victory and defeat. Encourage swimmers to take their swimming-related problems to the coach.
The deck attitude of parents should be positive and sportsmanlike. While swimming is an individual sport, the swimmer cannot succeed without the support of the team and their training partners. Do not undermine the team or pit one swimmer against another.
Parents are welcome to attend practice, but are to remain in the lobby or on the bleachers. Please do not interfere with the coach or interrupt practice. The coaches' attention at practice must be on the swimmers. Questions should be asked after practice or a meeting or telephone time can be set up.
The Value of Training
The duration of an athletic contest is only a few minutes, while the training for it may take many weeks of arduous work and continuous exercise of self-effort. The real value of sport is not the actual game played in the limelight of applause, but the hours of dogged determination and self-discipline carried out alone, imposed and supervised by an exacting conscience. The applause soon dies away, the prize is left behind, but the character you build is yours forever.