As members of O2, there are many expectations of both parents and swimmers.
The Coaches' Role
The coaches' job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. The O2 staff is dedicated to providing a program for athletes that will enable them to learn the values of striving to improve themselves. The coaches must be in absolute control in matters affecting training and competition.
- Coaches have the sole responsibility for stroke instruction and training programs.
- Coaches make the final decision concerning which meets swimmers will attend. This also applies to events swimmers enter. The coach is solely responsible for selecting members of a relay team.
- At meets, coaches supervise warm-ups for the team. After each race, coaches offer constructive criticism and motivation regarding swimmers' performances.
The Parents' Role
Every individual learns at a different rate and responds differently to the various methods of presenting skills. When an athlete first joins Irving Swimmers and starts practicing, it is possible he/she will appear to be swimming slower rather than faster. This is likely because of the emphasis on proper technique skills. Remember that this new set of refined habits is the foundation for later improvement.
As training proceeds, muscle development is stressed more. At first the muscles will break down under the increased workload creating more fatigue. This will result in decreased improvement initially. Gradually, the muscles will strengthen and the swimmer's performance will improve.
Every swimmer hits a plateau at one time or another during their career. A plateau signifies that the swimmer has mastered lower-order skills, yet the response isn't automatic enough to leave energies and attention completely free to attach newer, higher-order skills. It's important to explain to the athlete that plateaus occur in every physical level of learning. The more successful swimmers are those who work through this momentary delay and go on to achieve greater personal performances in the long run.
Athletes who are under 11 years old are the most inconsistent swimmers. This can be frustrating for the swimmers, coaches and parents. They may perform great at one meet and look like they have never been coached five minutes later. We must be patient and permit these youngsters to learn to love the sport. Parents must realize that slow development of competitive drive at an early age is normal and is probably more desirable than precocious or forced early development. Everyone is taught how to compete and develop some competitive spirit.
With all of the above in mind, the parents' role is one of support in many ways:
- Inasmuch as it is the coaches' job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer's performance, it is the parents' responsibility to supply support, recognition and encouragement necessary to help the athlete feel good about their progress.
- If you have any questions about your child's training or team policies, contact the coach and schedule a meeting before or after practice. Criticizing the coach in front of the swimmers undermines the coach's authority and breaks the swimmer-coach trust and support necessary for maximum success. (If a parent has a problem and wishes to talk to someone other than the coach, please feel free to contact an execture parent board member.)
- No parent should behave in such a way that will bring discredit to the child, another child, the team, or competitive swimming. Any disagreement with an official during a swim meet should be brought to the coach's attention and handled only by the coach.
- The communication between the coach and the swimmer is crucial. A two-way relationship must exist daily at practice. It is imperative that coaches have the swimmer's full attention at these times. If the child is concerned about pleasing a parent during the practice, then his full attention will not be on swimming. Therefore, parents are required to remain in the bleacher area. Do not go to the side of the pool and interrupt any swimmer or coach during practice.
- Parents' attitudes and behaviors regarding their outlook on the sport have an important effect on the child. In swimming, as in life, no one can win all the time. There will always be some disappointments. Every youngster can gain from his experience whether he ever wins a single race. The important thing is to keep on striving to do better next time. The goal is not only to produce great swimmers, but also to produce great young people who swim.
- At least twice per week, check the email address you have supplied to Irving Swimmers. Meet information, newsletters, and announcements may be emailed to all members or members of specific teams. Make it a habit to visit the team website as well.
The Swimmers' Role
- Arrive ten minutes before the scheduled start of practice to stretch and begin on time.
- Sign in at the front desk on the North Lake Pool sheet and on the O2 attendance sheet.
- Be properly attired when arriving at the pool and have proper equipment ready to use. Proper attire includes modest (one piece) practice suit of any brand or style. Equipment includes goggles, swim fins, specialized swimmer's snorkel, pull buoy, filled water bottles and one or two towels. It is very strongly recommended that the swimmer's name be placed on all items, as they can then be returned to the swimmer directly. If no name is visible, items will be placed in the lost and found outside the North Lake pool office.
- Plan to stay the entire practice. The last few minutes of practice are very often the most important as reminders and announcements are made at this time. (It is not necessary for parents to stay at practice, but swimmers should be picked up promptly when their practice time is over.)
- Swimmers should notify the coaching staff if they will be away from practice for an extended period of time.
- Check the email address you have supplied to Irving Swimmers. Meet information, newsletters, and announcements may be displayed in the IS equipment cage or emailed to all members or members of specific teams. Make it a habit to visit the team website as well.
- Swimmers are encouraged to support their teammates at practice as well as in competition. Working together as a unit for the benefit of the team is an important part of the "O2 SPIRIT".
- All swimmers are expected to follow the oral direction of the coaching staff. At no time will disrespectful attitudes be tolerated from any swimmer.
- Abusive language, lying, stealing, and vandalism are not acceptable. These behaviors are detrimental enough to the group to warrant strict disciplinary action. Such action may range from "time out" to dismissal from the team.
- There should be no inappropriate physical contact between swimmers or between swimmers and coaches during practices, meets or any other IS event, regardless of the personal relationship of those involved.
- Swimmers may leave practice only with the coach's permission and then must remain within the swim center's confines until accompanied by a parent or authorized guardian.
- Irving Swimmers' practice equipment used at any practice is to be stacked neatly in the appropriate place at the end of each practice. The deck area is to be left clean.
- Swimmers are expected to follow the rules of their practice site at all times.
All swimmers should arrive for practice 10 minutes early for stretching prior to swimming. Summer schedules are adjusted. If practice is canceled due to weather, the team will attempt to notify you either by email, phone or text.
Masters have no set attendance requirements. Swimmers can come to as many scheduled practices as desired. However, swimmers who want to improve and excel must practice regularly.
Senior team members must meet attendance requirements in order to retain their places on their teams.