FAST Philosophy of Competition
FAST engages in a multi-level competition program with United States Swimming that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success-oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
The following policies outline our philosophy:
1. Emphasis on competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals or trophies is not our main goal. The swimmer’s improvement is our primary objective. If the swimmer has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better, even if he/she finished first.
2. Emphasis on sportsmanship. Sportsmanlike behavior is of equal importance to improved performance. The FAST coaches teach swimmers how to behave like a champion when the swimmers have both “good” and “bad” swims. Respect for officials, congratulations to other competitors, encouragement to teammates, determined effort and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the FAST coaches.
3. Emphasis on constructive criticism. A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time. It is the coach’s job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer’s performance. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmer’s confidence along the way.
4. Emphasis on goals. Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice and training efforts.
5. Emphasis on varied competition. Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in all swimming events, distances and strokes. This policy promotes versatility and encourages the swimmer to explore his/her potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming. Oftentimes, a swimmer’s “best stroke” changes as he/she matures.