Parent Commitments
  • Don’t impose your ambitions on your child. Remember that swimming is your child’s activity. Improvements and progress occur at different rates for each individual. Don’t judge your child’s progress based on the performance of other athletes, and don’t push your child based on what you think he or she should be doing. One nice thing about swimming is that every person can strive to do his or her personal best.
  • Be supportive no matter what. There is only one question to ask your child, “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices are not fun, your child should not be forced to participate.
  • Let the Coach coach your child. You have taken your child to a professional coach. Do not undermine that coach by trying to coach your child on the side. Your job is to support, love, and hug your child no matter what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job. You should not offer advice on technique or race strategy. This will only serve to confuse your child and prevent that swimmer-coach bond from forming.
  • Say only positive things at a swim meet. When you go to a swim meet, you should cheer and applaud, but never criticize your child, the coaches, or other swimmers.
  • Acknowledge your child’s fears. The first swim meet, 50 free or 100 IM, can be a stressful situation. It is totally appropriate for your child to be scared. Don’t yell or belittle. Just assure your child that the coach would not have suggested the event if he or she was not ready to compete in it.
  • Don’t criticize the officials. The officials are also parent volunteers doing the best job possible.
  • Respect the Coach. The bond between coach and swimmer is a special one and contributes to your child’s success as well as fun. Do not criticize the coach in the presence of your child.  it will only serve to hurt his or her swimming.
  • Help your child set goals besides winning. Giving an honest effort, regardless of the outcome, is more important than winning. One Olympian said, “My goal was to set a world record. Well, I did that, but someone else did it, too, just a little faster than I did. I achieved my goal, and I lost. This does not make me a failure. In fact, I am very proud of that swim.”