Be patient - good swimmers take time to develop, and some develop quickly while others take longer. It’s never too late! But unless the swimmer is exceptional, don’t expect him/her to immediately perform as well as those in the same age group who have been swimming several years. The new swimmer can catch up, but it will take time and patience!
Help your swimmer learn to deal with frustration - don’t add to it. Children change in so many ways from year to year - physically and psychologically. Don’t expect your swimmer to pick up where he/she left off at the end of last season. Swimmers who have done very well one season and then move to the bottom of the next age group can place very high expectations on themselves, which is even tougher to deal with if their parents also expect them to still be the “star” of their age group.
Help your child learn (and acknowledge yourself) that the drive to do well must come from within, not from the outside. A child who comes to depend on someone yelling at him to motivate him will flounder when that external motivation disappears.
Your swimmer will perform as well as he/she wants to, not as well as you or the coach wants him/her to. Your swimmer’s performance will be based on the daily physical and mental effort he/she puts forth, not on the effort of which we believe he/she is capable.
Never complain about the number of hours of practice your child logs. Anything worthwhile usually means sacrifice and hard work. Make sure your swimmer realizes that you support him/her in every way possible.
We all want the best for our swimmers. But please leave the coaching to the coaches. Swimmers, especially young ones, can become confused with potentially incorrect or unnecessary advice. Our coaches want to be accessible to parents, but please realize that as soon as one age-group practice ends, the next one begins. So if you would like to contact or speak with a coach, please leave a note in the coach’s folder (the coaches’ file box is brought to every practice). Be sure to include your name, child’s name, and the best way to reach you. Rest assured that the coach will get back to you as soon as possible.
Help your swimmer remember that although swimming events are individual in nature, he/she is part of a team.
The most important thing swimming can do for your child is give him/her a positive self-image and the sense of sportsmanship.