Parent Expectations



To have a successful program there must be understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The fun your children have and the progress they make depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind that we ask you to read and pledge your agreement to the following parent guidelines. These guidelines will help you keep your child's development in the proper perspective and help your child reach his/her full potential as a swimmer, while having fun!

1. The Coach is the Coach! When parents interfere with opinions as to how the swimmer should swim or train, it causes considerable, and oftentimes insurmountable, confusion. If you have a problem, concern, or complaint, please contact a member of the Pool Committee, and refrain from complaining to other parents. If you must talk to the coach regarding your child, please do so before or after practice, not during practice and especially not during a meet.

2. The Coaches and only the Coaches decide lineups and swimmer positions for meets. Many factors go into deciding meet line ups, including but not limited to: swimmer times; practice attendance; attitude; and team morale. None of these factors has precedence; rather it is the whole package that determines swimmer placement.

3. The Coaches need to run practices. All swimmers will benefit if the coaches can run practices without external interruptions. Some of the youngest swimmers may easily become distracted by the presence of their parents, so be prepared to move a little farther away from the action if your child is constantly doing things that interrupt his or her focus on the team practice. Examples of this behavior include frequently leaving the pool to seek parental comforting, trying to draw mom or dad into the water to assist the child, or simply horsing around to seek attention. Please give the coaches the first opportunity to handle any such misbehavior; they will not hesitate to ask you for additional help if they need it.

4. Have FUN! Remember, the Garner Dolphins are part of a summer league, and as such we foster a relaxed, social environment for beginning as well as experienced swimmers. We provide many opportunities over the swim season for socializing and getting to know other parents and swimmers. Take advantage of these occasions for family fun!

The Ten Commandments for Parents of Athletic Children

Edited and reprinted from The Young Athlete by Bill Burgess

page10image20872 page10image21456 page10image21616 page10image22200 page10image22624


page10image24456 page10image25040

Make sure your child knows that -- win or lose, scared or heroic -- you love him/her, appreciate their efforts, and are not disappointed in them.

page10image27552 page10image28136 page10image28560 page10image29144 page10image29728 page10image30152


page10image31992 page10image32736

Try your best to be completely honest about your child’s athletic ability, his/her competitive attitude, their sportsmanship, and their actual skill level.

page10image35160 page10image35744 page10image36168 page10image36752 page10image37336 page10image37760


page10image39272 page10image39856 page10image40280 page10image40864 page10image41448 page10image41872
page10image42664 page10image43408

Be helpful, but don’t coach him/her on the way to the pool or on the way back, or at breakfast, and so on. It’s tough not to, but it’s a lot tougher for the child to be inundated with advice, pep talks and often critical instruction.

page10image46664 page10image47408


Teach them to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be "out there trying," to be working to improve his/her swimming skills and attitudes. Help him/her to develop the feel for competing, for trying hard, for having fun.

page10image51720 page10image52304 page10image52728 page10image53312 page10image53896 page10image54320


page10image56160 page10image56904

Try not to relive your athletic life through your child.

page10image58744 page10image59328 page10image59752 page10image60336 page10image60920 page10image61344


page10image62856 page10image63440 page10image63864 page10image64448 page10image65032 page10image65456
page10image66248 page10image66992

Don’t compete with the coach.

page10image68504 page10image69248


Don’t compare the skill, courage, or attitudes of your child with other members of the team, at least within his/her hearing.

page10image72920 page10image73504 page10image73928 page10image74512 page10image75096 page10image75520


page10image77360 page10image78104

Get to know the coach so that you can be assured that his/her philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to have your child under his/her leadership.

page10image80888 page10image81472 page10image81896 page10image82480 page10image83064 page10image83488


page10image85000 page10image85584 page10image86008 page10image86592 page10image87176 page10image87600
page10image88392 page10image89136

Always remember that children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized. Temper your reaction and investigate before over-reacting.

page10image91352 page10image92096


page10image93808 page10image94392 page10image94816 page10image95240 page10image95824

Make a point of understanding courage, and the fact that it is relative. Explain that courage is not the absence of fear, but a means of doing something in spite of fear of discomfort.

page10image98496 page10image99080