Below are some tips of advice for parents of swimmers:
Part of the process of learning to be a swimmer is learning to trust the coach. For a child to be able to achieve this, you, as parents, must be able to let go and hand your child’s swimming development over to the coach.
Don’t expect personal bests every time a swimmer competes. It’s a lot of pressure on a swimmer to expect dropped times on every event. Obviously, that’s what most parents and coaches push for, but every experience offers some sort of reward. Whether that’s winning an event, or learning from a disqualification on how to improve, there’s always something to be gained.
Remember that you are their parent, and that’s your only job! Some parents offer too much help; for example, swimmers should learn responsibility by being in charge of their own gear, finding out their own heat and lanes at meets, and be willing to talk to their coach. Other parents like to coach their children, which isn't necessary or beneficial--that's the coach's job, and many kids need their parents to support them, not scrutinize them.
All coaches recognize that they are coaching the development of a whole person, not just a swimmer. They understand that children learn through working things out on their own. If you, as a parent, try to rush the technical development of your child, they may miss out on enjoying the fun side of the experience. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, raise your concerns to the coach immediately.
To summarize, it’s best if everyone sticks to their jobs. Coaches coach, swimmers swim, and parents get to love, encourage, support, and cheer on their swimmer!
Good questions to ask your swimmer
- What were you working on today?
- Did you have fun?
- Did you try hard?
- How did you go?
- What did your coach think?