Swimmers are unique. Each possesses a different variation of mental motivation and physical ability. None of them can put forth 100% effort 100% of the time. Competitive swimming is a physically healthy sport. If it is to be mentally healthy, swimmers must receive adult communication and adult example, the message that their effort is far more important than their final performance. Maximum support from parents and coaches is an award far more important than any ribbon or medal they will ever receive.
It is essential for children to learn to compete against themselves, understanding that no person can always improve at each attempt. Winning is NOT important! Learning how to win and how to lose is what counts. Pride in bettering oneself is the key to self-fulfillment.
We have developed a program for all of our swimmers. Weekly, after each meet, each swimmers times are compared to his/her fastest times. If there is improvement over a fastest time, that swimmer will receive a “Piranha Button” for his/her effort. Most swimmers pin their buttons on their swim bag. Go Piranhas!
HELPFUL HINTS FOR PARENTS & SWIMMERS and WHAT TO BRING TO MEETS:
· Don’t be afraid to get involved, even if you’ve never been to a swim meet in your life.
· Ask questions.
· Encourage your swimmer to ride the bus as it builds team sprit and new friendships.
· Have an extra suit to practice in rather than the team suit; it will prolong the life of the team suit. Rinse your team suit in cold water after each use and hand dry (not in the sun).
· Have spare change for the concession stand.
· Money for the heat sheet -- about $2-$3; it helps you keep aware of when your child swims, so that they don’t miss their race.
· A Sharpie marker with which you will write on your child (on the back of their hand) their events. This simplifies things for everyone, and makes for a quick check at the blocks.
· A highlighter to quickly reference your swimmer in the heat sheet.
· A pen to jot down their times.
· Travel with lawn chairs, pop up tents and blankets to home and away meets, they often come in handy. (meets can last 4+ hours)
· Always bring extra towels!! You can never have too many.
· Have plenty of water available for your swimmers.
· Sleeping bag or an old quilt and pillow.
· Extra clothes (sweats if your child gets cold easily)
· Lots of fluids: water, juice and/or sport drinks are available at concessions
· Something to do between your races (crafts, books, DS, iPod, iPad, etc).
· Healthy snacks
· Lots of sunscreen
· Try to get keep your kids out of the sun so they don’t get dehydrated.
· Have a spare set of goggles, just in case one is lost. (If you have a boy double that )
· Critiquing, both negative and positive, needs to come from a coach, not a parent. You are there for support!
· Show team spirit. Wear team apparel and/or colors to the meet for the team.
At Practice: If you have a question, please visit with a coach before or after practice. We strongly encourage you to take on the role of encouragement and support.
During practice: You are welcome to stay and watch but you must stay in or near the grass area, and must stay out of the water and play areas. Your swimmer should bring a water bottle labeled w/ their name), goggles, etc. to every practice.