I want to be just like Mommy/Daddy

Values, Attitudes, and Philosophies  I want to be just like Mommy/Daddy

Children learn form parents, sometimes whether we want them too or not. You have probably heard a disgruntled parent say something like, "I don’t know where that kid learned to be so irresponsible. He/she never finishes anything he starts." Very often, these attitudes were taught to the child by the parents’ own poor example. Take care to teach your children responsibility by getting them to practice and swim meets on time, even when it is tough. And on those cold, dark days when sitting in front of the television is much more appealing than going to practice, nudge your child down the road to self-discipline with their swimsuits. We all need a little shove now and again.

If you would really like to contribute to the maintenance of a strong club for you swimmer, donate some of your time and ideas on one of the team committees. The maintenance of a smooth running organization and keeping communications channels open is the result of the untiring devotion of the members of the committee and board members. Often a teams biggest critics and chronic complainers are the ones who never do anything to solve the problems. Get into the organization, utilize you talents and ideas, and get on the Board of Directors! We need and encourage every parent’s participation!

One of the poorest examples you can set for your child is to offer to pay him/her for good swims. This is obviously shallow motivation. In order to remain effective, it must be steadily increased until it reaches the point where it is plain too expensive to continue and your child is left with no motivation at all. In order to be long lasting, motivation must come from an inner desire to excel. If you involve money, your child will simply learn to expect payment for any effort at anything. So, please do not pay you swimmers.

Swimming is an ideal self-motivation activity in that the reward system is objective and specific: time! In the same vein as was mentioned above, keep the rewards (ribbons, medals, trophies, high point awards- etc) in perspective. Although most meets offer something tangible in the way of awards, don’t fall into the trap of believing they also measure success–they do not. Every swimmer would like a little something to show after swimming for a period of time, however just as in the above example the reward had to be increased, so goes the awards. If you have a trophy case or wall to fill, see a coach. He or she can give you several places to go to buy trophies until there is no more room to park the car. Teach your swimmer the value of swimming for intrinsic rewards. You will end up with a healthier, more motivated swimmer in the long run.

In summary here are some positive factors to help in the development of proper attitudes in your swimmer:  1) The parents should show an interest in the activities of the child. 2) Success, as well as failure should be accepted and supported by the parents. 3) Criticism of performance or practice should be handled by the coach. 4) Almost all swimming should be left at the pool. 5) Conduct of swimming practice of any kind should be left to the coach. 6) Aside from helping out at meets or timing, stay away from your swimmer while they are swimming. Pacing up and down the deck screaming usually does not help (the swimmers cannot hear you anyway), and your support can be demonstrated in less obvious ways. Cheer for the swimmers, have a good time, be enthusiastic, but realistic. Finally, 7) keep swimming in perspective with other activities of the family. Swimming should be left in the pool.