Ask Swim Mom: Should my child specialize?

Mark Noetzel

Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham

My 10-year-old daughter is fast at freestyle and likes to swim it at meets. The coach keeps entering her in different events even though she doesn’t like to swim them. I want her to enjoy swimming but she dreads the butterfly and especially breaststroke. She gets stressed out before those events. Do you have any advice on if we should talk to the coach about this and ask him to not enter her in those events?

—Freestyle Mom

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Dear Freestyle Mom,

We went through the same thing with our daughter who was better at freestyle than her other strokes at age 10. When she reached a plateau in freestyle later on, she saw improvement in her off strokes which helped keep her excited about swimming. At age 10, there is so much to learn and improve on. READ MORE