Competitve swimming provides many benefits to young athletes such as self-discipline, good sportsmanship, time-management skills, and physical fitness. Competition allows the swimmer to experience both success and defeat in a positive environment.

As a parent, you make major contributions to your child's success by providing a stable, loving, and supportive environment and by serving as a positive role model. Always show goodsportmanship towards coaches, officials, other parents, opponents, and teammates and create an atmosphere that encourages your swimmer and makes your swimmer feel like a winner. We highly recommend parents to help their child establish his or her own goals instead of imposing their own standards or goals. Be sure to never overburden your child with winning, achieving best times, or with progressing at a pace that does not suit your swimmer. Improvement occurs at different rates for every child. The level of improvement and success is directedly related to the amount of time commited to practice-- week by week, month by month.

As with any successful youth sports program, parent involvement is necessary for the program to grow and move in a positive direction. The program will see the most success if the parents and coaches are working towards a common goal. Your child will best receive all of the postive aspects that being part of any organized sport if his or her parents are willing to be involved in the team.

Parents should be made aware that their child's involvement in BAC will necessitate their assuming certain responsibilities and will require an investment of both time and money.

1. Help your children to set good, measurable long-term and short-term goals and encourage them to work hard to achieve them as well as to monitor their progress. The positive encouragement their receive from your along the way has far greater and longer lasting value than any ribbon or medal they might win.

2. Check with the coaches whenever you have a question pertaining to the team and your child's participation.

3. Remember the attitudes and behavior of the parents in regard to their outlook on the sport and the team has an importand effect on the child. Every child can learn from their experience whether or not they ever win a race. The important thing is to keep striving to do better next time.

4. Don't discipline your child for poor performance as a swimmer. The coach will instruct your swimmer on what may or may not have gone wrong in a race. The parents should maintain a supportive environment that encourages their swimmer not discourages them.

5. Don't expect swimmers to swim best times every race. They won't.

6. Don't assume that a swimmer doing a stroke incorrectly has not been told to correct it and how to correct it by coaches or that the swimmer is not trying to correct the stroke. Some habits are difficult to break, and most take time.

7. Avoid extrinsi rewards for good performances. It will set you up for the rest of the child's life to always "owe" them something for the things they do. It also devalues the accomplishment itself by putting emphasis on the prize.

8. Don't approach or argue with the officials when they make a decision against your child or team. Let the coach handle such problems and be ready to accept that every child may get disqualified. Be sure to keep in mind the fact that all officials are fallible humans and volunteers.

9. Give credit to the swimmer when improvement is made, whether it was the winning time or not.

10. Get your swimmers to practice on time. "On time" doesn't mean when practice starts. "On time" means the swimmer has enough time to be on the deck ready to swim about 5-10 before practice starts.

11. Refrain from coaching and instructing. It is important that swimmers receive all the technical information and constrctive criticism of their performance from only one source-- their coach. Two sets of instruction only serve to confuse swimmers.

12. Promptly meet your financial obligations and meet sign-up responsibilities.

14. Get involved!!!

15. Attend parent meetings.

If parents have concerns or issues with any part of the organization, they are expected to discuss them with a member of the Board or the Head Coach. Parents should not talk negatively among themselves and/or others about the Bulldog Aquatic Club, its Coaches, or members. Remember that what you say will be repeated and that negative comments undermine the relationship between the coach and the swimmer. Board Members and Coaches are willing to work through any concerns that may arise.

One of the traditional swim team communication gaps is that some parents seem to feel more comfortable in discussing their disagreements over coaching philosophy with other parents rather than taking them directly to the coach. Not only is the problem never resolved that way, but also this approach often results in new problems being created. Listed below are some guidelines for raising some difficult issues with a coach.

1. Remember that you and the coach have the best interest of your child at heart.

2. If you trust the coach's goals match yours, even though his/her approach may be different, you are more likely to enjoy good rapport and a constructive dialogue.

3. Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group that can range in size from 5 to 25 members.

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