Competitive swimming programs provide many benefits to young athletes, including self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming healthy and physically fit. As a parent, your major responsibility is to provide a stable, loving, and supportive environment. This positive environment will encourage your child to continue. Show your interest by assuring your child's attendance at practices, and by coming to swim meets.

Parents are not participants on their child's team, but contribute to the success experienced by the child and the team. Parents serve as role models and their attitudes are often emulated by their children. Be aware of this and strive to be positive models. Most importantly, show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents, and teammates.

United States Swimming is a non-profit organization made up of very dedicated volunteers. Interested parents donate their time, energy, and expertise at every level from local swimming clubs to the national Board of Directors. Your role as a volunteer is important to our sport. You can be actively involved in your child's swimming program and can also be instrumental in strengthening swimming in the United States. With a positive attitude and a willingness to lend a hand, you will also have a great impact on your child's athletic environment, and love of swimming. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, talk to your child's coach.

Be enthusiastic and supportive! Remember that your child is the swimmer, Children need to establish their own goals and make their own progress towards them. Be careful not to impose your own standards and goals. Do not over burden your child with winning or achieving best times. Learning about oneself while enjoying the sport is the most important part of the swimming experience. The swimming environment encourages learning and fun, which will help your child develop a positive self-image.

Let the Coach coach! The best way to help your child achieve goals and reduce the natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. No one likes to make a mistake. If your child does make one, remember that this is a learning experience. Encourage your child's efforts and point out the positive things. The coach is the only one qualified to judge a swimmer's performance and technique. Your role is to provide support.