PARENTS SECTION- GENERAL INFO & ADVICE
WORK WITH US
Remember you have brought your children to the club for expert and professional
coaching; let your child’s coach do what they are paid to do.
- Parents must realise that slow development of competitive drive at an early age is normaland perhaps more desirable than precocious or forced early development. It is important that everyone learns to compete and develop some competitive spirit. It is also important for children to learn to adapt to reasonable levels of emotional stress. The small disappointments they learn to handle as youngsters prepare them for the larger ones they are certain to experience as adults. Parents must also understand that Swim Swansea runs a LTAD plan; this means success at early age is not the goal for the club.
- It is the coach’s job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer’s performance. It is the parents’ job to supply love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to help the young swimmers feel good about themselves.
- Parents’ attitudes often dictate those of their children. A child might not be consciously aware of what is taking place while subconsciously absorbing powerful messages about their parents’ desires. For example, be enthusiastic about taking your child to training and meets – don’t look at these functions as Chores.
- If parents can offer insight on their child that will enable that child’s coach to work more effectively with the child, they should make sure to contact that coach.
- If you have any questions about your child’s training or team policies, contact your child’s coach via the squad representative to arrange a meeting. Criticising the coach in front of the swimmers and other parents must be avoided as it undermines the coach’s authority and breaks the swimmer/coach rapport necessary for maximum success.
- As a matter of courtesy to the officials and coaches, it is requested that parents stay off the pool side, unless they are serving in an official capacity. No parent should behave in such a way as to bring discredit to the child, the team, or competitive swimming. Any disagreement with an official should be brought to the attention of the coach, and handled by the coach.
- Be sure that your youngster swims because he/she wants to. People tend to resist anything they “have to do”. Self-motivation is the stimulus of all successful swimmers.
- Avoid “playing” your child against their nearest competitors, thereby creating vendettas within the team and swimming community. Close competition provides two great services for the athlete: it brings out the best in them and shows where improvement is needed.
- Communication between coach and swimmer is very important. A two-way relationship must exist at training. It is imperative that the coach has the swimmer’s full attention at these times. It is for this reason that we ask parents to watch training from a distance and not to participate in the coaching in any manner. Parent s ignoring this will be asked to leave the session.
- Parents must refrain from making stroke corrections or trying to coach their swimmer. When parents offer opinions as to how the swimmer should swim, it causes considerable confusion as to who the swimmer should listen to and whose opinion to respect. Please remember our coaches are all very highly qualified and have many years experience of guiding youngsters to success.
Who is the Ideal Swim Parent?
The ideal parent is….
*Supportive and encouraging, never a pressure giver.
*One who helps make the sport fun, not work.
*100% behind their son or daughter.
*The parent who follows and doesn’t lead.
*A supporter, backer and listener. This parent understands long term
Some things do not change, these accomplished swimmers from almost thirty years ago experienced the same kind of nurturing from their parents that is still in today’s recipe for success. Do your son/daughter a favour, support and encourage him/her. He/she will thank you for it.
The Ten Commandments for Swimming Parents
1. Thou shalt not impose your ambitions on your child. Remember that swimming is your child’s activity. Improvements and progress occur at different rates for each individual. Don’t judge your child’s progress based on the performance of other swimmers, don’t push them based on what you think they should be doing. The nice thing about swimming is that every person can strive to do their personal best.
2. Thou shalt be supportive no matter what. There is only one question to ask your child “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices aren’t fun, your child should not be forced to participate.
3. Thou shalt NOT coach your child. You have taken your child to a professional coach, do not undermine that coach by trying to coach your child on the side. Your job is to support your child no matter what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job. You should not offer advise on technique or race strategy. That is not your area. This will only serve to confuse your child and prevent that swimmer/coach bond from forming. Do not ignore the coaches advice, if they say no to something then trust their judgement.
4. Thou shalt only have positive things to say at a swim meet. If you are going to show up at the meet, you should cheer and applaud, but never criticize your child or the coach.
5. Thou shalt acknowledge thy child’s fears. At the first swimming meet, 400 free or 200 IM can be a stressful situation. It is totally appropriate for your to be scared. Don’t yell or belittle, just assure your child that the coach would not have suggested the event if your child was not ready to compete.
6. Thou shalt not criticise the officials. If you do not have the time or the desire to volunteer as an official, don’t criticise those who are doing the best they can.
7. Honour thy child’s coach. The bond between coach and swimmer is a special one, and one that contributes to your child’s success as well as fun. Do not criticise the coach in the presence of your child or other parents within the club or other clubs, it will only serve to hurt your child’s swimming.
8. Thou shalt not jump from team to team. The water is always bluer at the other team’s pool. This is not necessarily true. Every team has its own internal problems, even teams that build champions. Children who switch from team to team are often ostracized for a long time by the team mates they leave behind. Often times of swimmers who do switch teams never do better than they did before thy sought the bluer water.
9. Thou shalt have goals besides winning. Given an honest effort no matter what the outcome is much more important than winning. One Olympian said, “ My goal was to set a World Record. Well, I did that, but someone else did it too, just a little faster than I did. I have achieved my goal and lost. This does not make me a failure, in fact I was very proud of that swim.
10. Thou shalt not expect your child to become an Olympian. There are thousands of swimmers in the UK Swimming. There are only a maximum of 52 slots available for the Olympic Team every four years. Swimming is much more than just Olympics. Ask your coach why he coaches, chances are, he/she was not an Olympian, but still got enough out of swimming that he wants to pass the love of the sport onto others. Swimming teaches self discipline, time management and sportsmanship; it builds self esteem and fitness: it provides lifelong friendships and much more. Most Olympians will tell you that these intangibles far outweigh any medal they have won. Swimming
builds good people and you should happy your child wants to participate.
Enjoy this wonderful sport, its ups and downs, the elation and frustration, the friendships you will make on the way, who knows where the journey will take you but the sky is the limit and you are only limited by your ability support and share in this wonderful world of swimming. Above all have fun.
ILLNESS/ABSENCE FROM TRAINING
If a swimmer is unable to attend training for any reason, please inform the Squad Representative as soon as possible. They will make sure that the squad coach is aware so that when they return to training, the reduction in fitness and endurance that will have occurred can be taken into consideration within their training set.
GALAS – Some Important Advice
Team Galas and Open Meets form an essential and integral part of the training cycle at Swim Swansea and attending them is an important part of developing as a competitive swimmer. Your child’s squad coach will tell you which galas are best suited to your child at any one point in their development and training cycle. Please try to ensure that they have the opportunity to go to all galas suggested but not to other galas that are not on the club’s competition schedule – unless these have been cleared by the Squad coach. Selection to represent the club at an Inter-Club meet such as the Speedo leagues is both an achievement and an honour and it is imperative that the club is told as soon as possible if your child is not able to swim for the club at such a meet. In the case of all team meets, we ask that you ensure that your coach is contacted within 3 days of the team being published to confirm that your child can or cannot swim at the relevant event. Teams should be published at least 2 weeks prior to an event, either to yourself, the parent, or your child. Please get into the habit of checking the club web sites for team selections.
MEETINGS WITH THE SQUAD COACH
Much as they would like to, squad coaches cannot participate in informal poolside meetings to discuss particular swimmers as these take their attention away from the pool and interfere with the training programme. Parents are never to come onto poolside before, during or after a training session to speak to the coach.
Coaches are only too happy to arrange meetings with parents/swimmers outside of the training period and these can be set up via the squad rep or the coach. Please remember though that after a long, hot and mentally intense training session, particularly as this is usually after a full day’s work elsewhere, your squad coach will be tired and weary. In order to try and ensure that meetings can be dealt with quickly and efficiently, we have institutedthe following procedure:
1. Arrange your meeting via the Squad Rep or coach,
2. Inform the coach what you would like to discuss at the meeting so they can get the correct information ready for the meeting. This mechanism makes it possible for you to raise any topic you wish with the squad coach(es), in complete confidence, and it also allows them the opportunity to collate any information that might be needed in order to respond to the purpose of the meeting.
Please try to avoid becoming a ‘drop and run’ parent. You will miss out on a great deal if you don’t come in, read the notice boards and meet the group your child is part of. Be involved with their club and they will talk to you about their sport, friends and ambitions and you will be a part of their development as fine young swimmers. The club tries very hard to make sure that you are kept in the ‘communications loop’. The methods we use for communication are:
1.Noticeboards- Provide all changes, and information concerning the running of the club, what’s happening in the future, has happened in the past etc.
2. Website – Provides all information concerning the running of the club i.e. changes to training times, press reports and all general information. This is where to find any last minute changes to training, meet venues etc.
3.Newsletter The club’s newsletter is published every quarterly and provides information on a whole range of things including meets, achievements, permanent changes in training schedules, information from the Executive Committee and our Coaching team.
4. Monthly Squad meetings