Swimming Commandments for Parents
· Thou shalt not impose your ambitions on thy child.
Remember that swimming and diving 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 athletes and don't push them based on what you think you should be doing. The nice thing about swimming and diving is every person can strive to do their best personal best.
· Thou shalt be supportive no matter what.
There is only one question to ask your child, "Did you have fun?" Your child should not be forced to participate.
· Thou shalt not coach your child.
Do not undermine the coach by trying to coach your child on the side. Your job is to support, love and hug your child no matter what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job. You should not offer advice on technique or race strategy. This will only serve to confuse your child and prevent that swimmer/coach bond forming. Have your child ask the coach if they have questions.
· Thou shalt only have positive things to say at a meet.
When you go to a meet you should cheer and applaud, but never criticize our child or the coach.
· Thou shalt acknowledge thy child's fears.
A first time in competition or the first time doing an new dive or an event can be stressful situation. It s totally appropriate for your child to be scared. Don't yell or belittle, just assure the child that the coach would not have suggested the event or dive if they were not ready to compete in it.
· Thou shalt not criticize the officials.
If you do not have the time or desire to volunteer as an official, don't criticize those who are doing the best they can.
· Honor thy child's coach.
The bond between a child and coach is a special one and one that contributes to our child's success as well as fun. Do not criticize the coach in the presence of your child, it will only serve to hurt your child's swimming.
· Thou shalt not jump form team to team.
The water is not necessarily bluer at the other team's pool. every team has its own internal problems, even teams that build champions. Often times swimmers and divers who do switch teams never do better than they did before they sought the bluer water. The improvement they do show is natural progression of their growth and maturity in the sport.
· Thy child shalt have goals besides winning.
Giving an honest effort regardless of what the outcome is, 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 achieved my goal and I lost. This does not make me a failure, in fact, I am very proud of that swim."
· Thou shalt not expect my child to become an Olympian.
There are 225,000 athletes in United States Swimming alone. There are only 52 spots available for the Olympic team every four years. Your child's odds of becoming an Olympian are 1 in about 4,300. The odds of a diver are even tougher. Swimming and diving are much more than just the Olympics. Ask a coach why he or she coaches. Chances are, he or she was not an Olympian, but still is good enough out of swimming and diving that he wants to pass that love for the sport on to others. Swimming and diving teaches self discipline and sportsmanship; it builds self esteem and fitness; it provides lifelong friendship and much more. Most Olympians will tell you that these intangibles far outweigh an medal they have won. Swimming and diving program build good people, and you should be happy your child want to participate.
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