To have a successful program there must be understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The progress your youngster makes depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind that we ask you to consider this section as you join the Swim Newton and reacquaint yourself with this section if you are a returning club parent.
You have done a great deal to raise your child. You create the environment in which they are growing up. Your child is a product of your values, the structure you have provided, and the model you have been. Human nature, however, is such that a parent loses some of his/her ability to remain detached and objective in matters concerning his/hers children’s athletics. The following guidelines will help you keep your child’s development in the proper perspective and help your child reach his/her full potential as an athlete.
Coach is the Coach
We want your swimmer to relate to his or her coach as soon as possible concerning swimming matters. This relationship between coach and swimmer produces best results. When parents interfere with opinions as to how the swimmer should swim or train, it causes considerable, and oftentimes insurmountable, confusion as to whom the swimmer should listen to. If you have a problem, concern, or complaint, please contact the coach.
Best Kind of Parent
The coach’s job is to motivate and constructively criticize the swimmer’s performance. It is the parent’s job to supply the love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to make the child work harder in practice, which in turn gives him/her the confidence to perform well in competition.
Ten and Unders
Ten and Unders are the most inconsistent swimmers and this can be frustrating for parents, coaches, and the swimmer alike! Parents and coaches must be patient and permit these youngsters to learn to love the sport. When a young swimmer first joins Swim Newton, there may be a brief period in which he/she appears to slow down. This is a result of the added concentration on stroke technique, but this will soon lead to much faster swims for the individual.
Not Every Time
Even the very best swimmer will have meets where they do not do their best times. These “plateaus” are a normal part of swimming. Over the course of a season times should improve. Please be supportive of these “poor” meets. The older swimmers may have only two or three meets a year for which they will be rested and tapered.
Please make every effort to have your swimmers at practice on time. Realize that your child is working hard and give all the support you can. Encourage good diet and sleeping habits. They will serve your children well.
Problems With The Coach?
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 in fact this approach often results in new problems being created. Listed below are some guidelines for a parent raising some difficult issues with a coach:
- Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart. If you trust that 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.
- 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 2 to 30 members. On occasion, an individual child’s interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short term inconvenience.
- If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach’s performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach. He/she is the only one who can resolve the problem.