Being a swim mom or dad can be exciting, especially if you have a child who is showing great potential. Before you realize it, you can quickly get caught up with helping coach with practices and coordinating travel to meets. You may even find yourself contemplating whether or not you're a fan of the newest Dolfin Uglies swimsuits. It's important to remember, however, that your young athlete's happiness should be your top priority.
To stay grounded, USA Swimming suggests that parents of athletes regularly ask themselves the following questions:
- Does my young athlete want to go to practice? If your child needs to be prodded or pushed to go every practice and meet, it may be a sign that he or she doesn't enjoy the sport, or is having a problem with the coach.
- Has my child learned anything about sportsmanship? Winning a race is a thrilling experience, but losing will teach a child equally important life lessons. In our competitive society, it's important that all people have the ability to handle triumphs and defeats gracefully.
- Is my child swimming with better skill than in previous seasons? Yes, swimming is a sport, but it's also a life saving-skill. More important than being a faster swimmer is being a stronger and safer one.
Not all swimmers will go to compete at the elite level, but any athlete can maintain some connection to the sport for most of their lives. By making sure that your child enjoys swimming is the key to keeping them in the pool for years to come!