What makes a great swimmer? Years of practice? A tough coach? High-quality racing swimsuits? While these are important to an athlete, a large part of a swimmer's success comes from the support of their parents. Swim moms and dads regularly drive to practices and meets, fundraise and do anything that is asked of them to benefit their child and their team.
"There's a fine line between supporting your child and being pushy," said Anne Piascik, a New Jersey swim parent told Swimming World magazine. "You have to help your child become better, and then let them soar on their own."
Piascik's support of her daughter Emma has involved driving long distances – once all the way to North Carolina – to take her to important meets. Despite the sacrifices that she has made for her daughter to be able to swim at a competitive level, Piascik told the magazine that the benefits far outweigh the costs. According to her, Emma is more independent and has better time management skills all thanks to swimming.
Young swimmers have a lot to balance in their lives. It can be hard to keep up with practices, meets and, most importantly, academic work without the assistance of mom and dad. Coaches can only offer so much guidance and they're not with the athlete nearly as much as their parents are.
Piascik said that athletes, coaches and parents are all part of the same team. They may play different roles, but they must all work together to create a successful outcome.