Supporting your child in swimming can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. You will soon find yourself cheering at competitions, timing during the meets (the best place to see the meet) or even going on to become a Swimming Australia accredited official. Whatever your role, your child will have a richer, more positive experience if you provide a positive and supportive role. Please ask questions of your coach, officials and fellow parents. We all have the same goal: to provide the children with the best possible experience in swimming.
Competitive swimming allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming healthy and physically fit. As a parent, your major responsibility is to provide a stable, loving and supportive environment. This positive environment will encourage your child to continue in the sport. Show your interest by ensuring your child’s attendance at training and coming to the meets and helping out.
Parents are not passive participants on their child’s team but contribute to the success experienced by the child and their team. Parents serve as role models and their attitudes are often emulated by their children. Be aware of this and strive to be positive role models by showing good sportsmanship at all times towards coaches, officials, opponents and team mates.
Be enthusiastic and supportive – remember that your child is the swimmer. Children need to establish their own goals and make their own progress towards them. Be careful not to impose your own standards and goals.
Do not burden your child with expectations of winning or achieving best times. The most important part of your child’s swimming experience is that they learn about themself while enjoying the sport. This healthy environment encourages learning and fun which will help develop a positive self-image within your child.