Competitive swimming provides lots of benefits to young athletes such as self-discipline, sportsmanship, & time management skills. Competition allows a swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with the joy of winning as well as the disappointment of not reaching personal goals.
As a parent of a swimmer, one of the key things you can do is provide a stable, loving and supportive environment. A positive environment will encourage your swimmer to train and compete well.
A few years ago the ASA used the survey below to help people discover if they were a ‘pressure parent’ If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may be in danger of pressuring your child.
Is winning more important to you than it is to your child?
When your child has a poor swim, is your disappointment through body language or tones, obvious?
Do you feel that you are the one to have to "psyche" your child up before competition?
Do you feel that winning is the only way your child can enjoy the sport?
Do you conduct "post mortems" immediately after competition or practice?
Do you feel that you have to force your child to go to practice?
Do you find yourself wanting to interfere with coaching and instructions during practice or competition thinking that you could do better?
Do you find yourself disliking your child's opponents?
Are your child's goals more important to you than they are to your child?