Be the Best Swim Parent you can Be

Rules for Swimming Parents-1

Excerpts from


BCSSA Parents’ Resource Guide


Competitive swimming programs provide many benefits to young athletes. They develop self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming health 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. Show your interest by ensuring your child’s attendance at practices, and by coming to meets.
Parents are not participants on their child’s team, but obviously contribute greatly to the success experienced by the child and his/her team. Parents serve as role models and their children often emulate their attitudes. Be aware of this and strive to be positive role models. Most importantly, show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents, and teammates.

Are you a Pressure Parent?

The following survey has been taken from the Amateur Swimming Association of Great Britain. If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may be in danger of pressuring your child. It is important to remember that the parents’ role is critical and should be supportive at all times to ensure a positive experience for your child.

  • Do you want your child to win more than he/she does?
  • Do you show your disappointment if he/she has a poor result?
  • Do you feel that you have to “psyche” your child up before a competition?
  • Do you feel that your child can enjoy the sport only if he/she wins?
  • Do you conduct a “post modern” immediately after competition?
  • Do you feel that you have to force your child to go to training?
  • Do you find yourself wanting to interfere during training or competition thinking that you could do better?
  • Do you find yourself disliking your child’s opponents?

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 over burden your child with winning or achieving best times.
  • The most important part of your child’s swimming experience is that they learn best themselves while enjoying the sport.

This healthy environment encourages learning and fun, which will develop a positive self-image within your child.

Let the Coach, Coach

The best way to help a child achieve their goals and reduce the natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement.

  • No one likes to make mistakes.
  • If your child is swimming poorly or struggles, remember that they are still learning.
  • Encourage their efforts and point out the positive aspects of their swimming, things they did well.
  • As long as they gave their best effort, you should make them feel like a winner.

Click on this link to read more about promoting swimming in a positive way for your swimmer:

Summer Swimming Parent Reference Guide

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