Parents have a huge impact on their children’s choices, and swimming is no different. If your child is taking swimming seriously, then it’s important to support them in any way you can. To give you some help, here are 10 tips to support your child this race season.
1. Don’t make it all about swimming
The last thing you want to talk about at the dinner table is swimming. Even if it’s to praise your child, don’t make their whole life about swimming unless they're incredibly passionate about it and start the conversation themselves.
Swimming for your child is different to swimming for someone who is twice their age. The goals, dreams, and achievements of your child will change depending on their age, so allow them to readjust them as they grow.
3. Don’t coach your children if you don’t have the knowledge
If you aren’t a certified coach then support your child emotionally. You don’t have the knowledge or credentials to criticise the way they swim or how they train—only a qualified coach can. Instead give them the best support you can emotionally, pick them up when they are low, and enjoy their successes with them. But a pushy parent can make swimming a chore rather than an enjoyable sport.
4. Stop comparing results with kids of similar ages
Kids develop at different ages, so don’t compare your child with another child in the same class or age group. Let them develop in their own time instead of reminding them that another child is better than them despite being younger or the same age. Helping your child set their own personal goals means they only have to compete against themselves.
5. Success should be celebrated, but not forever
Celebrate victories, new times and progress, but don’t talk about it for too long. Encourage your child to strive for improvement instead of settling for what they have. This will keep them hungry for improvement which is never a bad thing. Setting consistent targets can really make swimming a more progressive experience. Perhaps its to swim faster every few months, or maybe a further distance. Goals like these can be used throughout their entire swimming career.
6. It takes time to really improve
Understand that swimming is a sport that takes time and effort to improve at. Your child is probably trying hard even if they don’t see any progress, so stick to it and accept that time is required to get better at something.
7. Stop setting time limits
Stop telling your child that they have a day, week or month to reach some arbitrary results or times. Let them improve at their own pace and don’t force them to swim just to meet your demands. This is where your child setting their own goals comes in, only your child really knows if they are happy with their targets.
8. Don’t reward your child with material things
Rewards are great, but stop promising your child things like chocolate, sweets, video games and so on. This will teach your children bad habits. The rewards should be knowing that they’ve improved and achieved something great.
9. Encourage new things
Whether it’s a new style of swimming, different types of equipment to help them improve or even a different practice schedule, try and encourage new things to help your child discover new ways to approach their love of swimming.
10. Help your child set reasonable goals
Children love to dream, but when they can’t reach their dreams it can become stressful and tough. Help your child set goals that they can actually reach, things that are within their skill set and can be achieved at their age.
Here at ProSwimwear we've got everything your child needs to develop their swimming abilities. From their first dip in the water, to their first swimming lessons, and competitive events. Use these buttons to discover our amazing range of childrens swimwear and accessories: