I've got a 7 year old girl who just joined a competitive swim team in the NYC area and I'm curious if people have thoughts/tips/advice on how to be a supportive parent (and how to get through the apparently interminable meets).
Not a parent but I was on teams as a kid and I do some coaching:I've got a 7 year old girl who just joined a competitive swim team in the NYC area and I'm curious if people have thoughts/tips/advice on how to be a supportive parent (and how to get through the apparently interminable meets).
This is a really good bit of advice. I'd take it a step further, however, and if she decides freestyle is her favorite, it might help to encourage her to work on one of the others as her specialty. For two reasons:Have your daughter pick a stroke and take ownership of it as her "favorite," (probably her best stroke)
This is absolutely true and pretty closely matches my experience. I was happiest when I was able to play baseball in the summer in addition to swimming. Once I had to quit baseball, my drive and desire plummeted. Add in the two-a-days that came with high school and club team practices and I was out by my junior year.As someone who swam from age 7 through the NCAA, it's a sport with a ton of burnout - there are few sports that can be a bigger time commitment. If my parents didn't listen when I wanted to try out for baseball/crew/ski team/etc. at various points when I was in school, I may have grown to hate swimming. Everyone needs a break. People who grow up swimming both LCY/SCM seasons every single year lose their childhood.
Thanks for this-and thanks again to everyone for their thoughts.This is a really good bit of advice. I'd take it a step further, however, and if she decides freestyle is her favorite, it might help to encourage her to work on one of the others as her specialty. For two reasons:
1) I don't know about other coaches, but my coach would always do sets where you were required to pick a non-freestyle stroke for the set. If she doesn't develop one of those strokes, she will be absolutely miserable until she masters one of those.
2) If she develops a non-freestyle stroke, it really opens up her ability to join the more competitive medley relay teams. I was always a middling swimmer (ages 8-16) and never really wanted to get out of my freestyle comfort zone. But I worked at it and by the time I got to high school, I was serviceable enough at butterfly that I was the butterfly leg on the A team medley relay in our district championship meet, as a sophomore.
Fairly close to my experience in teams, and over the years I changed specialties/favorites more than once thanks to having that base of skill. So her coach's philosophy has got my endorsement, for what it's worth.Thanks for this-and thanks again to everyone for their thoughts.
According to the coach their big goal for all the swimmers under age 12 is to get every kid to develop their form and technique in every stroke; they try and avoid any specialization in distances/strokes until kids are 12. Don't know if that's a normal approach but they seem to know what they're doing and it's logical enough for me.
Next challenge for the pup: swim a 100 yards in a race! (She only did 25 yard races at her first meet).
Next challenge for the dad: get from Brooklyn Heights to West Nyack by 7:30 am on a Saturday morning!