CONGRATULATIONS!

YOU ARE NOW A SWIM PARENT! 

Parents contribute to the success experienced by the child and the team. Parents serve as role models and the children emulate their attitudes. Be aware of this and strive to be a positive role model. Most importantly, show good sportsmanship at all times towards coaches, officials, opponents and teammates.

The most important thing you can do as a parent of a swimmer is to love and support them, both in and out of the pool. This support is a key factor in fostering enjoymentand learning as well as contributing to the child’s individual success in the pool.

SUGGESTION TO PARENTS

In order to have a successful program there must be understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The progress your swimmer makes depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind, that we ask you to consider this section as you join the East Coast Aquatic Family.

You have done a great deal to raise your child. The following guidelines will help you keep your child’s development in the proper perspective and help your child reach his/her potential as an athlete.

THE COACH IS THE COACH

Your swimmer will develop a trust based relationship with the coach. This relationshipbetween coach and swimmer produces the best results. The coach’s job is to motivate andgive constructive feedback to the swimmer.

BEST KIND OF PARENT

It is the parent’s job to supply the love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to makethe child work harder in practice and concentrate more on what the coach is teaching them. In turn this gives the swimmer the confidence to perform well in competition. Try to refrain from lending opinions as to how the swimmer should swim or train as this could cause confusion as to whom the swimmer should listen to. If you have a suggestion/concern, please contact the coach as soon as possible so that a resolution can be reached quickly.

HELP YOUR CHILD MAINTAIN GOOD HABITS

Such as pre-practice and pre-meet meals, appropriate diet and hydration, sleep patterns, appropriate dress, and a positive outlook. Communicate any concerns to your coaches.

NOT EVERY "TIME"

Even the very best swimmer will have meets where they do not perform optimally. These“plateaus” are a normal part of swimming. Over the course of a season, times should improve. Please be supportive of your swimmer’s effort regardless of outcome. For example,the older swimmers may have only two or three meets a year for which they will be rested and tapered and thus swimming at their optimum level.

10 COMMANDMENTS OF SWIM PARENTS

1. THOU SHALT NOT IMPOSE YOUR AMBITIONS ON YOUR CHILD.

Remember that swimming is your child’s activity. Improvements and progress occur at different rates for each individual. Do not judge your child’s progress based on the performance of other athletes and do not push them based on what you think they should be doing. The nice thing about swimming is that every person can strive to do his or her personal best and benefit from the process of competitive swimming.

 

2. THOU SHALT BE SUPPORTIVE NO MATTER WHAT.

There is only one question to ask your child after a practice or competition. “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices are not fun, your child should not be forced to participate.

 

3. THOU SHALT NOT COACH THY CHILD.

You are involved in one of the few youth programs that offers professional coaching. Do not undermine the professional coach by trying to coach your child on the side. Your job is to provide love, support, and a safe place to return to at the end of the day. Love and hug your child no matter what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job. You should not offer advice on technique or race strategy or any other area that is not yours. Above all, never pay your child for a performance. This will only serve to confuse your child concerning the reason to strive for excellence and weaken the swimmer/coach bond.

 

4. THOU SHALT ONLY HAVE POSITIVE THINGS TO SAY AT A SWIMMING MEET.

If you are going to show up at a swimming meet, you should be encouraging and never criticize your child or the coach. Both of them know when mistakes have been made. Please remember that “yelling at” is not the same as “cheering for.”

 

5. THOU SHALT ACKNOWLEDGE THY CHILD’S FEARS.

Your child’s first swimming meet, 500 free or 200 I.M. can be a stressful situation. It is totally appropriate for your child to be scared. Do not yell or belittle, just assure your child that the coach would not have suggested the event if your child were not ready to compete in it. Remember, your job is to love and support your child through the entire swimming experience.

6. THOU SHALT NOT CRITICIZE THE OFFICIALS.

If you do not care to devote the time or do not have the desire to volunteer as an official, please do not criticize those who are doing the best they can.

 

7. HONOR THY CHILD’S COACH.

There is only one question to ask your child after a practice or competition. “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices are not fun, your child should not be forced to participate.

8. THOU SHALT BE LOYAL AND SUPPORTIVE OF THY TEAM.

It is not wise for parents to take their swimmers and jump from team to team. The water is not necessarily bluer in another team’s pool. Every team has its own internal problems – even teams that build champions. Children who switch from team to team are often ostracized for a long time by the teammates they leave behind and are slowly received by new teammates. Often swimmers find that switching teams does not improve their performance.

 

9. THY CHILD SHALT HAVE GOALS BESIDES SWIMMING.

Most successful swimmers are those who have learned to focus on the process and not the outcome. Giving an honest effort regardless of the outcome is more important than winning. One Olympian said, “My goal was to set a world record. Well, I did just that, but someone else did it too, just a little faster than I did. I achieved my goal and I lost. Does this make me a failure? No, in fact I am very proud of that swim.” What a tremendous outlook to carry on through life!

 

10. THOU SHALT NOT EXPECT THY CHILD TO BECOME AN OLYMPIAN.

There are 300,000 athletes in USA Swimming and they keep records of the Top 100 all time swimming performances by age group. Only 2 of the swimmers listed in the 10 & under age group made it to the Top 100 in the 17 – 18 age group. There are only 52 spots available for the Olympic Team every four years. Your child’s odds of becoming an Olympian are about .0002%.

 

Swimming is much more than just the Olympics. Ask your coaches why they coach. Chances are, they were not Olympians, but still got so much out of swimming that they wanted to pass the love for the sport on to others. Swimming teaches self-discipline and sportsmanship; it builds self-esteem and fitness; it provides lifelong friendships and much more. Most Olympians will tell you that these intangibles far out weigh any medal they may have won. Swimming builds good people, like you want your child to be, and you should be happy your child wants to participate.

COACH'S RESPONSIBILITIES

 The coach's job is to manage, instruct and motivate each age specific group. The East Coast Aquatic coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program for young people that will enable them to learn the value of striving to improve oneself. 

  • Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and training regimen rests with the coaching staff. Each practice is based on sound scientific principles and each practice is geared to the specific goals of that group.

  • The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets swimmers may attend. The coaching staff also makes the final decision concerning which events a swimmer is entered.

  • At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm up procedures for the team. Before each race the coach is there to help prepare the swimmer and give a plan of focus for each race. After each race, the coaches will offer constructive feedback regarding the swimmer’s performance.

  • The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff. The coaches reserve the right to change the participant line up at any time to reflect what will be in the best interests of the team.  

PRAISING YOUR CHILD

How often do you think about the amount of and type of praise you offer your child? The wrong kind of praise, or praise used too frequently or infrequently can cause difficulties. Sometimes we think that it is not possible to over praise a child because constant praise will build a child's self-esteem. However, there is a real world for the child outside of the home and a child's peers may not always be as praise giving as his or her parents. Other children are usually quite truthful and blunt about the feats of their peers. A child constantly praised at home may feel himself placed on a pedestal only to be knocked off outside the home. In an article in "Parents Magazine", educational consultant Fredelle Maynard listed the dos and don'ts of praise.

THE DON'TS

  • DON'T praise by comparison ("You're the best athlete on the team"). It may encourage unnecessary competition or fear of failing next time.

  • DON'T praise constantly. If everything a child does is terrific, wonderful, the best, you will run out of superlatives and the child will become blasé about applause.

  • DON'T praise indiscriminately. Children who are veteran competitors know when a performance is good or bad. Parental ecstasies over mediocre performance can either make children cynical or cause them to feel like frauds.

  • DON'T praise so extravagantly that children feel pressure to go on shining. Over enthusiastic applause destroys a good motive for activity (to please oneself) and substitutes a poor one (to please the parents).

THE DO'S

  • DO be specific. Instead of using words that evaluate ("What a great race"), describe in concrete terms what you see: "You kept your technique during that race.”

  • DO describe the behavior and its consequences. For example, "Thanks for getting dressed and out of the locker room so quickly. Now we have more time to go shopping for the new equipment you need."

  • DO focus on the child's effort. "You practiced hard for this meet and it really paid off."

  • DO point out how your child has progressed. "You couldn't have done that last year!"

  • DO give control back to the child. Let the child do the evaluating. Rather than say, "I'm so proud of you," say, "You must feel so proud of yourself.”

RESOLVING ISSUES WITH

YOUR SWIMMERS COACH

 Here are some guidelines for a parent striving to resolve an issue or concern with their swimmer’s coach.

  • Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart. If you trust that the coach’s goals match yours, even though his/her approach may be different, you are more likely to enjoy a good rapport and constructive dialogue.
     

  • Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group. On occasion, an individual child’s interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for the occasional short-term inconvenience.

Still Concerned? Always start with your swimmer’s coach! If you do not feel you have a resolution you can speak with the Head Coach/Owner Alison Templin.

SWIM MEETS

 

You're finally ready for your first meet, but hold on! There are a few things you need to know before your swimmer's first competition!

THE NIGHT + MORNING BEFORE 

  • Get a good night's sleep, approximately 8-10 hours is best.

  • It's important to eat well the night before your events, so loading up on carbs: pasta, whole grain bread, vegetables and fruit are a great way to fuel-up.

  • You may be nervous, but it is still very important to eat breakfast. Keep it light and easy to digest. Again, carbs will fuel your body and last longer: bagel with a little cream cheese, oatmeal with fruit, whole grain toast, fruits, juice, etc. are all good choices.

WHAT TO PACK

  • You will need to pack a small cooler with snacks and drinks. Fresh fruit, granola bars, fruit bars, etc. are good choices. You may get hungry after some of your events but you won't want something heavy on your stomach. Keep the snacks simple, healthy, and easy to digest.

  • WATER! Don't forget your water bottle or sports drink. It is so important to stay hydrated. Sipping water throughout the day will go a long way to keep your body in top form. Remember, if you are thirsty, then you are dehydrated!

  • Swim gear: remember your cap, goggles, swimsuit(s), towels. It's always good to have an extra cap and goggles on hand in case one breaks. Bring extra towels (one for after warm up, and each event)

  • In the colder months, you will need a blanket, parka, socks, warm shoes, sweatshirt and pants.

  • Sunscreen. Nothing is worse than racing with a sunburn!

  • Chairs for you and your family. ECAC provides tens for swimmers and parents. It adds to the fun of the day having the kids/parents socialize during the down times. Cards, games, books, etc. are also a good way to pass the time in between events.

AT THE MEET

  • The swimmers don't pay at the door but the rest of the family members must pay to enter. You will also want to purchase a Heat Sheet at the door. This is the list of all the events, each heat, and each swimmer's lane. It's your program guide for the entire day.

  • Go find your team's tent and check in with your coach.

  • Your coach will let you know when the team will begin the stretch/warm up.

  • Hang out and wait for the first event. Keep track of the events and go to the starting block well before your event is called. Pay attention to what event is being swum. Some of the races last less than 30 seconds so be aware of the schedule and get to the starting area well before your event begins.

IT IS NOT YOUR COACH'S RESPONSIBILITY TO GET YOU TO THE STARTING BLOCK!

  • Before your event, talk to your coach. He/she will give you racing instructions, things to think about, etc. Then go line up behind the timers.

  • When your race is over, stay in your lane until the next heat dives off the blocks. Stay still and remain close to the wall so the swimmer who is diving in next is not distracted. Once the next swimmer takes off, you can get out. *If you are swimming backstroke, this rule does not apply since the swimmer starts in the water.

  • After your race, go talk to your coach. He/she will tell you what you did well and what you can still work on. This is all part of learning how to race.

  • Warm down. Jump into the warmup lane (feet first) and swim easy to warm down your muscles.

  • Go back to your team's tent and relax until your next event.

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SWIMECAC@GMAIL.COM | 561-236-7733 | DELRAY BEACH, FL