So, your son or daughter has taken a keen interest in swimming? Congratulations! You’re now a proud new swim mom or dad!
Swimming is an amazing sport that’s so good for you physically, mentally, and emotionally. And once competition enters the picture, there’s lots of opportunity for character development and imparting important life lessons.
As the parent, your attitude toward swimming has significant effects on how your child adapts to it and feels about it, as well as what lessons he or she takes away from it. It’s your job to help your child explore this new passion and get the most out of it, and to form a positive outlook. Be supportive and encouraging while emphasizing hard work, but don’t overdo it; too much pressure can kill the passion.
Below are some tips to help you survive life as a new swim mom or dad, and to help your child reap the most benefits.
How to Be a Great New Swim Parent
- Be diligent about choosing a swim coach. The swim coach has great influence over your child’s skill development, respect for water safety, attitude toward practice and competition, and so much more. Ideally, your child’s coach is a mentor in addition to a teacher. Don’t just look at credentials and awards; get a sense of potential coaches’ character and overall outlook on the sport. If you know other swim parents, get referrals. Otherwise, talk to parents of other kids coached by anyone you’re considering.
- Encourage swim friendships. Whether your child is on a team, in a class, or just around other kids in the water, foster his or her relationships with other children. The friendships your child forms over swimming will be invaluable and may last a lifetime. When older children swim competitively, they often spend more time with their teammates than their families. That can result in some powerful bonds, as well as important lessons about loyalty.
- Stress effort and dedication over winning. This is something many sports parents struggle with. While it’s important to push your child to do his or her best, it’s also important not to put too much emphasis on winning. Encourage your young swimmer to strive for improvement and to be dedicated. But creating too much stress around victory takes the fun out of swimming and can cause you and your child to lose sight of healthier, more constructive priorities.
- Remember good sportsmanship. Swimming teaches valuable lessons not only about being a team player, but also about being a good sport. Being gracious in both victory and defeat is a key life skill. Encourage your child to be respectful, to shake hands before and after competition, and to extend support and positivity to everyone around them, whether from the same team or a competing one.
- Understand that swimming is a lifestyle. If you aren’t a serious swimmer, you might not realize just how much swimmers get sucked into the lifestyle. Swimsuits and accessories become crucial. They hit the water whenever possible, even when it means showing up somewhere afterwards looking less than properly primped.
- Protect your child’s swimsuits, skin, and hair. The best way is by picking up some Summer Solutions products. We couldn’t resist. But seriously, you and your young swimmer will be thankful. Again, swimming is a lifestyle. You’ll be investing in quality swimwear that easily gets damaged by pool chemicals and repeat washings. Your kid will start smelling strongly like chlorine. His or her hair and skin will become dried out and damaged by so much exposure to pool chemicals and water. We have a line of affordable, specially formulated products to prevent these problems.