Not Participating in Meets:
Punishing kids for “bad” swims:
I was sitting in a hallway outside of a pool when a mother came through dragging her sobbing daughter. When she thought she was clear of everyone’s view (she didn’t see me sitting there) she pushed her daughter toward the wall as hard as she could and started screaming at her. Seconds later she forced this child out the door barefooted, dressed in nothing but her wet swim suit and wrapped in a wet towel, and demanded that she stand outside…. in December… in Cleveland.. in the SNOW. Mom told her she’d stand there until she learned her lesson. What was this 10 yr old’s crime you might wonder? She missed her event. Go ahead and let that sink in for a minute….. Yeah, I made sure that child came in right away, and the police had a chat with mommy-dearest.
Treating volunteers poorly:
Ever notice how difficult it is to get parents to volunteer to do anything, and it is almost impossible to find people to do the harder jobs like running meets, serving on booster boards, etc… One of the reasons this is so difficult is because parents often treat these volunteers like complete crap. It seems the harder these people work the more people criticize them. Honestly if people spent as much time helping as they do sending strongly worded emails or gossiping about those that do the actual work things would probably go a lot more smoothly.
Forcing your kids to swim:
Letting your kid slack:
Now, you’re going to think I’m contradicting myself, but stay with me. If your kids doesn’t want to swim they shouldn’t sign up for the team, but once they sign up they should honor their commitment for that season. There is a difference between a kid who is forced to join a team and doesn’t want to swim, and a kid who loves swimming but needs a little extra push when they lose the motivation to go to 6:00 am practice, or to follow through and swim the 400 IM he signed up for. Sometimes parents need to help their kids stay focused on their goals and that might mean being the bad guy and taking them to practice when they’d rather stay home with the Xbox. Now if you find you’re dragging them to practice everyday, then you and your swimmer may want to reevaluate whether or not to sign up for the next season. But a little lapse in motivation is normal..and it’s sometimes mom and dad’s job to remind them of why they need to stay focused.
Coaching your kids:
Expecting someone to hold your hand through every step:
Seriously, whoever said there are no stupid questions clearly never ran a swim team. So please before you ask a volunteer for help, ask yourself:
- Have they already given me this info?
- Can I find this info myself in less time than it takes to email and ask some else to do it for me?
- Have I asked this exact same question of this person numerous times?
If you answered yes to any of these questions GET THE INFO YOURSELF!
Expecting special treatment because your kid is fast:
Not taking notice until it’s too late:
Also check out: Signs You Might Be a Swim Parent