Do you know what the key responsibilities are to be a swimming parent.
Parents play a very important role in support of their child, particularly if their child chooses to swim competitively. Parents provide transport, clothing, equipment and funding for the athlete.
Swimming parents also have the opportunity to develop as an official or donate time towards the club committee or for the club generally. These roles are all a part of being involved in sport.
Gold Class Swimming has developed a community for parents of swimmers. In this program, three of Australia’s top coaches share an insight and provide advice on the many different decisions and actions you will need to take as a swimming parent. To find out more go to Swim Parent Advantage.
Key Responsibilities of a Swimming Parent
So, what are the key responsibilities of a parent who has a child who is participating in swimming?
To assist you, I have listed a number of these below. These have been directly from the highly acclaimed book Swimming for Parents.
- Provide unconditional love and support for your child at all times, regardless of performance.
- Ensure that swimmers arrive for their training session on time every time.
- Ensure you arrive and collect your child from training on time every time so that the coach does not have to wait back.
- Ensure swimmers arrive at each session with all their swimming equipment that they have packed!
- Advise your child’s coach of any non-attendance at training or a competition due to injury or illness.
- Communicate with your child’s coach when your child is ill, unfit or injured.
- Provide your full support to the coaching staff at all times.
- Be polite to all venue staff at each pool your child trains in.
- Do not come onto pool deck during a training session to talk with the coach. Speak to the coach either before or after the session, or better still encourage your child to communicate as much as possible with the coach.
- Do not coach your own child at training or at a competition. This is what the coach is appointed to do.
- Limit telephoning coaches as much as possible and never phone the coach after an afternoon / evening session workout. They need some time to themselves to focus on their own life and are often weary after a training session.
- Be proactive in your support of the Club’s committees and their efforts to assist all children in the Club.
- Check your Club’s website, emails, newsletters and notice boards for all current information on the Club and its activities.
- Remain aware of the Club’s policies including Member Welfare and Child Welfare Policies. These are normally found on your Club’s website.
- Promptly pay your child’s annual Club membership fee.
- Always pay your squad training fees and any other expenses on time.
- Always ensure your Club has your current contact details.
Parenting is the most difficult and challenging job in the world. We need a lot of skills as a parent which no one can really teach us, as every child is an individual and has their own idiosyncrasies. Sometimes, the experience we get at the time is too late.
As parents, we are expected to be experts however we are provided with no formal training. Once you have children, you are committed forever. Part of parenting is making mistakes and you can’t beat yourself up about any mistakes you make because you will make some. If you would like support as a parent of a competitive swimmer, join us now at Swim Parent Advantage.