SYS Parent Handbook
Welcome to the Sharks family! Please review the SYS Parent Handbook for important information on how our team functions. Other excellent information on swim parenting can be found on USA Swimming’s Parent page.
Parents are a critical part in the success of the Sharks. Thanks to our amazing community of parents, the Sharks are able to host first class events that are the envy of teams across the country. From our unrivaled hospitality to our efficient handling of large meets, we all have a lot to be proud of.
However, there is more to being a Shark parent than volunteering. How you support your swimmer at home and how you function in the coach/athlete/parent relationship can mean the difference between a long and successful relationship with swimming (a lifetime sport) and a burned out, unhappy ex-swimmer.
Don’t Be A Pressure Parent!
A List of Things NOT to Do
- Criticize your child for his or her swimming performance or allow your disappointment to show. Your child’s swimming performance should not be more important to you than it is to him or her.
- Critique your child immediately following a swim meet or practice, or during the car ride home. Ask open ended questions instead: “How did you feel about your 500?” Let your child tell you how he or she did.
- Analyze technique or performance, even if you know something about swimming. This dilutes the critical relationship your child has with his or her coach. If you can’t trust the coach, you are in the wrong program.
- Advise the coach on how to do the job. We have some of the best coaches in the country, trust them to do their jobs.
- Reward fast swimming with material gifts. Fast swimming is reward enough. A new iPod will not make your child swim faster or love swimming more in the long run.
- Allow swimming to dominate your child’s life. Encourage other pursuits, especially in the younger age groups. If your swimmer stays in for high school, he or she can decide then how much of a commitment to make.
- Exert pressure to win or treat your child differently dependent upon whether he or she won or lost. Getting too caught up in sport and making it overly important turns kids off–most kids want something of their own.
- Belittle another swimmer’s talent or preparation or make insulting comments to or about athletes, parents, officials, or coaches of other teams
- Attend practice regularly and watch your swimmer, then comment on the practice at dinner. Let them have something that you are not too involved in.
- Drink alcohol at sports events or come to one having had too many drinks.
This list has been adapted from material originally published by the Westshore, Penn. YMCA.