Get ready, swim parents! It’s meet season and that means it’s time to cheer on your athlete. The competitive atmosphere can bring out the worst in some parents. So, if you want to make the experience better for both you and your swimmer, here are some tips to keep in mind.
First things first, make sure you volunteer for time keeping right away. It’s a small gesture that helps our coaches and gives you the best seat in the comp. And speaking of seating, your swimmer should sit with the other team members and athletes, not with you. Trust us, a happy swimmer is a swimmer who’s having fun with their teammates.
If your swimmer misses their event, don’t fret. Let them find out their own heat and lane, they’ll learn from it. Since Covid at most meets in Australia there is a procedure called "self Marshalling" and this means that your athlete should know in advance their event number, Heat and lane. Make sure to bring healthy snacks and water. And if your swimmer is coming back for finals, make sure they rest their feet and take it easy.
Dos and Don't to keep in mind on a swimming meet.
Do cheer for other swimmers on your team, not just your own. And if possible, let your swimmer stay and watch all the races.
Don’t go behind the blocks if there’s a sign saying “Swimmers Only.”
Resist the urge to coach your swimmers before their race or tell them what they need to work on after they swim. They’re there to have fun and learn, not to be micro-managed by their parents.
Don’t hover behind your swimmer, eavesdropping while they talk to their coach. Trust that your child is in good hands and let them develop a relationship with their coach.
Finally, don’t let your anxiety transfer to your child. If you’re feeling nervous (like we all do), take a walk around the facility and breathe. Remember, these meets will fly by in a blink of an eye, so make sure to stay positive and supportive throughout the whole experience.