How To Get Through This Championship Season
For some swimmers personal bests and perfect technique come easily. But not all swim seasons end with a big bang! For most it is more of a slow build and can take longer for their hard work to pay off. Here are a few things to think about as you approach championships…
Keep Expectations in check- As a parent it is easy to overestimate and have expectations that aren’t realistic for your swimmer. Maintain realistic goals. Encourage your swimmer to be the very best that they can be on that given day. Don’t lose sight of how well they swam by focusing on the what if’s. Having unrealistic goals makes us over look great achievements right under our noses. Our swimmers may feel like they’ve let us down when they’ve actually had a fantastic performance!
Don’t add pressure- When my son was an age group swimmer I talked entirely too much about swimming. I love swimming. It’s been a huge part of my life. Still, without a doubt it wasn’t helpful! Placing pressure on him was the last thing I intended and if I could have a redo I would just leave the swim talk for the pool.
Remember that sports are about peaks and valleys- Ups and downs are a part of every season. Don’t get too broken hearted if your swimmer doesn’t drop time or make it back to finals. Remember all the good stuff they’ve done throughout the season and remind them what a great experience this has been for them. Some seasons they learn far more from their friendships than they do big breakthroughs at championships. And, as your swimmer gets older breakthroughs will come farther apart. Encourage hard work and goal setting. Breakthroughs often come, not when planned, but least expected!
Trust the process- Encourage your child to listen to their coach and work hard. If they’ve come to practice and tried their best, your swimmer can be confident of a successful meet.
Have fun and enjoy the meet- I know that sitting with your fellow swim parents in the stands can be great fun- but it can also get competitive. DON'T LET IT! Treasure the meet as though it is your last. Trust me, it all goes by too quickly and In no time at all it will be over. Remember to enjoy each step along the way.