If you are new to the club, welcome and congratulations to your child for securing a place at Leyland Barracudas Swimming Club. Welcome also to you as a parent of a swim club member.
We appreciate everything our parents do – the early mornings, late evenings, the rush to get dinner ready and juggle other family and work commitments, the long weekends at swim meets either helping officiate or as a team supporter. For everything they do we are grateful.
Our sport requires a great deal of commitment from all involved but it has to be said that without parents we have no sport. There is no swimming without you. Our club cannot exist without your support.
We want to show our appreciation but also give you some ideas and advice to help you be the best swim parent you can be and to help you help your child enjoy their club swimming to the extent of their talent and to the limits of their dreams.
Your child is not a swimmer. They are a person who swims. And as a person, who they are impacts on every aspect of their swimming. Real progress in swimming comes not from physical stature or technical ability – it comes from the development of the whole person; their character, their values, their personality AND, of course, their speed, strength and endurance. Training alone is not enough – the development of the person is far more important and far more enduring.
Speed, strength, endurance, power, flexibility and technique are all important. But not as important as integrity. Or honesty. Or sincerity. Or humility. Or courage. Or a strong work ethnic. Or the ability to accept responsibility for their own actions. Or the ability to work cohesively with others to achieve a common goal. Or self discipline. Or the ability to maintain a sense of humour under pressure and stress.
Commitment to the team in a sport that also focusses on individual performance is important and as a team parent you are key in helping to develop this attribute within your child.
These qualities not only impact positively on your child’s swimming but on every aspect of their life. Not just now, but for the rest of their life and in everything they do. Here’s a useful read produced by British Swimming.
YOUR CHILD’S TEAM MANAGER
Managing teams is a tough business – early mornings, long weekends, late evenings going through the selection process based on previous times and current levels of fitness. Sometimes having to make difficult decisions that you know may not be universally popular, but with the bigger picture in mind, you have to have the courage to see it through.
Team Managers are often passionate souls who, in the majority of cases are, or have been, parents like yourselves, supporting their child in sport. They are usually giving up their own family time for free in support of your child so they really feel the disappointment if a swimmer can’t attend.
You, your child and your Team Manager form a team. A team with a single goal – to provide the opportunity for your child to enjoy all the sport of swimming has to offer.
And, as with any team, achieving this goal is dependent on all members of the team working cohesively, honestly and with 100% commitment. Remember non-attendance of one swimmer impacts on the performance of the whole team.
Swimmers, coaches and Team Managers are necessary, but by no means sufficient ingredients for the smooth operation of a swim team. Parents need to be factored into the equation too. Without adequate family involvement even the best conceived team is doomed to failure. If all of us do our part, we will be successful, it’ll be fun, and your child will be the beneficiary.
We know that sometimes illness can get in the way and swimmers need to pull out. When this does happen we also know the temptation is to wait until the last possible moment so as to give your child the opportunity to rally round. This isn’t always helpful.
Our Team Managers need time to find a replacement and that replacement needs time to get there. Getting the news of non-attendance on the day of the meet doesn’t always allow this to happen and we go to meet without a full team and with other swimmers having to pick up extra races. Please help us in these situations by giving your Team Manager sufficient notice so they can have the opportunity to contact someone else and thus enable us to field a full team.
We hope you and your child enjoy your involvement in the club and that this information helps you to understand the key role you have as a swim parent in the success of our club.
Thank you once again for your commitment and welcome to the club.