Be a Good Swim Parent

By Reach for the Wall staff.

At a recent championship meet, a swimmer joined his parents in the stands after a race.  His mom, with a raised voice that everyone around could clearly hear, began to enumerate all the things he had done wrong in his race, and kept berating the child well after he began crying.

What was Mom thinking?  Did she think her “coaching” and/or the very public way she delivered it would help her kid to swim faster in the next race?  (Neither did – he bombed the next race, coming in last, far slower than his seed time).  Did she realize that several Reach for the Wall staffers were sitting around her, capturing the spectacle on video and plotting on group text how best to address the situation?

Mr Burns

In the end, our staffers’ better angels prevailed, and we chose not to post the video (sorry Readers).  Instead, we decided to simply link to some good articles by Elizabeth Wickham on how to be a good swim parent.

You can read more swim parenting tips on Elizabeth’s blog.  Enjoy.

3 thoughts on “Be a Good Swim Parent

  • Dec 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Part of the problem is that parents get overly wrapped up in their child’s sport. Don’t call yourself a “swim parent”, don’t drive a “swim taxi” and don’t wear a dorky tshirt explaining “10 ways you know you’re a swim parent”. Just be a good parent. Support your kid. Set a good example. Understand that life is bigger than a sport, and that this will be a memory in a decade or less. I worry about what the overly obsessed parents will do when their little swimmers are done. I expect many to hate this post, but understand that lots of people in the stands feel this way about the crazies. And we talk…

    • Dec 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      It is easy to say than to do. You probably learned a lesson form your past, but for young parents…

      • Dec 21, 2016 at 9:33 pm

        No lesson from my past, but lots of observation of parental behavior over the years. There’s no fixing it, so I’m probably just an old man yelling at a cloud!


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