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How to be a Good Swim Team Parent
by Carolyn Williams, eHow Member

Swim team is a terrific, healthy way to spend the summer. It provides a nice routine for kids to wile away the summer day and a great social outlet for parents. But the competitive part of the equation often sends parents into a frenzy. Here are some tips to enjoying the summer without losing your cool.

Don’t coach your child
Even if you have professional coaching experience or have swum competitively yourself, leave the coaching to the coaches. They are the pros that your swim team has entrusted to coach the children. Don’t confuse your child with your own interpretation of how best to swim.

Don’t criticize the coaches in front of your child
If you don’t agree with the coach’s decision, talk to the coach. But don’t undermine the coach’s authority by second-guessing or openly criticizing what the coach is doing. Privately contact take the coach aside, send an email or pick up the phone so that your child isn’t torn between two authority figures.

Be positive 
It’s amazing what can happen in a season. Children blossom when surrounded by positive, sincere appreciation of their accomplishments.

Focus on your child
What other children are doing may be terrific, but your child’s accomplishments are the critical factor. Don’t compare your child to other swimmers; it’s detrimental to team spirit and isn’t helpful to your child’s self-esteem.

Celebrate the little things
Maybe your child finally used the blocks instead of diving from the side. Perhaps she swam the backstroke without hitting the lane lines for the first time. Maybe she achieved a personal best in butterfly. Celebrate these moments to encourage your child’s continued success.

Remember it’s about fun
Children participate in recreational swimming largely to be with their friends and have fun. Focus on the fun and you will have a terrific summer as a swim team parent.

Attending your very first swim meet can be a little intimidating. Here’s what you can expect, and what you’ll need to bring to have your first swim meets be fun and exciting for you and your child.

Typically meets start at 6:00 p.m. The coach will tell your child when they should be at the pool. Meets usually finish between 8:00 and 9:00. You are free to leave when your child has swum their last event. When you arrive at the meet your child needs to check in with the coach and let him know they’ve arrived.

What your child should bring:
 Team suit
 Swim cap
 Towels
 Clothes for ride home
 Extra goggles 
      goggles and/or straps do break -
      be prepared

What you should bring:
 Lawn Chair 
 Extra towels
 Food – concessions are available  
     (usually fund-raiser for host club) but 
      you can bring your own. Healthy 
      snacks are preferable
 Marker/Pen 
     write swimmer’s events and event  
     numbers on their hand so they know 
     the events they’re swimming

About Volunteering...
All parents are expected to volunteer thoughout the season. In order to operate successfully, we need YOUR help with duties such as timing, concessions, etc. 
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