- Support the program. Get involved. Volunteer; Help out with fundraisers, time swimmers at practice, and offer to count lengths, car pool, anything to support the program.
Let the coaches’ coach. Leave the coaching to the coaches. This includes motivating, psyching your child for practice. after swim critiquing. setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. you have entrusted the care of your child to these coaches and they need to be free to do their job.
- Be your child's best fan. Support your child unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your child should never have to perform to win your love.
- Support and root for the whole team. Foster teamwork. Your child‘s teammates are not the enemy. When they are swimming better than your child. your child may have a wonderful opportunity to learn.
- Do not bribe or offer incentives. Bribes will distract your child from properly concentrating in practice and competition situations. Athletes need to focus on achieving personal goals.
- Encourage your child to talk with the coaches. If your child is having difficulties in practice or can't make a practice etc. encourage them to speak directly to the coaches. This "responsibility taking" is a big part of becoming an athlete.
- Understand and display appropriate sport behaviour. Remember, your child's self-esteem is at stake. To perform to the best of his or her abilities, an athlete needs to focus on the parts of the sport that they can control (fitness. positioning. decision making, skills, etc.) If he/she starts focusing on what he/she cannot control (the condition of the water, the officials, the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the race at times) he/she will not compete to his ability. If he/she hears a lot of people telling him/her what to do, or yelling at the officials, it diverts his/her attention away from the task at hand.
- Monitor your child‘s stress level at home Keep an eye on the athlete to make sure that they are handling stress effectively from the various activities in their lives.
- Monitor eating and sleeping habits. Be sure your child is eating proper foods and is getting adequate rest.
- Help your child keep his/her priorities straight. Help your child maintain a focus on schoolwork, relationships, and the other things in life besides swimming. Also, if your child has made a commitment to swimming, help him fulfill his obligations to the team.
- Reality test. If your child has come out of the pool when he or she or his team has lost, but he or she has done their best, help him/her to see these as a "win". Remind him that he is to focus on "process" and not just the "results".
Keep sport in its perspective. Sport should not be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue with your child long after their sport days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child's experience.
Have fun. That is what we will be trying to do! We will try to challenge your child to reach past their "comfort level" and improve themselves as an athlete, and thus, as a person. We will attempt to do this in environments that are fun yet challenging. We look forward to this process. We hope you do too!
WHITECOURT BLUE DOLPHINS COACHING STAFF