6 Ways Swim Parents and Coaches Can Work Together In A Beneficial Manner


Six Ways Swim Parents and Coaches Can Work Together In A Beneficial Manner

The coach-parent relationship is critical as athletes work toward improving and achieving their goals. In many cases, this relationship is smooth and proves beneficial. Unfortunately, there are times when parents do not give room to coaches to allow them to perform their roles. Conversely, parents sometimes see elements of a coaching style that they do not appreciate. Here are six ways coaches and parents can successfully work together.

Both Must Be Supportive Of The Athlete


Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

With the combined support of the coach and parents, the swimmer will be able to succeed. If there is a breakdown in the support for the swimmer, their interest will begin to diminish and possibly result in subpar performance in the water. It is in our human nature to desire support from those around us, especially when it is our parents and coach. Both must work together in a way that best supports the swimmer, giving them the greatest shot at success. 

Parents Trust In The Coach

Trust is something that can be difficult to establish. Once it is established, the parent can have their full trust in the coach to provide the best possible training. From the parent perspective, you want to be involved to ensure that your swimmer is given excellent opportunities. In addition, the coach will be able to help the swimmer thrive by allowing parents to bask in watching their swimmer succeed. When parents trust in the training, dryland, and diets provided by the coach, their swimmer will benefit. Success is all that a parent could ever want (besides happiness).

Proper Communication Between Coaches And Parents

For any successful relationship between coaches and parents, there must be communication. Without communication, there is no way to guarantee that a parent receives the proper information if their swimmer is the messenger. Coaches can choose to communicate in-person, but coaches can also reach out through email, and group apps such as Team App. It is nearly impossible to find someone without a cell phone, making communication through an app or email the most efficient tool.

Both Promote A Positive Environment For The Swimmer To Grow

Swimmers will experience races where they finally reach their goal time or spend months working toward dropping just a fraction of a second. Every swimmer is at a different point in their growth within the sport. Parents and coaches must promote positivity while maintaining realistic goals for their athletes. Conflicts between swimmers do not fuel a positive environment but can become positive if handled properly. With contributions from both coaches and parents, a conflict can fade away and return to a happy environment. A positive environment is not limited to the support from both parties but how they feel toward coming to practice. This is where both must work together in a beneficial manner.

Parents Don’t Interfere With Coaching Of Their Child

Parents must stick to encouraging their swimmer to give their best effort in and out of the water. Parents must focus on bringing their swimmer to practice each day on time, or assisting when a race is coming up at a busy meet. This is how parents maintain a positive relationship with the coach. It is important that the child focuses on the instruction and constructive criticism given from the coach, not their parents. Nearly every swimmer has watched a parent interfere with coaching and how it begins to distract others, taking away from the training that is provided. It is important that parents step back to let the coach do their job.

Parents Contribute To The Team


Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

If you ask any coach who has run a meet, they would let you in on the secret to success: volunteers. Most of these volunteers happen to be the parents of the athletes. Parents can contribute and allow the coach to focus upon the races of the swimmers by volunteering. There are many opportunities to volunteer such as becoming an official or being a timer. A parent can ease the stress upon a coach while still knowing their athlete is getting the most attention possible.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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