A Thank You to Every Swim Parent

By Grace Hoffmann

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my parents were just as, or maybe even more, involved in my swimming career than I am. I am grateful for all the times they woke up early to take me to morning practice, and the many hours they spent at swim meets waiting for me to swim a race that took under a minute. However, I am more grateful for all the other things they’ve done. The lessons that they’ve taught and the support that they show, are just a few of the invaluable things that my parents have given me as a swimmer.

Biggest Teachers and Best Supporters

Swim parents are the heart behind every swimmer. They are the reassurance after every bad race, and the humility after an excellent one. Behind every great athlete is a person who has shown them how to think, act, and be a successful athlete. We learn and grow from words and wisdom of the person who shows us support. With a sport that is so mental, it is extremely important for swimmers to have someone present that is willing to talk and give reassurance when it is needed. Swim parents do all of the above and more.

I, like many other fellow athletes and swimmers, would not be were I am today without my parents. I love it when my parents are at my meets cheering me on. However, I am also thankful for when they are not. I do not need my parents to be present at my meets. They have taught me this.

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

What is truly most important is their constant support and commitment to making sure I am doing well. Day in, day out, my parents remind me of how much they believe in me and how important it is for me to believe in myself. Like other swim parents, mine have witnessed the highs and lows of the sport and the effect it can have on a daughter or son. They have seen the happiness, tears, laughter, and everything in between. From these they have given me comfort when it is necessary and tough love when I need to learn a lesson. Swim parents do a wonderful job of helping mold their athlete into not only a good swimmer, but also a good person.

Thank You

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

So to the past, current, and future swim parents out there, we are grateful for you. Thank you for your presence. Maybe not always at the pool, but always ready to answer every phone call, text, or FaceTime. Swim parents never miss a beat. Thank you for believing in us, even when we do not believe in ourselves. The countless hours you’ve spent at the pool do not go unnoticed. The decorations on our doors at our championship meets, and the posters hanging on the side of the bleachers are not overlooked. Every Wednesday night parent meeting you attended was for us, and although it may not have seemed like we were grateful for it at the time, we were. You were the reason we started swimming in the first place.

Thank you for joining the crazy sport of swimming and spending days at swim meets, while all the other kid’s parents got to sit outside at an hour and a half game of soccer. Thank you for forcing me to go to practice when it was the last thing I wanted to do. Thank you for never letting me skip a meet. Thank you for being my biggest advocate and number one fan.

Thank you for teaching us how to be strong and driven. We owe much of our success to you and for that we will be forever grateful. Thank you for being the best swim parents out there.

28 comments

  1. avatar
    Nora

    Thank you for sharing this! I just shared with my parents. You hit the nail on the head! <3

  2. Sylvia Clavier

    To my swammers: I would not have missed a minute of it! Watching each of you as you jumped into that frosty pool at 5:30 a.m practice, all the years of doubles, the sweltering meets in Jackson, and the annual trek to Memphis and Pensacola! All the Mother’s Days at meets, and summer vacations crammed into 2 weeks at the end of July. The tears, the heart swelling pride as we watched you swim in yuor final meets, It was ALL worth it! And the great pride we take now, as you introduce your children to swimming, and to the one who couldn’t leave swimming behind, we are so proud of you and your lovely wife for bringing the joy of swimming to so many kids.

  3. avatar
    Noria

    Thank you for the article. To my girls are love watching you growing in that sport and many other things it makes me happy!

  4. Susana Gómez

    Speechless!!! Beautiful and so true Grace E Lee you must feel touched also Juan

  5. Patty Sherman Wilson

    Lots of wonderful memories!!! Would do it all over in a heartbeat.

  6. Janet Smith-Johnson

    When my daughter began swimming in 1st grade, she only went 2 days a week, which I found challenging to get her to practice on only those 2 days, while teaching full time to little kids, and having a 4 year old son at home as well. I mentioned it to the head coach, who was my coach almost 30 years ago. I told him I had a new found appreciation for my parents on what they did for my brother, my sisters and I, all of those years. He replied that not too many people think about the commitment on the parents part. I shared my thanks to my dad later that night. He cried a little. I wish I could have told my mom too but I’m sure she knows 🙂

  7. avatar
    Alan Atkinson

    My wife and I have the greatest time watching and being with our daughter as she reaches out towards her dream of being a world champion. We know she still has a long way to go but she is getting there. Her drive mad determination astonishes us at times.

    The pool has become out first “home” and the people at practice and at meets have become “family”.

  8. Janet Metzner

    My parents were dedicated swim and softball parents! I appreciate the work, time and attentiveness they put in for years. William Metzner

  9. Lisa Weir

    Runcorn Sc Stars

  10. Jean Yaeger Chmielewski

    Rachel Timson-a good read for you as you sit in those hard bleachers for the next 3 days!

  11. Betty Carner

    Amanda Dawn Carner is this you ha

  12. Erica Sjöholm

    Annica Sjöholm Rickard Sjöholm❤❤????

  13. avatar
    Michelle Lombana

    What a great article! I would not have missed a minute of watching my son mature as a swimmer and into a young man through this sport. The 5:00 am practices, the endless weekends of timing, serving swimmers at the pasta pump-ups, wet towels spread all over hotel rooms at away meets, the frantic purchase of new goggles before the next race and all of the other memories flew by in the blink of an eye. This is very timely as he will be graduating high school in June and swimming in college next year!

  14. Sam Stein

    My Parents, R.I.P. They Gave Me My Swimming Career.