The Real Super Heroes Behind Swimming: Our Parents

Photo Courtesy: Angela Robuck

By Isabelle Robuck, Swimming World College Intern.

With swimming as one of our greatest loves, our friends, family, teammates and coaches add true meaning to the fast times and hardware. Being somewhat of an individual sport, we can easily forget how much those closest to us actually affect our lives in the water. Our support system can include a wide variety of people, but if there’s anyone who loves us through absolutely everything, it’s our parents.


Photo Courtesy: Angela Robuck

Our parents pack the power behind our punch. They support every decision we make but aren’t afraid to catch us when we’re messing up. Growing up in the water, sometimes it’s hard to see right from wrong and the good from bad. It’s easy to get blinded by our own successes, because most of the time, they tend to be limited. Although it’s acceptable to celebrate victories every once in a while, it can hinder our ability to perform well. With our best interest at heart, our parents keep us grounded and humble but boost our mood when we’re feeling down. Swimming isn’t just about winning, and our parents are the ones who helps us see that the most.

When it comes down to it, our parents will do anything for us… Anything. They’ll pay any price for our happiness, even if it means supporting our addiction to fast times and tight suits. Driving us all over kingdom come for various meets and practices, our parents become our most trusted chauffeurs without complaint. They pack the perfect snacks for us to munch on during long days and take us to the best restaurants as a reward for finishing. Parents make the best helpers at meets, counting for our long races and timing beyond the blocks just to get closer to us. And let’s be real, they know our best times better than we do!


Photo Courtesy: Ane Abraham

There’s nothing better than the loud cheers from up above as our parents hold up signs with our name and faces. Smiling with pom-poms in hand, they can’t help but be proud of what we accomplished, even if it isn’t quite what we wanted. They’re our number one fans in life, cheering us on every step of the way. It never fails; we’re all over their social media as they show us off doing what we love and having fun along the way. Sure, sometimes they can be embarrassing, but everyone needs a wing-man when swimming is as hard as it is. You may add five seconds to your 100 freestyle, but you know they’ll be the first to hug you after a tough meet.

Our parents are our mental punching bags and shoulders to cry on. Swimming has its ups and downs, and if anyone is able to catch us when we fall, it’s our parents. They take our back-talking and tantrums, because they understand our minds and how our brains work. When we’re upset, they get through to us more than anyone else can. They don’t just hear what we’re saying: they listen to our words and offer support wherever needed. They cry along with us when things aren’t going our way. They push us just enough to be the very best version of ourselves, because they know what we’re capable of. They rationalize our thoughts, answer our questions, and calm our fears. But above all, they believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves.


Photo Courtesy: Angela Robuck

Our parents love us more than anyone in the world. To all of those wonderful human beings out there, thank you for everything you’ve done for us. Thank you for being our rocks in a hard spot, our voices of reason, our biggest fans, and most importantly, our parents. You mean more to us than you’ll ever know!

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


    • Deb Jones

      Shannon Jones-Driskill oh yes