When Your Younger Sibling Starts Getting Faster

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When Your Younger Sibling Starts Getting Faster

Nothing can be more frustrating to an older sibling than watching their younger counterparts being better at something than they are. Due to the competitive nature and individual achievement in a sport like swimming, this can be especially infuriating. So what can you do when your younger sibling starts dropping time, and starts to become faster than you?

Keep perspective

I know, you were the one to start swimming first. You got the family into this lifestyle, and now your sibling is taking over the pool. One of the best ways to keep from being frustrated is to keep perspective. Knowing that you brought them into the world of swimming should feel rewarding, because you allowed them to fall in love with the sport just like you did.

On top of that, depending on the age gap, your sibling may have gotten a much earlier start in swimming comparative to when you started swimming. Believe it or not, that extra time plays a significant role in their ability to strive for new heights. Time allows younger swimmers to become faster more quickly, due to the ability to advance more efficiently through the years.

Start seeing yourself as a role model

Sisters

Photo Courtesy: Nicole Caudill

Another thing to keep in mind is the idea that while you are watching your younger sibling get faster than you, they are seeing themselves rising to your level. No matter who you are, your younger siblings look up to you. In athletics, this provides your younger sibling with a benchmark to strive toward.

When my sister first started getting faster than me, I was in a funk with swimming. I was unable to drop time despite my work in the pool, and at first I was discouraged when she started beating me. I was upset and thought that it was kind of my job as the older sibling to be faster than her. That’s when I realized the most important part of the growth of swimming in the sibling dynamic.

Be your own person. 

Being the oldest often comes with a constant need to be the best in comparison with others. However, the only person you should compete with is yourself. In a sport like swimming, most of the time athletes are held to an individual standard of excellence regardless. So it makes no sense to try to compare yourself to someone else, especially a sibling.

Your times are your own times, and while it is nice to have competitors, the only person you should hope to be better than is yourself.

Rejoice in your sibling’s achievement

While this may be hard at first, it is always easier to be happy with your own accomplishments when you are simply happy for someone else doing well. Personally, this took me a little while to be okay with. I realized that once I started being happy for my sister, I was able to accept my swimming accomplishments as real accomplishments, instead of comparing my times to my sister’s.

One of the most important things to remember when your sibling starts putting up fast times is that it’s okay to be a little upset about your sibling getting faster than you. The important thing is being able to move past that, and be able to cheer them on in their events.

On top of that, they are giving you the opportunity to continue going to swim meets to cheer them on, even when you’re done swimming yourself, and who doesn’t like to celebrate and brag on family?

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