SwimSwam

The 8 Swim Parents You See at Your Local Swim Meets

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

There’s at least one at every swim meet.

That parent.

The one you purposely avoid, the one you rue having to make small talk with. This parent comes in many forms and shapes, and not only is a parent for someone on another team, but is also often a parent from your club. Sometimes this parent is you.

While some of the following swim parent stereotypes may infuriate and annoy us, they also provide some amusement and entertainment when our own kids aren’t in the pool.

Here are 8 different swim parents that grace the decks at our local swim meets–

1. Cpt. Obvious. Exuberant, loud and shrill, this parent’s version of cheering runs the gamut of things that are all too apparent—

“Pull harder!”

“Kick harder!”

“Swim harder! Swim faster!”

On behalf of swimmers (and nearby spectators) everywhere: Uh, yeah, thanks. Note that when stating the obvious volume is key and necessary to earn this ironic title. Sometimes a simple “Go!” is more effective than “Pull harder than your contemporaries in the lane next to you who also appear to be swimming at a rapid pace in the hopes of gaining same objective as you!”

2. The Chin Hair Puller. Quiet, thoughtful and analytical, this parent is quietly judging, counting, noting, judging, always judging, but keeping their thoughts to themselves. They know their kids’ competition splits and stroke rates by heart and are quietly plotting the rest of their kid’s season while the rest of us are just wondering when that snack tray is going to make the rounds again. Look for a copy of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” nearby.

3. Ari Gold. This parent is part authority figure, part business manager. They know for a fact that their kid is going to the Olympics. Which one? All of them. They have one eye on their smartphone seeking out prospective endorsement deals and the other on potential areas where the brand (a.k.a. the product, the money, the swimmer) can vertically integrate. The parent-agent is frequently locked in a daydream of the potential millions their 7 year old is bound to make.

4. Mr. Positivity. Even though their kid just had the worst swim of their life, this parent is so aghast at the thought of his or her kid losing self-confidence that they will sugar coat it until the very end. “It’s okay Timmy, no one saw your suit come off! Or your DQ! And I am sure that no one would ever to think about posting the video on social media! You’re still my sugary honey bunny to me! Love you!” Positivity is good and great, but sometimes levity instead of faux optimism can be just what is needed to defuse a crappy swim.

5. The Shrieker. Otherwise calm and composed, this swim parent seems to lose all sense of dignity and shame the moment their child hits the water. This shrieking is usually on full and slightly embarrassing display when the athlete re-watches their race later on a friend’s iPhone, insuring the well being and use of mute buttons everywhere.

6. The Tomato. It’s understandable—it’s difficult not to get wrapped up in the awesome intensity that is a kid swimming laps back and forth. But for the tomato, this face-exploding experience borders on evidence for mandatory anger management. The rage materializes in a vein-popping redness that causes sunburns at a distance of ten feet, severe burns within 3 feet. Approach with caution if child has swum below expectations. Is a known cause of jeez-it’s-only-a-sport-man-itis with passerby.

7. The Nail-Chewer. It’s amazing this parent still has thumbs. Or hands, really. Quiet and reserved, they extoll their anxiety via chewing what is left of their thumbs. (Advanced nail-chewers typically graduate to the pinky and index fingers when the thumb nail is “not in the game.”)

8. The Stopwatch. A coach’s nightmare. Will generally walk away after their kids’ swim mumbling about how they coulda, woulda, shoulda coached their kid to a better time. Seems to know better than coach, often gives contradictory advice, and is frequently caught peering over coach’s shoulder at stroke rate, splits and so on for not only his or her swimmer, but also the competition.

Any other swim parents you see on deck at swim meets? Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. beachmouse says:
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    My mother was the Colorado Whisperer for her uncanny ability to keep just about any ancient timing system functional and acceptably accurate long past its normal expiration date. There were a few teams that paid her to keep coming back to run their meet timing systems after her kids were gone for the local scene because she could nurse it through to the bitter end of the session.

  2. John says:
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    “The Ex”- a parent who was a swimmer as a child. The least competitive and least accomplished ex-swimmers are normally the most vocal of this group. Their 2-3 years of country club swimming has given them more wisdom than most coaches gain over the course of an entire career. The Ex also has magical ability to still improve on their best times: “I went a 1:10 100 IM when was 10 years old”. Same parent speaking a couple months later, “My 100 IM time was a 1:06 when I was 10 years olds”.
    The Ex can comes in the form of a former NCAA All-American who never talks about swimming and avoids the pool at all cost. He is often the target of many of the above parents who seek out his opinion on their child’s potential.

  3. swim coach says:
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    8a. the parent-”coach.” the parent who has their child come to them for critiquing before and after a race, before the the swimmer goes to the coach. when the swimmer doesn’t perform, the parent-coach blames the actual coach, even if the parent-coach gave the bad advice. and when the swimmer performs well, it’s all the parent-coach’s advice.

  4. hschler says:
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    You forgot the parent that becomes an official so as not to have to sit in the stands with parents mentioned above!

  5. Jennifer says:
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    The Whistler-possibly kin to 8a. parent-coach. Usually these folks sit behind me and choose to whistle in my ear through the entire breaststroke race.

  6. strkswim says:
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    A few are missing:

    1. The “before dawn and after dusk chauffeur”
    2. The “short order cook”
    3. The “banker with funding for training, suits, meets”
    4. The “academic counselor who helps with studying”
    5. The “wellness facilitator” who handles illness, Dr. appointments, PT
    6. The “volunteer” (timer, official, meet marshall, hospitatilty, computers, posting, set up, clean up) who,wthout there would be no swim meets

    Unless Mr. Poirier-Leroy was independently weathy at age 8 and hired people to perform all the above services, his success was contigent on the love and support of the very people he is making fun of above (and the very people he is trying to sell his product too. Good luck with that.)

    Shame on Swim Swam for publishing something so offensive.

    • Peace Out says:
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      STRK

      You’re serious about this being offensive? You’re a wet blanket. You must have seen a bit of yourself in each one of the writer’s list of parents. And, I guess you are one of the parents who wants to give each child a medal or ribbon even if they come in 24th out of 24 swimmers just so their feelings don’t get hurt?

    • Coach says:
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      Offensive?? Everyone in this country is so offended about everything… it’s absurd… It’s tongue and cheek on a PG level… Get over yourself.

    • STRKSWIM's Kid says:
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      You come across to me as the tomato. Someone I wouldn’t want to be around after I swim.

    • Dan says:
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      Maybe the “takes credit for their kid’s accomplishments as though it’s their own” parent? This is all great stuff, but I think it falls into the realm of stuff you are supposed to do as a parent.

    • Red says:
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      This makes me laugh. You take things way too seriously. Get over it. All parents cheer loudly or whistle or encourage. They want the best for their kids. But to say this is offensive you are too higly strung.

      • strkswim says:
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        You all are mssing the point entirely. What I find offensive is that an athlete whose success was dependent upon parental support, who is aiming to make a career on that very sport would belittle the same parents who were part of the community that contributed to his success. Maybe they were not HIS parents (but he seems to have a very good grasp on these folks) but they were the timers behind his lane, the officials running the meet and on and on.

        My kids are long gone from this sport but ran the spectrum of summer league to National team. we could care less about their achievments. What mattered to us was supporting their goals whatever they were. The knew that and still appreciate our support.

        It is and always will be offensive to belittle those that support the infrastructure of a sport.

        • Off I. Cial says:
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          What I find offensive is your lead sentence.

        • mcmflyguy says:
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          I’m offended, because i’m not on this list. I demand an apology.

        • likeswimminglikecoachinglikeswimcoaching says:
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          i think you may have been looking for the “parentofswimwam.com” which is totally different than the “swimswam.com” site…this site is for “swimmers” & “swammers”

    • Swammer says:
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      That’s ok, we can just categorize you as the “special parent” because apparently you are special from any other parent. The article is a joke so laugh.

  7. PsychDad says:
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    Definitely type 2 here.

  8. Sprintdude9000 says:
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    “The Tomato” aka the “Arnie on the surface of mars” parent

  9. Mike Finch says:
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    Think you kind of forgot about the parent who pays the bills, provides taxi service, doesn’t talk about swimming at home unless their swimmer brings up the subject, the parent who expects their swimmer/s to own their sport – the parent that allows the coach to coach, their swimmers to swim – the parent that allows their swimmer to have a healthy, positive and personally successful swimming experience….. at meets and at practice…. I just described almost everyone in our parents group…. don’t assume that they don’t care about swimming – just because they have a healthy perspective on the sport!.

    • redbirdfan says:
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      That would be the elusive “Dream Parent”. the best kind to have on your team, but not as entertaining to make fun of online!

    • Dan says:
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      My parents were this way, and I really liked it. They didn’t know much about swimming and let it be between me and my coaches. I always felt bad for the kids whose parents were overly involved, always talking about their times, cuts they were trying to make, etc.

    • Uxbridge Jim K says:
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      I prefer adults you row beside you every inch of the Chokopi Mile and give you the appropriate feedback at the end…. Thanks for your time and effort Mike and I hope things are well!

  10. PAC12BACKER says:
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    Isn’t No. 1, Cpt. Obvious, and No. 5, The Shrieker pretty much the same type?

  11. Hoosiermama says:
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    There is an even darker side…the parent that has developed an unhealthy hatred for the competition. They are joyously happy when some poor kid has a bad day and verbally bashes the kid and his/her parents.

  12. Dave Bott says:
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    The Al Bundy. The former swimmer who has no problem exaggerating about how “great” they were in their hay day.

  13. shanmac_swim says:
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    The “Psycho-Parent” who is on pool deck for each and every practice and provides gels, red bull, etc between every race to their 7 year old swimmer who always happens to be wearing the latest expensive performance suit!

  14. ScotsFan78 says:
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    What say you @cwilli208?

  15. mamallama says:
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    Well, someone has already come up with the Whistler, so my variation will be the “Bronx Whistler”…one year at Junior Olympics in the Bronx, this woman with a teen boy swimming (you’d think she would know better, but no) stood up in the “no standing” area where the entrance feeds out into the balcony overhang, and whistled relentlessly, in matched syncopation with her son’s strokes. It was absolutely ear splitting and painfully piercing. It was impossible to even talk.

    And every time a person (usually another parent) would politely approach her and ask her to stop or even hold it down (and occasionally pointing out that there was no way her son could even HEAR her), she would turn and scream at them to F-Off.

    All I can think now is, poor kid.

    • Been there, seen that! says:
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      Ah yes, the joys of busy meets at Lehman. Place always was a circus for those big meets!

  16. anonymous says:
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    I see the meme of implicitly criticizing the parent who tries to coach their kid cropping up here. Usually this is propaganda from USA Swimming as they want to make their member coaches’ lives easier. Often, however, it is the “parent coach” who keeps the coach on his toes and does a lot of good work to improve his child’s swimming.

    • ChestRockwell says:
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      If this is sarcasm, it is the single best comment in the history of swimming websites.

      • gator says:
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        Chestrockwell is right – on!! Even parents that actually are USS coaches generally do a lousy job coaching their own children in my experience!

        • swimm says:
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          At my club we have multiple coach parents. All their children are amazing swimmers- making state, zones, and national teams. But only one or two actually coach their own children on a regular basis

    • Coach and Parent says:
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      I coach at a huge club. We have at least three parents who are volunteer or paid assistants, many for the workout group of their kids. I’ve never seen one coach their kid’s lane or provide feedback at meets. Every single time we ask the other coaches to take their lane and provide the feeback. The coach/parent is toxic often. The parent coach you refer to rarely has the interest of the team at heart and most often jeopardizes the success of their own child and the team.

    • QRK Coach says:
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      This type of “parent-coach” is every real coaches nightmare.

    • pricklychip says:
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      “Parent Coaches” were the reason I stopped coaching after Athens. Leave coaching to the coaches and the parenting to someone else.

      • Allen says:
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        Unfortunately, the vast majority of age group coaches are not very good at what they do. I let my son tried swimming and be coached by the coaches, and he was in the bottom 1% in his first year. I decided to take matters into my own hands and coached my son in the off season by watching Youtube videos. He became the top 1% overall in the conference the following year. Then I stumbled upon Dr. Brent Rushall’s works and find it so much easier to get kids to swim faster. So many of the kids have been swimming for more than 5,6 years, but they can’t streamline properly or swim with a high elbow. There’s a lot of bad swimming out there!

        • coach says:
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          Good for your kid… but I would venture to guess his conference meet is pretty slow (comparatively)…

          • Allen says:
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            I think the time standards for the team and league is very slow, but the coaches and other parents do not think so. The league records are usually AAA or AAAA standards.

        • Mark Cianciolo says:
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          Although this could very well have been your reality, it is not permanent. It is not long term. I am willing to bet your son was about 9-10 years old. I have been there and done that and it does not last. 12-13 at the most and they will not listen to a single thing you have to say, regardless of what you think your relationship is now….it won’t last. I am not telling you what to do, or that you are or were wrong, just letting you know what will happen with almost 100% certainty, let’s just say I have been there.

    • Swimmer says:
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      I was a recently a competitive swimmer for about 13 years and eleven of those years were with USA swimming. I can guarantee that it is 99% of the time better to let the coach do the coaching. The parents are there to support their kids not to coach them. It creates all kinds of psychological problems and blocks when it comes to swimming. I know many parentes who try to coach their kid and tell them things to do that contradict the coach. Little do they know, is that the coach don’t tell their kids to do somethings for specific reasons. I teach swim lessons now and I have a first hand experience in seeing what bad advice from the parents can to do a kids stroke. Yes, some kids don’t develop their stroke to a parents satisfaction, but in those circumstances I would say to find a new team or a new coach that will work with your kid the way they need to be worked with.

      • Neukay says:
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        Well said :) I have at times cringed when I see a parent-coach or an ex-coach approach one of my swimmers at a meet to tell them what they “should do”. It is interesting that this advice is never given to the swimmer when I am close by. I spend hours with the swimmers analyzing strokes and gauging their mental “game”. At times what they need to do isn’t the “obvious” as seen by a parent from the stands or by his coach from 2 years ago. An athlete, especially a teen student-athlete, has week-by-week social and emotional changes that affect their in-water performance. It’s not always just the stroke or timing…

  17. Anonymous says:
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    I sat next to a #5 for a full 9 hours last Saturday!! Not only shrieking for her own kid but her kids entire team. Sometimes 3 of them in the same race!!

  18. Coach says:
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    You forgot “The Spreadsheeter,” which is often a derivative of The Stopwatcher. I was advised the other day by one of these that he/she keeps times of other kids on their spreadsheet as a comparison.

    Oh, and how about The Videographer. This is the parent that tells you they should be allowed on deck because they are filming their kid for video analysis at home later.

    • ChestRockwell says:
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      Yeah man, that iPad you are holding up is surely to give excellent angles on what you need to see from 40 feet + 3 lanes distance.

  19. SwimBob says:
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    There is the TigerMom on a rival team that we see at dual meets, league and state every year, a combo of 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8, she only wants perfection. And if she doesn’t get it, there is hell to pay. Sadly, it’s her kids that pay. We’ve seen it for years now, berating her kids after a swim, often leaving them in tears. She has a ten foot cloud around her that nobody wants to wade into. Don’t worry, it’s not just swimming, said behavior apparently is just as common in soccer, music, everything she signs her kids up for. Never have seen their dad show up for a meet, must not be allowed to go.

  20. love2swim says:
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    The FastClique parent: This parent is sure to position him/herself with the clique of fast parents. Their kid may be fast so “in” automatically or may be “medium” so they have to strategize and schmooze FastClique parents. Parents of “slow” swimmers will not fit in, no matter how glowing their personality. The FastClique parent holds breath during swims and prays their kid will hang on to his/her successes so they can continue to be accepted by this group. This parent cannot imagine life not as a SwimMom/Dad and lives for weekend meets.

  21. love2swim says:
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    The VideoTaper: This parent brings the Ipad as well as backup video taping apparatus to all meets (and sometimes practices). Never misses a race and carries several backup chargers and cords. This parent *always* video tapes his/her own kid and sometimes the competition or kids with excellent technique. I’ve also seen these same parents later become officials so they can be closer to the action, and hand off the videotaping to a well-trained spouse.

    The VideoTapers want to learn as much as possible about the sport (often, they were not swimmers themselves, because parents who were swimmers remember days with no video and are laid back about taping races) so they can “review tape” with them after the meet (or practice). They may also watch YouTube videos on swim technique and all televised competitions are recorded and reviewed with the swimmer.

  22. James says:
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    I realize this post is primarily meant to be humorous, so I won’t get to bent out of shape!

    But I do see real problems with the parent -coach. Even ex-NBA/NFL players will readily admit they are reluctant to coach their kids too much. Doesn’t mean that they can’t drop the occasional recommendation or tip; just that their role is not to make a clone of themselves but a unique individual.

  23. love2swim says:
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    Pretend-to-not-be-Competitive SwimParent: This is the one who acts all aloof / flighty and says things like, “Oh I don’t know my kids times!” or “I have no idea what state qualifying times are” etc. However, this person outs themself at some point when they pull up their kid’s best times spreadsheet on the phone, or have the icon on Ipad for state qualifying times. They not only know their own kid’s times, they know the other kid’s times too. The concentrate quietly during their child’s swim, and add the time to the spreadsheet when no one is looking. This parent is also an expert with Meet Mobile and USASwimming Times Search.

    • LOVEMYSWIMGIRL says:
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      Oh yes…know this one intimately.

    • SwimBob says:
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      Guilty, though I never pull up the spreadsheet at a meet.

    • swimfan says:
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      Ha! We have one of these that pretends not to know her daughter’s times, and claims her daughter doesn’t know her own times. But then when another kid makes a Zone time, she will congratulate them, “Wow your kid made a Zone time!” immediately after swimming, with no time to look it up. The girl outs herself similarly. Oh and the mom is THE most competitive one on the team but claims everyone else is “too competitive”.

  24. bobo gigi says:
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    I presume that momma Andrew belongs to the first category.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf70D1EdDFQ
    She looks happy at the end of the race. :)

  25. swim dad says:
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    I officiate or time (because of the other parents). And, after the meet is done. Ask my child how was the meet? Let them chat about it. They need the coaches input not mine.

  26. CraigH says:
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    My mom was so oblivious to everything at meets. She would stay in the stands smiling. Most of the time she would be happy I swam but had no idea how I placed, what my times were, etc. Was I the only one who had a parent like this?

    • swimcoach says:
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      I’m with you right here. They went to the occasional meet. Never traveled to one with me or to see me – other than 3 or 4 college meets. I never knew that they even knew how I was doing until during a real slump when I was 15, they asked me if there was anything they could do to help me out. It wasn’t that they didn’t care. My swimming was mine. I have a ton of brothers and sisters. Almost every one of us played a sport in college. It was ours. I never once stepped on a block wondering whether or not Mom or Dad would care how I performed. I never realized how lucky I was until I started coaching.

      • THE Other Hulk says:
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        SWIMCOACH, I couldn’t agree more. My parents have no clue whatsoever about swimming, and I have been involved since 1996 as a swimmer or coach.

        They were my biggest fans, they were so supportive and let swimming be mine. I hope I can be half the parent they were someday!

  27. swimtroll says:
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    From my own experience I can tell that type 8 can be cured by losing the stopwatch and being too cheap to spend another $60 on a new one. But it is a little bit harder to lap count and process split times in head. Although it is not PC, there is another type, those who beat their kids at the meet when they don’t swim fast enough. And USA Swimming is not pro-active enough to get rid of them.

  28. Jason says:
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    As a parent of three competitive swimmers it is a little concerning that it seems the best type of parent (by the comments left so far) is one that shows no active involvement in their child’s activity? Have we gone so far the other direction that being involved is negative? I care deeply both about my kids feelings about the sport and but also about their personal success and times. Maybe too far one way or another at times but it has always been a family affair. I hope the hands off approach is not the only way to be a good swim parent.

    • Shanmac_swim says:
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      Agreed – I think that total “hands-off, whatever makes you happy” parenting in relation to any aspect of a child’s life is just making the child shoulder all the responsibility. There is a fine line between parental guidance and parental “pushing” – it is good to show at least some interest and knowledge in what they are doing.

    • LOVEMYSWIMGIRL says:
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      It’s just for fun! I’m VERY INVOLVED in my child’s swimming…it literally consumes 90% of my time just like the rest of you, but if we have to be able to laugh at ourselves. I know which one I am & I’m not changing. Lighten up!

    • WestCoach says:
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      Nope…this is the parent who quietly watches from the timers chair. Smiling. Knowing that their child is learning self-efficacy and accountability regardless of what their parents think or feel during their competitive interests. That parent simply gives their kid a high-five (no matter the result) and says, “I love watching you swim!”

    • Formerswimcoach says:
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      I doubt that it was a case where those athletes’ parents had no active involvement in their child’s activity. It was probably a case where the child was given the freedom to swim and interact with the coach. The parents were probably involved in timing or officiating, or running the concession stand, they helped them get to practice when they should, but didn’t insert themselves into the swimming process itself. They went to meets and provided support in having towels, and food and snacks, excited when the swimmer was excited by a swim and empathetic when the swimmer was not happy with a swim.

  29. Joel Lin says:
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    Swim parents are angels dropped down from heaven by comparison to other sports. Up at 5am, sitting in the sun in some God awful suburbia and looking at a TGI Fridays menu 25 weekends a year? How about a list of why all swimming parents should be sainthood nominees.

    Thank you Moms and Dads.

  30. Wondering says:
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    Has the Mama Hawks been listed? These are the moms to watch every move their child makes on the pool deck and freak out if they don’t see their child. They will try to gain access to the deck to check on their swimmer not knowing that sometimes bleachers and other swimmers will block their view. A close cousin to the Mama Hawk is the Mama Eagle who must escort their child to and from the pool deck. it doesn’t matter to the Mama Eagle that all swimmers will exit through one door and it’s impossible to get lost.

  31. donviti says:
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    all the years I swam and now 30 years later thinking back, I can honestly say that I don’t remember ever hearing any of the yelling. Water apparently is not a good conduit for sound.

    I will have to keep that in mind when my five year old hits the water

    And yell even louder

  32. PsychoDad says:
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    Okay, it is well established that most of us parents are psychos. How about coaches? When will we see article like this about incompetent coaches, coaches that do not care, coaches that favor best swimmers because they make them look better, etc. Unless it is given that coaches are saints?

    I know that behind most successful athletes there are parents that pushed. I also know that many very talented athletes gave up because their parents “were saints” and did not get involved. Most what coaches comment on here is plan BS.

    • CoachD says:
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      As many people have already mentioned, they had great swim parents growing up. I know I did. Not all parents are psychos. In fact having been a coach now for 10 year I’d say that in my experience most of them are not. This article was written to be funny and provide a few laughs. Don’t take it too seriously.

      And no. Not all coaches are perfect either. There are some who are incompetent, some who don’t care. There are some who do indeed play favorites. No one said anything about coaches being saints. This article was about the parents, which is why there was no mention of parents.

      “I know that behind most successful athletes there are parents that pushed.” – there were also great coaches behind them that motivated and guided them.

      “I also know that many very talented athletes gave up because their parents “were saints” and did not get involved.” – if they gave up because their parents weren’t involved then that’s a poor excuse. Now if the swimmer gave up because their parents didn’t love them / care about them, that’s something different.

      “Most of what coaches comment on here is plain BS.” – untwist your panties. Good lord.

      • SMH says:
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        Here’s one I bet you don’t see often: the parent who gets his kids’ high school coach fired because he doesn’t think his kids are getting “what they need.” Ouch.

      • Mark Cianciolo says:
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        Coach D,

        I for one laughed my butt off over this article, it was funny and true. I found at least one sentence in each one that I have done or do…..it is the ones that cannot admit this or laugh at this that are in more trouble.

        No one…..has ever mentioned the percentage of high ranking kids and the involvement of the parent. I have never seen USA Swimming ever mention this. I know for a fact it is very high. Officials, board members, office assistance, meet managers, ect ect, over and over the last names of these people are the names of the kids you see mentioned on that teams web page for achievement. Board members being one of the highest I believe, followed by officials.

    • ChestRockwell says:
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      You deserve your own number on this list.

    • ChestRockwell says:
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      Here is a glowing example of an athlete who was pushed by his psychodad!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Marinovich

  33. Anonymous says:
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    Well said.

  34. WestCoach says:
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    I like that the “offended” parents identify with at least one of the 8 so much that they feel the need to justify it. The article doesn’t imply that EVERY parent is one of the 8. The article simply implies that one will find those 8 parents at every local meet.
    My parents were totally sane. I swam for 15 years and have been coaching for 15 more. They were immersed in the volunteer aspect of the culture and found swim parents at every meet who did the same. I’m sure they were 1 of the 8 at least once or twice, but came back to earth, for the next meet.

  35. Coach says:
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    How about the Swim Every Stroke of the Race Parent…
    The one who swims the race with his/her child but not just that they do it with their head turned sideways on, as if that helps analyse the stroke??!!!
    They also encroach into the space of the poor soul next to them, almost knocking them out with their frantic head movements….
    And then to finish it off, the kid does a half decent time.. but oh no its not good enough for the Every Stroke Parent.. they just shaken their head in dissaproval!!!!

  36. WestCoach says:
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    Olivier,
    It’s fun to bait crazy swim parents into freaking out about justifying their “involvement” in their children’s swimming. How many “sane” parents are scoping around SwimSwam looking for articles about crazy parents…or technique/training innovations…or news regarding swim-celebs who would only be known inside tighter swimming circles?
    Keep them coming!

  37. Meet grinder says:
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    How about the “Deaf, Dumb and Blind” parents who, despite urgent pleas from the announcer/officials and the meet stopped due to lack of timers continues to sit on their butts, ignoring all evidence that their support is needed.

    • Mark Cianciolo says:
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      Meet Grinder,
      Although this is probably true on every team, what I have also noticed over time, is that their is always a couple parents that go way above and beyond, and they always….always end up broken, jaded, and disgruntled. Some it takes longer, some relatively fast, but in the end, the over working parent always breaks. It’s a shame, I have known a couple that their child’s teams still need them, but they just can’t do it any more because of how much they have given. The parents that do not work, will never change…..but for those that do go above and beyond, you are deeply appreciated, even if no one ever tells you and you are needed by all of the kids.

  38. Cynthia Upton says:
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    How about the dad who becomes a swim official and DQs his own kid? Or the parents who divorce,and when the parents were married the mom always told the dad to back off of children who swim. Then she comes to your meets, and does the same thing she got mad about the former husband doing? Keep in mind that neither parent swam a lap in their life!

    • referee says:
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      What’s wrong with an official disqualifying their own kids? Did it many times when my youngest was a novice.

    • Swim Official says:
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      One of the first things that meet refs say to all of us swim officials at the beginning of the officials’ meeting before each session of a meet is that it’s the same set of rules for all of the swimmers…and that it applies to your own kid, other swimmers on your kid’s team, even applies to the adorable little 6-yr-olds who are participating in their own meet.

      Yep, I’ve DQ’d my daughter…a couple of times. And you know what? DQ’ing your own kid sucks. Trust me. But the USA Swimming official rule book doesn’t say “except if it’s your child or your favorite kid or ___” (fill in the blank). It’s one set of rules for everyone.

      • Swim Official says:
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        Oops, meant to say that the rules also apply to the young novice swimmers who are in a meet for the first time….not their own meet for them alone. LOL. :-)

  39. swimfan says:
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    CoachKiss Parent: This is the one that signs up for every job that enables them to be close to the Coach and/or program Director. This one, usually female, brings the coaches coffee drinks at morning practices so they can go on deck and charm them. The ulterior motive is hoping their kid will be a favorite.

  40. catherine says:
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    How about masters swimmers who used to be ‘real’ swimmers back in the day, and now have kids in swimming? Yes we talk a lot of swimming at home because we love the sport. But I don’t give swimming advice; too much has changed since the late 70s. Instead I ask for stroke advice and race advice on the rare occasion I do a masters meet. I’m always glad to have my stroke videotaped and I return the favour from time to time.
    But I think I win the horrible parent award for making my kids do the solstice 100 fundraiser (mentioned on swimswsm a few months ago) when they were all home for last Christmas. Do I get a medal?

  41. swimsweep says:
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    “The Disordered” The coach with antisocial personality disorder is unable to provide direct eye contact. They frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous, cynical, and contemptuous. This coach has an inflated and arrogant self-appraisal and may be excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky. They are socially inhibited avoiding anything that involves interacting with others……………like parents.

    “The Can’t Stop Myself” The coach with OCD has a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency. They are prone to become upset or angry in situations in which they are not able to maintain control (Like swimmers times and improvement-or lack thereof) they express anger in an explosive manner with righteous indignation.

    “The Coach with Drive” When a relatively attractive parent comes along they cannot control themselves and become involved, providing an additional team benefit. Or when working in isolation for long periods of time alongside other coaches they get a glimmer in their eye and take up with them out of desperate sexual attraction.

    The Self- Love Fanatic” The coach with a narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. Often condescending to others i.e. swimmers and parents.

    Coaches should be mandated to get counseling for the above issues……Remember it’s all in fun!!

    • O_O says:
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      I’m a coach and this doesn’t offend me. I even laughed a little reading, because I definitely know some coaches who fall into these categories.

      99% of parents are great, but a few of them are incredibly challenging. Some of them are just kind of funny, like #1 on the list.

    • mcgillrocks says:
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      To continue:

      The Loud Coach: Prone to yelling at swimmers during practices at the slightest goofing off. Often overlap with the coaches that give the hardest sets.

      The College Kid: Swam for the same team only a few years ago. Often gets out an iPhone during practices, and received pleas from swimmers to be “one of the guys” and make an easier set. May or may not be so easily swayed.

      The 70′s Distance Swimmer: May or may not have swum in the 70′s, but sets are always long and easy, either 10×500 aerobic, or 4x (2×100 free + 4×50 kick + 4×50 drill + 4×50 swim). Hated by sprinters, disliked by 80% of team. Forms a bond with some distance swimmers. USRPT’s #1 enemy.

    • coach says:
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      Agreed… Sometimes I look around the deck and wonder if I am in the right profession just based on the behavior of my “colleagues.”

  42. Josh says:
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    We had a really heinous one we called The Drill Sergeant on our team. She was a single mom raising two kids and held them to ridiculous standards. She was eventually banned from being able to watch practices because she would sit with a stopwatch and if her kids wouldn’t hit certain repeats, she would make them do punishment sets when practice was over. Meets were even worse. I can remember the girl, who was 11 at the time, getting a 30 minute lecture from her mom after a 100 breaststroke at a long course meet. The boy actually got really good, scored a full ride to a div 1 school, finaled at NCAAs in the 200 fly and swam at Olympic Trials. The girl, who was about 3 years younger, became rebellious by junior high and would ditch practices altogether. She was ridiculously talented but completely burned out. She hit a Juniors cut in the 200 breaststroke at 14 on about 2 practices per week when she had no interest in swimming anymore.

    • swimfan says:
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      That reminds me of the “Weight Lifting and Protein Shake Dads” drilling their kids at home. They want their kids to be the strongest and most built in hopes it will contribute in the pool. So they are having their kids lift weights at a young age at home, and drink protein shakes and other energy foods. OH and then there’s the ones whose boys are below average size and are on Growth Hormones…I know several of those…banned substance!

  43. Swimmom says:
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    You would not have a job if not for us. Deal with it.

    • coach says:
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      Send me your address I want to bow to you… kiss your feet… fan your wind… please oh gracious one…

  44. Crappycoaching says:
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    How about the parent that use to be a really good swimmer than became a really good coach, retired when she was pregnant then helped you succeed in a crappy club because there were no other near by clubs that allowed you to be recruited to a a divison 1 swimming program?

  45. Jg says:
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    Most swim parents would do some things differently if they had another chance. But it is what it is & kids are not going to be better treated out there in the big world after swimming. Mum & Dad won’t always be there .

    One day they will be dead & no one will care about your intervals , your races even if you continue . When you clean out their wardrobe & drawers you will find a few of your ribbons &

    Really when you look back only parents care . Enjoy it now .

  46. SwimFan says:
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    I am in the category with many Dads that have a sudden interest to take our age grouper to Saturday morning practice when the coach is a pretty twenty something. Dads lined up like birds on a wire – none making any comments about swimming or could even tell you what lane our kid is in.

  47. another swim mom says:
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    I laughed out loud at the KissCoach! A team my swimmers were previously on (We relocated.) had a whole group these moms. There was a definite ringleader, but several moms were in the clique. Other parents even made up a name for the little group of kiss-uppers. They constantly interrupted practices to talk to coaches, but were NEVER able to help during a meet-never timed, worked concessions, did awards–nothing. It worked for them. Their kids were favored.

    I think all of us can see ourselves in a few of these at one time or another. We learn as we go. When my first swimmer joined a team, all the moms had spreadsheets. I made one. I no longer have one. I don’t know what my kids’ exact times are, but I do know how to find them if needed. I watch races quietly. If your kids’s best is better than my kid’s, I don’t care. (I also don’t expect you to brag about it.) I’m hoping for life skills on and off deck, not Olympians. There are extremes in every sport and activity.

  48. Marnie says:
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    Wow, i am a dance mum any my child trains 14 hours a week since she was 6. you guys are nuts. Poor poor kids.

    • coach says:
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      Dance is swarming with idiots… hence multiple TV shows about that psychosis… yeah.. we’re crazy…

  49. swim-like-a-shrimp says:
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    How about the “Groupy Parent”, these parents followed their favorite coach from one team to the next. They show up as the new coaches promoter, immediately infiltrate the stands and spread the word on how great this new coach–and of course their kids–are.

  50. Hmmm says:
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    um, what snack tray?

  51. love2swim says:
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    Can’t-Stop-This-Feeling-Parent: Then there is the parent who crosses the line and form “special relationships” with the coach or director. These parents shouldn’t kid themselves: everyone knows.

  52. PsychoDad says:
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    It is difficult for some coaches to accept that a parent can learn and become better “coach” than a lot of coaches. I have been learning for 5 years, I passed USA Swimming’s “Foundation of Coaching” and had numerous conversations about technique with top level swimmers and coaches in the USA. Our son’s coach is a good coach, but he has no time or much interest to work one on one and correct bad habits. He will explain technique and then there is no follow up – they all go back to bad habits after 2 laps.He ha talked to our son 2-3 times during practice in past year or so. Unfortunately many coaches stopped learning years or decades ago. We love out club, love that parents are not allowed to interrupt coaches (I never talked to a coach in practice for 4 years).

    I am not very much concerned about their success right now – just enough to keep them interested to continue swimming – it does not matter much until they are 14+ anyway. I would hate they get injured because of bad technique and joint overuse. And that is why I got involved. For example, I work with our son on technique tirelessly. He loves when we do that, and he has real good technique in every stroke. He was ranked top 30-50 in the USA as 10 year old, top 60-200 (different strokes) as 11 year old and will have a lot of success this year as well. The other kids are progressing very well too. They never ever practice 6 times a week, and I do not let them practice more than 4 times a week first 2 months of the season. Then gradually increase. They peak and swim best at champs meet when all other kids are tired and discouraged. And they never had injuries, after 4-5 years of swimming, and they cannot wait to go to practice. They beg me often to practice with them.

    That is what I call good parenting.

    • PsychoDad says:
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      One more thing… Whatever works for other parents, it is fine with me. I know coaches love parents that drop their kids off and then go jogging with a stop at Starbucks. Some of us cannot do that. My responsibility is to recognize their talents and help them realize their dreams, not mind. Do I make mistakes along way? Every day. But that is why parenting is difficult especially when you have 5 children.

    • O_O says:
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      Parenting and coaching are not mutually exclusive. There are plenty of coaches who have kids.

      So you work with your kids on technique how often? Once or twice a week? For how long? 20 minutes? 30 minutes?

      Then your child swims at practice it sounds like 4-5 times a week? For 1.5-2 hours each workout I’m guessing.

      With that in mind your assumption is that your lessons are the reason your child is a good swimmer? Not that they practice with their coach and teammates? Sounds pretty egotistical to me.

      • mcmflyguy says:
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        Lets start off with you really don’t know the amount of knowledge he has about swimming. So yes his lessons COULD BE the reason the kids are good/getting better. and as a former coach, I know SO MANY coaches that do exactly as he described. say do this, and the kids do it for 2 laps then go back. so at the risk of me sounding egotistical, why when I gave private lessons as a coach did the kids get exponentially better? because I would get in the water, show the kid how, move their arms into the correct catch position or whatever they wanted help with, make them slow down, not do a 200 with something that feels so new to them. Sounds like psychodad is about the same way. Technique is key, and ya his kids are probably getting better because they are getting bigger and stronger, but without technique you’d get slightly better.

        • O_O says:
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          You’re right that sounds egotistical. Technique is critical, it would be hard to find a coach who disagrees, but private lessons are not. I imagine we could find many great swimmers who never had a single one.

          Let’s say there is a 12 year old swimmer. That swimmer practices with her coach 5 days a week for 2 hours a day. At the same time she does 2 lessons a week with another coach. Let’s say she drops 3 seconds in a 100 Free, why does the coach who does 1 hour of one on one coaching get all the credit in your mind? Why not the coach who is working with her 10 hours each week?

          They both clearly deserve some credit, but I would argue that the person who deserves the most credit for improving is the athlete herself.

          That’s why you and Psychodad sound egotistical.

          • mcmflyguy says:
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            Well, if the swimmer swims with one coach 5 times a week 2 hours a day, and isn’t told to think about technique 5 days a week for 2 hours… then those practices are useless. Its not just about sitting and getting the physical work in during private lessons. I specifically make my kids think while they swim. and it amazes me when the kids come back and say I thought about this or that all week while at practice. Private lessons are not about pounding out more yardage. its about showing kids what they are doing wrong. and making them THINK about what they are doing. and forcing them to think about what they are going to do in practices from here on out. so ya if you have a coach that doesn’t do any technique and you come in and help the kid in that aspect and suddenly he gets faster… why should someone who ignores one of the most critical points (technique) of the sport get credit.
            even with your last statement, the athlete herself gets all the credit amazes me. go ahead ask ANY of the greatest athletes on the planet. would they be where they are without a good coach? besides maybe Floyd mayweather everyone else will say no they wouldn’t be there.

      • PsychoDad says:
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        Once a week for 90 minutes. Some things we do he has never heard from his coach so easy to know why he is swimming the way he is swimming in practice.

        One more questions for all knowing coaches here; Why am I psycho and Michael Andrew’s father is a genius? I have talked to Peter and I respect all they are doing and not judging them any way (may disagree with technique a lot, though). But why is he a genius and I am a psycho? he knows more? But, how do you know?

    • CoachD says:
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      PSYCHODAD you’re my favorite.

      “It is difficult for some coaches to accept that a parent can learn and become better “coach” than a lot of coaches.” – LOL. There is so much more to being a good coach then giving one kid advice on their technique.

      “I passed USA Swimming’s “Foundation of Coaching” – A monkey can pass the Foundation of Coaching test.

      “Our son’s coach is a good coach, but he has no time or much interest to work one on one and correct bad habits.” – As mentioned above, there is a lot that has to be done to be a good coach. Some coaches simply do not have time for private lessons.

      “He will explain technique and then there is no follow up – they all go back to bad habits after 2 laps.He has talked to our son 2-3 times during practice in past year or so.” – While I feel like 2-3 times is highly exaggerated, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. I will say that no follow up is a problem, and if that’s the case that’s something the coach needs to work on. I will say though, that often it falls on the swimmer to ultimately decide to make the stroke change. I know of a few (not many, but a few) athletes that just simply won’t change, despite how much instruction (even one on one instruction) is giving to them.

      “Unfortunately many coaches stopped learning years or decades ago.” – Complete and utterly false. I learn everyday. I make it a point to always seek out new and more efficient ways to teach and motivate. Have some older coaches stopped learning? Unfortunately yes. But to say that many have? You’re way off base.

      “I am not very much concerned about their success right now – just enough to keep them interested to continue swimming – it does not matter much until they are 14+ anyway.” – 12 & Under swimmers can have success, and still be prepared to excel at ages 14+, if it’s done the right way.

      “I would hate they get injured because of bad technique and joint overuse. And that is why I got involved.” – Obviously you have trust issues that the coaches will do their jobs.

      “He was ranked top 30-50 in the USA as 10 year old, top 60-200 (different strokes) as 11 year old and will have a lot of success this year as well.” – I thought you weren’t concerned with his success until he turned 14?

      “They never ever practice 6 times a week, and I do not let them practice more than 4 times a week first 2 months of the season. Then gradually increase.” – My 11-12 year olds practice 5-6 times a week, even early season. You see, most coaches have a season plan. Early season is usually non-intensive technique work, which makes 5-6 practices a week very manageable. Most coaches know to gradually increase intensity as the season progresses.

      “They peak and swim best at champs meet when all other kids are tired and discouraged.” – The majority of swimmers peak at champs. If a kid is doesn’t swim well at their champs meets it more often a product of either lack of general motivation in the sport (which they’ve probably been struggling with for a while) or because of lack of preparation all season long.

      “And they never had injuries” – Injuries are not always related to bad technique. Muscle imbalances as well as freak accidents are also major causes.

      “…after 4-5 years of swimming, and they cannot wait to go to practice.” – It’s good they love the sport. I’m curious to see how they feel about it when they’re older. Especially if you’re still trying to give them lessons on their strokes.

      “That is what I call good parenting.” – Most people would interpret your post as an argument as to why you’re a good coach, not a good parent.

      My take on all of this is why even put your kids on a swim team? You can obviously do a much better job than any coach can. You just build a pool in your back yard and just coach them yourself.

      • CoachD says:
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        PSYCHODAD, look, some coaches suck. Yes, it’s true. There are bad coaches out there. BUT, there are also a lot of GREAT coaches too. If in your experience you’ve dealt with more bad ones than good ones, I’m sorry, really I am. I hope someday your kids get to experience the joy of having an amazing coach. All I can say is be careful generalizing, and be careful that you don’t overstep boundaries as a parent. The line between parent and coach is a fine one. Make sure you stay on the right side.

      • PsychoDad says:
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        >There is so much more to being a good coach then giving one kid advice on their technique.

        i was talking about coaching technique, not coaching a club, which I have no interest in.

        >A monkey can pass the Foundation of Coaching test.

        There are so many funny follow-ups on this about coaches, that I will not even start. Be careful next time.

        • CoachD says:
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          No I’d love to hear the follow-ups, please

          • PsychoDad says:
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            Never mind jokes.

            Here is my presentation on backstroke. I have one for every stroke and I follow this in teaching our kids technique. You are the expert, you tell me what I am doing wrong.

            https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0_65xQ7UcgsQTlXZTVPWWhKZ3c/edit

          • Double A says:
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            It seems you’re really into swimming. It’s hard for me to believe that you have no interest in coaching. This presentation is above and beyond what most parents who coach their swimmers a few hours a week would ever do.

            There are a lot of interesting tidbits of information in your presentation. I’m not going to go into technical details or critique or anything of the sort. I don’t have a problem with much of what you wrote, but the Clary/Lochte example seems a bit ignorant, even if you are correct about the technique of their underwater pulls.

            I don’t think it’s fair to say the reason Clary beat Lochte is because of the difference in the techniques of their arm pulls. Lochte beat Piersol in the 200 back in 2008, and you used Piersol as your demonstrator for a good pull.

            The reason Clary beat Lochte in the Olympics is because Clary swam his best time on that day, and Ryan Locthe did not swim anywhere near his best. If they were both at their best and Clary won, then the wording of your example would make more sense.

          • CoachD says:
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            The problem is not what you’re teaching. It’s the fact that you are teaching. This is the coaches job. If the coach isn’t doing this, then that’s the real problem. Find a new team with a better coach (because like I said before, there are unfortunately bad coaches out there, but, there are also really good coaches).

            Look, what you do is your prerogative. Ultimately you’ll do with your kids what you want. I however, disagree with parents doing pool work outside or practice with their children. It blurs the line of parent / coach and kids often times get confused. The parent provides support, through thick or thin. A parent teaching the kids technique outside of practice often gives criticism (whether it’s constructive or not) about that technique at meets after races. Many times, the kids don’t want to hear that from their parents at that point. All they want to hear is “I’m proud of you, it makes me happy to watch you swim.”

            Your kids sound like they are young right now, and that they love what you’re teaching them. I wouldn’t be surprised though if their attitude towards that teaching changes as they get older.

        • coach says:
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          He has a nice backstroke:

          • PsychoDad says:
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            That was 2 months before he swam 30.15 on 50 back (11 yo) dropping over a second. The main reason was we got into pool and practiced stroke extension by kicking with the opposite leg and reaching high while maintaining perfect balance.

            CoachD, I will let you in on our latest “trick.” Ryan Murphy surprised me in March at NCAA with a turn that looked nothing like I have seen before. His last stroke before the flip is not traditional freestyle to turn, but same as other back strokes, except he flips at the last moment, so basically you never know when he will flip. Our son flips that way now. Much faster and avoiding speed-killing roll on belly, head up and slow roll.

          • likeswimminglikecoachinglikeswimcoaching says:
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            uh, question. how should I take notes or highlight the power point? and, will the test be cumulative? also, will it be multiple choice, or essay format? if it is essay format, does it need to be in 5-paragraph format?

            but I digress…

  53. PsychoDad says:
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    >Your kids sound like they are young right now, and that they love what you’re teaching them. I wouldn’t be surprised though if their attitude towards that teaching changes as they get older.

    That is why I would never take them out of a club. They need to be part of the team and not spend with me every day talking about swimming. But those two hours we spend in the pool weekly are helping them a lot.

    My oldest one is 25 and he tells me all the time his best memories of childhood, were when we started playing pick up games at the Field House, University of Iowa campus, and he was 12. I am not afraid my kids will get tired of me spending time with them. It is all about how you do it and how you communicate with your kids. They picked swimming, I will make sure they realize their dreams, to their ability.

    • lesspsychodad says:
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      “I will make sure they realize their dreams, to their ability.”

      Wow. So, to the extent that they succeed, it is you that makes it happen. And when they fall short, it is simply the limits of their natural ability.

      “That is what I call good parenting.”

  54. PsychoDad says:
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    >All they want to hear is “I’m proud of you, it makes me happy to watch you swim.”

    But only when they know they are doing something good. If you use that all the time, soon enough it will mean nothing to them. You cannot treat them like dummies with a fake smile and “I am proud of you, son.”

    When our son has a bad swim, I approach him with smile and “Son, that was horrible.” He smiles and says “Dad, I know.” We established long time ago no crying or winning. It is a sport, when you have bad day, try to figure out what you did wrong, and move on as fast as possible. But, you do not sugarcoat to them. Real life will not do it later.

    • swimfan says:
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      OK so I’d like to understand, is your son’s coach OK with you teaching them technique? Does the coach know? What if the coach is on Swim-Swam, and sees the above, he will know his 30.15 backstroker’s dad is PsychoDad. I guess it must be pretty obvious. My kid’s coach would NOT like this one bit.

  55. BradS says:
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    SS left one off-

    9. The Psycho Dad. For more info see 28 page presentation provided above.

  56. Anonymous says:
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    Coaches should coach and parents should parent. If you believe that lie then next time your child says 2+2=5 just say “I love watching you do math”. After all we wouldn’t want to blur the line between teacher and parent.

  57. swim coach says:
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    an addendum – 8b. the super attentive parent. as a coach, do you have those parents who tell the swimmer to run up to the blocks about 10 heats before their swim? its like racing to a stop sign. the swimmer gets up there and stands. and stands. and stands. and when they dont go a best time because their legs were tired from all the standing, its the coach’s fault.

    • SWIMDAD says:
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      I’ve seen many missed races when kids don’t get to the blocks soon enough – even by swimmers that should know better, even at state meets, and often with younger kids. There is often confusion at the blocks with younger kids mixing up lanes (ie, 1 & 8 etc) or remembering their lane wrong. So extra time back there is good in case lane needs to be checked with timer etc. Kids should be able to stand and get their bodies moving before a race – if they go from sitting to racing, the heart has to work harder. Some excellent coaches say it is better to get heart rate up by walking & jumping before the race.

  58. bwiab says:
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    #10 – The Helping Hand – The mother who had been an Olympic Trial Qualifier who took the time to provide my daughter with tips since my daughters coach walked away at the beginning of her race (last heat for our team before a break)(Guess the Burger King run couldn’t wait). While we were watching my daughter swim, this mother (and friend) noticed some flaws in the stroke, and asked me if she could give my daughter some tips – my daughter was extremely grateful. Kind words and good advice from this mother helped soften the blow from the coach walking out.

  59. Grateful says:
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    How about the swim parent that recognizes all the subtle and not-so-subtle swim and life lessons the coach has taught their child? The parent that recognizes the supreme dedication shown by the coach to their kid? The parent that recognizes the coach doesn’t get paid squat for said teaching of swim and life lessons and dedication? The parent that understands, at the end of the day, that swimming is just a sport and that their kid swims but is not defined by swimming? Are there any of those parents out there?

  60. AllDoneMom says:
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    What a PERFECT article! I have 5 children, 3 of which swim. Over the years I’ve bounced around in several of the categories you described. Now, I’m afraid I’m in the saddest one of all….the totally burned out, totally over swimming parent. After 8 years of driving to & from practice 30 minutes away from our home, getting up at 4:30 am to get my son to before school workouts, having parents whistle so loud at swim meets my ears bleed, spending years of planning family events around swim meets, I’m done. I am making my oldest swimmer run cross country for a season. My other 2 – (one who loves swimming, one who has been ready to quit for months) will also run. The guilt I feel is overwhelming, but I have 2 other children who need my attention equally. I’ve tried to be supermom, but unfortunately I don’t have super energy. We do have a pool where my kids can swim/train, just not on the level we have been. I’m so proud of the children and so thankful for everything swimming has taught them. Hoping a little break will work wonders.

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About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former National level swimmer from the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook.com: a comprehensive tool that designed for swimmers to track and analyze their results. Read More »