10 Reasons Why Swim Dads Are The Best Dads – Father’s Day

by SwimSwam Contributors 9

June 16th, 2017 Lifestyle

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

Swim dads are the unsung heroes of swimming and without them, teams would have a tough time staying afloat. I wrote about how swim moms are the backbone of swim teams and I believe dads deserve praise as well. Some swim dads are responsible for the day-to-day responsibility of getting kids to and from practice, while others help with meets and fundraising. There are many things dads do to help their children, teams and swim family.

Here are 10 reasons to be thankful for swim dads:


Dads drive their kids to practice and meets and make the drive more fun by stopping for treats on the way home.


Dads do the heavy lifting to set up swim meets and carry pop-up tents at away meets. They’re the last ones on deck tearing down and putting meet equipment away.


At meets, dads are not shy about stepping up to help wherever they’re needed—whether it’s behind the hot grill, wearing the neon vest as a deck marshal or timing.


A silly joke from a dad plus a big hug can end a swimmer’s tears after missing a cut for the big meet.


Swim dads spend entire weekends at the pool without a complaint to watch their kids swim a few minutes.


They freely give advice and reach out to newer swim families.


At the end of a long weekend, after the sprint and IM families have gone home, you’ll find dads lap counting for their distance kids.


Dads often serve on parent boards and volunteer their expertise in making decisions.


Dads encourage their swimmers to be their best and cheer loudly for their kids and teammates.


Dads are a source of unconditional love. They love their children regardless if they get a personal best or DQ.

Why are you thankful for swim dads?

Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.

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9 Comments on "10 Reasons Why Swim Dads Are The Best Dads – Father’s Day"

newest oldest most voted

My mom definitely put more time and energy into swimming, and was the one who would try to coach my sibling and me behind the scenes. But even being a bit more more removed, my dad always knew the right thing to say when we were in the car to get us motivated to swim fast at meets. He probably didn’t know that, and in hindsight might have felt like he didn’t have a part in our swimming career. But our swim family wouldn’t have lasted without both of them.

cynthia curran

My dad was the one that got me into competitive swimming. He ran the 440 in high school.

Oh, I love that photo of Boomer in Bob’s arms. Michael looking on. Great photo! Wonderful photo!

California Sunshine

I’m wondering who’s the SWIM dad in that photo. Is Boomer already competing? Or is Bob Bowman actually Phelp’s dad?

Didn’t know Father’s Day was this week until I saw this article, thank you swimswam

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