Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
After 15 years as an age group swim mom, this is my first year as a parent of a college swimmer. I love both roles, but there are big differences between the two. Especially at swim meets.
I’ve discovered 12 things that are different at college dual meets:
Parents sit in the stands above the pool. There is no way down to the pool deck.
They won’t ask you to time.
You aren’t driving your swimmers to meets or staying with them in hotels.
The meets are really, really short.
You can’t ask your swimmer after each event, “How did that feel?” or “What did the coach say?”
It’s rare to see parents make spectacles of themselves.
There’s no snack bar and no breakfast burritos.
You can’t check on your swimmer to see if he gets to the blocks on time. Or needs water or gatorade.
You’ll watch your “too cool teenager” enthusiastically yell during the team cheer.
Your focus will be on team scores. Not your individual swimmer’s times.
No parent volunteers are required. No set up or tear down, either.
You won’t even think about talking to the head coach about how your swimmer is doing during a meet.
What differences do you see between college and age group swim meets?
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: http://bleuwater.me/.