5 Tips For Swim Parents Before The Big Meet

by SwimSwam Contributors 2

January 23rd, 2017 Lifestyle

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

In few weeks, it will be that time of year when youll find yourself sitting in the stands at the seasons biggest meet. Your swimmer has been working for months and youve been doing your part to get them to and from practice on a daily basisall in preparation for their target meet.

Some parents have kids who swim fast all year long and those kids get PBTs randomly throughout the year. Others of us see fast times only at shaved and taperedmeets and we wait in anticipation to see how the taper and months of hard work pay off.

Herere five things to think about before the big meet:


Keep expectations in check.

Ive read that parents overestimate their childrens abilities and may have expectations that arent realistic. When we have too high of goals for our kids, they may have an excellent meet, but we dont understand how good it was. Our swimmers may feel like theyve let us down when theyve done really well.


Don’t pressure your kids.

I used to talk to my kids about a big meet the week leading up to it. Im sure my constant asking, Whats your goal time?” “How are you going to race?or Do you see who is seeded ahead of you on the psych sheet?wasnt helpful. My constant worrying and asking questions put pressure on my kids. If I could redo those days, Id stay quiet and listen.


Stay in control of the roller coaster.

Our emotions may run up and down during a target meet and be more exaggerated than during smaller meets. Dont get too down if they dont drop time or dont make it back to finals. Remember all the good stuff theyre gaining by swimming and what a great experience this is for them.


Trust the process.

Encourage your child to trust their coach and work hard. If theyve done the workouts, put in their best effort, and their coach has prepared them well, your child can be confident of a successful meet. Parents should relax, enjoy the process and feel confident, too.


Have fun and treasure the moment.

Sitting with your fellow swim parents in the stands, watching close races, and cheering on your child and teammates is an exciting part of being a swim parent. Have fun, dont stress, and treasure the meet as though its the last. In no time at all, youll be at your swimmers last meet. Enjoy each step along the way.


What do you think parents should keep in mind at the big meet?

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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5 years ago

What good thoughts for these upcoming weekends. Time goes by so fast….enjoy!

5 years ago

Have fun and treasure the moment! I have a few more years left in HS with my daughter and I will cherish every moment. My son did not swim for college but he left us with great memories and how we enjoyed the days of him swimming.