5 Ways Parents Can Help Their Swimmers’ Performance

by SwimSwam Contributors 2

March 13th, 2017 Lifestyle

Written and courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

What can parents do to help their childrens performance in swimming and school? I learned about managing thoughts and that parents can help their children achieve great results from TrainUgly.com and sports parenting expert David Benzels webinars*. It comes down to this: swimmers need to start with positive thoughts about themselves. These thoughts or beliefs turn into actions, such as going to more practices or working on their strokes. Those actions will turn into successful results.

That sounds simple, correct? It looks like a foolproof plan for success.


The catch is in our beliefs or thoughts. Its the little voice in our head that can make or break the results we want. If weor our childrenhave self-defeating words bouncing through our brains, those negative and destructive thoughts need to be changed.

Here are a few ideas on how to help your children get the results they want:


We can manage our thoughts. We can tell our kids that they are in control of their thoughts. If a negative thought pops into their head, like Im no good at this,or Ill never drop enough to time to get the cut,explain that they can ask,Where did that thought come from?They can focus on how hard theyve been working or that they can achieve their goals. It doesnt help to simply say, Dont think that way!


We experience 60,000 thoughts per day, which is about one thought per second. If we can separate ourselves from our thoughts, these destructive beliefs will lose their power over us. Negative self-talk hurts our actions and results. If our children believe that they can improve, then they will be more likely to take actions to get better.


Theres only one moment that deserves our attentionand that is now. If we worry about the past, its usually with regret and fear. Focusing on the future will fill our heads with anticipation and doubt. There is truth in the phrase, Live in the moment.We can help our children understand this concept, too.


Let our kids problem solve. The pool is a perfect place for our children to experience failure and get right back up and try again. If we try to make every little thing more comfortable for them, whether its talking to the coach or running to school with forgotten homework, were not giving our kids room to grow and learn. Instead, our kids may pick up that they arent capable and they cant handle problems. Despite our best intentions, they could end up feeling insecure and unprepared for the real world.


Belief and positive thoughts start with us. If we dont buy into our kidsswim program or coach, then its doubtful that our children will. With negative beliefs starting with us and filtering down to our kids, were limiting our childrens ability to achieve great results. If our kids dont believe in their coachesplans, then it will be harder for them to get the results they want. They have to believe in the process, and so do we.

*Heres a link to David Benzels webinars and articles through USA Swimmings parent resources page.

How do you help your kids manage their thoughts?

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/.

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4 years ago

Too abstract. How about a real plan?

4 years ago

Hard seeing your kid get discouraged where the coaches give zero corrections, very inconsistent on going to states. Embarrassed last year head coach and assistant MIA at states where year before it was a great big deal. Last year a total of 3 kids ( one my son) out of 150 showed/made it. Was not only embarrassing for my boy but myself as well when parents were like where is the head coach or the team for that matter. Problem I see is there are 2 head coaches one head focuses on his daughter who attends the HS where the swim club is. So suffice to say 6 months out of the year it’s 4 day per week practices @… Read more »