Swim Mom: Traits of Super Swim Parents

Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham

There are swim parents that we love being around. We can’t wait to sit with them at meets and cheer together for our kids. These parents are positive, fun and helpful team players. Then there are others who are more self-involved, focused only on their child and can spread disharmony in the stands. Take a look at great parents and see what makes them stand out from others. We can all learn from them.

Here are 11 traits super swim parents share:


Are supportive of their kids and offer unconditional love — regardless of personal bests or adding time.


They get their children to practice consistently.


They don’t compare their swimmers to others.


They are open and inviting to newer swim parents.


You won’t see them gossiping on the pool deck.


Are interested in how their children’s friends are doing.


If there’s a job that needs doing, no matter how big or small, they’ll step up.


They will help out families who can’t take their kids to a meet or practice.


They’re supportive and loyal to their children’s team.


They always have a positive comment or thought and leave the negativity behind.


They understand their role as a parent and let the coaches coach.

What other traits do you notice in super swim parents?

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.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

A lot of time I heard no compare others, it’s just a joke. This is a competition, what wrong about it?

Reply to  swimmom
3 years ago

The problem is that another child is a moving unpredictable target. Absolutely, use the kid in the lane next to you to push you in the race, but if your swimmer’s primary focus to beat so and so, he or she is likely going to end up frustrated. That other kid may hit puberty first, have a major growth spurt or just might be the next GOAT. Your child can have a much more fulfilling and likely longer career if they focused on their own best times.

John Hensler
3 years ago

They try swimming so they know what their swimmer is going through and how remarkable it is.

Reply to  John Hensler
3 years ago

LOL, I don’t need to struggle through 50y of dog paddle to appreciate how bad-a, err, tough, all those kids are doing 5,000+y!

3 years ago

“They don’t compare their swimmers to others”
like…. NEVER?

3 years ago

I know the article is about swim parents, not just swim moms, but as the title is “Swim Mom: …,” you wouldn’t expect a few swim dads to COMPLETELY dominate the picture.

Reply to  T W
3 years ago

Swim Mom refers to Elizabeth.

3 years ago

How can u tell people are gossiping on the pool deck? How do u know what they are talking about??

Mirror anyone?
Reply to  Doconc
3 years ago

Because gossip gets around. People that troll mom-columnists on swimswam are usually the biggest problems on a team.

Reply to  Mirror anyone?
3 years ago

Gossip only gets around if u participate
Mirror on the wall
Not trolling anyone
Preaching gets old

Reply to  Doconc
3 years ago

Parents shouldn’t be on the pool deck