Why It’s Great To Have Standouts On Your Team

by SwimSwam 10

April 16th, 2018 Lifestyle

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

When swimmers make progress, they often get noticed by the coach and maybe even the local press. How does this effect teammates and parents of swimmers on the team? A few parents may wonder why their children arent making the same progress. Or, why one swimmer is getting more attention than everyone else.

Its a benefit to have standout swimmers on your childs team. Yes, the times are right in front of us, so its easy to fall into the comparison trap. Especially if one swimmer gets attention in the local papers, radio and TV. However, comparing your child to a teammate usually doesnt turn out well because every child is different with their interests, talent, and physical and mental development. We cant expect children to progress at the same rate. As a swim parent, rather than compare our child to teammates, we can be happy for success on our team and cheer on every swimmer.

Here are five reasons why its great to have standout swimmers on the team:


They raise the bar.

Its great to have someone faster that is hardworking on your childs team. They may push others to work harder in practice. A healthy competition between teammates can be fun and lead to more success.


They are good role models for younger kids.

The younger kids on a team look up to the older kids. They watch the path of the star swimmers and think I am going to do that, too!Watching kids go to big meets and earn college scholarships can be motivating for everyone.


Publicity is good.

If some swimmers are getting press, its good for the team and swimming in general. It may lead to more kids becoming swimmers or attention in the community for donations and sponsors.


They open doors for club recognition.

USA Swimming has club recognition programs that are based on the levels of success of swimmers. Earning a gold, silver or bronze level means advantages for the team in terms of rewards that can enhance the entire program.


College coaches may be looking at your team.

If one swimmer signs with a college, chances are the college coach will want to know who is coming up in the years to come. That means more opportunities for swimmers on the team.

Why do you think its good to have swimming stars recognized on your team?

Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on their 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

Maybe. Just maybe. Depends on swimmers attitude

5 years ago

Oh I know the college coach coming especially. Eddie Reese came to look at one of my teammates a couple of months ago and everything I’ve heard about coach Reese is true he’s so laid back and such a nice guy as a person and coach

5 years ago

Sort of artificial points were made with the exception when it comes to dual or conference meets. It pretty much depends on the personal qualities of the leading swimmers. What I have been observing in high school that leading swimmers were mostly seniors and they were next of being hostile or ignorant toward freshmen and sophomores. Keeping the distance between them and younger swimmers placing themselves into privileged position regarding team duties. It caused many young swimmers to leave the team not even starting to taste the satisfaction of improving their times. Many of those who made varsity team stayed longer for the pleasure to wear varsity later and hoping that it will add them some weight in the eyes… Read more »

sane swim parent
5 years ago

My son’s team is transitioning from a star swimmer who was a prima donna, as were her parents, to a trio of star swimmers who are amazing teammates. The difference this makes in the atmosphere of the team is huge.

Reply to  sane swim parent
5 years ago

What are examples of this prima donna behaviour by the swimmer and his paretns?

5 years ago

Very good points, like any organization success at the top pulls up everybody. Standout swimmers at any age show what is possible, what can be accomplished and what the program can produce. It opens doors for everyone else. Unfortunately I have seen teams ruined by petty jealousy and ignorance of the benefits having standout swimmers in the program. The key is a coach that can tactfully educate families on this positive.

swimmom to kat
Reply to  RetiredSwimParent
5 years ago

I agree. But even worse is a high school coach who tells a standout club swimmer that she needs to slow down and not swim fast at HS meets because it makes the other swimmers feel bad. She is already swimming 5-8 seconds slower than her best times in 100 yard events because she doesn’t need to swim time to win every heat she swims. It is detrimental to her mentally, and she has no respect for the coach. She made a CIF championship time last year but the coach didn’t want to travel five hours to the meet so she didn’t get to participate. And the boys’ relay team that qualified didn’t get to go either, because one of… Read more »

Mr G
Reply to  swimmom to kat
5 years ago

That is messed up–I hope you all get a better HS coach. Maybe ask a respected club coach to apply for the position (perhaps even as an assistant)? I hope the swimmer is at least allowed to swim fast at her section championship.

Reply to  swimmom to kat
5 years ago

She probably should swim her slowest stroke in dual meets but the coach is a jerk if he didn’t let her go to CIF.

Reply to  swimmom to kat
5 years ago

See even if I don’t have to try in a meet I still will. Only time is when I went a 2:20 in a 2 free and still won in high school when I usually go like 1:57-1:58 In tiny dual meets