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 aren’t making the same progress. Or, why one swimmer is getting more attention than everyone else.
It’s a benefit to have standout swimmers on your child’s team. Yes, the times are right in front of us, so it’s 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 doesn’t turn out well because every child is different with their interests, talent, and physical and mental development. We can’t 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 it’s great to have standout swimmers on the team:
They raise the bar.
It’s great to have someone faster that is hardworking on your child’s 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, it’s 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 it’s 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.