From a parent manual compiled by the Mid-Atlantic LSC:
Stages of Athletic Development
- Under 14: Focus on skill development and endurance.
- 14 to 17: Begin serious training that includes speed and high volume water training.
- 18 & up: Enhance sprint systems and full dry land strength training
The Role of the Parent
- Provide a stable, loving environment
- Have a working automobile
- Ensure swimmer gets proper nutrition and rest
- Provide financial Support
- Let the coach do the coaching
- Encourage goal setting - their goals, not yours
- Keep balance in their lives
- Have realistic expectations about performance
- Remember good sprinters are usually terrible in practice and distance swimmers often swim the same speed in meets as in practice
- This is supposed to be fun. Make sure your child enjoys it- and enjoy it yourself!
- Positive reinforcement. If you can't say anything nice, keep quiet
- Allow your child to fail. Successful people fail more often than those who are not successful.
Swimmer's State of Mind On The Block:
Will I false start?
Will I swim the right stroke?
Will I swim the right distance? Will I be legal? Will I hit my turn right? Will I do a best time?
Will I be last/win/beat my best friend/beat my worst enemy?
What will my coach think?
What will my teammates/boyfriend/ girlfriend/parents think?
Will I lose my goggles?
Will my cap come off?
Will my suit split when I bend over?
I really have to go to the bathroom!!!!
(With all this, they really don't need pressure from you.)
It is important for the swimmer to realize drinking water is important. In fact, one-half cup of water every 10-15 minutes helps replace body fluids lost as the swimmer sweats. Many swimmers are unaware that they are sweating as they swim. Sports drinks can be beneficial especially if swimmers are training longer than 60 minutes. The rule of thumb is 6-8% carbohydrate fluids: 1/2 strength fruit juice and full strength sports drinks.
- Before exercise: Drink 10-14 oz, 1-2 hours before practice.
- During Exercise: Drink 3-4 oz every 15 mins.
- After Exercise: Drink 2 cups for every pound lost during exercise