Parental Do's and Dont's


  • Congratulate your children when they swim well.
  • Encourage your children when they don't swim well.
  • Provide them with the necessary transport to train and compete.
  • Adjust meal times to suit the training schedule.
  • Show an interest in your child's swimming by at least keeping an interest in their racing times.
  • Allow your child to make the decisions with regard to entries and meets.
  • Support your child's efforts by attending swimming meets.
  • Provide your child with the necessary financial support required for training and competing.
  • Be aware of your child's feelings e.g. tiredness, nervousness, self-esteem, and show your child through your actions that you are aware of these.
  • Be willing to make personal sacrifices with no return expectations.



  • Judge your child by their achievements.
  • Put down the child's coach - if you can not support the child's coach, then it is best you find one that you can.
  • Watch workouts/training sessions.
  • Prevent your child from attending activities outside of swimming.
  • Show disappointment after a child has a poor swim.
  • Critique good or bad performances, the coach will do that.
  • Compare your child to other swimmers.
  • Push your child in training. That is the coach's job.
  • Put pressure on your child while they are getting ready to race.
  • Push your child to excel. It must come from them for lasting satisfaction.


Above all remember that this is not their life. It is swimming and, therefore, sport and, in effect, recreation. Even at the top it should be fun.


 Behaviour Indicators That I May Be a Pressure Parent

  • I think my swimmer's performance reflects on me personally.
  • When my swimmer does well I feel good personally: when my swimmer does poorly I am disappointed and I show it.
  • I get more excited and more disappointed about the races than my swimmer does.
  • I coach my swimmer before and during the race, and afterwards tell them what they did wrong.
  • I think my swimmer should win all the time.
  • I think my swimmer should be the best.
  • I don't think my swimmer's motivational level is high enough, so I offer external rewards to swim better.
  • I don't think that my swimmer has done well unless they do a PB.
  • I often remind my swimmer how much this is costing me to try to motivate them to go faster.
  • When I watch my swimmer swim I make disparaging remarks to others about how they swam.
  • When I cheer for my swimmer I tell them to beat someone.
  • When I cheer for my swimmer I order them to go faster.


  • Let your child sit with the team.
  • Remember to speak only positively to your child and about your child when swimming is the subject.
  • Remind yourself to ask the child what the coach said, and back up the lessons taught, as well as being unconditionally supportive.
  • Stay off pool deck. Proximity seems to heighten feelings.
  • Unless you are a timekeeper, keep away from behind the blocks.
  • Always ask for a child's appraisal of a swim before giving your opinion
  • When asking yours, remember that the children are supposed to be learning. They are not living an adult reality
    and their perceptions of life are the ones that matter to them.
  • Talk with the coach and work with the coach to help your child reach their set goals.
  • Everyone can be a winner, depending on what the individual's goals and reasons for being in the programme are.