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steppinthrax
February 16th, 2015, 11:07 AM
My daughter has been swimming since she was 5, but started a swim team around 2 years ago. My daughter is 10 years old. She swims for a Naval Academy Swim Club and has been doing roughly 5 a week. She swims meets generally twice a month where we go to another school or university. Before she was at the another swim club that "went away". However when she was there, she made remarkable time reductions, she swims mainly 100-free, 100-back, 100-breast, 50-free, 50-back, 50-breast and 100-IM (in the previous team and current team). What is bothering us is in the previous team (4-days a week 1.5 hours each time), she was making time reductions at each meet on each event. However she is at a new swim club (a Naval Academy Swim Club) and she spends more time during practice (5 days a week 1.45 hours each time), however she has recently beginning to ADD TIME, something she has never done before.


Some other information


- She has always been the fastest in her team (before/after) she has always been the fastest during each event during each swim meet (before after).


-100-back (1:21:85) / 100-breast (1:35:73) / 100-free (1:14:28) / 100-IM (1:23:56 / 50-breast (44:28) / 200-free (2:40:97).


-She has recently added 1 to 2 seconds "here and there" instead of dropping time.


-We have arranged a meeting with the coach to discuss.


-She's been with the new time for 3 months, 99% of the time the coach just practices freestyle with the students.

ForceDJ
February 16th, 2015, 10:32 PM
What does the child want to do? Is she having fun? Will she be included in the meeting with the coach?

Dan

Jimbosback
February 16th, 2015, 10:36 PM
I am not sure what the question is, but the answer is, "She's 10. Chill out."

If she is enjoying her new team, working hard, listening to coaches, and making friends, she's OK. It sounds like she is talented. Times will fluctuate and plateau as she grows. She could also be a little worn out. That schedule sounds like a lot of swimming. She could have some normal 10-year-old-girl social issues that are distracting her just enough to not hit her best times. Who knows?

Rob Copeland
February 17th, 2015, 09:30 AM
Along the lines of Jim and Dan, the most important things for your daughter should be enjoying what she is doing and who she is doing it with. At 10 if your daughter has swims that are disappointing to her, that disappointment is most likely from failing to meet your expectations, not hers. Many kids (and their parents) have dreams of being the next Missy or Michael but don’t confuse these dreams with goals. Don’t let your dreams and goals ruin it for your daughter.

As for adding time, it could be because she isn’t eating or sleeping properly or has other emotional drama unrelated to swimming. If it is, fix it. Otherwise when you meet with the coach the 2 main questions should be “Is my daughter having fun?” and “What can I do to keep my daughter excited about swimming?”

Also, from USA Swimming: “Being A Swim Parent - The most important thing you can do as the parent of a swimmer is to love and support your child, both in and out of the pool. This support is a key factor in fostering enjoyment and learning as well as contributing to the child's individual success in the pool.”

For more on this and other great “Swimming Parent” materials go to http://usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1503

laineybug
February 17th, 2015, 05:41 PM
What everyone else said, she should be having fun!
My granddaughter has been swimming AND competing since she was 4. Will be 16 soon and she still loves the sport. But there have been bumps--both of them associated with a mismatch between athlete and coach. Make sure your daughter is 'clicking' with her coach.

RE: sleeping that Rob suggest you consider. If your daughter is training too much it could definately impact her sleep cycles.

Somewhere, I don't remember where, I read a swimmer say the best thing he/she ever heard parents/grandparents say, "I love watching you swim!" Not, great swim, not you will do better next time, etc.

Is she focusing too much on times? She shouldn't be. She should focus on how it feels to swim fast (have done some reading into the psychology of swimming, but don't remember where I found that. For me, as a swimmer, that has helped a lot.)

Has she recently undergone a growth spurt: that can effect stroke mechanics.

Has her coach changed her stroke mechanics? I know my granddaughter's coach changed her stroke and it was a couple of months before there was any truly significant drops.

Hope this helps. Let us know what coach says.

gobears
February 17th, 2015, 06:48 PM
As someone who has been a young swimmer, a coach of young swimmers and a parent of young swimmers I have one rule I try to live by. It's much easier to say this as a swimmer or coach than as a parent but: let your child own her own swimming experience. Sure, you may have to steer things here and there when there are real issues affecting your swimmer but trying to control her experience of the sport will likely lead to frustration for both you and your child. The best thing my parents ever did for my swimming was to let me own my own experiences. The great ones and the ones that taught me how to handle my own challenges.

steppinthrax
February 18th, 2015, 11:54 AM
Our concerns is her current coach is not "micromanaging" her swim mechanics. We understand she is talented, the coach even tells us so when we bought up her timing issues. Based on our experience with our daughter, we find that she needs to be "individually" corrected in order to gain benefit. The coach she has right now is not really doing this. We know of other coaches in other areas who are much more strict and exert a lot of pressure on the students. We are not looking for her to be the next Michael Phelps. But we are concerned she will start slipping with her current coach. We know of other students who moved to more strict coaches. Those kids were several ranks behind our daughter. Within a few months they are now trailing just behind our daughter. In a recent meet this child is now above our daughter.

Jazz Hands
February 18th, 2015, 01:38 PM
Our concerns is her current coach is not "micromanaging" her swim mechanics. We understand she is talented, the coach even tells us so when we bought up her timing issues. Based on our experience with our daughter, we find that she needs to be "individually" corrected in order to gain benefit. The coach she has right now is not really doing this. We know of other coaches in other areas who are much more strict and exert a lot of pressure on the students. We are not looking for her to be the next Michael Phelps. But we are concerned she will start slipping with her current coach. We know of other students who moved to more strict coaches. Those kids were several ranks behind our daughter. Within a few months they are now trailing just behind our daughter. In a recent meet this child is now above our daughter.

All of the follow-up questions were about what your daughter thinks of all of this, and you didn't answer. I'm going to assume that "we" doesn't include her, because I've never met a 10-year-old who wanted to be "micromanaged."

laineybug
February 18th, 2015, 03:53 PM
One of the things that comes to mind after reading your reply is about the structure of the team. I know of a team where the swimmers go to practice, receive workouts and generalized stroke instruction, but to get true, "I am going to analize your stroke and give you specific drills and corrections" from the coach, parents have to enroll their child (and pay extra) for 'stroke school'. It is held at a time other than regular practice. Could this be the case with your daughter's team?

Varna01
February 19th, 2015, 11:11 AM
I am father of 2 daughters (13Y and 8Y). Both swimmers. And training of daughters is something that I care much. My elder daughter started to swim at her age 9 and at that time I was thinking that to learn proper swimming is something easy-peasy, and that only power and strength make the difference between the 1st and last place at competitions. You all know - I was wrong. I caught up late, at her age 11, when I understood that she has power, but no technique. She was making 42 sec - 50free (without mentioning timing in other styles). I hired another good individual coach and it took him over a year and half to break the bad habits and wrong swimming technique. Now she makes under 28s her 50 free and 35s in 50 breaststroke, which is acceptable for the time being. My younger daughter started to swim at her age 6 with the new coach and she started to learn the proper swimming from the very begining and for the last 2 years she became very good, cause 50 free tooks her only 37s.
After all the above fanfaronade and mounting the high horse, here is my point: If the coach is bad (i.e. unaware of his real task), don't let your daughter to swim a minute more under his guidance. But you have to be pretty sure if the coach is really bad or your daughter is just having her lay-low period and other distractions, or she just might need some rest (a week or two off the pool).
- Watch your daughter's training sessions (for a whole week, not one day only) and take notes what exercises he/she is giving each day to his/her students (cause each day is different).
- Watch how the coach is communicating with his/her students and whether he is making any adjustments in his/her students technique or training and also make a research about the coach's past success/failure.
- Watch the mood in the team, cause teammates are one of the biggest help in your daughter's success, cause they compete with her all the time and push the limits.
- Then have an in-depth conversation with your daughter about her thoughts, mood etc. and make sure that this shall be a two-way discussion, not only you speaking and answering questions yourself.. :) (if you are the pusher in the family, let someone else talk to her).

Make sure not to over push your daughter, cause at the end she could end up quitting, but do not slack too much either. As everyone else previously mentioned, she must have fun, cause if she's having fun she'll train harder. FYI 5 times a week 1,45 hr is not too much. My 8Y older swims 6 times a week, 2 hrs each session.

ForceDJ
February 19th, 2015, 04:02 PM
My 8Y older swims 6 times a week, 2 hrs each session.


I don't think my daughter's h.s. team practiced that much.

Dan

smontanaro
February 19th, 2015, 04:18 PM
I don't think my daughter's h.s. team practiced that much.

Dan

Wow... I've never had daughters, and my sons were never much for competitive swimming. I did swim on a YMCA team back in the day who had an age grouper in the 8yo range breaking records left and right. I heard she burned out after a couple years.

I commute by bike to work on an almost daily basis and ride perhaps 10-12 hours per week. My legs are often sore (headwinds being what they are). I can't imagine making a little kid swimming those kind of hours.

ForceDJ
February 19th, 2015, 08:44 PM
Something tells me that the OP, and the father of the 8yr old are seeing comments they weren't expecting.

Dan

Varna01
February 19th, 2015, 10:52 PM
Dan and smotanaro, you're not the only ones who mention that my younger daughter is spending too much time practicing. I am hearing this all the time. But this is not my or coach's intention.. and I am also worried that she could burn out and I even offered her to swim only 1 hr and to spend the other hr on other sport for an example, but its just the fact that she refuses to get out of the water until her coach is near the pool or other team arrives to take the lanes. She swims with her 12-13Y teammates along with her elder sister (cause we can't afford travelling twice a day to take both girls for training in different hours) and perhaps this is one of the reasons. Of course she doesn't swim 4-5 km per session like elder teammates, however she is having great fun with them, so I can do nothing to stop her (believe me I tried and the outcome wasn't good). The only period she doesn't swim is during Christmas vacation (2 weeks) and during August when we are travelling out of the country (3-4 weeks).

However, coming back to the point of this thread is that the Coach is a major factor in proper technique development of kids in their early age, so you can't leave them to any coach, but find a good one. A good coach is not necessarily a coach of some famous swimmers, but a coach who loves and knows his job. If the coach is the "brain" of kid's development, the parent must be the engine. And I forgot to agree in my previous response with "laineybug", but you have to take extra/paid stroke-technique classes. As early you take such classes as cheaper they will be. Not like me to spend a lot of $$$ for a year and half, but that was my fault, cause I didn't pay attention on time, so I deserve it perhaps.

laineybug
February 20th, 2015, 09:21 AM
This 'stroke school' I mentioned is not just for younger/beginning swimmers, it is for all levels of swimmers. I'm not sure I agree with the way that team was set up, but it was what it was. The coach was well known and parents were willing to pay extra.

Another thought--could your daughter be playing too much with the older swimmers during practice?

Guess what it comes down to--if you feel the coach isn't doing his job then you will need to look for another team.

steppinthrax
February 20th, 2015, 10:15 AM
I am father of 2 daughters (13Y and 8Y). Both swimmers. And training of daughters is something that I care much. My elder daughter started to swim at her age 9 and at that time I was thinking that to learn proper swimming is something easy-peasy, and that only power and strength make the difference between the 1st and last place at competitions. You all know - I was wrong. I caught up late, at her age 11, when I understood that she has power, but no technique. She was making 42 sec - 50free (without mentioning timing in other styles). I hired another good individual coach and it took him over a year and half to break the bad habits and wrong swimming technique. Now she makes under 28s her 50 free and 35s in 50 breaststroke, which is acceptable for the time being. My younger daughter started to swim at her age 6 with the new coach and she started to learn the proper swimming from the very begining and for the last 2 years she became very good, cause 50 free tooks her only 37s.
After all the above fanfaronade and mounting the high horse, here is my point: If the coach is bad (i.e. unaware of his real task), don't let your daughter to swim a minute more under his guidance. But you have to be pretty sure if the coach is really bad or your daughter is just having her lay-low period and other distractions, or she just might need some rest (a week or two off the pool).
- Watch your daughter's training sessions (for a whole week, not one day only) and take notes what exercises he/she is giving each day to his/her students (cause each day is different).
- Watch how the coach is communicating with his/her students and whether he is making any adjustments in his/her students technique or training and also make a research about the coach's past success/failure.
- Watch the mood in the team, cause teammates are one of the biggest help in your daughter's success, cause they compete with her all the time and push the limits.
- Then have an in-depth conversation with your daughter about her thoughts, mood etc. and make sure that this shall be a two-way discussion, not only you speaking and answering questions yourself.. :) (if you are the pusher in the family, let someone else talk to her).

Make sure not to over push your daughter, cause at the end she could end up quitting, but do not slack too much either. As everyone else previously mentioned, she must have fun, cause if she's having fun she'll train harder. FYI 5 times a week 1,45 hr is not too much. My 8Y older swims 6 times a week, 2 hrs each session.

Thank You for this reply,

Yes, my wife and I have "carefully observed" the way the coach works with the students. We have observed other children. We are finding that this new coach she has is not necessarily BAD she is just not correcting our daughter well (which is what I meant by "micromanage"). Some of her stroke mechanics is wrong and we have watched other kids who used to be with her who have improved greatly. Every component of their stroke has became perfect!!!

We don't want to move her to another team, but we may end up having to hire a private coach for her to work on her mechanics temp, until she can see an improvement.

steppinthrax
February 20th, 2015, 10:20 AM
This 'stroke school' I mentioned is not just for younger/beginning swimmers, it is for all levels of swimmers. I'm not sure I agree with the way that team was set up, but it was what it was. The coach was well known and parents were willing to pay extra.

Another thought--could your daughter be playing too much with the older swimmers during practice?

Guess what it comes down to--if you feel the coach isn't doing his job then you will need to look for another team.

How did you find out about the "stroke school"?

Yes, you are correct she is swimming with much older children she is in the 12-15yo group (junior), she just turned 10.

Also the coach only swims freestyle (98% of the time) during the practice.

Thanks

smontanaro
February 20th, 2015, 10:53 AM
Dan and smotanaro, you're not the only ones who mention that my younger daughter is spending too much time practicing.

As long as the motivation is hers...

laineybug
February 20th, 2015, 02:37 PM
Steppinthrax, The description of the 'stroke school' was on the team's website. Other parents talked about it too. You might ask the coach if he offers it.

Swimspire
February 20th, 2015, 03:22 PM
Hi Steppinthrax,Varna01 is absolutely correct - emphasis should be placed on making the effort to teach proper stroke technique that will lead to more efficient, and faster, swimming, as your daughter continues to develop in the sport. And as Varna says, the earlier you start on this process, the more you will save in the end. I tell this to my Masters swimmers all the time - developing proper stroke technique will save you from having to make a trip to the doctors' office due to injuries induced by poor swimming - not to mention make you a better swimmer!

Also, just to respond to some of the commenters here who felt the need to raise issues about the yardage that age groupers are doing - although in my opinion, yardage is not as important at a young age as technique, I feel that these decisions should really only be of concern to coaches and families. If the families do not feel comfortable about the amount of yardage, they can bring this up to the coaches directly.

Best of luck to you both!