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jayrowan
July 7th, 2018, 01:44 PM
Hello everyone!
i have a 14 yr old daughter who has been swimming with a USA swimming club for about 2yrs now. She is the only person in our family to swim, so naturally I feel in a bit over my head at times, though she seems to fit in well in the swimming world. I’m not sure how my daughter ranks against her peers, or her just others in her age group for that matter, nor what is a “good time” or “bad time”. Given she is not in the top swim group at her club, I’m get the sense her times about average for her age or perhaps a bit below. So anyways, I’m wondering what I can do to be a “good swim parent”, how far do I go when she adds time and how happy should I be when she drops a little time? Thanks for all your help! I’ve put a couple of her short course yards times below.

100fly: 1:02.51
100back:1:02.35
100free: 56.32
200free: 2:00.59
200back: 2:13.15
200IM: 2:18.87
200fly: 2:24.11
50free: 26.15

__steve__
July 7th, 2018, 01:51 PM
you mean 100 IM?

jayrowan
July 7th, 2018, 01:52 PM
My bad, i believe that should be a 2:18.87!

Sumorunner
July 7th, 2018, 01:59 PM
I had kids in baseball, softball, gymnastics, soccer, & volleyball. Never swimmers, but the sport is immaterial. I had one kid in the absolute worst volleyball team in the state, never won a single set in any match, but he was named the team MVP. Why? He tried harder no matter the score.

Encouragement and support, regardless of the tier she's placed in. Go to every event she wants to enter, cheer loudly, but not like an ass. Big hugs when it's done. Any time she breaks one of those marks by even a half a second, it's cause for celebration.

jayrowan
July 7th, 2018, 02:01 PM
Thanks for the advice- I always try to give her support no matter what! And congrats to your son, he sounds like a great kid.

67King
July 7th, 2018, 02:20 PM
Her times are pretty darn solid for only having swum for a couple of years. Just encourage her. Talk to her coach, have her set up goals and a plan to get there. Try to help her along, and if you are like me, you'll just have to have the coach tell her that eating 700 calories in Twizzlers before a 400IM isn't smart (because at that age, Dad knows squat). Being a swim dad to 13-14 y/o girls is freaking HARD. But just support. Make sure she knows you are there to support her. If she moves to a group that has 5AM practice times, make sure she knows that you'll support her enough to suck it up and get up to take her. If she is practicing 4 times a week, but wants to improve, let her know you'll take here to 6, or 8 or 9....however many. Just make sure she knows you (and presumably Mom) are there for her.

On adds and drops. At that age, don't expect her to drop at many meets. Mine are at a meet this weekend, and I'm watching the times, and watching my good swimmer having a rough meet (+5.2, +2.7, +5.5 in 2Fly, 1Back, and 2Free with the 4IM still to go). She has only dropped in 3 events from this time last year (and 2 of them are 200's of stroke, which she had only done once since she was 12 last year, and those weren't normal events). But their bodies at that age are much more affected by a hard training regimen, and they respond pretty well to a taper. Any drop is good. My other swimmer is a little tapered, trying to make our LSC Championship meet, and she is dropping a little.

orca1946
July 7th, 2018, 07:09 PM
Keep her having FUN!. As a coach of 34 years of swimming , too many parents push & drive their kids so much that they walk away from swimming as soon as they get to H.S. or further.

Windrath
July 9th, 2018, 01:37 PM
orca1946 hit it exactly on the head - keep her having fun. He and I have been coaching about the same amount of time. IMHO, the best swim parent is the one who knows absolutely nothing about the sport except they want their child to have a smile on their face before and after practice and meets. The two most important questions after a practice or meet: a) Did you have fun? and b) where do you want to eat?

And, BTW, your daughters times are pretty good for 14 years old. She might never make the Junior or senior nationals, but she would have always been on the high school state teams I coached in Minnesota and someone so versatile they could swim any event. That makes coaching alot of fun.

PW

quicksilver
July 9th, 2018, 05:11 PM
Those times are very respectable for a 14 year old, with only 2 years of club swimming. One would assume that she'll only continue to improve.

Either way, the best advise is two words..."great job". She knows where she's at time wise, and if you're actively involved in the sport (as a parent) - it's only a matter of time where you'll know where the bar lies. As a former swim parent, the best thing to do is be happy with the good times, and be supportive during the disappointing ones. There's going to be all kinds of ups and downs. It's better to let the coach provide the feedback, and for the parents to be the cheering section.

...The best part is - is that you're there for her, taking her to practices and meets. The high school and college years go by incredibly fast, and she will never forget her swimming days, and your commitment to being her support system. I speak from experience. Enjoy the moment, and the brief 8 year career, should she decide to move on to NCAA swimming.

Karl_S
July 9th, 2018, 05:26 PM
There is a lot of good advice in this thread. I'll reiterate:
Keep her happy and well fed.
Don't expect time drops very often and celebrate them when they happen.

For reference:
Check here: file:///C:/Users/Sohlberg/Downloads/2020motivationaltimes-top16.pdf

Here is some perspective:

100fly: 1:02.51 "A" standard. Qualifies for local 13-14 age-group championships where I live (ymmv)
100back: 1:02.35 "A" standard, Qualifies for local 13-14 age-group championships and Senior championships where I live (ymmv)
100free: 56.32 "A" standard" Qualifies for local 13-14 age-group championships where I live (ymmv)
200free: 2:00.59 "A" standard (and breathtakingly close to "AA" standard). Qualifies for local 13-14 age-group championships and Senior championships where I live (ymmv)

200back: 2:13.15 "A" standard Qualifies for local 13-14 age-group championships and Senior championships where I live (ymmv)
200IM: 2:18.87 "A" standard Qualifies for local 13-14 age-group championships where I live (ymmv)
200fly: 2:24.11 "BB" standard
50free: 26.15 "A" standard

Since most USAS swimmers never qualify for their local age-group (JO) or Senior championships, your daughter is relatively good. In the local HS conference here, you daughter would win the vast majority of her races at dual meets. Her best times would have put her just off the podium (4th or 5th place) in the 200 fr, 200 IM and 100 bk at the conference championships. She would have just barely qualified for the 200 fr and 100 bk events at the PA AAA (big schools) district 1 meet. (This is one of the most competitive districts in the state.) She would not be close to qualifying for the state meet. She is not yet scholarship material, but could be a contributing swimmer in a smaller college D3 program. I have no idea where she is in her growth chart, but this is a solid fresh-soph HS swimmer. Enjoy the ride.

67King
July 9th, 2018, 09:32 PM
Since most USAS swimmers never qualify for their local age-group (JO) or Senior championships, your daughter is relatively good.

That's a darn good point! I believe that our LSC had only 12% of the swimmers represented at our championship meet last Summer (likely more qualified, but those who do, generally go, especially the age groupers). Doing that in year 2 as a 14 year old is incredibly impressive.

And actually, many of those times are Sectional qualifying, at least in the Southern Zone. Most of those are AA's, some close to AAA.

https://www.usaswimming.org/docs/default-source/timesdocuments/time-standards/2020motivationaltimes-top16.pdf

Also, here is a great site that I use to see where my kids are relative to the LSC and nation. Even can compared to collegiate swimmers. www.swimmingrank.com (http://www.swimmingrank.com)

Swimspire
July 10th, 2018, 12:31 PM
Hi Jay, ultimately you are the parent and need to determine how much you would like to be involved - but you have the full right to educate yourself on swimming as much as you want. As others have mentioned here, the USA Swimming Motivational Times are very helpful in determining your daughter's level for her age group. This is a good article offering tips on how to be the best swim parent you can be: http://www.swimspire.com/7-keys-to-being-the-best-swim-parent/
Hope this is helpful for you! All the best to you and your daughter!

rtodd
July 11th, 2018, 10:39 PM
Just bring her to practice and say great job. Let it be fun and let it be theirs. She’s doing great. Educate yourself behind the scenes. Don’t talk about her times and cut times with her.

Rob Copeland
July 12th, 2018, 07:45 AM
Volunteer!

Sign-up to be a timer at her swim meets. Become an official, this is a great way to learn more about the rules and beauty of swimming.

laineybug
July 24th, 2018, 04:27 PM
Swim Dad,
The best advice, from a swim coach to me many years ago about my daughter’s times, is to FORGET her times. Your daughter is old enough to keep up with them herself if she is motivated to do so, and her coach will definitely know her times. Focus on having fun. You start watching times and pushing and it could likely turn her off to swimming all together. After she has competed in the event the first time, her best time will be printed in the heat sheet at swim meets (There will be a NT, or no time, the first time she swims an event) No need to know her times. You also don’t need to keep up with them because any time you NEED to know her times you can look them up on the USA Swimming website. The organization keeps a data base of every swimmer’s times. I swam as a kid, my daughter swam and my granddaughter swam—long history of swimming in my family. My granddaughter just “retired” from swimming as a two time/two years in a row, first team, All American, because she wants to do junior and senior years in college as a “regular” college student. The point here is we never kept up with times and my granddaughter excelled. Excellence doesn’t come from outside it comes from within. But, if you JUST HAVE TO KNOW where she stands in relation to others go to USA Swimming and look for motivational times. Somewhere on the net there is an explanation of how those times were developed and what they mean as percentile ranks. In other words a AAA time might mean she ranks in the top 5% nationally.
Have fun

shera
August 5th, 2018, 08:41 PM
I agree with the advice not to get involved with her times, and wanted to add one thought. I look back fondly on the time I spent with my dad driving to practice and swim meets. We didn't usually talk about swimming. I learned a lot about his childhood for example. We had some good laughs. I didn't fully realize it back then, but those times together were precious. So my advice would be to enjoy those times together.


Swim Dad,
The best advice, from a swim coach to me many years ago about my daughter’s times, is to FORGET her times. Your daughter is old enough to keep up with them herself if she is motivated to do so, and her coach will definitely know her times. Focus on having fun. You start watching times and pushing and it could likely turn her off to swimming all together. After she has competed in the event the first time, her best time will be printed in the heat sheet at swim meets (There will be a NT, or no time, the first time she swims an event) No need to know her times. You also don’t need to keep up with them because any time you NEED to know her times you can look them up on the USA Swimming website. The organization keeps a data base of every swimmer’s times. I swam as a kid, my daughter swam and my granddaughter swam—long history of swimming in my family. My granddaughter just “retired” from swimming as a two time/two years in a row, first team, All American, because she wants to do junior and senior years in college as a “regular” college student. The point here is we never kept up with times and my granddaughter excelled. Excellence doesn’t come from outside it comes from within. But, if you JUST HAVE TO KNOW where she stands in relation to others go to USA Swimming and look for motivational times. Somewhere on the net there is an explanation of how those times were developed and what they mean as percentile ranks. In other words a AAA time might mean she ranks in the top 5% nationally.
Have fun