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The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 03:46 PM
George asked whether age group swimmers are being bullied/pressured into swimming by parents, coaches and friends. Are they? Are parents living out their "unfulfilled dreams" through their young ones, as Geek suggested in another thread? Share your funniest/saddest story about overbearing swim parents or coaches.

hofffam
November 2nd, 2006, 04:35 PM
I have two age groupers and mine have been part of three teams in the Austin area. I don't have any stories to tell per se, but I know of one family with kids at TXLA that requires their two kids to race in every single meet. Their kids are AAA times or better, but they race every meet, even meets that their coaches frequently do not send their fast kids to. And every meet - they swim 8-10 events. I hear stories about this family but can't say I've witnessed the pressure I hear is exerted on the kids.

I know of some demanding swimming parents, but most of the time it is about making practice, not pressure to win. I have never seen anything though that matches what I have seen with baseball or soccer parents.

I will add that some parents DO intervene on coaching. Some for good reasons, some not. Some youth coaches are terrible, even on the elite programs.

aquageek
November 2nd, 2006, 04:43 PM
Share your funniest/saddest story about overbearing swim parents or coaches.

I'm forcing my 7 year old to swim the 100 IM, second only to the 200 fly and 400 IM, at a meet tomorrow night. Actually, it's her favorite event.

geochuck
November 2nd, 2006, 04:45 PM
The parents who bug the coaches, there are so many. The other day I saw a report on the father who tried to kill the coach, the coach did not have his son playing in the game long enough. My brother used to kick swimmers out of his club if parents interferred.

The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 04:45 PM
I'm forcing my daughter to go to a travel meet in West Virginia just to get her out of the house for three days. She's doing her very first 200 fly.

meldyck
November 2nd, 2006, 04:46 PM
My 91-year-old mom still has no patience with me when I lose a race.

-- mel

geochuck
November 2nd, 2006, 04:47 PM
Are you sure you are forcing her.

The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 04:47 PM
Mel:

My daughter yelled at me when I didn't do a PB in the 50 fly last weekend... The abuse us poor swimming parents take...

The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 04:50 PM
George:

No she thinks travel meets are "sweet." She gets to stay in a room with three other loud noisy girls and listen to bad music and gossip and stay up late and drive her coaches nuts.

dorothyrde
November 2nd, 2006, 04:53 PM
I'm forcing my 7 year old to swim the 100 IM, second only to the 200 fly and 400 IM, at a meet tomorrow night. Actually, it's her favorite event.

Just wait until she is 13, and you get the roll eyes a lot.

Actually, I could say a lot about this, this week.......but I won't the wounds are still too fresh.

aquageek
November 2nd, 2006, 05:44 PM
I was kidding about the 200 fly and 400 IM. That would be child abuse for a 7 year old.

Shadowvcd
November 2nd, 2006, 05:48 PM
My 91-year-old mom still has no patience with me when I lose a race.

-- mel

This reminds me of a swimmer on our team swimming in the 85-89 age group. He would take his ribbons to his mom at the nursing home. Wish I had those genes.

poolraat
November 2nd, 2006, 06:54 PM
Sprinter,
Are you an official? If so, have you ever had to DQ one of your kids or someone close to them?
I DQ'd my son on a backstroke turn at the LSC Summer Champ's meet a couple summers ago. As soon as I raised my hand, here comes his mother/coach (my wife) wanting to argue the call. I had to tell her that I would not discuss it and if she wanted to contest it to go see the referee.

lapswimmr
November 2nd, 2006, 09:41 PM
That message "overbearing swim parents" can be placed on parents of children involved in all sports, some parents are very competitive and want their children to be #1. Theres all kinds of reasons ranging from plain greed that they will share in the childs success (money) if it happens the kids rise to that level , to satisfaction for the parent seeing their kid get the gold. Personally I feel sports are a great thing for kids to be in but leave them to compete ,encourage them for sure and be there for them of course and let them know that you feel they are the best no matter how they finish. There are other things in life for them..that also will be important, .. unless they just happen to show a "special quality" in a sport , I mean they start to become very , very good, above the norm.. . If that happens a lot of thought about whats BEST for THEM , not mommy and daddy is in order.

poolraat
November 3rd, 2006, 12:41 AM
Fortress:

It's hard to be an official at times because we're a small LSC and we've become friends with parents and kids from all the teams. And DQ'ing my child wasn't easy...he took 2 strokes after turning over. It was a quiet 2-1/2 hour ride home. I don't have to deal with that situation anymore since I've become a starter (just hope he doesn't launch early). My wife swam in high school but only swims once in a while now.
Even though we're involved in swimming as a family, it's a fun thing and my son and daughter also participate in other sports during the year. And just because mom is the coach, thay are not required to be at every practice.

aquaFeisty
November 3rd, 2006, 08:05 AM
At the converted quarry/pool across the street from our house, you have to swim approx. 110 yds free in order to swim in the deepend. Our daughter is nearly 17 months. I told her we let this past summer slide, but we need to crackin' so she can pass that test this coming summer...

:laugh2:

FindingMyInnerFish
November 3rd, 2006, 08:22 AM
When my sister competed for our local Y (this was years back since we're both in our fifties), my mom would go to meets, but more for support than for the screaming/demanding "you have to win" stuff. In fact, she was quite a mellow spectator. She'd have her knitting and work on it until my sister's events, when she'd cheer for my sister, then go back to her knitting until the next event. If my sister won something, great, but if not, no matter, my mom remained proud of her "little girl" (she called us her "little girls" almost until the day she passed away at 83). Other parents would rush up to her asking "what's your daughter's time?" "I don't know," my mom would truthfully say... it never really mattered to her. Just that my sister was out there giving it her best shot was all that mattered. My mom encountered a lot of "stage parents" up there in the gallery, and I think they so turned her off that she never wanted to be like them.

I think because of that, the parents among my sibs have similar outlooks.

dorothyrde
November 3rd, 2006, 08:45 AM
When my son was young, there was one mother who was crazy with the screaming and yelling. Nice lady, but don't stand by her in a meet if you value your hearing. One day on a car ride home from a meet, I asked my son if he ever heard people yelling for him, or see the coach doing his antics while he was swimming. He said, "the only thing I ever her is L's Mom yelling!", which was the screaming lady. I chuckled all the way home. L's Mom did eventually calm down, although by the time her daughter was a teen, she hated swimming....really hated everything about life. girl is in college now, and seems to be doing OK, just one of those teens that hates the world.

Dennis Tesch
November 3rd, 2006, 11:12 AM
Parents are the one thing I hated most about coaching age group swim teams. Parents can be outragious! I remember one father who was so determined to make his kids better swimmers he would come out on deck during workout and actually scream at his kids to work harder and to do the correct stroke. I eventually barred him from the deck, which he complete blew his top! Years later I saw the same father and kids at a high school meet and he was now an assistant coach for the team. He still yelled at his kids. What I found interesting was that kids really never became championship swimmers. They always placed way down the list. I think daddy had bigger goals than the kids.

I think the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed was when I was an age group swimmer in the 70's. A fellow swimmer who I always competed against (we were on different teams) would actually be physically abused by his dad. I don't know how bad the abuse ever got, but I remember that we always raced neck and neck in many events. Whenever I beat him, or anyone for that matter, in a race, his father would scream at him, grab his arm and shake him, and berat him for several minutes. I remember being very shocked at noticing this one day at meet and thanked God that my parents were never like this. My competitor and I were actually quite good friends and ended up going to the same university together. He quit swimming 1/2 way through his freshman year and I've never heard from him since. I think he got away from his father as far as he could. I alway wonder what happened to him?

poolraat
November 3rd, 2006, 11:23 AM
Hey Dennis,
How are things in SLC? Wanted to make it over for your meet next week but we're going to Reno for the weekend to watch Nevada's football team beat up on Utah State.

swimmerlisa
November 3rd, 2006, 11:28 AM
Parents eventually were barred from the pool deck at practice, mainly because the crazy parents that I mentioned in another thread would terrorize their kids during sets. They had two kids, a boy and a girl, swimming in our senior group. Their parents would both come to practice and would follow them up and down the lane during a hard set, or come and yell at them if they saw them pulling on the lane line or not trying hard enough. They'd even film practice sets. They'd yell "What are you doing?!" "You should be going harder!" "Come on, you'll never win nationals with that attitude!" They'd try to take over and tell our coach what is best for them. Our coach got so fed up, he told them they couldn't be on deck during practice anymore. Unfortunately, since we swam at the O'Connell Center, they could stand up on the second level and see just fine. It was always fun to look up at them pacing or shaking their heads and fists when their kids got scolded by our coach or swam slow. Poor kids. Both burnt out first year of college.

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2006, 11:35 AM
Parents eventually were barred from the pool deck at practice, mainly because the crazy parents that I mentioned in another thread would terrorize their kids during sets. They had two kids, a boy and a girl, swimming in our senior group. Their parents would both come to practice and would follow them up and down the lane during a hard set, or come and yell at them if they saw them pulling on the lane line or not trying hard enough. They'd even film practice sets. They'd yell "What are you doing?!" "You should be going harder!" "Come on, you'll never win nationals with that attitude!" They'd try to take over and tell our coach what is best for them. Our coach got so fed up, he told them they couldn't be on deck during practice anymore.


These parents need to get a life!!! Maybe they should join USMS or focus on their own health and exercise. Ugh. I feel so sorry for coaches that have to deal with people like that.

poolraat
November 3rd, 2006, 12:17 PM
The incidents are just amazing. I'm glad we haven't had these kind of problems with our team. I have seen some parents of other teams carrying on at meets but nothing like is being described on this forum.

swimmerlisa
November 3rd, 2006, 12:23 PM
i could go on forever about the swim parents from my club team.

there was this one family, who made the coach bend the rules so that their swimmer could room with them instead of our teammates because the parents wanted to go over strategy with the swimmer, which would completely alienate that swimmer from the team. we always had so much fun at away meets rooming together, and that swimmer never got to partake in that.

we always dreaded our team bonding trips because the crazy parents would insist on coming, and the "cool" parents got out voted to chaperone.

we also had a few parents who would yell at the coach and said he wasn't doing his job. they formed a committee and would hold weekly meetings to discuss things of that nature (along with other normal stuff like dues). they eventually got one of our coaches fired.

i personally hated swimming on a relay with the daughter of the "Crazy parents" because her parents would lecture each of us prior to the race. My parents hated that.

aquaFeisty
November 3rd, 2006, 01:27 PM
The parents that lectured other people's kids really REALLY used to steam me.

I coached a few seasons of summer league. The vast majority of the parents were laid-back, enjoyed the meets, etc. I never minded the parents who cheered for their kids loudly from the sides (even the really loud ones). The ones that drove me nuts were those that questioned every event decision, every relay choice. Hello parents, it's summer league! And it's not like our team was a great one... we were in division 3 of a 4 division league (div 1 being the tops) and not even at the top of division 3. Geez...

However, these parents sound mild compared to some of those other people have written about!!

born2fly
November 3rd, 2006, 01:32 PM
Wonder how some of those parents would handle their swimmer getting outraced in the pool by a masters swimmer? Little Johnny could be in for a long ride home with parents saying you let the ole guy beat ya.

swimmerlisa
November 3rd, 2006, 01:36 PM
OH greg, on my club team we had two masters swimmers who always swam with us in the evening practices. Everyone absolutely despised losing to them in practice, because of that mentality. They both were quite fast, yet somehow both of them always liked to swim down the center of the lane, whoever was in their lane would get smashed during fly or back. Even with them smashing us, no one wanted to lose to those "old guys." :laugh2:

born2fly
November 3rd, 2006, 01:59 PM
Guess I am lucky with the age group swimmers, they are all very supportive and like to race the ole guy. The coach always says keep up with the ole guy in practice or dont let the ole guy beat ya. I think we feed off each other, and make ourselves faster and push things more in practice. I always get sad at end of year when the Seniors graduate and move on to college. So I am always scoping out the lower age group to see who is going to push me. Cool thing is, Im accepted as a team mate and swim on their relays. Last year when the Seniors graduated they invited the ole guy to their graduation party.

I have not really heard any negative feedback from parents from our team but from other teams I have heard thru the grapevine some parents get bent out of shape of a master swimmer swimming uss meets. Usually this is in a prelim/final meet and little johnny was knocked out of finals because a master swimmer made it to finals. My feeling is, work harder and stop your whining. Although, I have told my coach, if his swimmer was first alternate and I was in the finals, I would scratch so his swimmer could swim at night. I will not do it for any other teams though. Its just the respect I have for my team and wanting them to experience swimming in finals.

poolraat
November 3rd, 2006, 04:43 PM
I swim in 1-2 USS meets a year. Masters meets here are few and far between and unless I want to spend all day driving to meets in northern California, it's my only opportunity to race. It's fun swimming against the kids even though I get creamed. Last year at our Thanksgiving Invit. my 13 y.o. son and I were seeded in the same heat in the 100 free. As you can imagine, there was a bit of trash talking going on before the race.

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2006, 05:43 PM
Ok, I forgot this one. A thread by Frank reminded me. It's a doozy.:rolleyes:

I know parents of an 11 year old (one a doctor) who put their child on HGH because she was on the smallish side for sports and they wanted to give her every edge. Despite being small, she was an all-star breaststroker and on my daughter's soccer team. This kid did not have a height problem and was quite talented on her own. It was ludicrous.

geochuck
November 3rd, 2006, 06:02 PM
We were concerned with our Linda when she was born and her height when she was 8 years old. Linda was in the lower 10% of the growth range. When she was 14 she just started growing and ended up at 5'8" she is the shortest of our 4 girls. She was a very good swimmer when she was young but very tiny. The Doctor talked growth H but we decided let nature do what it would.

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2006, 06:06 PM
George:

This girl was not tiny. She may have been slightly below 50% or so. But her father, a former California state champion swimmer and now manager of that soccer team, wasn't satisfied. So my daughter got a big earful about injections. Maybe I should worry too. My daughter is in the 75% in height, but she is still shorter than most of her peers at swim meets...

geochuck
November 3rd, 2006, 06:14 PM
This is what happened with Linda at 17 at 5'8"on the left and Cathy her sister 26 yearsold on the right.

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 3rd, 2006, 07:13 PM
I know about 10 young boys who are from the ages of 9yrs to 17yrs. Six had dads who swam in college. None of these boys will swim. they all say that swimming is too gay. I don't really know what that means since their dads had something to do with getting them here.

After I was in 11th grade, my fahter never watched me swim ever again. He was a single parent and was very busy. He thought that swimming as a sport was good exercise but boring to watch. He probalby only attended about half of the meets I ever participated. He would sit for hours watching golf.

geochuck
November 3rd, 2006, 07:27 PM
Craig

My father was so into our family swimming he even travelled with me to the on the Marathon Swimming Circuit when I was in my thirties.

When we were kids he used to drive a load of club swimmers all over the province when we raced in the meets. He could only swim breaststroke and sidestroke. He had been a 6 day bike rider when he was younger.

quicksilver
November 3rd, 2006, 07:48 PM
I have a few parents who expect some sort of magical overnight improvement in their kids from our coaching staff. Making state cuts should be the mandatory reward. I guess the parents feel that everyone deserves it after all the practices they do. (half the yardage of what we did as kids by the way)

For the "naturals" it's a given...but for the some of the others, it just ain't gonna happen. ....No matter how many workouts. Somehow there's a sense of entitlement for high achievement... just because they show up. (The very same parents who give them carte blanche to the vending machines after practice.)

Progress takes time and requires patience....aside from good nutrition and sleep habits.

nkfrench
November 3rd, 2006, 08:10 PM
One night a swimmom told me that she had started bringing her stopwatch to practice and was timing her 8-year-old daughter each night. I was about to start chewing her out because that is not the parent's role and besides, her coach spends most of the time on technique drills and games, not speed. Turned out that mom was just timing how fast the daughter could get showered and dressed after practice. Some of the little girls would stand in the showers and talk and play for about a halfhour after practice which was getting her home late on a school night. Pretty funny.

Usually my Masters group has the whole 6-lane pool for summer mornings, but our coach was out so another coach covered and brought his 11-14 year old advanced swimmers to also workout at this pool. When the SUV's rolled up and the parents and kids emerged, it was staggering how the environment changed. It was like a wave of high pressure compressing the air around the deck. This pool doesn't have a clear delineation between spectator areas and deck, and the moms were coming right up to the pool, helping their kids with their goggles, raptly watching every move the swimmers and coaches made, etc. I ended up rounding most of the parents up to go for an impromptu trip to a nearby Starbucks to get them away. There wasn't anything you could really put a finger on, but the atmosphere went from a light breezy pleasant summer morning outdoors to being really oppressive. I felt sorry for the coach but heard that it was worse than normal that day.

Peter Cruise
November 4th, 2006, 12:25 AM
This all relates (in a perverse way) to these New York city parents who go to to agonizing lengths to get their children into the correct preschool (seriously!) to be on stream to get into Harvard and also network with the right sort of children. I even felt it when I used to have to tell some mom that 'The Perfect Book' for her precocious child (recommended by her wealthy older friend) was long out of print. I was just glad that mom wasn't armed at that point! Which, come to think of it, might still be an issue in your neck of the woods...

KaizenSwimmer
November 4th, 2006, 06:21 AM
This all relates (in a perverse way) to these New York city parents

I suppose the prevalence of overbearing swim parents relates, as does Peter's anecdote, to the more rarefied socioeconomic groups. I've coached age group swimming for 30 years and the great majority of my experiences were mostly positive and pleasant. The most positive experience was coaching a Y team in Queens NY from 75-78 where the great majority of blue collar and tradesmen. The most challenging was with a team that had a heavy concentration of higher level execs among the parents.

aquageek
November 4th, 2006, 06:43 AM
Turned out that mom was just timing how fast the daughter could get showered and dressed after practice.

I have to admit finding this idea somewhat appealing. It is pretty crazy how long these kids can linger in the shower. Last night at a meet I attended I went to the men's locker room and there were two 9/10 boys lying on the shower floor rolling around with every single shower going full blast. Maybe they'll learn their lesson when they are covered in athlete's foot from head to toe!

dorothyrde
November 4th, 2006, 07:29 AM
When my son was 8, I finally went in to the men's lockerroom to get him. My then 3 year old daughter and I waited around at the college pool for 45 minutes for him to get out of there. I knew there was no men in there, just him and another boy from the team. They were sitting on the bench in their shorts, shirt and shoes not on yet, yakking.

Last year my daughter(now 13) was always the last out of the shower, and the girls would come out one at a time and tell me she was in the shower singing. Now if a girl asks me who my daughter is, I tell them, and if they don't recognize the name, I say, she is the one who sings all the time in the shower. They know right away who she is!

This year she leaves the pool deck wet, puts her parka on and leaves, she wants to get home. Of course, with pools being broken, and being forced to swim until 9:30, and then we have to drive home from out of town, she just wants to get home.

Peter Cruise
November 4th, 2006, 05:03 PM
Leslie- I shudder at them, but great examples. I talk quite a bit to the local age-group coach (who was our coach as well last year, but a cabal of age-group parents forced him to give it up as a 'conflict of interest') & he is pestered by parents demanding more yardage, demanding that their children be entered in events that they are plainly unready for, shouting nonsensical techique instructions at their kids during workout. One parent routinely sends him 8 page emails every week re her son's 'progress' and what she thinks should be next in his training regimen. I have seen the emails & have observed the other behaviors while waiting for my workouts; he is a young guy, full of good ideas, but these parents could kill coaching for him.

KaizenSwimmer
November 4th, 2006, 05:27 PM
At the age group club where Dave "chaos" Barra and I are volunteer coaches, we've recruited three parents - including the board prez -- to join us as volunteer coaches. I'm mentoring them and they're swimming too. Now that they're standing behind the blocks at practice, seeing what the coaches see and dealing with what they deal with, they totally get it and have become invaluable ambassadors to the other parents. We used to get the questions about why we weren't doing more yardage. Our parent-coaches now see how irrelevant the question is until the kids can do fundamentals - technique, stroke counting, knowing their time and the interval - correctly AND pay attention and stay on task.

SolarEnergy
November 4th, 2006, 05:48 PM
When I was little, I was afraid of water. My friends would make fun of me, and I would cry very often during summer camps.

Then I learned that I could float in a 18 inches deep pool in our backyard. As soon as I realized I could float, I immediately learned to swim.

One day, I went to a 50m pool in Quebec. I jumped in the pool and performed unlimited number of length the head outside the water. A lifeguard get off his chair, came and told me that I'd better put my face in the water and turn on the side to breathe. I did 56 length that way, so happy that I could finally swim.

This lifeguard looked at my amazing performance (I swam for maybe 3hours in a row). He invited me to summer swim camp. My parents said yes, as I could go there by myself riding my bike anyway.

Then came automn. The coach wanted me to join the team (3-5 mornings a week). I told him my parents would never say yes.

He came in person at my place to ask my father. His answer was a definite NO, saying that he didn't want to drive me there. See you next summer... "maybe" he said...

I wish I had more pressure to swim back then. I became a juvenile deliquent few years after.

The Fortress
November 4th, 2006, 05:49 PM
8 page emails every week re her son's 'progress' and what she thinks should be next in his training regimen.

Peter:

Now this is truly hideous as well. Maybe you should share some of the anecdotes on this thread with him, so he realizes how prevalent the "overbearing" parent is. Maybe the USS team should make clear that they don't want parent emails regarding training. In our team handbook there is a section dealing with "the growing intrusion of parents" that reprints an article from Splash magazine on this topic. It also gives "positive parenting tips" and lists the "10 Commandments" of swimming by Rose Snyder. Among those commandments are "thou shalt not coach thy child" and "honor they child's coach." Maybe that would help the poor guy. I hope they don't drum him out of the sport.

Thankfully, I can honestly say that the only email I have ever sent to my daughter's coach is a list of her events for a meet -- events she picks out.

geochuck
November 4th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Parents can be the childs worst enemy, my wife and I worked with troubled teens in the north. This one young man had shop lifted in a store, his mother and father took from him as a consequence the one thing that may have saved him from a life of crime. He was a great little hockey player, he was a dream on the ice. When his parents stopped him skating, in stead of playing hockey he became a break in artist. Now twenty he is in jail.

We cared for him in our home because his parents did not want him. All he wanted was to be with them. They were supposed to visit him once a week. This one day he was very excited his parents were coming to town he had not seen them for several months. The mother called to say to him go to the Kwah Hall and when they pass by on their way to Prince George they would wave at him. That night at 13 he broke into the liquor store and ran away.

The Fortress
November 5th, 2006, 01:20 PM
Solar:

But you're not now. You're a masters swimmer, USS coach and are helping people here. That's pretty good in my book.

islandsox
November 5th, 2006, 05:35 PM
I teach swimming here on the island of Roatan, Honduras. I have been teaching children from 6 months old to 5 years of age over the past five years.

A woman with three children wanted private lessons so we began there. All classes are held in the ocean as there is no pool. (takes more creativity)

I evaluated each of her children and developed a skills development class for each of them. Her older daughter loves breaststroke. When I saw it, I knew we had to start all over, totally over. She caught on pretty fast but always questioned why I was making the changes because she had been "taught" by a very good swimmer. She was unsure if I knew what I was talking about.

I had her look at some videos of elite swimmers and then she told me it was her mom her taught her. I spoke to her mom about the changes and why. She informed me that she was an excellent swimmer, knew all four strokes because she was a lifeguard back in high school. This 9 year old girl was swimming breaststroke totally underwater with the widest pull all the way down to her hips I have ever seen.

Her breastroke now looks like it should and funny, she travels faster. The other two children have improved immensely, but she is reigning hail on the son who does not like swimming and wants to read books and play the piano. He does not like swimming. I talked to her and told her I only wanted to work with him enough so that he could swim 100 yards back to shore if he ever got into trouble. Or, if he fell off a dock and needed to save himself (tread water).

She wants all of them to get swimming college scholarships and they are ages: 4, 9, 10.

I cancelled the classes because the only one interested was the older daughter whose breaststroke improved. The other ones were crying most of the time. And, I don't want them to grow up hating the water.

Situations like this truly hurt my heart because I know how much fun swimming can be.

Donna

SolarEnergy
November 5th, 2006, 05:54 PM
Solar:

But you're not now. True that. And I have no bitterness whatsoever. People used to have kids at a very young age back then. They did their best given the values that they had.

Thanks for the kind words :)

geochuck
November 5th, 2006, 06:19 PM
You must understand that some parents of parents used to say if you don't go near the water you won't drown.

On the east coast of Canada the fishermen did not want to learn to swim because if their boats went down they knew their chance for survival was not good and if they could swim they would suffer longer.

dorothyrde
November 5th, 2006, 07:59 PM
At the age group club where Dave "chaos" Barra and I are volunteer coaches, we've recruited three parents - including the board prez -- to join us as volunteer coaches. I'm mentoring them and they're swimming too. Now that they're standing behind the blocks at practice, seeing what the coaches see and dealing with what they deal with, they totally get it and have become invaluable ambassadors to the other parents. We used to get the questions about why we weren't doing more yardage. Our parent-coaches now see how irrelevant the question is until the kids can do fundamentals - technique, stroke counting, knowing their time and the interval - correctly AND pay attention and stay on task.

Actually here in Illinois this would be an issue in our LSC. Only registered coaches with Illinois Swimming are insured to coach on deck. ISI says that having volunteer coaches of this nature is a liability issue and would not allow this.

FlyQueen
November 5th, 2006, 08:55 PM
I was a gymnast growing up so that is where most of my crazy parent stories come from ...
A former teammate of mine broke her foot. Her father told the doctors that she did not need a cast. He REFUSED to let her get one so she could still work on bars.

Same dad, would yell at anyone that had the "audacity" to fall off of bars, beam, etc. We were hear teammates and we needed to look good so she looked good so the college coaches would recruit her.

When her grades were down in high school he gathered all of her medals, trophies, etc. and yelled her that if she didn't get better grades all of "these" were getting thrown out (it is unclear whether or not he actually threw them at her)

The gymnastics stories I have would make your teeth curl ...

A father of a girl I swam with actually became an offical so he could be on deck with his older daughter swam and judge his younger daughter in diving. Niether girl ever said a word to him during a meet. The swimmer made state cuts her freshman year easily by senior year she was significantly slower ...

poolraat
November 5th, 2006, 11:02 PM
These are some awful stories. How about some that talk about the good things. Here's one...
In the early 80's, I helped coach an age group track club in Reno NV.
One night while holding practice, Bill Cosby came to the track to workout (he was giving a lecture at the University the next day). When he saw all these kids he asked us if he could talk to them and then just sat on the grass of the infield and talked with them and told stories for more than an hour. He never did get a workout.

Rob Copeland
November 6th, 2006, 01:19 PM
A father of a girl I swam with actually became an offical so he could be on deck with his older daughter swam and judge his younger daughter in diving. Niether girl ever said a word to him during a meet. The swimmer made state cuts her freshman year easily by senior year she was significantly slower ...Heather, I think you will find that most officials and other meet personnel are parents of the swimmers. I applaud these fine volunteers! Please don’t confuse involvement with obsession.

MichiganHusker
November 6th, 2006, 01:44 PM
There was a family (a boy and girl) that swam age group in Nebraska in the late 60s/early 70s. They lied about their ages. The boy was 9 and swimming with the 7 year olds and the girl was 12 or 13 and swimming with the 9-10 year olds.

Needless to say they eventually got caught and were never seen or heard from again.

poolraat
November 6th, 2006, 04:36 PM
I've been an official since a year or so after my children started swimming. I do it not because I want to be on deck with them while they swim but meets in our LSC are always short on officials and was asked by our coach to do it. I've really enjoyed it except for the time when I had to DQ my son.

FlyQueen
November 6th, 2006, 05:11 PM
I've been an official since a year or so after my children started swimming. I do it not because I want to be on deck with them while they swim but meets in our LSC are always short on officials and was asked by our coach to do it. I've really enjoyed it except for the time when I had to DQ my son.


That's great ... I'm talking about a different story ... rumor had it that he became an offical only because that way he could be on deck when his kids were competing ...

The Fortress
November 6th, 2006, 07:01 PM
I don't want to be an overbearing swimming parent, so how does one handle a situation where your kid's team screws up her entries for a big meet (i.e., they apparently disappear into the void) when you submitted them well before the entry deadline and have the emails to prove it? No deck entries either. No apologies either. This is what we write the big checks for?

born2fly
November 6th, 2006, 07:09 PM
I don't know how things work with your team but with ours we can eliminate that problem. Once I have turned in my meet entry, it is picked up and entered in Hy-tek. From there it is swimmer responsiblity to check team web site and verify entry has been received and events entered are correct. This does place the responsibility on the swimmer/parent but with lots of entries I think it would be hard to coaches to verify everyone.

If I do not see my name in list, then coach still has time to fix the problem. Does your team have a website that keeps you updated and informed and all that good stuff?

greg

The Fortress
November 6th, 2006, 07:44 PM
Greg:

Yep. I checked to make sure my kid was on the list before the deadline. She wasn't under "meet entries." I emailed the coach in time to notify him of the problem in plenty of time to correct it. Never heard. Emailed again. Never heard. Called today. I think it is too late to fix the problem. I usually love her coaches, but on the administrative side, there are some issues. But neverthleless, I'm kind of PO'd.

dorothyrde
November 6th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Sprinter, talk to your coach and have the coach contact the meet entry chair. this is very common(I know, I am the meet entry chair to our meets), and most times they are very understanding, especially if entries have not closed for the meet yet.

It is good that you have a way to check entries, it sounds like your team now needs a some way to fix the problems when parents find them. Having gone through this the last 4 years, we are still struggling, but things are improving. We have the coach actually ask for the entries and close it before the meet entries open. Then these get posted for the parents to check, and problems can be fixed before the entries are sent. In defense of the coaches, they have parents contacting them constantly with late entries, and this can mess them up. Many coaches are not good at administration, and sometimes it is wise to get a computer savvy parent to help with these things.

The Fortress
November 6th, 2006, 09:47 PM
Dorothy:

Thanks. I did talk to the coach and he is contacting the meet director. The team does ask for meet entries early. And I tried to bring the problem to their attention early. Hopefully, it can get fixed, but today is the deadline for "correcting" entry errors and it may have just fallen through the cracks. I'm sure coaches get all kinds of crap from parents, so I really try hard not to be "overbearing." P.S. I have never gotten a meet entry in late!! P.S.S. You sure are a busy person!

poolraat
November 6th, 2006, 11:36 PM
Leslie,
Our coach sets the entry deadline 2-3 days before they need to be submitted so she has time to go through them before giving them to the computer person that actually submits the team entry. She usually notices if a swimmer's entry is absent or missing and will call them to make sure they don't get missed. But we have a small program. I'm sure the coaches of larger programs have too much to keep track of without worrying about individual meet entries.

But at the same time thay should help when entries are misplaced or overlooked through no fault of the swimmer or parent.

The Fortress
November 6th, 2006, 11:47 PM
Poolrat:

Thank you for the response. I see that you have truly abandoned your running compulsion for a new one. (I have done the same.) I applaud you. My daughter is on an fairly new emerging team in our area (which is 400+ swimmers) -- an area typically dominated by Curl-Burke -- so I think they should have noticed and been surprised if she wasn't on their meet entry lists and emailed me. (Especially since they know she has now thankfully given up that sport called travel soccer.) And I thought they might be interested in team scoring and relays. (Who're they gonna get to swim what Peter Cruise affectionately calls that "progressive" breaststroke stroke?) I think the coaches were all at a travel meet last weekend and didn't respond to my emails and it all fell through the cracks. My daughter is more frustrated than me. She had her heart set on swimming a couple new events and prepping for the championship meets in December by swimming the 200 breast. I'm thinking I can sleep in and not schlep to MD if she doesn't swim...

dorothyrde
November 7th, 2006, 10:34 AM
Hopefully the coaches will get it handled. Where there is a will there is a way.

P.S.S. Can I retire at 45 and sit by the pool with a drink with an umbrella? :laugh2:

The Fortress
November 7th, 2006, 10:37 AM
Can I retire at 45 and sit by the pool with a drink with an umbrella? :laugh2:

No, you can't. You must get in the competition pool and start seriously kicking butt! :lolup:

poolraat
November 7th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Leslie,
One has to have a compulsion, right? Being a Type A with OCD is not easy. Though I should direct more of it to my work.

poolraat
November 7th, 2006, 11:00 AM
I want to retire and be a personal trainer/yoga teacher/swim coach.
But for now I need to get to work.

dorothyrde
November 7th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Me too, Floyd. It's sitting right here waiting for me. It's not good when your job involves working on a computer.

I'm thinking that Dorothy has the right idea about retiring at 45. Can people with OCD compulsions do that though?

Nah, they just find something else to be OCD about during retirement.


I gotta find time to get back to the pool, have been out for a week, yikes.

dorothyrde
November 7th, 2006, 02:52 PM
No swim today either.....:dunno:

The Fortress
November 7th, 2006, 03:36 PM
Dorothy:

Just remember, your time is coming! I haven't much doing much lately either. I am going to get my doors blown off at practice tonight. P.S. The meet director accepted my daughter's entries late so now I can get up at the crack of dawn, miss all my own practices, go to her meet and do other assorted kid sports stuff.

dorothyrde
November 7th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Yay for getting your kid in to the meet. Most coaches really want the best for the kids, even if they mess up on the administrative stuff.

Tomorrow is another day, I will get to the pool, I will, I will, I will!

poolraat
November 7th, 2006, 10:19 PM
Dorothy:

Just remember, your time is coming! I haven't much doing much lately either. I am going to get my doors blown off at practice tonight. P.S. The meet director accepted my daughter's entries late so now I can get up at the crack of dawn, miss all my own practices, go to her meet and do other assorted kid sports stuff.
I'm glad the entry problem got fixed. And I'm sure you will enjoy it just like I will enjoy next week-end when we go to the Thanksgiving Invit. in Boise Idaho (about 4 hr drive). 2 sessions each day with 12&u in the am and the older swimmers in the afternoon. I will get up an hour earlier than I'm used to, work the 1st session as starter, then swim the afternoon session.
Fun! Fun! Fun!

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 8th, 2006, 09:21 AM
I know about 10 young boys who are from the ages of 9yrs to 17yrs. Six had dads who swam in college. None of these boys will swim. they all say that swimming is too gay. I don't really know what that means since their dads had something to do with getting them here.

After I was in 11th grade, my fahter never watched me swim ever again. He was a single parent and was very busy. He thought that swimming as a sport was good exercise but boring to watch. He probalby only attended about half of the meets I ever participated. He would sit for hours watching golf.

I know quoting myself does seem odd.
Last night one of these boys actually said that he might start swimming because he needs to strengthen his legs. I almost cried!!!! then he said that it would help him in football.

dorothyrde
November 8th, 2006, 10:14 AM
Don't feel bad Craig. He will be able to swim when he is 50, doubtful he will be able to play football, so the fact he is in the water, for whatever reason is a good thing.

The Fortress
June 5th, 2007, 08:35 PM
Since I've gleaned so much swim "gossip" at my last few swim meets, I'd thought I'd share my latest horror story about overbearing swim parents.

Swimmer A and two siblings (B & C) have been swimming for Team X for 5 years. Swimmer A is an outstanding nationally ranked swimmer, setting records in my LMSC. Swimmer C was #1 in the nation last year in an event. Swimmer B is also a talented swimmer, swimming in JOs every year.

Parents of A, B, and C are very controlling. Very involved in their kids practices, times, etc. Lecturing if times don't live up to their notions.

Swimmer A turned 13 and became "distracted," starting loafing at practices, didn't try hard, set a bad example and still expected to do well at meets. Swimmer A had been warned by his coach that this behavior was unacceptable if he wanted to continue to succeed. Instead, his times plateaued or worsened and he did not have a stellar short course year. At the end of the year award banquet for his team, he did not win the Outstanding Swimmer Award in his age goup.

Parents, who hosted the banquet, were enraged. Coach explained that he did not want to give such an award to someone that was not working in practice. Parents were still enraged and demanded an award; coach respectfully declines. Coach had coached Swimmers A, B. and C for 5 years, including private lessons, and obviously was instrumental in their success. Parents do not care. They try to switch all 3 kids to the other head coach on the USS team. The other head coach doesn't want to coach them. So they put all 3 kids on a new team in the middle of the long course season. Swimmers B and C cry at meets because they are not swimming with their long time coach. Swimmers A, B and C, so far, are well off their times and not having good long course seasons.

I hate parents like this, blaming the coach instead of their own son.

(Oh, I know for a fact that Swimmer A's behavior is as described. No hearsay or elaboration on that score.)

SwimStud
June 5th, 2007, 08:53 PM
I refer to my earlier post about kids today being overindulged. Sounds like there's that and then some going on with A,B and C's parents.

"No Timmy, two plus two equalling five isn't "wrong" it's just original...here, have a medal because you're all winners!"

Good grief. Bravo to the coach in your story Leslie.

Blackbeard's Peg
June 5th, 2007, 10:55 PM
Yikes, Fort, sounds like some parents with some hardcore need for parenting 101. Hopefully the kids turn out ok. And hopefully someone will put those parents in their place soon. Apparently they didn't get the message from their original team's coaches.

I'd like to think that when I am in that place in life (parent), I'd still have the stones to be blunt and bring that family back down to earth.

SwimStud
June 5th, 2007, 10:57 PM
I'd like to think that when I am in that place in life (parent)

YAY there will be Fraggles!!!!

dorothyrde
June 6th, 2007, 06:20 AM
From my 12 years of observations, those parents never see themselves as being a problem. However, when the kids hit the teen years, they will handle the situation. I would say the 13 year old already is.

Now I must work-out and then drive, drive, drive my kid to swim practice, hope it is indoors, it is 49 out!

FindingMyInnerFish
June 6th, 2007, 06:47 AM
Since I've gleaned so much swim "gossip" at my last few swim meets, I'd thought I'd share my latest horror story about overbearing swim parents.

Swimmer A and two siblings (B & C) have been swimming for Team X for 5 years. Swimmer A is an outstanding nationally ranked swimmer, setting records in my LMSC. Swimmer C was #1 in the nation last year in an event. Swimmer B is also a talented swimmer, swimming in JOs every year.

Parents of A, B, and C are very controlling. Very involved in their kids practices, times, etc. Lecturing if times don't live up to their notions.

Swimmer A turned 13 and became "distracted," starting loafing at practices, didn't try hard, set a bad example and still expected to do well at meets. Swimmer A had been warned by his coach that this behavior was unacceptable if he wanted to continue to succeed. Instead, his times plateaued or worsened and he did not have a stellar short course year. At the end of the year award banquet for his team, he did not win the Outstanding Swimmer Award in his age goup.

Parents, who hosted the banquet, were enraged. Coach explained that he did not want to give such an award to someone that was not working in practice. Parents were still enraged and demanded an award; coach respectfully declines. Coach had coached Swimmers A, B. and C for 5 years, including private lessons, and obviously was instrumental in their success. Parents do not care. They try to switch all 3 kids to the other head coach on the USS team. The other head coach doesn't want to coach them. So they put all 3 kids on a new team in the middle of the long course season. Swimmers B and C cry at meets because they are not swimming with their long time coach. Swimmers A, B and C, so far, are well off their times and not having good long course seasons.

I hate parents like this, blaming the coach instead of their own son.

(Oh, I know for a fact that Swimmer A's behavior is as described. No hearsay or elaboration on that score.)

Sounds like one of those jokes about kids' games: ref says something like "couldn't believe all the rude, immature, bratty behavior at that game--and the kids were pretty annoying too!"

Doesn't sound like those parents ever grew up. :shakeshead:

imspoiled
June 6th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Sounds like one of those jokes about kids' games: ref says something like "couldn't believe all the rude, immature, bratty behavior at that game--and the kids were pretty annoying too!"

Doesn't sound like those parents ever grew up. :shakeshead:

Oh no, it sounds like they grew up--and turned into annoying "stage moms"! Clearly, if there is a problem and their kids are not stars it is "our" problem, not the child's. We have some of these in our club too. These are the type of parents who think they can do a better job coaching than the professionals hired by the team.

tecumseh
June 6th, 2007, 09:19 PM
When one of my kids comes in second in something I always quote Mark Spitz: "You don't win a silver, you lose a gold". They laugh they know there Dad is kidding although not 100% kidding.

FindingMyInnerFish
June 6th, 2007, 11:24 PM
Oh no, it sounds like they grew up--and turned into annoying "stage moms"! Clearly, if there is a problem and their kids are not stars it is "our" problem, not the child's. We have some of these in our club too. These are the type of parents who think they can do a better job coaching than the professionals hired by the team.

Well, yes, grew up physically, but I was thinking more in terms of behavior. Two words: arrested development. "Give me what I want when I want it or I'll throw a hissy fit." Main difference is that the "what I want" is for kid to be center stage, rather than, say, ice cream for breakfast.

SwimStud
June 6th, 2007, 11:27 PM
Well, yes, grew up physically, but I was thinking more in terms of behavior. Two words: arrested development. "Give me what I want when I want it or I'll throw a hissy fit." Main difference is that the "what I want" is for kid to be center stage, rather than, say, ice cream for breakfast.

Ice cream for breakfast is such a big departure from pancakes with syrup and cream...NOT. Don't be such a food-facist!! ;) kidding tee-hee :hug:

The Fortress
June 6th, 2007, 11:40 PM
When one of my kids comes in second in something I always quote Mark Spitz: "You don't win a silver, you lose a gold". They laugh they know there Dad is kidding although not 100% kidding.

I don't know ... I hear ya. Winning is, in reality, part of life, and kids shouldn't be taught that mere participation is all important. But maybe this is better for the coach to say? And not say every single time a kid comes in second?

I've had philosophical discussions with my kids on these issues. I'd have a word with my kids if they loafed. But coming in first is definitely not the only goal. It's not even a realistic one at most competitive USS meets unless you're nationally ranked. I don't think we need to put on that on kids. Kids can have perfectly satisfying swimming careers without that. Fun and fitness are objectives too. Although I realize some parents apparently just care about glory.

FindingMyInnerFish
June 7th, 2007, 04:47 PM
Ice cream for breakfast is such a big departure from pancakes with syrup and cream...NOT. Don't be such a food-facist!! ;) kidding tee-hee :hug:

Heh! Don’t tell the kiddies, but now that I think of it, ice cream (with fruit on it, of course, maybe some cherries, whipped cream, and dark chocolate syrup—for the bioflavinoids, natch) provides the complete breakfast: dairy/protein and fruit. Sprinkle some cereal on it for some carbs, and you’re all set! :groovy:

Your kid will be ready to tackle any school day with this meal! Or maybe tackle other kids with the excess energy, but hey you want them 'up" and ready for action, no? ;)

emilsonpl
April 4th, 2018, 06:31 PM
My 91-year-old mom still has no patience with me when I lose a race.

-- mel

:D