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Thread: Overbearing Swimming Parents

  1. #1
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.
    From the Rolling Stones "Mother's Little Helper" - "What a drag it is getting old....."

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    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    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.

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    My 91-year-old mom still has no patience with me when I lose a race.

    -- mel
    Mel Dyck
    • Certified Level 2 ASCA Coach

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    Are you sure you are forcing her.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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...

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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    Quote Originally Posted by aquageek View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    I was kidding about the 200 fly and 400 IM. That would be child abuse for a 7 year old.

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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    Quote Originally Posted by meldyck View Post
    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.

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    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Very Active Member lapswimmr's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Very Active Member aquaFeisty's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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...


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    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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    Very Active Member Dennis Tesch's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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?

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    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: Overbearing Swimming Parents

    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.

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