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Thread: Coaching your own kids???

  1. #1
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    Coaching your own kids???

    So, I have 2 boys (12, 9) who were on a year-round swim club last year. They are decent enough and swim BB times on most short course events. The problem is neither of them want to swim for the club this year. They say they don't mind training, but found it too much of a time committment. Basically, they would like to swim a couple of hours a week, which I have a hard time justifying at a cost of $450 per month.

    I asked them if they wanted to come to the gym with me and swim in the lap pool a couple times per week. They thought that was a great idea. But herein lies the problem -- I am not a swimmer. I have tried to educate myself over last few years, but I'm no pro. On the other hand, my kids are both really good listeners and it shows in their excellent technique. I could see coaching them being a really good experience for all of us. Or a really bad experience.

    So, my question is has anyone here ever done this before? What are the pro/cons? Can anyone recommend a good DIY training program? Any insight would be appreciated.


    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    Do they want to compete? Then I say no, don't coach them yourself. If they want to compete in the future for their HS team, and just want to train to stay in shape now, then I say sure go ahead. If there are summer rec teams in your area, during the summer, put them on that, and in the winter, let them swim for fitness.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    Hmmmm, this is a very interesting question.

    Well, it's hard to answer this. I guess that the first thing that could be said about it is that it wouldn't harm giving it a try and see.

    My feeling though would be that it could be best to simply find another formula involving group based activities, but that wouldn't require as much commitment to what is asked by this Club. Euh well, I understood that it could be possible to swim in this club, but that 495$ per month for 8 sessions (2x per week x 4 weeks) would be a bit too much.

    As adults we tend to learn and work on swimming in accordance to our feelings as adult, ie I will do this warmup that technical set, that main set, as it will get me to improve my fitness.

    Kids don't learn/think this way. The ideal learning/training conditions for kids *should* include a lot of plays, interactions with other kids, etc...

    Also, you mention not being a swimmer yourself, which implies that you couldn't contribute to their technical development. So in the end, I'm thinking that 12/9yo kids could, sooner or later, loose their motivation to train alone using an approach designed to work best with adults.

    If I saw some parents posting the same question about diving in a diving forums, I'd say forget it immediately. If you don't know about the specifics of diving, you'd better rely on some experts. Swimming is far less technical than diving and requires less feed back from a coach, but still. There's a technical component to swimming. Gym as a comparison does require very little if no feedback at all.
    Charles G. Couturier
    Swimming / Triathlon Coach (University of Montreal / Canada)
    Founder and head coach at the Swim Training Day
    http://blog.swimtrainingday.com

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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    Quote Originally Posted by dorothyrde View Post
    Do they want to compete? Then I say no, don't coach them yourself. If they want to compete in the future for their HS team, and just want to train to stay in shape now, then I say sure go ahead. If there are summer rec teams in your area, during the summer, put them on that, and in the winter, let them swim for fitness.
    Thank you for your response. Yeah, I think they like to compete, especially summer leagues when they are with their peers. They also notice that most of their main rivals (intra-squad) do swim competitively year-round -- they connect the dots.

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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    Hmmmm, this is a very interesting question.

    Well, it's hard to answer this. I guess that the first thing that could be said about it is that it wouldn't harm giving it a try and see.

    My feeling though would be that it could be best to simply find another formula involving group based activities, but that wouldn't require as much commitment to what is asked by this Club. Euh well, I understood that it could be possible to swim in this club, but that 495$ per month for 8 sessions (2x per week x 4 weeks) would be a bit too much.

    As adults we tend to learn and work on swimming in accordance to our feelings as adult, ie I will do this warmup that technical set, that main set, as it will get me to improve my fitness.

    Kids don't learn/think this way. The ideal learning/training conditions for kids *should* include a lot of plays, interactions with other kids, etc...

    Also, you mention not being a swimmer yourself, which implies that you couldn't contribute to their technical development. So in the end, I'm thinking that 12/9yo kids could, sooner or later, loose their motivation to train alone using an approach designed to work best with adults.

    If I saw some parents posting the same question about diving in a diving forums, I'd say forget it immediately. If you don't know about the specifics of diving, you'd better rely on some experts. Swimming is far less technical than diving and requires less feed back from a coach, but still. There's a technical component to swimming. Gym as a comparison does require very little if no feedback at all.
    Thanks for your response -- I agree with you on how adults learn vs kids.

    The whole idea is probably a long shot at best, but I think I'm easy going enough to know when to shut it down if it's not working. Nothing like experimenting on your own kin i guess.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member gobears's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    Swimming is far less technical than diving and requires less feed back from a coach, but still.
    *citation needed

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    I think a local swim team with other kids their age will give them learning,fun & competition that will allow you to be DAD .

  8. #8
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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    Hmmmm, this is a very interesting question.

    Well, it's hard to answer this. I guess that the first thing that could be said about it is that it wouldn't harm giving it a try and see.

    My feeling though would be that it could be best to simply find another formula involving group based activities, but that wouldn't require as much commitment to what is asked by this Club. Euh well, I understood that it could be possible to swim in this club, but that 495$ per month for 8 sessions (2x per week x 4 weeks) would be a bit too much.

    As adults we tend to learn and work on swimming in accordance to our feelings as adult, ie I will do this warmup that technical set, that main set, as it will get me to improve my fitness.

    Kids don't learn/think this way. The ideal learning/training conditions for kids *should* include a lot of plays, interactions with other kids, etc...

    Also, you mention not being a swimmer yourself, which implies that you couldn't contribute to their technical development. So in the end, I'm thinking that 12/9yo kids could, sooner or later, loose their motivation to train alone using an approach designed to work best with adults.

    If I saw some parents posting the same question about diving in a diving forums, I'd say forget it immediately. If you don't know about the specifics of diving, you'd better rely on some experts. Swimming is far less technical than diving and requires less feed back from a coach, but still. There's a technical component to swimming. Gym as a comparison does require very little if no feedback at all.
    Not trying to be difficult here but if you think that swimming is 'far less technical' than diving, then perhaps your knowledge of what is required to swim efficiently might be lacking. And yes, I understand that diving is technical, I am not saying that swiming is any more or any less technical than diving. Swimming is technical in terms of requiring efficient technique to be able to move thru the water as quickly as possible while using the least energy possible. Proper technique is also needed to help reduce the chance of repetitive motion injuries.

    If you are using the word technical in the sense that diving has a specific structure for how dives are performed while swimming does not have that same rigid structure then I will give you that but that is not how your statement reads.

    As for feedback from a coach, again, I disagree with you here. Without feedback, there can be no correction of technique. The same proprioceptive challenges exist in both sports. The smallest change in form feels huge to a swimmer or diver so without constant feedback, the athlete will not receive confirmation that the proper form is being executed.
    Last edited by pwolf66; August 5th, 2012 at 03:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Active Member FR.LLC's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching your own kids???

    I understand it is not a free option: How about upper level swim lessons combine with setting time-trial goals? You could provide leadership by managing the time-trials and the lesson instructors could provide swimming knowledge. The time-trials might show the kids that they are being competitive. Most importantly, a coach or parent from a larger team might notice their hard-work and dedication at the pool and recruit them.

    One job of parenting is keeping the kids busy and provide structure. It sounds like you are committed to being a good parent. (So many times I see unruly children at the pool because parents just don't care what they are doing.) Does this look like an option to others? I'd like to hear.

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