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Thread: I promised my kids...

  1. #1
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    I promised my kids...

    I have tried for the last 6 years or so, to convince my boys to swim. This year, they conceded to try a summer league, and it was all I could do to contain my enthusiasm. In my coaxing, I promised I wouldn't be that mom. Both boys are doing very well in their first week of practice. My 9 year old is doing so much more than I ever expected and my 13 year old has learned a lot more in gym class than I thought. (Neither one would let me teach them, I had to sign them up for outside swim lessons). 9 yo still has to learn a feel for the water and has a long way to go. But that's ok, because he is enjoying himself, and like I said, he is exceeding my expectations...I didn't think he could finish a 25, let alone 50's and 100's (albeit doggy paddle is thrown in on the longer swims). My older boy has a lot of potential. All he needs is a little technique tweak here and there. But I promised. I promised to keep my mouth shut unless he specifically asked for tips and pointers. It doesn't make sense for me to go home during practice since there just isn't enough time to go home and back. I would almost have to turn around in my driveway. SO I sit and watch. How do other swim parents do it? keep quiet? I have found myself repeating in my head.., "Don't be that mom....don't be that mom." So far, both kids are loving swimming.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member gobears's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    IMO, it sounds like you're doing a great job. I coach Masters and summer league and all three of my boys swim summer league with my team. I have a hard time figuring out how to be their coach and their parent but have found that letting other coaches do the coaching has worked the best. I also have to remind myself that the enjoyment of swimming comes from the journey (not the arrival). My youngest spent the first two years on the team refusing to breathe to the side on freestyle (he'd always lift his head). The other coaches and I worked with the group on that skill and most others got it. I figured he'd eventually catch on and, lo and behold, he breathed to the side from the beginning of the season this season without being told to. Go figure.

    You're doing the right thing. Let them own their own swimming experience.

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    Very Active Member magick17's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    i can't believe im replying but here's what we do...drop & run..walk the track..run..whatever..take some moms with you. Make friends..some of my closest friends are the fellow swim moms. if you find yourself frustrated turn your back to the practice and talk to a mom behind you. when roody was younger we had more fun at their practices then they did. plus our coach does not allow those moms...you start to coach or complain..she gives you a job..take it from one of the busiest swim moms..lol!!
    good luck to the boys

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    I've been in this process with my 3 daughters for the last decade, my oldest about to enter her senior year in HS and my youngest about to go into 4th grade. I'm fortunate in that I don't think I've ever had to watch a workout and have only chosen to watch a few (less than 10). I've think I've learned these lessons:

    • Listen and watch how your kid reacts to your input and customize your approach -- One of my daughters actively seeks my input, seems to implement it and comes back for more advice. The other two? Not so much ... and one of those two reacts strongly if I do offer advice.
    • As much as possible at meets, get out of their way. I find my kids come up to me and want to talk more about their swims when I'm officiating or volunteering than when I'm sitting in a tent with them. They choose the terms of swimming engagement with me.


    Now, as my wife, kids and anyone who knows me understands, I'm totally obsessive about swimming and try to suck them into watching live streams of Grand Prixs, Nationals, cool technique videos etc. whenever I can. I try not to push, but I probably cross the line into being that Dad at times. It is not an easy path you have chosen ... just take it one day at a time.
    Follow my blog http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=5013
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    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    ... I try not to push, but I probably cross the line into being that Dad at times.
    It could be worse, you could be that guy.

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    It's about baseball dads but I found some good advice in this article:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/sports...gue_games.html

    I really liked this part of the last paragraph:

    Great college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great and that amplified their joy during and after a game. The overwhelming response: "I love to watch you play."
    There are a lot worse things parents can say to their kids after a race or meet or practice than "I love to watch you swim." The challenge is to leave it at that.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member gobears's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    It's about baseball dads but I found some good advice in this article:

    www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2013/06/baseball_parents_how_dads_stress_their_kids_out_du ring_little_league_games.html

    I really liked this part of the last paragraph:



    There are a lot worse things parents can say to their kids after a race or meet or practice than "I love to watch you swim." The challenge is to leave it at that.
    This was good - also saw it today. Did you follow the link at the bottom of the article? Good stuff:

    http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/more...-sports-parent

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    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    I can so relate. After years of trying to get him to join, my 8 year old did so this summer. One thing that helps me is that several of the coaches are team mates of mine on my age group team. I trust them a lot. I do stay and watch but try to keep my mouth shut and let the coaches do their thing. It sometimes means playing games on my son's iPod Touch. I do pay attention but I sit quietly and bite my tongue.

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    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    It could be worse, you could be that guy.
    ...and no one wants that
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

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    www.inlandnwmasters.org

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    Re: I promised my kids...

    I took a cross stitch with me yesterday. It helped (me) immensely. My older son is dancing around asking for help learning butterfly. He even said..."I'm not asking yet." C'mon! He's killing me here.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Quote Originally Posted by jpetyk View Post
    I took a cross stitch with me yesterday. It helped (me) immensely. My older son is dancing around asking for help learning butterfly. He even said..."I'm not asking yet." C'mon! He's killing me here.
    That's just teasing you!

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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Today I break my promise and take my older son to the pool to teach him how to do a flip turn. This comes after he cracked his head on the bottom of the pool after pushing off from the wall. He hit so hard, he went numb in his neck chest and arms. We thought he had a concussion. Thankfully, the doc said he is fine, but I will take him to the deep end and teach him properly. I think he is relieved that I am going to help in this instance.

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    Re: I promised my kids...

    It is hard. You could always pretend to read a book or something while they're swimming. It might make them think, "what's up?" and start asking you for advice. Kids are strange, we all used to push out parents away, but props for keeping up with them and being supportive all the way.

  14. #14
    Active Member Water Rat's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Jen, I have been "that Dad" for sure and it took me 3 kids to finally figure out that no matter how much I want it for them, they will NOT do it on anything other than their terms. There isn't enough frozen yogurt, money or toys in the world to get a kid to swim competitively who isn't drawn to it. Let's face it. The sport kind of sucks when you describe it to anyone. You just have to sort of "get it" despite all the drawbacks so evident on the surface. So, I say NOTHING anymore unless it is 100% positive. I offer no critiques. I sit on my hands and bite my tongue when I see her take a 10 minute bathroom break in the middle of practice with her BFF. I never push for her (my middle girl) to go to practice. And now wouldn't you know it, she actually takes off on her bike alone to attend morning practice leaving her mom and sisters at home to go put the lane ropes in early. I'm not saying she's a convert but I'm sure praying she is!

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    Very Active Member gobears's Avatar
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    Re: I promised my kids...

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    Jen, I have been "that Dad" for sure and it took me 3 kids to finally figure out that no matter how much I want it for them, they will NOT do it on anything other than their terms. There isn't enough frozen yogurt, money or toys in the world to get a kid to swim competitively who isn't drawn to it. Let's face it. The sport kind of sucks when you describe it to anyone. You just have to sort of "get it" despite all the drawbacks so evident on the surface. So, I say NOTHING anymore unless it is 100% positive. I offer no critiques. I sit on my hands and bite my tongue when I see her take a 10 minute bathroom break in the middle of practice with her BFF. I never push for her (my middle girl) to go to practice. And now wouldn't you know it, she actually takes off on her bike alone to attend morning practice leaving her mom and sisters at home to go put the lane ropes in early. I'm not saying she's a convert but I'm sure praying she is!
    This is awesome

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