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Thread: 13yrs old after a year of swimming - what now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Warsaw, Poland, Europe

    13yrs old after a year of swimming - what now?

    Dear friends, hello from Poland this is Hubert father of a 13yrs old girl height: 175cm 5 feet, 8.89 inches. My daughter Lena has been swimming in a swimming club in Warsaw, Poland, Central Europe for almost a year. This is her first year. She has been swimming 4-5 times a week 60 minutes/session, every 3-4 weeks she takes parts in some competitions. I have noticed that after the first big step in her swimming progress now she has "swum to the wall". I mean the progress in her results is very, very little. Of course it seems to be normal that the progress at the beginning is huge BUT what now? The coach does not seem to be interested in improving technics aspects of my daughter swimming. He does not teach her the proper jump, the proper reversion etc, she is just "swimming miles". Shall I let the coach do his job? Or consult it with independent coach? In my opinion the improvement of technical aspects of her swimming could "cut" her more seconds.
    So her results are 100 freestyle (50m) 1:16:42, 100 backstroke (50m) 1:27:50.
    Or maybe after 8 months of swimming You can't expect anything better and we should be happy with the progress?

    this is Lena from last Saturday - Lena is line nr 6

    Regards, Hubert

  2. #2
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Re: 13yrs old after a year of swimming - what now?

    Hi, Hubert! Welcome to our forums. First of all, I have to say you have an excellent command of our language! I have a lot of respect for those who can speak and write in more than one language. Second, I am looking forward to visiting Gdansk, Poland on a cruise next year!

    Anyway, about your daughter, I would strongly suggest you set up some private coaching sessions with a coach who could help your daughter improve her technique. She is lifting her elbows on her recovery in such a way that I am afraid she could develop shoulder problems.

    In addition to making sure your daughter is enjoying swimming and having FUN, The top the top priority should be for her to avoid injury and stay healthy. Everything else should be further down the priority list.

    Does your daughter want to stay in swimming and improve? If so, look into some private coaching sessions. In addition, there are free resources you both could look into together. For starters, sign up for a free subscription to www.GoSwim.TV and watch their swimming videos together. You can also find them on .

    The reason I suggest watching them together is that the more you learn right along with her, the more you can help her (if she wants your help) by watching her swim from up on deck. You can learn how to spot stroke flaws, and then shoot video of her and go over the videos together. You can also shoot videos of your daughter's coaching sessions, so you can go over what the coach suggests and help her with it.

    My husband doesn't swim; however, he has learned how to be a great deck coach! He shoots topside and underwater videos of my strokes, and he has learned exactly what to watch for in each of my strokes. For example, I can ask him, "Will you watch where my hands are landing?" for butterfly, and he will know where they should land and provide accurate feedback.

    This could be a really fun father-daughter project you two work on together. Just make sure it's FUN, and don't put pressure on her.

    Good luck!

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  3. #3
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Knoxville, TN

    Re: 13yrs old after a year of swimming - what now?

    A few quick thoughts. I'll say this, I've been on my kids' team's board for a few years, and the coach and I are probably closer friends than we should be (that's a balancing act, though - another discussion). So I hear a lot of his gripes. And since my kid is one of the better ones on the team, I talk to a lot of new parents. So, here are some thoughts:

    1. Relax. Don't stress too much. Don't expect your daughter to constantly drop. Kids go through plateaus. By stressing on it, you may inadvertently be putting pressure on her. Don't make her feel like she has to improve to impress you.
    2. The coach may be developing a plan for her. It may result in some plateauing. It may result in some technique that isn't quite so perfect. Swimming is HARD. Getting it right is HARD. Some coaches want to let the kids get conditioned a bit better before they start wroking the technique. Some do the opposite. Point is, don't assume the coach doesn't have a plan for her.
    3. Older kids, and at your daughter's size, she is presumably post-puberty, do NOT drop during the course of the year. My 14 y/o hasn't matched some of her times as a 12 y/o. In other events, she and her twin sister drop once....MAYBE twice per year. Yours has only been swimming 8 months. While her technique and conditioning may be improving, you don't need to worry about drops in every single meet.
    4. A lot of kids will revert to bad habits in meets. Especially new ones. Sometimes they race, and forget to focus on the stroke. It takes a LONG time to get the muscle memory set. And so much of swimming is counter intuitive and you can't help but struggle early on.

    I'd suggest you try to talk to the coach. Be careful about critiquing the strokes - remember that you aren't a coach and don't know as much as he/she does. But seek to understand what he is seeing and what his plan is. Ask him if you need to have her work with him or another coach individually. As Elaine pointed out, there are some notably technique deficiencies. Now, if you don't feel comfortable with the coach's assessment, then maybe consider a new team or something. But I would suggest you be a little patient. Maybe talk to parents who have girls her age who have been doing it longer. It takes time.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: 13yrs old after a year of swimming - what now?

    Hubert, thank you for introducing yourself on the forum and sharing the video of your daughter's stroke. I know the Polish swimming community well - for 11 years, I organized an international swimming competition which took place in a different country each year. We held the competition in Slupsk in 2008, and had European champion Beata Kaminska there to award the medals. We felt very welcomed in Poland and had a great experience working with the organizing team!

    For someone who has only been swimming competitively for 8 months, Lena has an impressive stroke technique! The foundational elements are in place and she will need to continue to develop her conditioning, and fine-tune elements of her technique. But always keep in mind that she is, relatively speaking, still a very new swimmer and all of this can take time to develop. While you are of course free to consult with other coaches or give your daughter private technique lessons, try to make sure that this does not cause too much conflict with your daughter's current coach, who seems to be doing a great job so far. Most important is for your daughter - and you! - to enjoy the process of improving and to enjoy the journey along her swimming career.

    Best of luck!

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