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Thread: Coaching for a 6 year old

  1. #1
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    Coaching for a 6 year old

    Hi All,

    My son is 6 year old and can swim 50 meters, non-stop. I have trained him myself up to this level. As such I never swam professionally or got any training. We are based in Toronto.

    My son loves swimming and I wish to train him for a professional career in swimming. But I do not know what I should do next.

    Can anybody please explain me things I should consider for his advance training or point me to a link?

    Thanks,

    MG.

  2. #2
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    Is this really a serious question? I can't tell. Personally, I don't think 6 year old boys should be in "advanced training" for swimming. While he may "love" the sport now, he could just burn out or end up miserable. He's young. Let him have fun. Sign him up for a summer swim league. At some point, join a year round swim team. Don't rush. Success at 6 is not necessarily predictive of future success. He may also want to do something other than what you want him to do. Don't mean to sound preachy, but I have three kids. Only one is currently a USS swimmer. They all did (and do) lots of sports when young. Encourage him, but keep it fun at age 6. Don't tell him you want him to be a "professional" swimmer or Olympian. But I'm assuming you haven't done that.
    Last edited by The Fortress; May 17th, 2007 at 12:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    To make a goal of career in professional swimming a big mistake or do you mean to become an Olympic swimmer as a goal? There are several clubs and coaches that teach and train swimmers, some good some not to good.

    He is a little young to be sports specific, at this time let him learn the proper techniques and if he wishes to become a swimmer fine.

    I swam from the age of 4 and started racing at 5 but I was a swimmer because my older brothers were swimmers. I was a very reluctant swimmer everafter even though I did well.
    Keep it simple
    George Park

    New Bottom Line Pricing http://www.swimdownhill.com

  4. #4
    Participating Member Mausy's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    I would strongly recommend finding a pre-competitive team in your area. Most swim clubs have some time of lower level swim team. This is a great place to work on technique and still have swim team experiences and compete in much shorter distances. I currently coach a pre-comp swim team and the kids have so much fun while still being prepared for more advanced swim teams. It is great that he loves to swim, now help him get prepared to understand more about the sport of swimming. Call your local pool and talk to a head coach.

  5. #5
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    Thanks a lot guys for your suggestions.

  6. #6
    Swimmer Bill
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    I have coached 6-year-olds. I have coached parents who have 6-year-old swimmers. I have also coached a few Masters swimmers who act like 6-year-olds, but that's another story.

    My suggestion is to allow your child the opportunity to explore the activity, and allow the people you have entrusted to teach him to do their job without interference. Try to avoid projecting your own desires on your child, and try to avoid living vicariously through his accomplishments. Most of all, make a modest effort to remind your child that swimming is a fun activity he can do for a lifetime, and let him know how much fun swimmers have at all ages including later adulthood.

    A supportive, hand's off approach gives you a better chance of developing a lifelong swimmer. My parents took that approach, and I'm very thankful.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Active Member cwilson's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    I agree about finding a quality year round team that offers a pre-competitive program. This will allow your child to be introduced to competitive swimming but not with the same pressure and expectations he would likely face with a more regimented program. The time spent in practice is also porportionate to the age group.

    I also agree with The Fortress. Summer teams are an awesome way to introduce younger swimmers to the competitive side of the sport...and it's fun for them to experience the sport with peers.

    It's always a good idea to make sure you offer other opportunities because burnout is a very real possibility with starting kids out too young (in anything). They could easily resent the sport later even if they love it now.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    Don't rush to get the child into heavy workouts. It is a slow tedious ladder to climb for a 6 year old. I have seen other coaches in a hurry, burn out some 8 and 9 year olds.
    Keep it simple
    George Park

    New Bottom Line Pricing http://www.swimdownhill.com

  9. #9
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    Re: Coaching for a 6 year old

    I agree with the "having fun" theory as well. Swimming is an easy sport for kids to lose interest in and that's not the route you want your son on. I also think the majority of your time should be spent on drill and stroke technique. Develop good habits at a young age now and chances are your son will develop into a high quality swimmer.

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