Love The Child, Not The Performance

Posted by Ryan MacDonald on Jul 11 2019 at 10:59AM PDT

We have a couple of meets this weekend!
For many this is a new experience, for others it is just a review.
Below are some items from the Team handbook—can be found online—but here are few extra pointers.

  1. Go to Team Events near the bottom of the websites Homepage, CLICK the meet your swimmer is attending, look for the attached forms, and print out your child’s events and make sure they have it. At the meet each of the swimmers will need to READ posted Heats Sheets to get their Heat and Lane—the process is WHOLE LOT easier if the swimmers know what events they are swimming. Coaches can help, but a coach isn’t going to have a dozen swimmers events memorized.
  2. Come early…not last minute. Coming late puts a lot of stress on your swimmer. It’s better to be 10 minutes early. Plan on spending ~5 hours per session.
  3. Celebrate the effort. Your child’s performance is not a reflection of parenting abilities, or a glimpse into a child’s future.
    Mistakes will be made—it is okay.
    DO NOT over celebrate a good performance—it is just a swim meet.
    Love your child, not the time.
  4. The thing Kids HATE MOST about participating in sports is the CAR RIDE HOME from a competition. Parents::: it’s NOT about you OR your investment::: what happens/what is said/your demeanor during the car ride home will affect your relationship with your child and their love for the sport. So please be consistent. Child has a good swim—-GREAT—go out for a Booster Juice afterward. Had a SO-SO or a Terrible swim meet—it will be okay—go out for a Booster Juice.
    The best thing to do is to tell your child, “I Love To Watch You Swim”. No more, no less. L ove your child, not their time.
  5. Results will come within a few days of the swim meet. We will post a write-up and give some shout-outs! Share the content with your child.
    Handbook items…

During practice Parkland Pirate swimmers are required to wear any Pirate practice cap and encourage everyone to come to practice with a Team shirt. Fridays will be classified as FUN CAP DAY, where any swim cap is appropriate. For swim meets the team suit is any Black-colored. Every swimmer competing in – Swim meets are strongly encouraged to wear the team suit and required to wear the Pirate GREEN swim cap, and Team Shirt of the day. Penguin Meet-Kids are wearing ​BLACK Poppy-Kids are wearing Green on Sun

What To Take To The Meet

Most important: Swimsuit and 2 Parkland Pirate Caps and 2 pairs of goggles (one pair for a spare -in case one breaks )
Baby or talcum powder to “dust” the inside of swim cap. This helps preserve the cap and makes it easier to put on.
Towels-1 per 2 event s .
Logbook/Meet Journal for recording times and coaches’ comments (just for the kids
-never the Folks)
Shoes or flip flops (ANTI-FUNGAL WEAR)
Team Shirt of the Day , warm-ups or parka (stay warm)
Water bottle
Games: travel games, coloring books, books, anything to pass the time. Avoid tablets as they can be too distracting and easily be lost.

Bleachers are not always available to sit on. So be sure to bring something to sit on. (for example: yoga mat, old blanket, or anything that will be comfortable to sit on—NO beach chairs) The swimmers will be spending a lot of time on it.

Food: Each swimmer is usually allowed to bring a small cooler. It is better to bring snacks. There are usually snack bars at swim meet s , but the lines are long, and most of the time they sell only junk food.
Suggestions for items to bring:
Drinks: Water is best, Sport Drinks—okay
Snacks: Trail Mix (avoid too much chocolate), Vegetables, Bagels, cereal, peanut butter. Cookies and Chips have NO place on a pool deck…so don’t pack them.
Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine. Please do not hesitate to ask any other Pirate parent for help or information!
Parkland Pirate engages in a multi-level competition program with Swim Canada that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success-oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The following policies outline our philosophy:

1. We emphasize competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals or trophies is not our main goal. If the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. The individuals improvement is our primary objective.

2. Sportsmanlike behavior is as important as improved performance. All the coaches teach swimmers how to behave like champions when the swimmer has both a “good” and a “bad” swim. Respect for officials, congratulations to other competitors, encouragement to teammates, determined effort and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the Parkland Pirate coaching staff.

3. A swimmer is praised for effort and improving his/her stroke. It is the coach’s job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmers performance. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmers confidence along the way. Again, it is best to say “I Love to Watch you Swim”