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2013-12-12 2:46 PM
in reply to: tjfry

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Parents are a challenge.  I volunteer to coach my son's 2nd grade YMCA basketball and football teams.  This is the 4th season that I have coached most of these kids and most of the parents are good.  I have two dads who scream and yell at their kids during practice and games.  I have no problem with parents yelling, as long as it is for positive reasons and not negative.  My rule of thumb is parents are welcome until they become a distraction.  One of the dads I mentioned is no longer welcome to practices and he is close to being told not to come to games anymore.  If he does not like it, he can take his son off the team and go elsewhere. 

I tell the kids that I coach that "there are only two things you can truly control.  Your Attitude and your Effort.  Your ability will improove as long as you are positive and work hard." 

Sounds like a good rule of thumb for triathletes if you ask me.

 

 



2013-12-12 5:11 PM
in reply to: siouxcityhawk

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by siouxcityhawk

Parents are a challenge.  I volunteer to coach my son's 2nd grade YMCA basketball and football teams.  This is the 4th season that I have coached most of these kids and most of the parents are good.  I have two dads who scream and yell at their kids during practice and games.  I have no problem with parents yelling, as long as it is for positive reasons and not negative.  My rule of thumb is parents are welcome until they become a distraction.  One of the dads I mentioned is no longer welcome to practices and he is close to being told not to come to games anymore.  If he does not like it, he can take his son off the team and go elsewhere. 

I tell the kids that I coach that "there are only two things you can truly control.  Your Attitude and your Effort.  Your ability will improove as long as you are positive and work hard." 

Sounds like a good rule of thumb for triathletes if you ask me.

 

We practically raised our kids at the Y and it was a fabulous environment for them.......but......those are sports parents who don't really have their wings yet.

2013-12-13 9:08 AM
in reply to: siouxcityhawk

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Great for you having access to HS team. It will elevate your swimming no doubt. Few thoughts:

1. x100@1:30 holding 1:20-1:15 is pretty solid and yes consistent with 30:xx HIM swimmers

2. Air Quality can be a challenge

3. HS swimming is governed by different rules and coach/ staff may have little more latitude in allowing non team member participation, club swimming is governed under USA Swimming that has very strict athlete protection rules as well as liability/ insurance requirements

4. Development between boys and girls varies greatly and general trends can be found summed up National Motivational times, 10 and under girls have faster time cuts than boys of same age, 11-12 girls still have tougher time cuts in some events, at 13-14 time cuts swing toward boys having to achieve faster times. That is consistent with current science of development.

5. HS or Club swimming, without going to much into this, facts, most very successful HS swimmers swim year around and for the club. HS season is rather short. If there is a well developed cooperation between local club and HS coaches, HS coaches receive swimmers with well established base and are able to produce high levels of fitness by applying finishing touches of event specific training.

6. Have a privilege of coaching several very young AAAA level swimmers, a 10-12 year old AA-AAAA level swimmer will outswim FOP triathlete most everywhere and any time.

7. Avg volume per practice for the group I coach, 10-12 year old 5-7 years in the sport swimmers is 5500-6500 per practice, they kick 1200-1500 per practice, no triathlete can outkick any of those kids, that is where we get our rear ends delivered to us first......

8. It retention of swimmers, as pointed above, young fast swimmers frequently fail to reproduce the same level of success as they age up. Main factor is burnout and how much of a stimulus did coach revert to in producing high level times early in their career, stats are staggering and show a negative trend, many programs fail to examine that.

9. I frequently train with the group when staffing is proper, I can only keep up with A level 12 year olds, past that, any A level 13 year old is out of reach and I am also mostly 30min HIM swimmer, had a few in 28-29 range but mostly 30min.

10. High School swimming has diversity in skill and talent, however, swimmers enjoy camaraderie well beyond ever seen at club level.

11. For a full disclosure, my household is a home to HS 14 year old male swimmer, 11 year old female AAAA swimmer, I coach on 500+ swimmer Level 4 Club, no swimming background, however ASCA Level 2 Coach......level 3 and 4 schools complete.........many, many books, clinics, videos, ASCA enrichment courses, good mentors and coworkers around. We live,breathe, eat and sleep chlorine in my house.
2013-12-13 12:27 PM
in reply to: atasic

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Originally posted by atasicGreat for you having access to HS team. It will elevate your swimming no doubt. Few thoughts:1. x100@1:30 holding 1:20-1:15 is pretty solid and yes consistent with 30:xx HIM swimmers2. Air Quality can be a challenge3. HS swimming is governed by different rules and coach/ staff may have little more latitude in allowing non team member participation, club swimming is governed under USA Swimming that has very strict athlete protection rules as well as liability/ insurance requirements4. Development between boys and girls varies greatly and general trends can be found summed up National Motivational times, 10 and under girls have faster time cuts than boys of same age, 11-12 girls still have tougher time cuts in some events, at 13-14 time cuts swing toward boys having to achieve faster times. That is consistent with current science of development.5. HS or Club swimming, without going to much into this, facts, most very successful HS swimmers swim year around and for the club. HS season is rather short. If there is a well developed cooperation between local club and HS coaches, HS coaches receive swimmers with well established base and are able to produce high levels of fitness by applying finishing touches of event specific training.6. Have a privilege of coaching several very young AAAA level swimmers, a 10-12 year old AA-AAAA level swimmer will outswim FOP triathlete most everywhere and any time.7. Avg volume per practice for the group I coach, 10-12 year old 5-7 years in the sport swimmers is 5500-6500 per practice, they kick 1200-1500 per practice, no triathlete can outkick any of those kids, that is where we get our rear ends delivered to us first......8. It retention of swimmers, as pointed above, young fast swimmers frequently fail to reproduce the same level of success as they age up. Main factor is burnout and how much of a stimulus did coach revert to in producing high level times early in their career, stats are staggering and show a negative trend, many programs fail to examine that. 9. I frequently train with the group when staffing is proper, I can only keep up with A level 12 year olds, past that, any A level 13 year old is out of reach and I am also mostly 30min HIM swimmer, had a few in 28-29 range but mostly 30min.10. High School swimming has diversity in skill and talent, however, swimmers enjoy camaraderie well beyond ever seen at club level.11. For a full disclosure, my household is a home to HS 14 year old male swimmer, 11 year old female AAAA swimmer, I coach on 500+ swimmer Level 4 Club, no swimming background, however ASCA Level 2 Coach......level 3 and 4 schools complete.........many, many books, clinics, videos, ASCA enrichment courses, good mentors and coworkers around. We live,breathe, eat and sleep chlorine in my house.
AAAA swimmer is pretty amazing! Has she met the AAAA standard in more than one event? Also, what strategies are you considering to avoid burnout in your 11yo daughter? Thanks.
2013-12-14 5:44 AM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

 

I think that the term "burnout" is used pretty liberally and most of the times is used incorrectly. I have coached a state champion female at the 10 and under agegroup who is now 11. I am no longer actively coaching but I am watching her I know her personality and time will tell. The 11-12 yr old group for females produces some amazingly fast results( to fast in my opinion) and it leaves most of them very little room to grow as they age up. Their power to weight ratio at that age is amazing.  And this is where the term "burnout'" begins to come into play. Body shape changes, weight gain etc. For many I think it is simply what is their hearts desire for the future. What are their true interests and until they are still producing at a high level when they are 15-18 the outcome is yet to be decided. This also applies to males as well but their maturity comes later and at a better time in life. I would prefer to coach a young  person who is on a nice steady upward curve with respect to results and has yearly improvements and still enjoys the sport as a senior in HS and  may or may not want to swim in college. The rocket 10,11-12 year olds are exciting but when the smiles become frowns it tough to watch.

Have two daughters who swam, both did very nicely. One had better results at a younger age then got frustrated in her HS years, the other came along slower but wasn't as competitive. But her swimming skills have helped produce some very good results in triathlon.. Niether one ever wanted to swim in college and they could have.

For the record and kind of back to the OP if I were the  coach there would not be an adult in my lanes at a HS practice.

Nice thread though. I think this is what Fred D was looking for a while back nobody is insulting nobody. As it should be.

 

2013-12-14 6:26 AM
in reply to: tri/tbay

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by tri/tbay

 For the record and kind of back to the OP if I were the  coach there would not be an adult in my lanes at a HS practice.

Purely out of curiosity, why is that?

I also swim with a club team (there are no HS teams here).  Usually I just swim as a lane swimmer in the lane beside them (but doing the same workout) but if the lane swims get busy or if a set is appropriate the coach will move me over into a lane with the kids.  My speed falls into the category of being one of the slower boys but a faster girl (certainly not the fastest)



2013-12-14 7:44 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by tri/tbay

 For the record and kind of back to the OP if I were the  coach there would not be an adult in my lanes at a HS practice.

Purely out of curiosity, why is that?

I also swim with a club team (there are no HS teams here).  Usually I just swim as a lane swimmer in the lane beside them (but doing the same workout) but if the lane swims get busy or if a set is appropriate the coach will move me over into a lane with the kids.  My speed falls into the category of being one of the slower boys but a faster girl (certainly not the fastest)

Two things in play here, from the club perspective it puts the clubs insurance with USA swimming at risk. Since you are swimming in a lane by yourself your kind of in the gray area and can simply say I was swimming on my own. But once you begin to particicpate in the club workout and the coaches know this, they are in the wrong by allowing it. You can easily register with USA swimming and swim away without ever having to go to a meet. I have had post college age swimmers do that before for the fitness aspect. This is what the coaches should have you do. As to the HS scenerio I'm not sure it's really appropriate for one and I'm sure from a state HS athletic association rules it's prohibited. They have insurance and safety issues in play as well as protecting the young athlete from potential problems if you know what I mean.

I love that people want to swim but there are just some boundries where swimming under those formats cause or could create problems.

2013-12-14 8:20 AM
in reply to: tri/tbay

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by tri/tbay

 

I think that the term "burnout" is used pretty liberally and most of the times is used incorrectly. I have coached a state champion female at the 10 and under agegroup who is now 11. I am no longer actively coaching but I am watching her I know her personality and time will tell. The 11-12 yr old group for females produces some amazingly fast results( to fast in my opinion) and it leaves most of them very little room to grow as they age up. Their power to weight ratio at that age is amazing.  And this is where the term "burnout'" begins to come into play. Body shape changes, weight gain etc. For many I think it is simply what is their hearts desire for the future. What are their true interests and until they are still producing at a high level when they are 15-18 the outcome is yet to be decided. This also applies to males as well but their maturity comes later and at a better time in life. I would prefer to coach a young  person who is on a nice steady upward curve with respect to results and has yearly improvements and still enjoys the sport as a senior in HS and  may or may not want to swim in college. The rocket 10,11-12 year olds are exciting but when the smiles become frowns it tough to watch.

Have two daughters who swam, both did very nicely. One had better results at a younger age then got frustrated in her HS years, the other came along slower but wasn't as competitive. But her swimming skills have helped produce some very good results in triathlon.. Niether one ever wanted to swim in college and they could have.

For the record and kind of back to the OP if I were the  coach there would not be an adult in my lanes at a HS practice.

Nice thread though. I think this is what Fred D was looking for a while back nobody is insulting nobody. As it should be.

 

Those are good observations and I agree.  I'll add this regarding "burnout"...you need to get your kids to buy into the idea that this is a process, and the results you have "right now" are just a part of that process, a mile marker on the way to somewhere else.  Times matter and finish results matter, but only as a way to mark the journey.  Some parts of the trip will be better than others, but it's ALL forward progress to a place down the road that we really don't even talk about....and so it's never looked at as "unattainable".  And it's important that they know how much you admire what they are doing, especially when the going is slow.

2013-12-14 12:48 PM
in reply to: tri/tbay

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by tri/tbay

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by tri/tbay

 For the record and kind of back to the OP if I were the  coach there would not be an adult in my lanes at a HS practice.

Purely out of curiosity, why is that?

I also swim with a club team (there are no HS teams here).  Usually I just swim as a lane swimmer in the lane beside them (but doing the same workout) but if the lane swims get busy or if a set is appropriate the coach will move me over into a lane with the kids.  My speed falls into the category of being one of the slower boys but a faster girl (certainly not the fastest)

Two things in play here, from the club perspective it puts the clubs insurance with USA swimming at risk. Since you are swimming in a lane by yourself your kind of in the gray area and can simply say I was swimming on my own. But once you begin to particicpate in the club workout and the coaches know this, they are in the wrong by allowing it. You can easily register with USA swimming and swim away without ever having to go to a meet. I have had post college age swimmers do that before for the fitness aspect. This is what the coaches should have you do. As to the HS scenerio I'm not sure it's really appropriate for one and I'm sure from a state HS athletic association rules it's prohibited. They have insurance and safety issues in play as well as protecting the young athlete from potential problems if you know what I mean.

I love that people want to swim but there are just some boundries where swimming under those formats cause or could create problems.

Good thing I'm Canadian.  

Those are fair points.  I am actually registered with the provincial swim association and the coach has done this for other swimmers - I have to assume he has been cleared to do so.

2013-12-14 2:57 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by tri/tbay

 

I think that the term "burnout" is used pretty liberally and most of the times is used incorrectly. I have coached a state champion female at the 10 and under agegroup who is now 11. I am no longer actively coaching but I am watching her I know her personality and time will tell. The 11-12 yr old group for females produces some amazingly fast results( to fast in my opinion) and it leaves most of them very little room to grow as they age up. Their power to weight ratio at that age is amazing.  And this is where the term "burnout'" begins to come into play. Body shape changes, weight gain etc. For many I think it is simply what is their hearts desire for the future. What are their true interests and until they are still producing at a high level when they are 15-18 the outcome is yet to be decided. This also applies to males as well but their maturity comes later and at a better time in life. I would prefer to coach a young  person who is on a nice steady upward curve with respect to results and has yearly improvements and still enjoys the sport as a senior in HS and  may or may not want to swim in college. The rocket 10,11-12 year olds are exciting but when the smiles become frowns it tough to watch.

Have two daughters who swam, both did very nicely. One had better results at a younger age then got frustrated in her HS years, the other came along slower but wasn't as competitive. But her swimming skills have helped produce some very good results in triathlon.. Niether one ever wanted to swim in college and they could have.

For the record and kind of back to the OP if I were the  coach there would not be an adult in my lanes at a HS practice.

Nice thread though. I think this is what Fred D was looking for a while back nobody is insulting nobody. As it should be.

 

Those are good observations and I agree.  I'll add this regarding "burnout"...you need to get your kids to buy into the idea that this is a process, and the results you have "right now" are just a part of that process, a mile marker on the way to somewhere else.  Times matter and finish results matter, but only as a way to mark the journey.  Some parts of the trip will be better than others, but it's ALL forward progress to a place down the road that we really don't even talk about....and so it's never looked at as "unattainable".  And it's important that they know how much you admire what they are doing, especially when the going is slow.




I am going to loop back around a little bit. We were talking earlier about parents who push their kids too hard and have crazy expectations for what their kids can do now or what they will become in the future.

I am the exact opposite. I actually think that the workouts that they are putting these kids through at our club are a little bit over the top (I want to say psychotic but I don't want to offend too many). Our club has "lost its mind" with respect to what the expectations should be for young kids involved in swimming. Like a coach above posted about 11-12 year old kids doing 5,500-6,000 yards in a practice with 1,200 of it being kicking. Then they want the kids there a minimum of four days/week but really want them there six days/week. Plus Monday, Wednesday, Friday dry land for 30 minutes before practice…… This is just way too much. If we were to follow the club's desired schedule for our 11 year old, she would not have much time to do anything but swimming. Home from school at four, snack, homework, 15 minutes to play and then out the door for swimming (sorry, no time to play with your friends today, you have swimming). It is the rare kid who wants to dedicate their whole life to swimming as such a young age.

There are several kids on the team with shoulder injuries at age 10 or 11…... Is it any wonder that we have had multiple people talk about how many kids "burn-out" at a young age, long before they get to high school or realize their true potential with them swimming this kind of schedule?

I hate to be down on it but I see our club as grinding hundreds of kids down to nothing in the hopes that they will get one kid like a Phelps or a Lochte or a Franklin who survives the gauntlet. If instead, they backed off a little bit at this young level and emphasized technique and fun I think a lot more of the kids will make it through to higher levels. Then the kid can make a real decision about whether they want to commit to high level swimming. As it is, many parents sit in the stands every day and talk about how their kids want to quit because it just isn't fun.

Anyways, rant over.
2013-12-14 3:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

I am going to loop back around a little bit. We were talking earlier about parents who push their kids too hard and have crazy expectations for what their kids can do now or what they will become in the future. I am the exact opposite. I actually think that the workouts that they are putting these kids through at our club are a little bit over the top (I want to say psychotic but I don't want to offend too many). Our club has "lost its mind" with respect to what the expectations should be for young kids involved in swimming. Like a coach above posted about 11-12 year old kids doing 5,500-6,000 yards in a practice with 1,200 of it being kicking. Then they want the kids there a minimum of four days/week but really want them there six days/week. Plus Monday, Wednesday, Friday dry land for 30 minutes before practice…… This is just way too much. If we were to follow the club's desired schedule for our 11 year old, she would not have much time to do anything but swimming. Home from school at four, snack, homework, 15 minutes to play and then out the door for swimming (sorry, no time to play with your friends today, you have swimming). It is the rare kid who wants to dedicate their whole life to swimming as such a young age. There are several kids on the team with shoulder injuries at age 10 or 11…... Is it any wonder that we have had multiple people talk about how many kids "burn-out" at a young age, long before they get to high school or realize their true potential with them swimming this kind of schedule? I hate to be down on it but I see our club as grinding hundreds of kids down to nothing in the hopes that they will get one kid like a Phelps or a Lochte or a Franklin who survives the gauntlet. If instead, they backed off a little bit at this young level and emphasized technique and fun I think a lot more of the kids will make it through to higher levels. Then the kid can make a real decision about whether they want to commit to high level swimming. As it is, many parents sit in the stands every day and talk about how their kids want to quit because it just isn't fun. Anyways, rant over.

Jason, I would like to comment on some of the stuff in your thread, because firstly, it is dead on in some areas, but secondly, I think there is some self-analysis that all of us should do (you and me included), as I hate to break it, but WE are also the PROBLEM. (I will get to that later). I also want to point out that I think very highly of you and don't want in any way to have it seem like I'm being a jerk to you, rather I'm presenting some things to think about!

 

  1. Yes, there is an over-empasis on yardage that is still present in elite swim clubs. Truthfully, this is an issue not just confined to swimming! The 'Single sport, YEAR round' athlete has become the unfortunate NORM in most competitive sports, especially if you live in an area that is competitive (read affluent). Gymnastics is big time hours, 6 days a week and year-round for high level 'travel team' athletes. Baseball now has spring ball, regular season and fall-ball. When I was a kid, this was unprecedented, by-and-large, as we played baseball in the summer, hockey in the winter and even (gasp) had times of year without any sport. It is my belief that the focus on SINGLE SPORT athletes starting at the age of 8-9 years old is the issue. Leads to overuse injuries. i.e.; it's not just the yardage, it's the fact that many of us encourage our kids too early on to become single sport athletes. Why does this happen? Lots of reasons. Some parents are looking at college scholarships, but a lot of us are not. The fact remains that parents who have their kids in a private swim club (i.e.; not a YMCA-type club) usually are higher income folks who are exceptionally competitive themselves. I fall into this category and I suspect you do as well Jason, having met you at IMMT. So what I'm saying is that it isn't just the 'crazy parents' who are at issue, rather it's a lot of us and I include myself in this. I am competitive in work, athletics etc. It's not a massive surprise that I am also competitive about my kids (in the sense that I want them to succeed and be the best they can be). We want our kids to gain confidence and have an identity.... being a good/great athlete is an identity and we see this as a plus for our kids as they enter into the awkward teen years. As parents, unfortunately, some of our identity comes from our kids being good athletes. I define myself to some degree as being a decent triathlete and take PRIDE in that. I also take pride in Megan swimming a 1:24 100 IM last week. Again, we are the problem (to varying degrees).
  2. By putting your kid in multiple sports, you essentially put your kid in a massive disadvantage to be on a H.S. team in any given sport. I live in a wealthy college town, and the fact of the matter is that to be on the State College H.S. swim team you will not be able to make it in a competitive fashion (everyone makes the team, but only a few really race truly competitively) unless you are a very strong club swimmer that has likely been single sport focused for years. Always exceptions to the rule, i.e.; Lebron James could have made it in almost any sport without single sport focus, but he is also more gifted than 99.9999% of the population. Even Missy Franklin is an exception. She actually does not swim more than 2 hours a day apparently and was actually on her H.S. swim team.... which is almost unheard of for someone of her abilities. She is not the usual Olympic Gold medalist though.... and much of her strategy is from her parents who have been very careful about not putting her through too much yardage and not taking her out of a somewhat normal social life, etc. Missy AND her parents are the exception to the exception. So for MOST of us, our kids will not be competitive enough in a sport like swimming if they do multiple other sports. I know LB will chime in about his kids doing triathlon, but I also suspect his kids are not the FFOP in the swim team world.... those FFOP swim kids are single sport swim kids.... or insanely gifted.
  3. WE/YOU/ME, have a say in how many practices our kids make. Our club is almost identical in nature as yours Jason, as my 11yo (Megan) has 6 practices a week (2 hours each at 5,500-6,000) and also dry land that is 45 minutes extra on top. There is some subtle pressure to make more practices, but frankly we fight it. She makes at most 4 practices a week and 1 dry land a week. As she gets older, she may increase this, but not at her age or size (she's tiny) right now. i.e.; we as parents set the limits. 
  4. Truthfully, most of us who are in the private swim club seen could also send our kids to YMCA swimming (ie; not USA swimming) and have our kids be less competitive overall as YMCA swimming is simply not as FFOP in most cases. The meets are usually not as big or competitive as well. We have that choice, but love the coaching so much more at our private club. I guess my point is, if you don't like the mentality of an elite swim club, you have options. I also acknowledge that as a personal fault, I like when my kids swim well, like when Megan swam 2:40 for 200 free (see there I go again taking pride in her athletic achievement, which by itself is not wrong, but it PLAYS A ROLE in decisions of where she swims and how competitive we get)
  5. I have seen some of the same stuff at our club as far as burnout/quitting/injuries. Definitely some repetitive use injuries as well. Kids saying that swimming has become 'work'. All bad things in my mind. The parents complain. I will say it again, SHINE THE LIGHT ON YOURSELF PARENTS! We are the issue in many of these cases. I've talked to these same parents with the injuries and 'work' comments. They complain about the club, HOWEVER they keep their kid in the highest level of swimming that they can, instead of asking to go down a level with somewhat less time commitment.  Parents can respond less competitively and pull their kid back a bit, or swim at the YMCA or take a break, or whatever. Why don't they pull their kid back?? Because we are the issue, we think pushing through the tough times will make them better/stronger people. It does, but there are downsides to it as well (injuries/burnout) I know that if Megan said that swimming was 'work' and that she hated it, I would need to do some serious analysis of wheat went wrong on my end. At this stage she loves it and it is a very positive thing in her life!

 

My ultimate point is that the parents ARE the problem. I am the problem, you are (Royal you, not aiming at you Jason, lol).... we are very, very competitive and we want our kids to succeed so much that it leads us to lose sight of what is really best. I suspect not focusing so heavily on just one sport would be healthier, but alas I am acknowledging that I too am competitive, especially about my girls!

*I* think the one thing I have going for me is that I am aware and acknowledge my weakness (competitiveness) and am always analyzing how I should not let this hurt my girls.

 

** I am hoping that I am not stirring great controversy here, as I love our swim club. Exceptional coaching, awesome positive attitude at the club, great life lessons in sports as well. Perseverence, dedication, confidence building etc.

I just am pointing out that it isn't just a 'Few Swim Club Parents' who are the issue, to a degree, I'm suggesting that most of us are part of the problem in varying amounts.

I am interested in constructive thoughts.... and honestly I wrote this because this stuff has been on my mind for awhile. I'm sure some parents think that they are ABSOLUTELY not part of the problem in any way.... I tend to look at things in a much more grey-way, where I try to understand quality and problem issues by first trying to understand my role in it all.

Sincerely, Fred Doucette



Edited by Fred D 2013-12-14 3:56 PM


2013-12-14 6:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Fred - there is a lot there to respond to.  Like you, I only really have my own experience with my kids to look at, because I don't pay too much attention to the whole swim culture.  Why?  Because my kids ARE into other sports, mainly cycling, running, and ultimately, triathlon.  It's been an eye opener for me because my son didn't start swimming until he was 14....and his club is also very competitive.  He can swim 9 workouts per week since he is on the National prep squad....and next month, when they move him up to the National squad, he can swim 11....he usually makes 6 in a good week. He is coached by 2 level 5 coaches including a former world record holder.....they REALLY want him there 9-11 times per week.....but it's not going to happen.  First, my kid doesn't want to. He has run workouts and cycling sessions as well.  During XC season he made 3-4 workouts per week.  I love his coaches, but they are also the same guys who told me when my son showed up without any swim background at 14 that he'd never really be able to keep up wit the kids who have been there since they were 7-8 years old and they put him in the High School prep group..  It hasn't turned out that way at all. Yes, he had some prior swim experience....at the YMCA.....but absolutely nothing competitive.

My kid LOVES swim practice.....it's a break from running,.  And he LOVES running because it's usually on a day he's not going to swim.  He just plain likes to ride so he does that whenever he wants.  My point to all of this is that a lot of your comments surround the idea that we have our kids specialize in one sport.....don't do it.  Geez, of all people, we as people running triathlon should understand that.

I have no idea where all of the athletics will take my son.....he's just about to turn 16.....a lot can happen.  One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt....the day I sit in the stands at swimming and tell another parent that my kid hates this.....it's over...way over.  And I'll go a step further....I think there is merit in the idea that some coaches are pushing kids way too hard at way too young of an age.  I was never a part of that and I'm happy I wasn't.  All of the athletics my kids did prior to them becoming teenagers centered around fun and family time.....all of it. (OK, except for the 2 years I had my kid playing baseball because that's how I grew up.....but it ended one day after he cried while at bat because he really hated it, and I woke up)  That's all over now, and that's fine, but they're driving the bus.

 



Edited by Left Brain 2013-12-14 6:59 PM
2013-12-14 9:32 PM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Fred

Incredibly well written and thought provoking.

We have been consistently going to three practices per week over the objections of the club coaches who want a minimum of four. We catch a lot of flack over this but this is what fits in our daughter's life.

We have actually discussed with our daughter the idea of moving down a level to reduce the workload. She doesn't want to move down a level. She recognizes that she is too fast for the level below where she is now. What she really wants is for the coach who is assigned to her group to allow the kids to have fun. It is a long story, but one of the two coaches assigned to her group is so serious about the sport that she makes it unbearable for the kids (and their parents). On days when this particular coach isn't there my daughter loves swimming. On days when she is, not so much. I guess that this focuses what I need to do. This coach is very entrenched in the club but I believe that her assignment to coach this age group is a terrible mismatch. I guess it is time to fight for my daughter and see if I can force/facilitate some change.
2013-12-14 9:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted b y wannabefaster Fred Incredibly well written and thought provoking. We have been consistently going to three practices per week over the objections of the club coaches who want a minimum of four. We catch a lot of flack over this but this is what fits in our daughter's life. We have actually discussed with our daughter the idea of moving down a level to reduce the workload. She doesn't want to move down a level. She recognizes that she is too fast for the level below where she is now. What she really wants is for the coach who is assigned to her group to allow the kids to have fun. It is a long story, but one of the two coaches assigned to her group is so serious about the sport that she makes it unbearable for the kids (and their parents). On days when this particular coach isn't there If I was not happymy daughter loves swimming. On days when she is, not so much. I guess that this focuses what I need to do. This coach is very entrenched in the club but I believe that her assignment to coach this age group is a terrible mismatch. I guess it is time to fight for my daughter and see if I can force/facilitate some change.

Just curious.....why would you not just find somewhere else for her to swim?  If I was not happy with my kid's coaching it would not occur to me to try and change the structure of the club..... we'd just find the right fit. 

If I read your post correctly, you are sideways with the club's coaches because you do not attend as many practices as they wish, and now you want to change the coaching structure of the club because it doesn't fit your daughter's liking?   Think about that for a minute. 



Edited by Left Brain 2013-12-14 9:50 PM
2013-12-15 5:43 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Originally posted by wannabefasterFredIncredibly well written and thought provoking.We have been consistently going to three practices per week over the objections of the club coaches who want a minimum of four. We catch a lot of flack over this but this is what fits in our daughter's life.We have actually discussed with our daughter the idea of moving down a level to reduce the workload. She doesn't want to move down a level. She recognizes that she is too fast for the level below where she is now. What she really wants is for the coach who is assigned to her group to allow the kids to have fun. It is a long story, but one of the two coaches assigned to her group is so serious about the sport that she makes it unbearable for the kids (and their parents). On days when this particular coach isn't there my daughter loves swimming. On days when she is, not so much. I guess that this focuses what I need to do. This coach is very entrenched in the club but I believe that her assignment to coach this age group is a terrible mismatch. I guess it is time to fight for my daughter and see if I can force/facilitate some change.
. Jason, keep that fight strong. Only you as the parent can keep things in balance. If you don't think she is ready for 4 or more practices a week, then resist. The one thing I will say about my club is that the coaches do promote Megan swimming more, but they have never crossed a line and pushed inappropriately IMHO. I know the coaches well and talk with Megan's coach on a regular basis. He is an OUTSTANDING person who I respect deeply. He coaches for all the right reasons.... He wants the kids to succeed, have legal and perfect strokes, but most of all he wants her to enjoy it, and she does! Megan is not going to get a AAAA time practicing 4 times a week, but in our family we are ok with that. IF she says in a year or two she wants to increase things! then I will of course allow! but at age 11 and just recently turning 11 at that, I am protecting her to a degree. I want her to have social situations outside swimming, I want her to do her school work properly. I also want to see her myself, as I work long hours and want her to be around some nights, especially for dinner. Again, I submit that in any situation like swimming, injuries, burnout (or whatever you call it), that if there is a national problem, like there is in girls swimming with the sudden drop in participation in 13-14 ages, then we are best to analyze what role the system has in all of this, but also what role you and I have in the problem. It sounds to me like you are taking a very healthy approach with your 11yo Jason.
2013-12-15 5:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
LB, thanks for your thoughts. I will not answer for Jason, however I will tell you the only other club we have as an option is the YMCA. No pressure there, but the coaching was so lackluster. Little real coaching, little guidance, etc. while our private swim club is not perfect, the few 'warts' are FAR outweighed by the quality of the people doing the coaching and their dedication. We actually put up with an INCREDIBLY unreasonable policy at Penn State.... They do NOT ALLOW ALLOW OUR KIDS TO SHOWER AT THE PSU FACILITY! They changed policy post Sandusky, and will not let kids under the age of 18 shower, even if their parent is present of the same gender. We have to bundle up our kids and then run them to the car (parking lot is close), and then bring them home for a bath. We put up with this, because I value the coaching and philosophy of the club that much. We have lost a number of kids to the YMCA over this, and it sucks, but this club is something I truly value for my girls and we put up with a few things. Maybe Jason is somewhat similar here where some good and some bad are evaluated and in the end they stay as the good outweighs the bad?

Edited by Fred D 2013-12-15 5:54 AM


2013-12-15 8:01 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by Fred D LB, thanks for your thoughts. I will not answer for Jason, however I will tell you the only other club we have as an option is the YMCA. No pressure there, but the coaching was so lackluster. Little real coaching, little guidance, etc. while our private swim club is not perfect, the few 'warts' are FAR outweighed by the quality of the people doing the coaching and their dedication. We actually put up with an INCREDIBLY unreasonable policy at Penn State.... They do NOT ALLOW ALLOW OUR KIDS TO SHOWER AT THE PSU FACILITY! They changed policy post Sandusky, and will not let kids under the age of 18 shower, even if their parent is present of the same gender. We have to bundle up our kids and then run them to the car (parking lot is close), and then bring them home for a bath. We put up with this, because I value the coaching and philosophy of the club that much. We have lost a number of kids to the YMCA over this, and it sucks, but this club is something I truly value for my girls and we put up with a few things. Maybe Jason is somewhat similar here where some good and some bad are evaluated and in the end they stay as the good outweighs the bad?

Gotcha.......we have 5 clubs and YMCA swimming within 40 minutes of our house......competitive may be an understatement, and lots of kids jump clubs to find the right fit, or follow a coach. 

Sorry about the situation at Penn State......dysfunction typically follows a crisis like they had, eventually common sense should win out.



Edited by Left Brain 2013-12-15 8:02 AM
2013-12-15 9:46 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted b y wannabefaster Fred Incredibly well written and thought provoking. We have been consistently going to three practices per week over the objections of the club coaches who want a minimum of four. We catch a lot of flack over this but this is what fits in our daughter's life. We have actually discussed with our daughter the idea of moving down a level to reduce the workload. She doesn't want to move down a level. She recognizes that she is too fast for the level below where she is now. What she really wants is for the coach who is assigned to her group to allow the kids to have fun. It is a long story, but one of the two coaches assigned to her group is so serious about the sport that she makes it unbearable for the kids (and their parents). On days when this particular coach isn't there If I was not happymy daughter loves swimming. On days when she is, not so much. I guess that this focuses what I need to do. This coach is very entrenched in the club but I believe that her assignment to coach this age group is a terrible mismatch. I guess it is time to fight for my daughter and see if I can force/facilitate some change.

Just curious.....why would you not just find somewhere else for her to swim?  If I was not happy with my kid's coaching it would not occur to me to try and change the structure of the club..... we'd just find the right fit. 

If I read your post correctly, you are sideways with the club's coaches because you do not attend as many practices as they wish, and now you want to change the coaching structure of the club because it doesn't fit your daughter's liking?   Think about that for a minute. 




Good point. Maybe the issue is me……. I have pretty good introspection and recognize that I am far from infallible. We have looked in to different clubs but so far, this is the one that is most convenient, warts and all. My daughter will be aging up soon and at that point will be an 'intermediate white' instead of a 'junior blue'. The 'white' level will be satisfied with three times/week attendance and has a different coach (although the club could always move her current coach up with her, which would likely be the last straw as we probably can't handle another three years with this coach).

About the coach: I love her for her passion. She was a swim mom who uprooted her family and actually moved here from out of state so her kids could swim for our club (so they could be competitive? get a college scholarship? who knows? again, I think she may be one of 'those moms' when it comes to pushing her kids-and I don't think her kids are getting D1 scholarships). She eventually was at the pool so much with her kids that they offered her a coaching position. Her intensity with these 8-11 year olds is amazing. She is so 'on' all of the time and pushes them constantly. Practice always runs over 15-30 minutes (meaning that 8-11 year olds are getting home at 9 at night). I think that she would be an exceptional coach of the older kids. At the junior high and high school age, they would be more ready to be pushed like she wants to push. At the junior level I think her passion is misplaced/borderline inappropriate. On the nights that she is not there the kids swim close to the same yardage but have fun. They finish on time. They leave to pool deck smiling.

But again, the issue may be me. Except it is not. I don't participate in the gossip, but I do sit in the stands a lot and can hear the conversations. I am not the only parent that is grumbling……...
2013-12-15 9:52 AM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Ps. I wish my daughter would embrace the intensity of her coach. I wish she were ready to push really hard and make that jump to the next level. I have another post on the front page of the forum that sort of demonstrates my own intensity level/drive.

What I have recognized is that she is not emotionally, psychologically or physically ready to push like that and so I back off and support her and try to make this fun.

I am sure that if I convinced the club or her coach to tone it down a little that some parents would be upset that Johnny or Janey is not getting the appropriate push to make the 2020 Olympic team.
2013-12-15 10:50 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by wannabefaster Ps. I wish my daughter would embrace the intensity of her coach. I wish she were ready to push really hard and make that jump to the next level. I have another post on the front page of the forum that sort of demonstrates my own intensity level/drive. What I have recognized is that she is not emotionally, psychologically or physically ready to push like that and so I back off and support her and try to make this fun. I am sure that if I convinced the club or her coach to tone it down a little that some parents would be upset that Johnny or Janey is not getting the appropriate push to make the 2020 Olympic team.

HA!!  No doubt!

And that's the rub.  For me, I have just found it's easier to find coaches/clubs that more closely operate in a way that my kids and I are happy with.  If you go the route you're talking about, trying to change the way a coach or club operates because you think it's not conducive to a good environment for your kids, you end up being "that parent" in reverse.....because sure as hell there are plenty of parents who like crazy coach and want their kids pushed and pushed.  We agree on the first part of your problem, our ideas of how to change it just differ.

2013-12-15 10:57 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by Left Brain

And that's the rub.  For me, I have just found it's easier to find coaches/clubs that more closely operate in a way that my kids and I are happy with.  If you go the route you're talking about, trying to change the way a coach or club operates because you think it's not conducive to a good environment for your kids, you end up being "that parent" in reverse.....because sure as hell there are plenty of parents who like crazy coach and want their kids pushed and pushed.  We agree on the first part of your problem, our ideas of how to change it just differ.

Spot on LB. You can't really change the club. You can switch to a different club.

Unfortunately where I live, there are fewer options.... luckily we really love the club we are with.



2013-12-15 11:03 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by wannabefaster About the coach: I love her for her passion. She was a swim mom who uprooted her family and actually moved here from out of state so her kids could swim for our club (so they could be competitive? get a college scholarship? who knows? again, I think she may be one of 'those moms' when it comes to pushing her kids-and I don't think her kids are getting D1 scholarships). She eventually was at the pool so much with her kids that they offered her a coaching position. Her intensity with these 8-11 year olds is amazing. She is so 'on' all of the time and pushes them constantly. Practice always runs over 15-30 minutes (meaning that 8-11 year olds are getting home at 9 at night). I think that she would be an exceptional coach of the older kids. At the junior high and high school age, they would be more ready to be pushed like she wants to push. At the junior level I think her passion is misplaced/borderline inappropriate. On the nights that she is not there the kids swim close to the same yardage but have fun. They finish on time. They leave to pool deck smiling. But again, the issue may be me. Except it is not. I don't participate in the gossip, but I do sit in the stands a lot and can hear the conversations. I am not the only parent that is grumbling……...

Jason, this is a major red flag.

That coach, in the way you describe her, would not be something that would work for us. Swim practice ends at exact times as we are all busy and have to get the kids home etc. Going overtime for an 11 yo is a no-no in my book.

Her intensity is not resulting in fun or results, as it's probably keeping your daughter away a bit.

*I* would speak to the head coach and discuss things, but I would be prepared to find a new club, as we simply do not have that sort of person at NLAC. Lots of intensity, but positive and fun.

*I* also think the only issue at stake from your end is why your daughter is still with this woman in this club?, and I suspect you are analyzing this yourself, i.e.; thinking of what step to take next?

My kids leave the pool deck smiling and come home really happy.... and that's the biggest part of the story for us!



Edited by Fred D 2013-12-15 11:05 AM
2013-12-15 4:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***

Originally posted by Fred D

Originally posted by wannabefaster About the coach: I love her for her passion. She was a swim mom who uprooted her family and actually moved here from out of state so her kids could swim for our club (so they could be competitive? get a college scholarship? who knows? again, I think she may be one of 'those moms' when it comes to pushing her kids-and I don't think her kids are getting D1 scholarships). She eventually was at the pool so much with her kids that they offered her a coaching position. Her intensity with these 8-11 year olds is amazing. She is so 'on' all of the time and pushes them constantly. Practice always runs over 15-30 minutes (meaning that 8-11 year olds are getting home at 9 at night). I think that she would be an exceptional coach of the older kids. At the junior high and high school age, they would be more ready to be pushed like she wants to push. At the junior level I think her passion is misplaced/borderline inappropriate. On the nights that she is not there the kids swim close to the same yardage but have fun. They finish on time. They leave to pool deck smiling. But again, the issue may be me. Except it is not. I don't participate in the gossip, but I do sit in the stands a lot and can hear the conversations. I am not the only parent that is grumbling……...

Jason, this is a major red flag.

That coach, in the way you describe her, would not be something that would work for us. Swim practice ends at exact times as we are all busy and have to get the kids home etc. Going overtime for an 11 yo is a no-no in my book.

Her intensity is not resulting in fun or results, as it's probably keeping your daughter away a bit.

*I* would speak to the head coach and discuss things, but I would be prepared to find a new club, as we simply do not have that sort of person at NLAC. Lots of intensity, but positive and fun.

*I* also think the only issue at stake from your end is why your daughter is still with this woman in this club?, and I suspect you are analyzing this yourself, i.e.; thinking of what step to take next?

My kids leave the pool deck smiling and come home really happy.... and that's the biggest part of the story for us!

Yeah, ^^^this^^^

What you're describing is generally too much for the developmental level of 8-11 year olds.  At that age, the focus should be having fun, teaching sportsmanship, and developing technical skills in a fun environment.  That sort of highly intense approach at that age can have lasting negative effects on a child.  If I were you, I'd pull my child from that program so fast the coach wouldn't even know what happened.

Here's a good source of information for both parents and coaches of what is appropriate for youth athletes at different levels:  http://respectinsport.com/

 

 

2013-12-16 8:38 AM
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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Originally posted by wannabefaster

She was a swim mom who uprooted her family and actually moved here from out of state so her kids could swim for our club (so they could be competitive? get a college scholarship? who knows? again, I think she may be one of 'those moms' when it comes to pushing her kids-and I don't think her kids are getting D1 scholarships). She eventually was at the pool so much with her kids that they offered her a coaching position. Her intensity with these 8-11 year olds is amazing. She is so 'on' all of the time and pushes them constantly. Practice always runs over 15-30 minutes (meaning that 8-11 year olds are getting home at 9 at night).


First, thanks to everyone for all the comments. Again, we are very new to this, so hearing some experiences of the older kids, and you as parents, really helps second.

Second, Jason, does your club have any sort of parent liaison that isn't an employee or coach? Our club has a long time swim parent whose role with the club is to address situations exactly like yours when parents might feel uncomfortable dealing with the coaches. She is there to offer guidance as to the best method of dealing with whatever the particular concern might be. If not, I would still feel compelled to talk to a head coach in your situation. I wouldn't be comfortable paying money to the club if my child's enjoyment was dependent on the coach they happened to pull at practice that day.








Edited by Goosedog 2013-12-16 8:40 AM
2013-12-17 11:44 AM
in reply to: bcagle25


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Subject: RE: Swimming w/ High School Swim Team ***Update***
Around here it seems like most of the club swimmers also swim for their high school. At a younger age it seems like the club swimmers also participate in summer rec leagues. Swimming is a winter HS sport here for both boys and girls so they could do both XC and track.

As far as parents thinking that sports is the ticket to their kids future that is true at all sports. We had a neighbor who was confident that his 2nd grader is getting a full ride to college in baseball.
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