10 things parents do that coaches can’t stand

In General by GAST A.W.Leave a Comment

1. Doing it all for their kids.

Swimming parents think they’re helping by doing all the little things for their kids but the parents who pack their child’s swimming bag, empty it for them, make their breakfast, carry their swim gear, fill their water bottles etc. are doing the exact opposite.

2. Insist on coaching their kids in technical areas.

Coaches coach. Parents parent.  It’s that simple. Coaches help swimmers develop things like physical and technical skills, turns, dives, starts, finishes, kicking etc.

3. Listen to other parents talk about technical issues.

Swimming parents listening to other swimming parents about technical issues really annoys coaches.  Coaches spend years learning how to write programs, how to enhance swimming skills, how to improve stroke technique and how to build an effective training environment.  Yet – for some reason – some swimming parents find it necessary to listen to the views of people who have no idea what they’re talking about rather than have faith and trust in their child’s highly trained and experienced professional coach.

4. Gossip.

Want to know why swimming parents are banned from so many pools-Gossip!  Coaches hate those little groups of swimming parents who sit together comparing, then criticise. Got a problem with the coach –  talk to the coach – not to other swimming parents.

5. Talk swimming all the time to their kids.

We all love this sport. But it’s just a sport. There is no need to talk swimming all the time. All it will do it increase the likelihood that the child will walk away from the sport in their mid teens,  and that’s what we all have to try to stop.

6. Expect PBs every time their child swims.

No one swims PBs every time they swim. No one. The child might have done a PB in seven other events, have done five football practices through the week and sat for four school exams but because they didn’t do a PB in one event, there’s a problem!  Trust in the coach to do his or her job.

7. Demand accelerated development.

Coaches design and develop their program structures with a lot of thought, research and experience behind it .  There’s a logical, purposeful process of developing athletes from learning to swim their first stroke to being able to win a national swimming title. Swimming parents who try to force coaches to push their kids ahead to the next level of development before they’re ready, are not helping the child (or the coach).

8. Give race instructions to their kids.

Just don’t do it. No need to comment further on this – just don’t.

9. Treat their children according to their child’s swimming performances

Child wins – love them with all your heart. Child loses – love them with all your heart. How fast a child swims should have no bearing on how they are treated, spoken to or loved. When it comes to loving and supporting your child – particularly in public – winning and losing make no difference.

10. Try to talk to the coach during training
There’s a really good reason why coaches don’t like this. Safety.  If another swimming parent was talking with the coach  during workout and that meant your own child’s safety was compromised, how would you feel?


Leave a Reply