When you have a child in a swim club, he or she will likely practice for long intervals to get ready for swim meets. Whether in the city, elsewhere in the state or even beyond, these meets are a way for young swimmers to implement what they've learned and also gain the self-esteem that comes from competing against others. The swim club's instructors will take care of the physical preparation for the event, but you might find that your young athlete is a little nervous around the house in the days leading up to the meet. Here are some strategies you can use to help him or her get ready mentally.
Get Him/Her To Talk Through The Race
In the days leading up to the swim meet, your young swimmer can feel more confident by talking about his or her strategy aloud. Simply ask your child to explain to you, in a high amount of detail, how he or she plans for the race to unfold. Look for answers more than just "swim fast." Actually have the swimmer break down the body mechanics. For example, when describing a flip turn, have the child describe the process of dropping his or her head in a somersault-like movement, finding the wall with the feet and pushing off. By repeatedly talking through the race, your child can feel more mentally prepared.
Encourage The Setting Of Goals
It's possible, especially if the upcoming swim meet is your child's first, that he or she will feel daunted by the results of the race. Remind that child that even participating is a major accomplishment. Additionally, ask him or her about any personal goals. The objective doesn't have to be winning; in this case, even a second-place finish can feel like a disappointment. For example, if your child's goal is to set a personal best, discussing this goal can take some of the pressure off leading up to the swim meet.
Remind The Child About His/Her Preparation
It can be easy for a child to develop some doubt leading up to the swim meet, so you can step in to help by reminding him or her about all the preparation that he or she has performed over the previous weeks and months. For example, a child who feels that he or she might get winded early can be reminded of all the laps he or she has swum, as well as all the jogging or other cardiovascular exercises that have been part of the training regimen. By reminding the child that he or she is adequately prepared for the event, you can help overcome these mental barriers.
For a swim club, contact a company such as Jersey Wahoos Swim Club.