The NSPCC's Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) released two podcast episodes on Castbox.fm as part of Parents in Sport Week 2018 featuring chats with sports parents about their contribution to their child's sport.
They also discuss the different support needs of children of different ages and abilities and the types of things parents are looking for from clubs in terms of information and support.
Listen now to the Parental involvement in sport podcast episodes below.
Episode 1: Grass roots involvement
Episode 2: Parenting young people in competitive sport
FAQ Information Views: 757 Keywords: Created: 20.03.2019 Updated: 20.03.2019
Looking ahead to the 2019-20 season, Swim England East Region worked closely with Richard Shorter (Non Perfect Dad) to put together the really informative videobelow on conversations for the journey, something we know many of our members spend a lot of time doing back and forth to pools.
Richard has worked with a number of sports governing bodies in this country around the subject of parent support programmes. To find out more please check out his homepage: https://non-perfectdad.co.uk/.
FAQ Information Views: 599 Keywords: Created: 06.09.2019 Updated: 06.09.2019
Dowload this poster covering 5 key questions parents should feel confident about asking their child's sports club or a club they're looking to join, in order to keep their child and other children safe in sport.
We encourage sports partnerships and community groups to download and share this poster with parents in their area.
FAQ Information Views: 685 Keywords: Created: 15.11.2019 Updated: 15.11.2019
This is what it means to Olympic medallist Jazz Carlin
- Nutrition: Are you fuelling properly for your sessions and recovering well after each session?
- Strength and mobility: Are you looking after your body outside of the pool?
- Mental well-being: Do things that make you happy.
- Skills: Work on your skills everyday. Always do them to the best of your ability.
- Take the focus away from a certain time. Instead look at how you are going to swim the race.
- Tactics / Pacing. How you are going to swim the race e.g Attack the middle part of the race?
- Starts / turns / finishes. Break these down and focus on each part. For example, maintaining speed into the wall.
- Technique. Maintaining stroke length etc. Have trigger words that can remind you of things you are working on during the race. For example, seeing the flags on the turn reminds you to hit the wall hard.
There are so many other things that you can work on, instead of just focusing on the time. If you do the process well, the results will come.
FAQ Information Views: 500 Keywords: Created: 17.12.2019 Updated: 17.12.2019
We are in a world where we are constantly pushing the boundaries of swimming performance, the one area we are all striving to improve is our underwater and breath-holding ability.
In a race, swimmers only spend a few seconds underwater and breath-holding for prolonged periods can cause shallow water blackout.
We’ve produced the following guidelines and facts about holding your breath in training.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about swimmers holding their breath in training, or any other aspect of swimming coaching.
What is shallow water blackout?
- Hyperventilation (consciously or unconsciously) reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood as it is exhaled at an increased rate.
- As the breath-hold continues, oxygen (O2) levels in the blood drop.
- Usually an increase in CO2 in the blood would trigger the desire to breathe and the swimmer would end the breath hold attempt. Due to the hyperventilation, CO2 levels are too low to trigger this, and the urge to breathe doesn’t occur as early.
- This combined with low O2 levels can cause the swimmer to go unconscious.
- Once unconscious, the body will react by initiating a breath. However, whilst submerged, the lungs will fill with water, and if immediate assistance does not occur death by drowning will can occur.
- If the swimmer is rescued they should be immediately taken to hospital.
- Secondary (delayed) drowning can happen when water is inhaled into their lungs causing inflammation. This can happen hours to days afterwards with the air sacs of the lungs swelling and preventing oxygen entering the blood. If a swimmer feels ill after prolonged underwater breath holding they should seek medical advice urgently.
Safety guidelines for holding breath in training
- Do not practise prolonged breath-holding. We should not ignore the need to breathe.
- You should not encourage underwater breath-holding. However, if practised, the rule of thumb for safety is:
One time only
One length maximum
Do not repeat
- Never hyperventilate.
- Always be supervised – never swim alone
- Repetitive breath-holding increases risk. If breath-holding underwater, a buddy must be next to you tapping you on your shoulder so you can signal that you are OK. Their total focus needs to be you and your safety. They should never breath-hold with you. Do not rely on lifeguards as it is difficult to observe someone who is in difficulty from above the water.
- Lung-training devices can be bought to train inspiratory muscles on land.
Useful resourcesUse the following links to read more about coaching swimmers and the dangers of breath holding in swimming.
FAQ Information Views: 473 Keywords: Created: 08.01.2020 Updated: 08.01.2020
All licensed meets are subject to Swim England Regulations and the Swim England Technical Rules of Racing. They are graded into four levels.
For a detailed description of each level download Swim England's Open Meet Licensing Criteria.
- Level 1 Meets are long course (50m) only and cover National, Regional and County Championships. Their purpose is to enable athletes to achieve qualifying times for entry into National, Regional and County Championships.
- Level 2 Meets are short course (25m) only and cover National, Regional and County Championships. Their purpose is to enable athletes to achieve qualifying times for entry into National, Regional and County Championships in short course.
- Level 3 Meets are long and short course events. Their purpose is to enable athletes to achieve times for entry into Regional and County Championships and other Meets at Level 1 or Level 2.
- Level 4 Meets are entry level events in pools 25m or greater. Borough Championships are an example. They are for inexperienced athletes and swimmers seeking to compete outside their club environment. If times are good athletes progress to Level 3 Meets.
FAQ Information Views: 543 Keywords: Created: 03.02.2020 Updated: 03.02.2020
While a healthy lifestyle (involving swimming!) and healthy eating go hand-in-hand, sometimes it can be hard to stay on top of both.
It can be particularly difficult when our routines are changed, for example when we’re having to work from home for long periods of time.
British Swimming performance nutritionist Richard Chessor has provided five nutrition tips for us all help stay healthy while working from home.
Five nutrition tips for working from home
- Control your environment - Our environment is a major driver of our behaviour. If you find yourself regularly reaching for the biscuit jar, then move it out of sight in the kitchen and bring the fruit bowl to the front. Consider taking some fruit to your desk so it’s the easiest thing to reach for when you need a snack.
- Don’t forget to drink - We often mistake thirst for hunger so get your water bottle filled at the start of the day and have it with you at your work station. This is particularly important in the afternoon and late in the evening when we can often go longer periods without drinking.
- Break the cycle - Consider this time an opportunity to break from your normal eating routine, particularly breakfast. Often we eat breakfast shortly after waking, despite not feeling particularly hungry and maybe because we have been frequently told “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But during a time of reduced activity, why not consider a delayed breakfast? Perhaps a cup of tea or coffee in the morning and some light physical activity before a mid-morning breakfast, extending your overnight fast. This form of ‘time-restricted feeding’ can be very useful for controlling your overall energy intake and developing more sensitivity to your hunger cues.
- Move before you eat - Following exercise, our body is in a more receptive state to some of the nutrients in our food (particularly carbohydrates), so consider a brisk walk before lunch or a cardio session before dinner to maximise the efficiency of our metabolism.
- Get creative - With more time on our hands, it’s a perfect opportunity to upskill yourself in the kitchen. So ditch any freezer meals and try cooking a meal from scratch. Challenge yourself to a new recipe every few days or think of a way to replace your favourite meal out or takeaway with a homemade alternative. There are also plenty of live cook-along shows on Instagram and YouTube so if you are short on kitchen confidence you can walk through a dish step-by-step with a top chef!
FAQ Information Views: 452 Keywords: Created: 25.04.2020 Updated: 25.04.2020
UK Coaching joined forces with Working with Parents in Sport to put together a helpful infographic for parents. Download it, share it and keep it handy!
FAQ Information Views: 490 Keywords: Created: 04.06.2020 Updated: 04.06.2020
Mel Marshall. has coached Adam Peaty from his pre-teenage years to the top of the Olympic podium in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics and to the 100m breaststroke world record which he has broken on five occasions.
In this episode of the Supporting Champions podcast, Mel shares the 4 facets of what makes Adam Peaty great, how he’s always had these and how it’s up to her to channel his voracious athletic and competitor talents.
Mel also explains what the COVID-19 crisis has taught her and how she needs to balance her energy and frustrations and when she’ll switch her focus. She shares her philosophies of coaching and how these evolved over the 12 years she’s been out of the pool and guiding others.
FAQ Information Views: 367 Keywords: Created: 15.07.2020 Updated: 15.07.2020
Helen Davies s a sports psychologist who has worked on a number swimming related programmes in both the East Region and with the national team. She has most recently been supporting the Cambridge University rowing team for the world famous boat race. Alongside her psychology work Helen has also been a teacher for 25 years and is a keen swimmer herself. In this episode of her Parent's Guide, Helen delivers some great tips to help parents support their young people.
For more information from Helen, please visit her website at www.thinkbelieveperform.co.uk
FAQ Information Views: 586 Keywords: Created: 06.09.2019 Updated: 06.09.2019
Helen Davies s a sports psychologist who has worked on a number swimming related programmes in both the East Region and with the national team. She has most recently been supporting the Cambridge University rowing team for the world famous boat race. Alongside her psychology work Helen has also been a teacher for 25 years and is a keen swimmer herself. Listen to her suggestions in this episode of her Parent's Guide.
For more information from Helen, please visit her website at www.thinkbelieveperform.co.uk
FAQ Information Views: 588 Keywords: Created: 06.09.2019 Updated: 06.09.2019
Download a useful Swim England East presentation for 2019 events at Tollcross International Pool, Glasgow and Ponds Forge, Sheffield covering topics such as
- Food (training, pre event, race day)
- Warm ups
- Cool downs
- Pre pool
- Packing bags
- Race suits
- Call room times
- Training times around racing
FAQ Information Views: 597 Keywords: Created: 06.09.2019 Updated: 06.09.2019
When coaches, swimmers and swimming parents work well together, incredible things are possible. The team is committed and focused on helping the swimmer to realise their full potential.
For swimming parents there are a few simple dos and don’ts that can help ensure that you are guiding your child in the right way and fulfilling your all-important role.
1. Do be supportive – rain or shine!
Whether your child comes first or last, sets five PBs or none, you should still love and support them the same. One of your most important roles as a swimming parent is to provide emotional support during the tough times, of which there will be many. Let your child know that they are still loved, no matter how badly they think they swam. And likewise, try not to let them get cocky when they win.
2. Don’t pressure your child
Remember that swimming is your child’s hobby. If your child has their own reasons and own goals for participating, they will be far more motivated to excel and therefore far more successful. It is normal and healthy to want your child to excel and be as successful as possible, but swimming parents cannot make this happen by pressuring them with expectations. Instead, you can encourage them and offer them unconditional support and guidance.
3. Don’t be the coach
‘Coaches coach. Swimming parents parent.’ Your child’s coach is there to teach the technical swimming skills. You can help your child to learn values and develop positive character traits. Showing unconditional love and support, and creating a happy and balanced home environment will help them to get the most out of what they are doing in the pool.
4. Do encourage independence
Confidence is the essential ingredient in all great swimming success stories. Confidence comes from knowing; knowing you can do it. Encourage your child to pack and empty their own swimming bag, to make their breakfast, to carry their swimming kit, fill their water bottles etc. This will help to create independent and self-motivated swimmers, with a strong sense of confidence, self-belief, resilience and self-reliance.
5. Don’t dangle carrots
Try to avoid extrinsic motivation (bribery!). It’s important to be careful of the message you send out – swimmers should swim for themselves and for the positives the sport brings. When your child does well, try to praise them for what they did well, not the outcome that they achieved.
6. Don’t criticise the officials
The majority of officials are volunteers. Many are even swimming parents who have decided they want to help out on the poolside. Children sometimes make mistakes at meets – it happens! If your child is disqualified at a meet, try not to complain or worry. If a disqualification is questionable, as sometimes is the case, the coach (and not the parent!) will take the necessary steps.
7. Do respect the coach
Trust the coach to do their job. If you have any questions about something your child’s coach is doing or saying in the sessions, it is usually ok to ask. However, their attention will be on the swimmers they are coaching during session times, so try and grab a word with them before or after training. Remember that a huge number of coaching staff are giving their time voluntarily and are keen to get the best out of every one of their swimmers!
8. Do be loyal and supportive of the team
Where possible emphasise the importance of being a team player. Swimmers that motivate others are often the happiest and gain the greatest benefit out of training and competition. This goes for swimming parents also. Cheer for your own child but cheer for their teammates too. This will help to create a positive atmosphere amongst the swimmers and their supporters.
9. Don’t make your child feel a failure
Children develop at different rates, in terms of size, strength, coordination, emotional and intellectual maturity and just about everything else. Encourage your child to compete against themselves, and to measure themselves against only their own best efforts. If they do win and beat everyone else, it’s a bonus!
10. Don’t push for Olympic or Paralympic glory
Maybe your child will become an Olympian, but for most this isn’t the case. Encourage your child to be the best they can be and to enjoy their sport, but make sure both your and their expectations are not too set too high. It’s great to have goals and dreams, but the most important thing is that they are happy. If they are happy the good performances will come naturally.
FAQ Information Views: 1555 Keywords: Created: 01.12.2017 Updated: 01.12.2017
It’s completely normal to become emotional when supporting your child at swimming events. It shows you care, are involved in their life, and keen to share the pressure with them as they compete.
But when supporting your child at swimming events it’s important to be calm and supportive, rather than turning in to an overbearing “balcony ogre” once your child hits the water.
We know the pool balcony can be a stressful area. Hundreds of parents all desperate to communicate with their child mixed with the stifling sauna-like atmosphere of the pool. It’s not easy to keep calm.
However, no matter what happens, or how tense things get, it’s important that you maintain discipline, poise, confidence and control. Your kids will thank you for it and it’ll help them perform better.
Ask your child how they would like you to be. While few kids like a balcony ogre barking negative comments, they may want you in the front row of the balcony, whooping and cheering for them as they line up to race. On the other hand, they may find it a bit off-putting and anxiety inducing, and would rather you remained calm and quiet. So, tip one is ask first.
Try to remember that although you’re sat within a crowd, your actions and words will still be noticed, most of all by your child. Think before you shout, and keep your body language, actions and your words positive.
If you’re starting to feel any frustration, try taking slow, deep breaths to keep calm. If something’s gone particularly badly, try counting down from 100 in your head, to give you time to form a rational response.
Try not to get sucked in to competing with other parents. Everyone wants their child to be the best – it’s natural. However, it’s your child’s sport, so try to just enjoy watching and be supportive. Leave the competitiveness to them. If you need to compete, join a Masters club and compete in the pool.
If you’re feeling particularly annoyed with your child’s performance, or are struggling to keep your cool on the balcony, try adopting relaxation skills. Imagine a relaxing scene, repeating a calming phrase, or putting some headphones in with some chilled music on may all help you to keep relaxed. Try some visualisation exercises before the race. You can find out more about visualisation here.
Video: Dr Camilla Knight talks about the support of parents of talented young athletes. The focus for young people at competitions is to enjoy it and perform to the best of their ability. Parents are important before and after training and competitions to offer support and help their child, reviewing with them what it going well and things they may want to work on. The most important thing is to make sure your child knows that you’re looking forward to watching them and that effort and performance is what counts – not winning.
FAQ Information Views: 1579 Keywords: Created: 01.12.2017 Updated: 12.03.2018
Visualisation is a technique used by many of sporting’s elite, following evidence showing that it is important to train not only the body, but also the mind. It is about creating a mental image of what you want to happen or feel in reality and practise ‘visualising’ it in your mind’s eye. Visualising yourself winning will make it more likely to happen, the theory goes.
Visualisation like this will help improve your child’s swimming performance if done correctly. But as with any skill training is essential, as is rehearsal and repetition.
As a parent of a swimmer, it is useful to have an understanding of why visualisation is key and how you can help your child to build visualisation in to their training programme. Here are the six steps to visualising.
- Your child should find somewhere comfortable and quiet where they can concentrate and relax.
- Encourage them to take long, slow breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth to slow the heart rate and help to relax.
- Next step is to close the eyes and create the image. This could be creating a winning experience or going through the routine of a successful race where a PB is achieved. The subject of visualisation depends on the required outcome.
- Encourage your child to make the image as detailed as possible. Tell them to think about sights, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes, to make sure all of the senses are aligned to the image and it’s a real as possible. They need to think about what are they wearing, what can they hear, and how they feel. Detail is vital.
- If they get distracted, or the image doesn’t go the way they want, they can open their eyes, take some deep breaths and restart the process. It may take some practise to develop the focus and skills that visualisation requires.
- Ensure the visualisation ends on a positive image, to help boost confidence and self-belief, and to reduce any feelings of anxiety.
More than competing
Visualisation doesn’t always have to be specific to competing. It can also be used as a relaxation technique.
If your child is getting wound up about an upcoming competition or an exam, or is even struggling with the work load from school, you can encourage them to use visualisation to help.
Use exactly the same technique, but imaging a peaceful setting, such as lying on a deserted beach, with the waves lapping the shore. Just a few minutes of this, paired with long, deep breaths, will encourage calmness.
It can also help your child recover from injury by keeping the mind focused and motivation levels high. Read more in this Recovering from Injury article.
FAQ Information Views: 1791 Keywords: Created: 01.12.2017 Updated: 01.12.2017
View poster from featuring 50 things children want from their parents when playing sport
FAQ Information Views: 1475 Keywords: Created: 01.12.2017 Updated: 27.05.2019
View poster on 10 ways to be super sport parents from BelievePerform (@BelievePHQ)
FAQ Information Views: 1503 Keywords: Created: 01.12.2017 Updated: 27.05.2019
This presentation from Swim England East Region aimed towards parents of 11/12 year olds (as at 31 Dec) and those competing for the first time at County / Regional Championships contains useful explanation of talent pathways. For more information on the County pathway opportunities in Somerset contact the Programme Lead Fiona Bowen (email@example.com)
FAQ Information Views: 746 Keywords: Created: 28.01.2019 Updated: 28.01.2019
Parents and carers of participants under the age of 18 who wish to take images at events are requested to focus on their own children as much as reasonably possible and to avoid including other children in images, particularly if those images are being shared with family and friends or through social media platforms.
Whilst it is acknowledged that parents/carers wish to celebrate the achievements of their own children when taking part in aquatic events, it should be recognised and respected that other parents / carers may not wish for their child’s image to be taken and shared in this way.
View Swim England’s Filming and Photography Policy.
There is useful information about child welfare in Swim England’s Wavepower document.
FAQ Information Views: 1018 Keywords: Created: 13.09.2018 Updated: 13.09.2018
View poster featuring 20 things you can do and say to support your child's mental health from BelievePerform (@BelievePHQ).
FAQ Information Views: 938 Keywords: Created: 29.08.2018 Updated: 27.05.2019