It is a common theme for families these days. Your kid joins a swim club, gets into a certain skill group and is struggling to improve their times. How can you help them to improve?
Improving Swim Times
Kids usually take a giant leap when they first get involved with competitive swimming. Even if your child has a lot of natural talent their first few weeks at swim club will see them improve leaps and bounds. It is natural as they are experiencing more competition and getting the benefit of great trainers.
Do Not Fear the Plateau
A plateau in performance is common for kids who get into competitive swimming. There is only so much they can learn in a short period, which results in stagnation. They may even get a little frustrated, as they are not able to progress in their skill group. How can you help?
One benefit of being involved with a swim club is swim video analysis. Most clubs will record sessions, especially timed events. Parents can request a copy of the video, allowing them to sit with their child and analyze strokes. Small errors are easily noticeable, which can be worked on.
Prioritize Form Over Speed
Many kids get into the bad habit of trying to force their swim speed. Performing strokes so rapidly can result in bad form, especially if your child is new to competitive swimming.
It is important to talk with them and explain that form should always be the focus. Better and more consistent form will lead to their speed improving naturally, even if the improvements take time.
Another crucial step is to provide positive encouragement. Even if they are not improving, it is not the end of the world! Swimming is about having fun, improving physical fitness and learning a new sport for life.