How we start and end practices is important. We want a happy and safe beginning and end.

Many parents of newer, younger swimmers like to personally accompany their children onto the deck at the start of practice, watch practice, and then accompany their child off the deck. Here are some tips for a smooth parent-to-coach transfer of your young swimmer:

First, make sure your child has all the equipment they are going to need. Kickboard, fins, cap, goggles and water bottle are the most common accessories in most programs. Please write your children’s name on all items.

Next, please release your child directly to the coach and do not simply send your child to the pool side. The coach will want to warmly greet your child and give him or her instructions. Secondly, it alerts the coach as to who is here. This is especially important if you are late to practice; always have the swimmer check in with the coach.

Next, step back, find a comfortable place, and watch with sheer joy at your young one’s swimming experience. And please, avoid contact with your swimmer so that their attention is on the coach.

How we end practice is as important as how we begin. Please do not approach the pool deck and take your child out of the water. It is the responsibility of the coach to officially end the practice and see to it that everyone is out of the water. Often, the coach wants to talk to the swimmer before they go, and, in our program our stroke school swimmer do a little cheer at the end of practice.

If you need to take your child from practice early, alert the coach at the beginning of practice (and again if necessary, as the coach may forget) and allow the coach to get the swimmer out of the water. The coach then has the opportunity to say some nice parting words and has the knowledge that she has left the pool. Never take your child out of the water directly – always work through the coach.