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Jeopardizing swimming potentials

(5 Posts)
DeepBlu Fri 01-Aug-14 13:56:29

Hi All, i'm in need of advise. My son (6 1/2 yrs old) had shown an early talent for swimming. He was "recruited" by our local swimming club and is now in the stage of developing his stroke competency within the club's academy. The academy head coach already asked whether we (as parents) would be happy for him to join one of the club's squads once he reaches the age at which he can start competing. Only this week she said that he will be offered a place in the squad in about 18 months' time without any doubt. So far so good, as he loves swimming and has demonstrated a lot of stamina for his age by obtaining his 1000m badge at a long distance swimming event held internally within the academy in April this year.

My concern is that my partner (my son's dad) does not think that swimming is a worthwhile sport for our son to pursue competitively. He even admitted that he's hoping (and actively "pushing") for our son to be a successful cricket player. Of course my son is still too young to even had a taste of what playing cricket in a squad is, let alone show some serious potential for the sport. However, I feel that all the time my partner is dismissing swimming as unworthy in front of our son compared to other sports such as cricket (which seems to have become an obsession at the moment with hours and hours played between the two of them in the garden), he's actively potentially jeopardizing my son interest for swimming where his talent and affinity seems to be. I've discussed my concerns with the head coach, but would also be interested in hearing from other parents who may face/have been in similar situations. It's difficult sometimes to have a clear understanding of where the boundary is between being a pushy parent and make sure that your child fulfill their own potential, I guess this is my concern too in this situation. Thanks in advance for any contribution

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 01-Aug-14 14:05:06

You and DH both need to take a step back. Let him swim, let him play cricket, football, netball whatever he wants. Let him do it because he loves it, with absolutely no regard for what his future career may be. You can't choose his career and neither can DH.

If DH is dismissing something his son enjoys, in front of him, he is being a pillock and should grow up.

Ludways Fri 01-Aug-14 14:13:26

The fact your dh is concerned about the manliness of a 6 yo is bizarre.

Swimming is a very intensely physical sport and the men on it are in fantastic 'manly' shape.

However, you both need to settle down as far as his sporting ability in anything is concerned. Pushing parenting is a massive barrier to sporting achievement. I was hugely into swimming, I saw lots of kids drop out due to parental pressure, it took all the enjoyment out of it for them.

soddinghormones Sat 02-Aug-14 22:54:41

Honestly you both need to chill ...

It's impossible to know if a child is going to make it as a swimmer until they've gone through puberty and all kinds of things can get in the way before then. One of ds's friends is a v talented swimmer who was highly successful as a junior, however he's now pretty much fully grown and is only about 5'9" so will never be competitive as an adult as he's simply not big enough

Unless your ds is on the way to being well over 6' (the successful male swimmers are almost all huge), plus you and he are prepared to get to 9-10 training sessions every week, spend most weekends traipsing round the country to compete then you can forget about competitive swimming at elite level

However if your ds enjoys swimming, encourage his interest along with a range of other activities. He's only 6 so he might not even have tried the activity he's really good at/enjoys yet. Swimming is rife with pushy parents - don't join their ranks!! At my dc's club there have been many parents who insist their child is heading for the Olympics - almost without exception those children drop out even before they hit the teenage years ...

iseenodust Wed 06-Aug-14 14:27:50

I don't agree with what your partner is saying but I do think it's lovely he wants to spend time playing with him. Agree both of you supporting your DS in a variety of sports is the healthy way forward.

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