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Reluctant swimming dad - a matter of motivation

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Together with his bad memories of swimming lessons, Paul has been charged with taking his three-year-old daughter swimming. Will he become a swimming convert? This week he ponders motivation and water polo.

How is Liverpool Football Club like a high performance swimmer? I’ll tell you. It isn’t! Not slightly. It is more like the UK: deep in debt with a dysfunctional management system. But at least the UK gets to change its managers every five years.

My football window between the end of the season and the start of the World Cup has now been closed. Water football is here. "Come on Women's GB Water Polo Team". I think I must be starting to move to the wet side.

OK, football rant over. But you have to ask what is needed to motivate certain athletes to succeed. The salary bill for Liverpool’s first team alone outstrips the entire funding for a sport such as water polo and these teams fight all the way. Take the Women’s GB Team.

I read the team’s blog update on this website. In April they had a week’s training in Italy playing some tough teams before heading back to the UK for “tough training” before out to Holland for European qualifiers where they held up their own against tough competition.

What makes this so amazing?  Just read the end of the blog. “And over half the girls have full-time jobs while others have had exams to deal with.” Jobs? Exams? Even young, angular but not too bright dad agrees this is true sporting dedication. What a sacrifice.

This comes to mind because Bea is busy tapping a ball along the water supported by her woggle. It’s part of her development in the water, I’m told; although I am not sure of the practical applications outside water polo, or water football as I have decided to call it.

Yes you throw the ball and take time out for fouls, and this more like rugby. But it has goals at each end. And the only reason you throw the ball is because it would be really difficult kicking it underwater. Amusing yes; practical no! Oh, and the ball is round.

If only the men’s England Football Team show as much determination and love of their sport during the World Cup as these women do for water polo. Click here, I have linked their profiles. Marvel at them. They get my vote and I hope Bea one day joins them.

OK, so they didn’t qualify for the Championships. But say they had the resources of Premiership football clubs? No jobs or exams to worry about? I bet they would come back with gold every time. It’s a matter of motivation. I decide to run a test with Bea.

I have told her that if she gets the ball to the other side she can watch Peppa Pig when she gets back, the £50,000 monthly goal-scorer bonus equivalent. It all starts well and she is ahead of the pack racing across the pool.

Halfway across, however, she stops. “Why?” I cry like a distraught coach. “Don’t want to,” she replies. “What about Peppa?” I say. “Don’t care,” she replies. Sometimes even the wildest riches are useless as a motivator if your heart isn’t in it.

My football window between the end of the season and the start of the World Cup has now been closed. Water football is here. "Come on Women's GB Water Polo Team". I think I must be starting to move to the wet side.
 

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Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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