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6 steps to building self-confidence in young swimmers

Swimmers & Parents

As a swimming parent you can play a crucial role in building self-confidence your child, both in the pool setting and in wider life.

The effect of building self-confidence in your kids will have a huge impact on their swimming performance. A confident athlete is usually a better athlete.

Swimmers who believe in their ability will be able to conquer any feelings of fear and self-doubt, and will find it easier to focus on their own performance.

With this in mind, here are our six steps to help you in building self-confidence in your young swimmer to boost his or her chances of success both in the pool and out

Steps to building self-confidence

  1. Your support and encouragement is key in developing their confidence, so any chance you get to demonstrate your support should be taken. Your child will feel you will always have their back no matter what happens, helping boost confidence in performance.
  2. Try to avoid criticism, and make sure any feedback you give your child is constructive. Whether your child is a swimming superstar or not, there will always be something positive that you can comment on.
  3. Ensure your expectations are realistic and are in line with your child’s capabilities. If you set the bar too high, your child will think they are failing, which can cause problems with their confidence and self-esteem.
  4. Make sure that your child’s focus is on doing their best, rather than being the best. If their focus is towards the win, they may swim a terrific race, with a personal best time, but come third and be disheartened. Encourage them to focus on their own performance, and if that happens to include a win as a result, bonus!
  5. Try to make sure that your child understands that training, competing, winning and losing are all part of the swimming journey. Your child can learn from winning, but equally will learn from losing too. If they understand and embrace this, they will become more confident and less affected by the lows of a bad performance or a loss.
  6. Encourage never giving up. Even the best athletes have the occasional bad race or make mistakes from time to time, but because they have self-confidence and faith in their ability, they stick with it and believe they can do it.

These tips should help contribute to developing a more confident swimmer, but equally important is making sure that they are happy and are enjoying swimming. Check out our 4 tips to get you started as a swim parent for more on happy swimmers.