WHAT COACHES SAY TO SWIMMERS AFTER A RACE
When you know what the coach is telling your child you are better able to lend emotional support to your child and better able to support the coach.
After a race we first ask our swimmers, "How did you like your swim?" After listening to them, accepting their feelings, and in most cases, empathising with their feelings, we try help them switch from an emotional context into an analytical one. We start analysing the swim. In some situations, when a swimmer displays excessive emotion, maybe anger or crying after a swim we ask them to go and warm down first, or to sit quietly in private for a few moments before talking about the swim.
We always tell our age group swimmers that there are three things they can do in a race. They can do a best time. They can swim the race technically correct with proper race strategy, a good start, turn, and stroke mechanics. And they can win the race. "Win the race" refers to beating whoever they are closest to in the heat. Sometimes it means winning the heat, sometimes it means winning the event, sometimes it means out touching the swimmer in the next lane for seventh place. If a swimmer is successful in just one of these three objectives we tell them they did a good job. If they were successful at two of the three, that's was an excellent job. If they were successful at all three, then they were the best they could be at that point.