The Athletic Triangle
To have a successful
swimming program, there must be understanding and cooperation among
parents, athletes, and coaches. An athlete’s progress depends
to a great extent on this relationship. Sports psychologists and
youth sports professionals call this relationship the "athletic
triangle." Each person in this triangular relationship plays an
essential role in the success of the athletic endeavor. Therefore,
it is important for the parent, athlete, and coach to understand
and fulfill their distinctive roles in this relationship in order
to achieve the highest possible level of success. The coming
together point for the three roles is to create an environment that
allows the athlete "to be the best they can be". To this
end, the responsibilities for each player in the athletic triangle
are presented below.
The coaches are
aquatic professionals and serve as positive role models. The job of
the coach is to provide a program for children that will enable the
swimmers in their charge "to be the best they can be." The
coaching staff is responsible for:
- Designing a training program that
is appropriate and conducive to the level of the swimmer. Each
group’s practices and objectives are based on sound
scientific principles and are geared to the specific goals of that
- Determining the meet schedule and
objectives for the meet
- Conducting and supervising
warm-up procedures for the team at meets.
- Assisting the swimmer in setting
realistic goals and guiding the swimmer towards their goals.
- Evaluating and analyzing practice
and meet performance, providing necessary instruction and feedback
to enhance performance.
- Communicating with the swimmers
and parents by educating and listening.
- Determining the rules of conduct
and disciplinary matters. In all areas of swimmer conduct and
discipline, at practice and meets, the coach is the final
- Determining practice group
objectives and selection criteria and placing swimmers in practice
groups appropriate to their age and ability.
- Updating and improving the CCA
The swimmer athlete
is responsible for choosing to participate in the sport and for
deciding what he or she desires to accomplish in swimming. The
motivation "to be the best they can be" must start with
the swimmer. In general, the role of the swimmer includes:
- Cooperating with the coaching
staff at all times.
- Respecting their teammates and
coaches to contribute to a positive practice and team
- Conducting themselves as athletes
and representatives of CCA.
- Resolving problems in a
respectful manner and talking to the coach about any
- Maintaining the requirements of
the practice group.
- Following practice and meet
- Learning to take responsibility
for their swimming.
- Eating a well balanced diet by
maintaining proper fluid intake and following nutrition guidelines
(see Good Nutrition for Better Performances under Peak Performance
- Learning how to set meaningful
goals and maintaining a commitment level that is consistent with
- Communicating with coach and
- Having fun and becoming as good
as they want to be.
- Be ready to begin practice at the
designated time. Inform the coach before practice start if you need
to be dismissed early from practice.
- Bring proper practice equipment
(kick board, pull buoy, etc) - your coach will provide a list of
the equipment appropriate to the group level. Put equipment away
- Listen attentively to the coach
while receiving instructions.
- Perform technique drills and
training sets correctly.
- Perform practice sets correctly
and at the proper level of effort.
- The use of foul language,
derogatory statements towards teammates and coaches,
uncooperativeness, fighting, disruption during practice, chronic
complaining, or any other unsportsmanlike conduct are grounds for
immediate dismissal from practice. Parents will be informed as soon
as possible after practice.
- Repeated misconduct will result
in the dismissal from practice for a period of one week. A
conference with the swimmer, parent(s), and coach will be arranged
before the swimmer resumes practice. The Head Coach will be
notified thereafter as to the results of the conference.
- If misconduct continues, the
swimmer will be dismissed from practice for an indefinite period of
time. A conference will be arranged with the swimmer, parent(s),
and the Head Coach. The Head Coach will decide the outcome.
The parent is
responsible for the development of the child. Most parents have
their children involved with youth sports because their children
want to participate in the sport and they recognize the benefits
that these programs provide for their children. Research done on
youth sports found that parental involvement plays a key role in
shaping their child’s athletic activities and attitudes.
Providing the necessary support for the child to "be the best
they can be" in swimming is one of the vital roles of the
parent. The parent is the #1 Fan of the swimmer. Parent’s
responsibilities fall into several categories. They
Demonstrating loyalty to the
team and the team philosophy...
Fulfilling team obligations
and assisting with team functions...
Communicating with the coach
when questions or concerns arise...