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No PBs at Nationals. Why… and Could It Be The Suit?


Hi Gary.

My daughter has just completed the South African National Championships and unfortunately she did not swim any personal best times which was devastating for her.  Over the 9 years she is swimming , this is the first year she did not record any personal best times.  She is 17 years old and has a good physique.    She now obviously doubts herself as a swimmer and does not seem motivated anymore.  She swam in a x-glide arena and feels it could be the costume?

I am not sure what I could do as a parent to motivate her?

Kind Regards

NN, South Africa


Hi NN,

Your daughter has been very fortunate that she has recorded personal best times every year for the last 9 years and that this is the first time that she has not recorded any at your National Championships.

A swimmers improvement does not happen in a linear manner, where times improve by the same amount each year.  In fact many swimmers will have 2 or 3 years over a 10 year career in competitive swimming where their times may not improve at all.  Each year a swimmer has a different body, including different amounts of muscle and strength.  Throughout a body’s development, a swimmer’s power to weight ratio will vary a lot.

There could be numerous reasons why your daughter did not swim any PBs however the one thing I do know is that every swimmer around the same age as your daughter who has totally committed themselves to their swimming training and competition program and worked with their coach has continued to improve their swimming over time.  This may not happen immediately however with the goal to continually improve in training in everything she does, the results will come again and her times will drop again.

As a parent, you are required to provide unconditional love and support regardless of her performances.  Continue to encourage and support her in training and at competitions.  Her time will come.

In regards to the suit she was wearing, I doubt very much whether it had anything to do with her performances. Most swim suits are of a very high quality and the difference in times between suits is negligible.

Please let me know how she goes.



The Swimming Expert

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