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Disasterous Swim Meet – How Can I Help?


Hi Gary,  I have just purchased your book and awaiting its arrival however I wish to ask you a question.

I have a 13yr old daughter who has only been swimming for 4yrs.  She is a member of a local North East of England swimming club and until recently has been gradually lowering her time until yesterday when she had a disasterous meet putting large chunks of time on her 6 races.  I know that she is going through puberty is there anything I can do to help.

Yours sincerely



Hi Richard,  All swimmers would like their swimming performances to improve gradually over time however unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way.

Every swimmer will have a swim meet from time to time where nothing seems to go right and their times may be slower than what they have recently been swimming.  Common reasons for a poor performance at a one-off swim meet include:

  • they may be tired due to less sleep than normal in the previous 3 or 4 days;
  • they may be physically tired or sore from a large week of training or other activities;
  • they may be coming down with an illness and the body may be trying to protect them;
  • they may be experiencing changes within their body due to puberty;
  • or they may just not feel good on the day.

If it is a one-off meet with a poor performance then I would suggest just moving forward and focusing on the next week’s training and future competition with a positive attitude.  As parents it is important for us not to make too big a deal of the poor meet and encourage and support them as they move forward.

If a swimmer continues with poor performances over a couple of months, there could be many reasons for this including possible body changes if they are going through puberty.

Once you get the book www.SwimmingForParents.com you can read through the different chapters that provide advice and my thoughts on the changes that happen through puberty and also performance issues for swimmers at meets.



The Swimming Expert

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