Mum’s know best – How Becky’s mum nurtured a champion
Here at Swim Stars we are asked all the time at pool side about Becky and how she managed to achieve what she achieved in swimming, and she always tells our teachers to give the same answer;
“She wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of her mum and dad!”
So how exactly do you facilitate the progress of a two-time Olympic gold medallist when she is a child starting out in swimming?
Well, we’ve asked her mum Kay to find out!
5 ways to support your child’s love of swimming
1. How did you support Becky during her swimming lessons?
The most important thing in my opinion was to support Becky, this ranged from:
· Helping them to get their swimming bag ready
· Make a big fuss when she achieved an award or certificate – especially their first award. I still remember how proud I was of her that day. We took her to the cinema to celebrate!!
· Letting the teachers do their job - I never used to shout instructions because I was not qualified to do so, and I didn’t want to slow down her development.
And most importantly……
I had great fun watching Becky swim and make friends, this in turn translated to her as it was something we both used to enjoy together!
2. How did you balance Becky’s swimming schedule with homework?
Between the ages of 3 and 7 Becky didn’t really have that much homework, which was important in her early development as she could concentrate on her swimming.
As she got older we always managed to strike the right balance, a lot of this was down to an excellent understanding with her school. We always discussed Becky’s upcoming events etc and they were always very supportive.
3. How did you keep Becky’s energy up after a long swimming session?
Straight after her lesson we would always give Becky a chocolate bar or a piece of fruit just to keep her energy up, but it would only be a small treat as not to ruin her main meal that she would be having later, homemade chicken stew was her favourite!
This is the most important part of keeping her energy up after a long session in the pool.
4. How did you aid her development?
As I mentioned in question 1 I tried to just really enjoy myself whilst watching Becky swim, but below are my 3 top tips:
· I always encouraged Becky to enjoy herself – it was important she didn’t focus on other children in the group and just enjoyed what she was doing!
· Swimming as a family was another really useful activity as it allowed Becky to feel more comfortable and at home in the water
· Even though I was really proud of Becky and could see great potential I never used to brag about her. I didn’t’ want to put unnecessary pressure on her, which may have stopped her enjoying her swimming.
5. What did you talk about with Becky’s swimming teachers?
I always had a great relationship with Becky’s teachers, I always went out of my way to learn their names and to chat to them on regular occasions about all sorts of things:
· Telling them about any health issues Becky may have – e.g. throat or ear infection
· Talk to them about Becky’s progress and how she is developing throughout the course
· I have always made sure that I voiced my concerns before the lessons. For example, if I was worried about Becky hitting her head whilst doing the backstroke I would tell the teacher at the start of the lesson so I wouldn’t worry whilst watching her swim.