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When Our Kids Have Big Dreams …

I have a question for swim coaches and parents. When our kids have huge dreams, should we tell them what is realistic and reasonable? Or, do we encourage them to dream?

Every child I interviewed for our team’s newsletter dreamed of being an Olympian. Yes, it can happen. It did twice in our club’s 50-year history. The odds are it won’t happen for most children, but perhaps it’s those Olympic dreams that keep children in the pool.

In my humble opinion, when they are young — before high school — let them dream. But, when they’re teenagers and say they want to be on the U.S. Olympic Team or get a “full-ride” scholarship, and it isn’t realistic, maybe it’s time to say something. Or, should coaches manage expectations for their swimmers?

Most of our kids figure it out on their own through years of practice and competition.

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