Staying on Top
If your son or daughter is among the Top 16 when they are 10 years old, shouldn’t they be in the running for a national championship when they turn 18? In fact, quite the opposite is the case. Improvement is not a steady positive slope, especially for swimming prodigies. A study by USA Swimming using the All-Time Top 100 swims in each age group found that only 10 percent of the Top 100 10-and-Unders maintained their status through age 18. Only half of the swimmers among the Top 100 in the 17-18 age group had made any top-100 list when they were younger. “Those winning races at 10 probably won’t be winning races when they are 20,” says John Leonard, the executive director of the American Swimming Coaches Association. “This is one of those things that is obvious to coaches but can be a mystery to parents.”
I just read this on our LSC website. I am always intrigued when I read articles such as this. It seems clear that success in the older age groups has very little to do with being top dog at 10. Yet so much emphasis is placed on those younger swimmers who are at the top, even in the LSC.
I personally am thankful that there isn’t pressure to succeed placed on my kids by anyone but mom and dad. They know we are pushing them to THEIR very best and aren’t measuring their success by the success of others. Their egos are fairly in check and they don’t believe success is guaranteed.