Senior swimmers should be encouraged to serve as role models for young swimmers in all aspects of swimming – pool competition conduct, personal behavior standards – and to provide group support and demonstrate good technique and racing skills. Young swimmers should learn from their senior swimming friends that competitions are enjoyable learning opportunities that promote self-discipline, self-confidence and other personal skills and values.
Peers have strong influence on a swimmer’s performance. There will always be an element of competition in each group or team, despite the existence of close personal friendships.
Swimmers often perform well in front of their peers and reach greater height by attempting to match or better the good performance of other group members.
Peers enjoy seeing good swimmers perform and the instructor should ask a good swimmer and/or per group leader to demonstrate a skill to help inspire others.
Swimmers can be shy with each other and the opposite sex. The instructor must be aware of this fact and employ strategies to develop interpersonal relationships appropriate for each swimmer’s personality and level of maturity. Swimmers should be focused on the task and kept busy throughout the session yet be encouraged to work with all group members in team activities.
Enjoyable class activities help to create a bond between the members of the group. The collective support of the individuals within a team environment can be powerful learning tool.
Developing a sense of groupwork ensures that each swimmer contributes their best effort in an environment of support and encouragement.
Group pride is a great motivator and confidence builder. Instructors should therefore consider fun-oriented activities that will also challenge swimmers.