Sitting in the viewing area last night during Robby's swim class I came to an unfortunate conclusion. I love watching him swim, splash, play and learn. I have relished experience and have thrown myself behind developing his interests and talents. That being said, I think it is fair to say that I am a really bad sports mom.
I find myself constantly biting my tongue, squeezing my hands in anger and increasingly frustrated with his instructor. Robby has been in the swim level for the past 14 classes. During this time all of his classmates have graduated several levels. Meanwhile, Robby has been stymied.
I understand why Robby has not graduated to the next skill level. The instructor, who might be 16 years old, has a check-list of skills that must be demonstrated to a predetermined proficiency. Robby has mastered all of the requisites with one exception, the dreaded "tarzan."
The "tarzan" movement involves swimming on your side while keeping your shoulder out of the water. After kicking for several feet (the arms must remain still), the swimmer is supposed to flip and reposition with the opposite shoulder in the air. For a variety of reasons, Robby has struggled with this skill.
I'm not frustrated that he can't do the move, but I am becoming increasingly agitated that it is only worked on every few classes. Last week Robby didn't "tarzan" at all, and last night he only worked on the skill for 5 minutes. Yes, I have apparently become the kind of mom who keeps track!
Robby's enthusiasm for swimming is quickly waning. Every time he makes a friend the child graduates, leaving him behind. The majority of the other students have pools at home and take private lessons outside of class. Robby has neither opportunity, and relies upon class time to learn the skills. How is he going to learn how to do the "tarzan" if it is never worked on during his class?
I've struggled to keep my helicopter tendencies in check. I am not an intrusive parent who expects their child to excel in every circumstance. However, I hate seeing Robby disappointed and I become aggravated when I don't think the instruction is correct. So far I haven't intervened, but quietly watching pool side has not been easy. At this point, I think that the coveted graduation medal will be well-earned by both of us- if and when he finally receives it!