We have hordes of medals and all those medals are no guarantee of future sporting success, they were gained in so-called low-level 3 meets.
What really determines sporting talent is the ability to get regional and national and international qualifying times.
But, when young, for example when a 10-year-old gets regional times, that does not mean they’ll always get regional times in the future.
When a 14-year-old doesn’t get regional times that doesn’t mean they won’t get them the following year.
I am drawing up a table now to measure improvement or decline.
A simple formula
financial reward for
Gaining regional, national times and medals. (Though medals do not pay as much as regional or national times).
financial penalty for
performing at less than a previous best time for each event.
So for example, go to a meet, do 9 events. If at worst the swimmer swims below previous Personal Best time that accrues a considerate financial penalty in terms of deduction from future earnings from medals or achieving target times.
However if the swimmer gains by getting a regional time, gains a medal but swims below PB in just one event, then there will be overall a financial gain.
How a parent does the math and what sums are involved will most likely depend on the spare cash available.
The more hopeful performance is, the greater the financial reward. If financial penalties keep mounting up then perhaps there is little point in training as intensely and it is time to concentrate on other, more rewarding activities, like trying to get all A*** in the GCSEs.