The simplest reason why you should help is also the most powerful. You should help because your child benefits greatly from the program. The second reason is that most clubs cannot function without substantial volunteer help. The economics are not there for a full professional staff to do all the things that need doing.
Look at the finances of youth sports for a moment. Count up the hours that are available for your child to participate in your program. Divide your monthly fee by those hours, and you will come out with substantially less than you pay your baby sitter. Now imagine if you had to pay for all you get from your team. Teams can't do it without your help. Add to that the fact that few clubs have full time coaches, and even fewer have more than one full time coach, and you can begin to recognize the need for parental involvement.
In most volunteer organizations, including swim teams a very few people do a tremendous amount of work that benefits everyone. This is a bad deal for everyone. That person sooner or later burns out, leaving a big hole to fill. Meanwhile, that individual holds a great deal of power in the club, perhaps too much power.
If you find your lawn uncut, the dishes three days deep in the sink, your cat starving on the porch, and you have just driven home from the team leaving forgetting half of the carpool, you may be over committed. The club needs a little bit of time from everyone, a little more from some, and on occasion, a great deal from a few.
Adapted from “News for Swim Parents.” Published by the American Swimming Coaches Association. www.swimmingcoach.org