I don’t think I’ve said enough. Not that I didn’t complain, because I’ve done plenty of that. Rather, I’ve never told you how much it all means to me. How much you mean to me.
There’s something to be said about swim coaches. It takes a special person to dedicate themselves to their athletes- spending 14+ hours each week sweating on pool decks. Many coaches spent their high school and college years on that same exhausting schedule, and it’s a wonder how they can stand to do it all again.
It takes a person who truly loves the sport. Someone who’s always striving to improve-even years after their career ends. Someone who knows what it feels like to give it their all and have that hard work pay off. Except, this time around, you’re using your experience to help us know that feeling.
Not only do you do all that, but you do it with this patience I’ll never understand. I can tell that you notice every single time I zone out while you’re giving instructions, and somehow seem to know exactly when I need a pep talk. I’m going to miss those.
You’ve been here for me every minute of every day for these past years and understood that swimming can be the most frustrating sport in the world. Most importantly, though, you’ve believed that I have the ability to achieve anything I set my mind to. That means everything and more.
I know that there have been times when I didn’t show this. I’ve gotten frustrated and I’ve rolled my eyes. Yet even in those moments, a part of me knew that you had my best interest in mind and cared since the moment I first stepped onto the pool deck. That much is very clear.
Please know that you’re amazing at what you do, and that you should never have a moment of self-doubt. I’m not sure you realize this, but you have been a huge part of my development as a person and as an athlete. No matter where my journey takes me, that foundation will always remain. The guidance and support that you have provided me has been irreplaceable, and I hope that I can one day do the same for swimmers one day. If I am ever half the coach you are, I’ll know I did my job just right.
These words aren’t nearly enough to say thank you for everything that you’ve done, but I don’t think any ever will be. These years of devotion, tolerance, and constant support cannot be defined or repaid in words.
As I move onto my college team, I am more prepared than I ever thought I could be. Up until now, you have taken on every obstacle with me. Now, I’m ready to take them on myself thanks to your help and guidance.
Thank you for these invaluable years.