For as long as I can remember, I have been a swim mom. Summer League, high school, USA Swimming: they have filled my family’s lives with such profound joy, cherished friendships, and life lessons about laughter and loss.
Today is my birthday. My 14th Year as a swim mom and I’ll spend it at a meet.
Soon it will be May and the final days of your senior year will be a memory. They are flying by at a rapid pace with every week bringing a new last time.
As I near the end of my age group parenting for a swimmer, I’ve had many conversations about what constitutes success in the sport of swimming. I mean real success. Because at the end of the journey the medals and ribbons will be put away, the special cuts will not matter, and you’ll be left with memories.
If you are a young swimmer or a parent who wonders sometimes if there are better ways to spend your weekends, evenings and money, the answer is absolutely not. Not only will Swimming change your child, it will also profoundly impact you.
Last week was another milestone in my daughter’s long swim career when her school held a signing ceremony for athletes headed to college for their sports.
I’ve been around the sport of swimming for a decade and half including summer, High School and USA Meets at many levels. Next year I will be able to experience college meets as my daughter becomes an NCAA swimmer completing the circle.
We are swim coaches and parents everywhere who are longing for the chance to see you race again, hide out in the locker room from a tough set, or leave your wet towels everywhere. We are used to getting up at 4 am and we secretly love it.
Savor the successes and learn from mistakes. The only real failure is giving up. Swimming is exhilarating. It is also humbling.
A few days back I sat with your dad and watched you sign “the letter,” officially committing to be a college swimmer. I am sure the emotions that soared through my veins were experienced by thousands of parents last week and will be replayed again in April.
Now that the excitement of Olympic swimming is claiming down, college recruiting is right around the corner. Here are tips on making the most out of this experience for coaches, parents and prospective student-athletes.
Depression: the silent pain and feeling of hopelessness. It not only impacts swimmers but many other people as well. Sometimes it is even frowned upon by tough coaches who believe every athlete should suck it up and live with the pain.
Now that the trials are in the books and the newly crowned and seasoned veterans head for Rio, it’s time to reflect.
Not all of us are Olympic bound no matter how hard we work. We deserve your personal best too. We may not be able to be Olympians or even achieve that elusive cut. But we have dreams…