49 years. That’s a long time to do one thing. It’s mind boggling actually.
I’ve had a lot of great years as a swim coach. I don’t mean great like my teams conquered the world or won national championships.
I mean it as I had a blast doing it. I met great friends and athletes. I learned a lot. I honed my craft.
I’m not sure I would do it again, but I don’t have a lot of regrets. I did what I wanted to do and it gave me a ton of freedom.
I always loved the creativity that it brought to me. I loved the connection that it brought. I loved the competition.
At one point I thought I was a pretty good swim coach. I’m not so sure any more. I’m a very good swim instructor. I’m a good teacher. But as a coach, I’m not so sure. Especially, to reach the higher levels.
One reason is I liked the kids too much. I couldn’t push them to the levels that they need to go to be successful in the sport. And I’m not sure if being successful in the sport is really all that important.
So, 49 years, off and on. More on than off. A lot of time on the deck watching kids go back and forth. Thinking about workouts. Thinking about what to teach and how to teach it. Thinking about how to motivate, lead and inspire.
It’s time to do something different. I gave it my best shot.
Thanks to all my friends, swimmers, mentors, competitors, parents and volunteers. It’s been a great 49 years.