Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ontario Coaches Week

It is Ontario Coaches week and I've been asked a lot (of late) why I coach and I have given a lot of cushy sound bite answers. The real reason is this:

Watching a child evolve from an insecure, uncomfortable "single celled organism" into a confident, fearless and complex athlete. The best part is breaking down the boundaries of what someone thinks they're able to do. They're amazed and excited and can't wait to do more and get even better. Its the best feeling in the world and to be a part of that is so much fun!

There are days why I question why I do it and I don't expect a lot of readers to understand that sentiment. Very few see the number of hours spent dealing with issues before they become problems, but is a major part of the job (a coach that I look up to, once told me that if I do my job well, most people won't even notice that I've done anything). Coaches spend a lot of time dealing with non-coaching issues; its not just showing up for a couple hours a day and hanging out. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.

A lot of gratitude should go to anyone who decides to spend their valuable time shaping young psychology and physiology (Teachers deserve to be a part of this week's celebration for sure!). Thanks so much to my support staff; Chris Henderson and Shannan Andrews (I owe you a lot more than a quick thanks on my blog). Thanks to all of the interest from younger athletes looking to get into coaching. Thanks to everyone who gives us the opportunity to do what we do.

In related news, there are 3 videos that are VERY worth your time:

1.) OFF THE DECK: Tera Van Beilen's success team speak (her parents, her and her coach) to me via Skype about how she was able to make it from an Age Group kid to an Olympic Team member. A little long, but totally worth the time. GREAT VIEWING FOR PARENTS AND SWIMMERS TOGETHER!

2.) OFF THE DECK: A compelling argument from Western University's Ken Fitzpatrick when choosing a university path (albeit only one side of the argument).G REAT VIEWING FOR PARENTS AND SWIMMERS TOGETHER!

3.) THANKS MOM: Maybe its because I'm the primary care giver for my 2 children but I cannot watch this video without tearing up. Thanks to Bmac for bringing it to my attention yesterday. This is the last word in any argument regarding parents and sports.

Podcast: A couple of good ones in the past few weeks that you'll want to listen to if you haven't already.

- A little something to get you in the mood for the Olympics.
- Friend of swimming, Randy Starkman dies at age 51. Particularly sad about this because I failed to meet up with him in Montreal hoping to get him back in Toronto.
- Australia is turning out some scary fast kids in their Age Group Championships last week... Yikes!
- Benoit Huot representing Canada and Para Swimming on the Morning Swim Show this week. Good viewing.