I started synchronized swimming in 1972 (which makes me the senior member 🙂 after having participated for a few years in speed swimming and gymnastics. I wanted to build friendships and be part of a team sport; synchronized swimming fostered the team spirit. Being part of a team, learning to set and reach goals together has served me well in my professional business life.
Like many coaches I get asked why I do it; Yes, I love the sport, I like the competition athletics provide, it’s fun, but what I have come to understand most is that coaching as a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Watching a young swimmer struggle to make a lap across the pool or hold up a ballet leg, and then spend hours working to master the task is a form of growth. Observing a girl that is shy come out of her shell and interact with her teammates, watching a swimmer take responsibility for her gear instead of having a parent do it, cheering as a swimmer earns her first medal than her next and the one after that, observing her choreograph her first hybrid or routine; the opportunities for growth are endless. As a coach, the rewards I gain are as substantial as those gained by the swimmers and none are marked with medals or ribbons but the hugs and thank yous are amazing. Knowing that I have an opportunity to mentor and participate in the lives of these girls is awesome and awe inspiring.