It is with mixed feelings that I am stepping down as head coach of the Estes Park Swim Club today. I was hoping that my children would love swimming on a team as much as I did, and that I could help to make the club more robust and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, neither of those hopes has been fulfilled.
In spite of my best effort to convince her to continue, my daughter quit swimming last October. Since then, she has been spending more than eight hours each week sitting in the bleachers while I coach. Now my son has decided to “take a break from swimming.” He says he might swim again in middle school next fall. While I am disappointed, I want my children to choose their own extra-curricular activities, not mine. However, I cannot justify coaching if neither of my children are swimming on the team.
I also recognize that I might not be the right fit as a coach for this team. I was a very focused swimmer, and very competitive. Most of our swimmers are not very competitive. In fact, many of them don’t even participate in meets. I think it is great that the kids are in the water and learning swimming skills. They are all getting stronger, and there are many benefits to the work they are doing. But most of them are not interested in competition, which is where my heart lies in this sport. It is difficult for me to let go of my own competitiveness, though I have tried, to be a more relaxed and fun coach. So I think my stepping down my be in the best interest of the team. Hopefully a more fun-loving coach can be found who will better fit the culture of the team.
I have truly enjoyed getting to know the Otters. They are a good bunch of kids. I will miss seeing them every day. I hope that my children will reconsider and re-join the team some time in the future. If they do, I will certainly be a very supportive parent. But if they choose a different path, I will support them in that choice as well.
Goodbye, Otters. I hope that you all continue to swim, have fun, support each other, and strive to be the best that you can be. I will always be cheering for you in my heart!