My Favorite Swimming Memories from Childhood:
1. The sunshine at my neighborhood pool.
2. Staying after practice to play ping-pong until lunchtime.
3. Throwing a hundred kickboards in the deep-end with the “cool coach”.
4. Racing and trying to beat the boys older than me (they were my brother’s friends!)
5. Getting to “swim-up” on relays with the older boys.
6. My parents saying, “I enjoyed watching you swim today, that looked like fun!”
7. The great feeling of going a best time (but rarely remembering the time itself).
8. The great feeling of racing, and beating, teammates, friends, and competitors. And shaking hands.
9. My summer swim club’s “post-meet” restaurant and the ice cream they served.
Swimming Memories from Childhood I Never had:
1. The score to any swim meet in which I’ve ever participated. Ever.
2. What I did with my ribbons after a swim meet.
3. How many ribbons I received.
4. Any connection between a trophy and the thrill of racing (I always opted for the towel over the trophy).
5. Swimming in order “to make my parents proud” (they already were, regardless of swimming).
6. Thinking about athletic scholarship implications after a good swim (I didn’t know what a scholarship was at 10 years old).
I was fortunate to be a part of a swim club where I was surrounded by teammates, parents, and coaches, that, by-and-large, created a positive atmosphere for our community. Swim meets unite communities. What memories will your young swimmers have?