Tribute to and from Tracy Mason, 2022 Team Rep

Yesterday’s Cory Young All Star meet officially closed the planned activities for our fantastic summer swim season. As you may have heard, I suffered an ironic twist, as the person in charge of our team’s risk and COVID protocols; in mid-July, I caught COVID after attending a large association conference. 

(Yes, I was masked most of the time but I learned it only takes one unmasked lunch to spread this pesky variant which meant I had to unexpectedly quarantine for the banquet and divisionals and for the week leading up to All Stars to not put our swimmers at risk). 
Fortunately, our team’s SafeKids, concussion, and COVID protocols are in place to keep our swim families safe and I very much thank all of you who had to follow them this season.
Speaking of thanks, I was so very touched by the time, effort, and sentiment embodied within the Tribute video the team made for me. And for the cards, flowers, gifts and talks we've had together. Thank you for making me feel so appreciated. You each aptly described what it takes to lead our team. I hope I did you justice.
Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it yet.
You each explained why leadership roles in our Swim Team community group are so important and can make a difference in others’ lives. It shows why serving our community in this way has a ripple effect for so many for years to come.
I had some thank you remarks also prepared for the banquet but thanks to my remote status and the wind/rain storm, you may not have heard them.
It takes a village: Thank you volunteers, especially our amazing board. We really are soooo lucky!
Coaches tribute: Our coaches were beyond awesome. I'm so glad each of them gave their time, talents and shared their love of swim with our community.
Swimmer inspiration: It's OK to talk to your swimmers to help them prepare for their races. I tried to do this on deck a lot. That's how I got to know your kids. I learned about their dreams, their fears, and watched them try their hardest...I would 'go crazy' when they were victorious, and encouraged them when we both knew they had it in them to do just that little bit more.
Just ask them how they're feeling. Help them set goals. Cheer each other on—don’t hold back—encourage them to dream big things and go do them. And when you see a swimmer do something spectacular...congratulate them, and their families. That is the true joy of the sport, when they achieve something important to them. A first time in the water, first 25, 50 with a flip turn, making all stars, or even breaking a record (one of my top 5 summer swim moments of all time was our girl's relay this year. I will never forget their faces when they knew they did it).
I will treasure the friendships made both on and off deck and can’t wait to watch our amazing Sharks swimmers continue to bravely shine. 
Thank you for your thoughtfulness and for sharing your summer with the Chase Club Sharks.
Goooooo, Sharks! 
Tracy Mason
Chase Club Sharks 2021 and 2022 Team Rep