September 24, 2018
Last Thursday was an incredible beginning to our competitive swimming events! The first impressive thing was how many members and families were there to be a part of it. We had exactly 50% of our athlete members competing in the swim meet, and they all brought their family and fans to cheer them on.
For a majority of the athletes, the goal was to compete in a long distance Butterfly event. And for many of our younger developing athletes, we aimed to get them experience swimming in a competitive environment with some shorter, manageable events. In total, we had 20 athletes compete in the longest distance Butterfly race for their age group for the first time ever, and in total, the participating athletes had 64% personal best times. That is a fantastic result in our first competitive event of this season!
There were a few moments during our competition that elicited strong positive emotions from me as I watched from the side of the pool. The first was how strong of a presence our high school athletes had at the end of the pool when they were cheering on the younger swimmers. Second, I saw a young man have a difficult time completing a Butterfly event; he stopped for a moment in the middle of the pool and I thought he may “throw in the towel” and get out of the pool right then. But he took a look at some coaches on the side of the pool, took one full breath, and continued to swim and finish the race. We celebrated the decision that he made in the middle of the pool; to continue. And lastly, I watched an even younger female athlete become overwhelmed with the long distance backstroke race that she was speeding through. She decided to climb out of the pool before she finished, and she was noticeably upset. But there were two of our coaches with her immediately to remind her that she was still going to visit the “Prize Table” and we will help her with her backstroke endurance at practice. The young girl found her smile again, visited the prize table, and swam another event later on in the competition.
I am highly encouraged by the amount of work and perseverence I saw at the pool last Thursday, and that was only 60 minutes of competitive swimming action. But, I am even more thrilled to see how our total team works together and interacts in a helpful way for one another, and they found a way to enjoy this event and have fun on a Thursday night at the pool!
Our next Developmental Meet is on October 25th, and we aim to have all athletes swimming a long distance Freestyle race. I look forward to seeing a strong support group in the bleachers and an incredible volunteer group on the pool deck. Keep up the great work, Boilermaker Aquatics!