The Squiggly Path by Ryan Woodruff
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The Squiggly Path  by Ryan Woodruff
(This is part of my ongoing series of articles that I am writing for the parents of my team and sharing with you here.  My hope is that they may also be able to help your team.)

  A few years ago, the father of a swimmer I was coaching asked for a meeting.  His daughter's performance had taken a turn for the worse in my first six months on the job and he wanted to discuss it.  He was the CFO of a local corporation, and as such was definitely a 'numbers guy'.  At the outset of the meeting, he put a spreadsheet in front of me.  It laid out his plan -- his daughter would need to improve 3.02 seconds in the 500 free each week over the next 8 weeks and then she would be at her goal. He had it mapped out to the hundredth of a second and asked me what I thought.
  Like most things in life, the athletic performance just doesn't work this way.  Swimmers may experience periods of consistent success punctuated by setbacks.  You will probably attend a meet where your swimmer does amazingly well and one where he leaves very disappointed.  There will be fast swims when it doesn't make any sense (she had the flu last week!) and slow swims when it does.
  The path to success is never linear.  Patience will be a requirement. There will be ups and downs, twists, and turns. As a parent, watching your swimmer on this path can be difficult at times.  But with your unflagging support, the squiggly path will make a strong traveler.