As one year ends it really doesn’t end so much as it runs smack dab into the next one. This is the reality of the swim coach; the season never really ends so much as it morphs into the beginning of the next one carrying with it the ups and downs of the one just finished.
We have been thinking about our team for this winter 2012. We look at the names on the roster. We then assign those names to "categories". Our team may look a lot like yours. We have several kids who are "on a mission" -- meaning they have their goal firmly in sight and they are working passionately toward it on a daily basis. We have a slightly larger group who are "on the bus" -- meaning they come to nearly every workout and really work diligently in pursuit of their success. Then we have an even larger group who seem uncommitted to their success. They write down goals but that process doesn't insure that they will act on them.
This whole exercise reminds us once again of how swim teams (maybe most teams) work and of their makeup.
We have people with ordinary talent who achieve extraordinary results; very rewarding for a coach.
We have people with extraordinary talent who achieve rather ordinary results; frustrating for a coach.
We have people with extraordinary talent who achieve extraordinary results; makes a coach look better than he/she really is. If you catch "lightning in a bottle" as it were, consider yourself very fortunate indeed.
The conundrum is how do we as a coach get the ones with extraordinary talent to pursue with a passion their craft without making it "our"swim? To "babysit" them actually does them a disservice. It is their swim, their career. Our job is to expose the opportunity to them but not enable them to "get away" with wasting their talent.
We know this much for certain ... we don’t know the answers to that question with certainty ... we suppose when we do we will have a waiting list to join our team!
Here's to our mutual (coaches and swimmers alike) success in 2012!