We had our annual swim-a-thon event today where we raise money for our team by doing laps and having sponsors sign up with pledges. You probably know how this works so we won't go over it here.
One of our parents had a great idea. Let's have some parent relays and have each swimmer sponsor themselves for "$X" amount per relay. It was an idea that took off like wild fire. We set it up 10 days ago and ended up with four relays, 16 people, who were willing to swim a 50 from the blocks. Turns out that while some have actually been off a starting block years ago, for some it was the first time. And we can tell you that putting parents up there was an eye opener - for them and us!
Many of you think you know how a swimmer feels when they stand on a starting block but until you actually do it yourself you cannot fully comprehend the situation.
To begin with, the platform isn't all that big. And it is up in the air. And it is tilted downward. And there are people watching. And they are making noise. And they are calling your name. And suddenly you become aware of the increased level of expectation, yours and theirs...and, well you get the drift here.
We think every team needs to have a "Parent Night" if nothing else where the parents participate in a friendly relay competition. Today we did a 200 medley and then a 200 free relay. We actually did the 200 free relay as 8x25 since it came 5 minutes after the normal medley relay.
The kids had a hoot. One of our fathers actually held the American Record in the 200IM while at USC - many years ago. Some of the parents had never been off a block before. As we are fond of saying, racers come in all shapes and sizes. We made it all work and the place was going crazy. We raised a few extra dollars but equally important, we raised a few parents' eyebrows in regards to what their swimmer goes through up on the blocks.
And you should have heard all the disclaimers beforehand...could write a short book with those in hand!
Tons of fun had by all...some of the kids even got their parent's splits...and in case you are wondering, no, we don't keep team records for these events!