Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Value of Community

We went to a colleague’s Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday. It was an eye opener. It clearly exposed the value of and need for community in our lives that sports generate.
Craig Carson was honored at the 28th Annual Liberty Union High School District Athletic Hall of Fame for his decades of service to his community as a high school swim coach. Inducted with him were several athletes, supporters and community members who each in their own fashion helped make the high school sport experience one that had tremendous value for a variety of reasons.
None of these athletes eventually became professional players let alone Olympians. Yet each clearly discussed how much the process of learning and playing, coaching and supporting high school sports meant then and means now to them. We witnessed a few tears and lots of laughter and much gratitude. It was an entirely energizing experience to witness.
There are many such Hall of Fame institutions, often associated with schools and some with a variety of Associations and of course the professional Halls. What struck us were at the local level the impact sports and coaching had made. It reminded us that as swim coaches we still have value to add to people’s lives regardless of how fast they swim. Watching the festivities the other evening made us realize that in our sport times really don’t matter all that much…sure they do at various points in time. However, in our experience the real value comes from the team – the coaches and teammates and supporters (usually parents).
We think that while the record boards we all keep have their purpose perhaps an even better measure of our team’s growth and influence would be a HOF. Some teams have been around for decades; there surely are HOF candidates from those decades. When you recognize them you instantly give credit to the process of your team’s value…
And make no mistake; humans love recognition; we thrive on it. We treasure being a recognized member of our community.
Have a great day at the pool…a Hall of Fame Day!

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