Thursday, July 01, 2010

Herding Cats

I got to try my hand today at something new: coaching kids! I have worked with a few younger swimmers before, mostly teens who want one-on-one stroke instruction. But I've never tried to give stroke instruction to an entire kids' swim team before. Let me just say that I have a whole NEW level of respect for kids' coaches in general, and my daughter's swim coaches in particular. That is some hard work. It's difficult to explain complicated stroke mechanics in a way that kids can understand, and more importantly will want to try to do. It's actually hard enough just to be heard with 30 or 40 kids, many of whom are bobbing up and down in the water and some of whom are chattering. My voice is very hoarse now.

The one thing that went over well was having them count strokes and try to reduce their stroke count. After doing the catch-up drill, most of them were able to reduce their stroke count and they were all excited to tell me their numbers. Coaching them is not something I'll be doing on a regular basis (this was just a one-hour stroke clinic), but it was cool to have the opportunity to work with them today. More than anything, I love how excited they are to be swimming and how hard they're willing to work at it. In a way, I can picture them as the Master's swimmers of the future, decades from now I hope they'll still be loving it the way I do.

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