Thanks Mom!

2014 SectionalsEver since my Mom passed in October, I get choked up during the National Anthem at events I am in attendance. Being a swim coach that is every meet. Being a basketball season ticket holder for Badger Hoops, that is ever game.

If you have ever lost someone you love, it is nearly impossible to anticipate the emotions that occur afterward. It can present itself at anytime. Usually when you least expect. For me, it is during the Star Spangled Banner.  It is pretty powerful.

Not sure if if was because Mom loved the Olympics.  Or if it was because she was at every game my brother and I were ever in.  Or if it was because she supported me like a Mom would when I started coaching.  Probably all of the above.

Fast forward to this past Saturday.  The meet was at Greenfield, and their high school Pep Band came into the pool area to play before the meet started.  I wiped away a couple tears as I stated at the flag as they played.

The meet went on.  And we swam better than we had all season.  Everything we had talked about doing – we did.  Kids were swimming lifetime bests and doing things that they had never done before.  Almost everything was perfectly executed.  We performed well enough that we tied a team that beat us 4 teams already this season.

Never have been one to “dedicate” a performance or effort to someone but I know deep down in my heart that my Mom was there this past Saturday.  Thanks Mom!!

Now onto this week and the State Championships.  I better bring a couple of Kleenex.

Finish Line

The finish line is in plain view.  We are almost done with Week 27 of 28 of what has been a great, exciting, strange ride from the very word go.  Girls High School swimming officially started August 13th of 2013, and the Boys High School season will end next weekend on the 22nd of February.  And let me tell you there has been a ton in between.

But on the night of WIAA State, then we will have 24 Hours of Happiness and maybe a night to relax 🙂

The question I get asked the most since this is my first time coaching the boys team is this: Which season do you like more?

It is a tough question.  And both have their ups and downs, both have their pluses and minuses.  And maybe this year does not totally count because my daughter was on the team, but there is no easy answer.  And I probably will not give you a direct answer on this.

What I do know is that we already need to start planning for August and the start of the Girls Season.  Just had an open house with the incoming freshman and talked to them about the season.  When two seasons takes exactly half of a year to complete, there is really only about 6 months to plan for the upcoming season.

It is a journey, not a destination.

Already talking to the potential captains for the fall.  Already talking about creating covenants with the boys for next winter.  Putting finishing touches on the schedule for the fall.  Talking about bringing back the Northstar Invite for the boys.

So although the meet and day to day practices will be over soon.  The seasons really never end.

Something a Little Different

Since August of 1991, I have been doing something that I knew I would always enjoy: Coach student/athletes.

Don’t get me wrong, there are ups and downs to coaching.  Sacrificing family commitments, missing Badger Football games, golf outings turned down come to mind.  But the positives have always out weighed those minor inconveniences.  Being invited to weddings, graduation parties, having athletes come back and tell you that they are glad they were part of one of my teams.WNKMP

Now, for the first time ever, starting in November, I will be attempting something new and different: coaching a Men’s Team.

23 seasons of Women’s Coaching, and now it will be 1 for Men’s.  The previous coach made a decision to spend more time with her baby and new family, so I was asked to so it.

Met with some of the young Men on Sunday as they stopped in at Contact Days.  Very excited and very honored to asked.

Nothing says complete insanity like 28 straight weeks of coaching high school swimming 🙂