Doing The Right Thing

FlowersLast Thursday for our dual meet, we had Family Night.

In the past it was called Parents Night. But because the culture of what makes up a support system has changed int eh past 5 to 10 years, we have moved to calling it Family Night. It is a night where the student/athlete recognizes the person or people that are supporting them this season OR for the past 4 or in some cases ever since they started swimming at a very early age.

This year we put two little twists on it.

First, we invited the opposing team to participate.  Sounds a little odd, but the opposing team does not have a pool, and thus has no home meets.  I learned a long time ago when I was coaching at DSHA that being “road warriors” all the time for practice and meets is a struggle. We had contacted the other coach a couple weeks ago and asked them to participate.

We had the girls from Catholic Memorial introduce their families and the girls were able to give them a flower as a sign of their “thanks”.

The second thing was something that I learned from the old North soccer coach.  He had his players write a note to the support system. A note to show them that they were really thinking about what that person means to them. I printed up blank letterhead for both North and Kettle Moraine and handed it to the girls on Tuesday to have done by the meet on Thursday.

I had called my Dad over the weekend and asked him if her was coming out to the meet this week since he has been to a good number of our home meets. He said he was.

Michelle was busy chasing Luke around from Vex to Choir to this and to that, and I was busy organizing the girls to get the mid pool event complete.  So, when Anna got to the microphone, she said that Grandpa Roger was there to support her. She gave him a letter that she wrote to him.

But both my Dad and I, as well as Anna, knew that this was really for my Mom. She would be so excited to see how Anna has developed into such a talented and smart your lady.

When the 10 minute program was over, my Dad called me over.  He said thanks and that was really nice.  He did not need to say anymore because I knew exactly what he was thinking.

Time Goes Fast

Hard to believe that at this time last year the team I coach was displaced from our home location because of the Big Gym Fire of 2013.  And there was a strange twist of events that occurred after that.

We practiced the entire month at our cross town rivals pool during the week, and our other in town rival on Saturdays.  That was a strange feeling.

Our first home meet was moved to a neutral site. That site was West Allis Central High School.  Right on the edge of Milaukee.

It would be close enough for my Mom and Dad to stop in and see me.  But more importantly see their only grand daughter swim.

My parents came to the meet.  I talked to my parents briefly before the meet started. My Dad knows that meets are a little hectic and that I have other responsibilities as the Head Coach.  So, in typical fashion, he made me go back over by my team.

After Anna’s first swim I sent her down to talk to my parents.  Not a normal process that I would normally allow for freshman swimming in only their second meet.  But sometimes being in charge has its perks.

That was the last time we got to talk to my Mom.

She had a stroke that night.  Slipped into a coma for a while.  Then was in an assisted living center.  She passed away on October 17th.

We are going to bury her ashes this Thursday.  A number of circumstances had prevented us from doing so until now.

It will always make the start of the season tough knowing she will not be around to watch.

Miss you Mom!