What It Means To Be A Coach, Micah Larsen
As part of #CoachesAre month, every week we will be having swim coaches write pieces on What It Means To Be A Coach. Coach Micah Larsen is an athlete member and also coaches for a high school team. If you'd like to be featured, please send an email here.
My journey with swimming started as a child with a novice team at my town’s local tennis club. Our team’s swim practices overlapped with the club team practices and every day the club coach would approach me and encourage me to join the club program. I was a painfully shy little girl and I don’t think I ever said a word to him all the times that he would ask if I wanted to swim for his team. However, my dad ended up talking to the coach for me. My dad absolutely loved to watch me swim, so, before I knew it, I was competing on the club team and dedicating all my time to the sport of swimming.
A year after I graduated college, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and given a life expectancy of six months; I immediately moved home once I found out. I wasn’t looking for work, nor did I have any idea what my life would hold in the upcoming months, when I received a phone call about coaching the local high school swim team. It was that very call that changed my life.
I was recommended for the position, had an interview and became the new head coach of the Kennewick Lady Lions Swim Team. Unfortunately, my dad passed away one month before the season started, however I am grateful he was there to prepare me for my interview and when I got the call offering me the position.
I immediately bonded with my swimmers. Their positive attitudes and passion brought light to my grief. I spent every afternoon with 15 girls in bright, multi-colored swim suits, singing, dancing and laughing. With an environment like that, it was impossible to have a bad day.
I watched this tiny team work with undying spirit through every cold and rainy dual meet, and every Saturday morning practice to eventually win three district titles and take the largest team in school history to state. Not everyone has the willpower and the mindset it requires to be a swimmer, perhaps that’s why swimmers bond for life.
I was overcome with pride for these girls and the work they put into a sport that they loved. But even more than that, I was eternally grateful for their unknowing support during one of the hardest times of my life. I am honored to be a part of the swimming community and I can’t wait to see where this journey continues and leads me.