By Mike Gustafson//Contributor | Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Being a swim coach can be incredibly rewarding. Swim coaches mold young humans into better humans. Swim coaches make people swim faster. Swim coaches teach athletes the tools they need not only to succeed in sport, but in life.
But when was the last time you thanked your swim coach?
Sadly, there is no National Swim Coach Day. So, instead, if you’re one of those lucky swimmers who know a swim coach who gives as much effort as possible into making your team great, tell that coach thanks. Doesn’t have to be a big present. Doesn’t have to be a big production. Could just be a simple, “Thank you, Coach.”
As if you need more reasons to find an excuse to thank your swim coach, here are 12 more…
1. Because swim coaches don’t let you slack off.
A lot of people in this world will let you not try your best. Swim coaches won’t. Swim coaches want you to not only try your best, but always give your best, no matter what.
2. Swim coaches are always cheering for you.
Even when it’s 10pm on a Friday night and it’s the last heat of the mile, your swim coach is there, standing poolside, stopwatch in hand, cheering you on.
3. Think going to a 3-day swim meet is hard? Try coaching one.
While it may not look physically exhausting to be on one’s feet all day for several days straight in a hot, humid pool, it is. Especially when you’re gathering splits, mentoring swimmers, alleviating anxieties, and coaching the heck out of your swim team.
4. Swim coaches are not necessarily doing it for the money.
Swim coaches are generally not multi-millionaires. The reasons why people get into swim coaching do not include one day owning a private jet. Coaches coach because they love the sport, and love teaching.
5. They always try to keep practices interesting.
Swim practices can be monotonous. Staring at a black line. Going back and forth for hours on end. It’s hard to do, and sometimes, it’s hard to coach. Here’s a shout out to those coaches who go to that extra effort to keep practice interesting.
6. They arrive early and leave late.
I once knew a college professor who always arrived ten minutes late. Swim coaches don’t do that. Swim coaches are there early and leave late; it’s like they live at the pool even more than you do.
7. Often, swim coaches care more about your swimming than you do.
Maybe this isn’t true all the time, but I’ve certainly noticed it’s true many times. Swim coaches care about your performances and training even when you don’t, even when you might want to give up or quit.
8. Swim coaches listen and have the insight of a therapist.
Coaches aren’t just coaches; they’re also teachers. Coaches often listen to their swimmers’ questions and worries, then coach them through those.
9. Swim coaches have photographic minds that remember your 11-year-old 50-butterfly split from years ago.
I still don’t know how coaches can remember these times. But they do.
10. Many coaches have been swimmers themselves… and have done the practices they now give to you.
Most of my coaches were swimmers in their competitive days, and often, many of them finished practices that were way harder than they gave to us. That said, it’s nice that coaches have that competitive experience, and that first-hand insight into how to be a successful swimmer.
11. Swim coaches are mind readers.
I don’t know how, but swim coaches just know what their team is thinking. If someone is nervous about an upcoming race. If the team is slacking off. If someone is distracted. They just know, and they use that intuition to guide the team towards a better practice, meet, and season.
12. Swim coaches don’t want thank-yous, but it would still make their day.
Like teachers, coaches just don’t get enough accolades in this world. They don’t do the job for the thanks, but giving a nice, simple, “Thanks, Coach,” can make it all worthwhile. For being a mentor, teacher, drill instructor, therapist, magician, comedian, motivational speaker, and supporter, thanks for all you do, Coach.