My granddaughter, Ivy, and I went to our first out-of-town swimming carnival together. The event, for junior schools in and around Goulburn, was held at the Yass Memorial Swimming Pool (also know as the Yass Olympic Swimming Pool).
Ivy’s home pool is 18 metres, Yass is 50.
We had the best part of two hours in the car across country to chat, talk about excitement and nerves.
Ivy has had the good fortune of having swimming lessons with Sharon Blinco at Braidwood. This has given her a great technical introduction to swimming.
We arrived early enough for Ivy to have a ‘warm up’ swim. It was a cold start but Ivy had an opportunity to come to terms with a finishing wall that was 32 metres further than her home pool.
Ivy was swimming in the 50 metres freestyle early in the event. I mentioned to her what ‘marshalling’ was and asked her to look at the start of a couple of races to make sure she was aware of being called to the start and the signal to start.
Whilst Ivy was off with her school friends, I watched some of the early relay races. I saw three swimmers who got me thinking how I might work with them. They stood out amongst their peers.
The coaching feeling I had was about how I might structure their learning environments and how Ivy would flourish in their company through observational learning and conversation.
For a while I was off exploring that coaching feeling. Then it was Ivy’s race.
She swam beautifully, a very long way. She was exhausted after the 50 metres but was radiant with the glow of achievement.
That set me off again about how as a coach I might induct young people into the joy of play and their journey into competition if they wished.
We stopped for pancakes on the way home. Great recovery food … but that was a conversation for another time.