Former competitive swimmer, abuse survivor, trying to make the world a better place-one day at a time.

Letter From Swim Parent Part 3

I have been fortunate to have opportunities to work at high level meets.  My kids have participated in various capacities at these meets too. Working at high level meets is a chance to see great swimming and participate as something other than a swimmer or swim parent.  Before one of the championship meets, I received a text from the person who is a friend and was also working at the event.She asked if I was available to talk and I said yes I was. She called to tell me that there “was tension” between me and the ex coach’s swimmers from her swimmers.  I had to take a deep breath to keep from laughing because the friend had much better things to do than worry about “tension”.  She asked if it would be ok if I didn’t work with the excoach’s kids and move into another area for that night.  I agreed out of respect for my friend.

In December of 2018, my son was picked to be part of an all-star team of swimmers for our state.  He was doing very well in the boys 13-14 age group.  He wanted to be chosen and worked hard to get the opportunity.  When the roster of coaches was sent, I laughed … the LSC picked the ex coach to be the coach for the 11-12 year old age group.  A year earlier I would have fallen apart and gotten very angry, but not this year, not anymore.  I had to find satisfaction that she was the coach for the 11-12 year olds and not for the 13-14 year olds.  She would not be coaching my son.  She couldn’t hurt him and that brought me peace.

What I learned between June of 2015 to today is that the resilience of my kids is amazing, especially my son’s.  My son and 2 daughters,had to endure their teammates and adults turning on them because they chose to be caught up in all the drama.  My kids have persevered and are doing great.  The former head coach, other coaches and new friends I have made along the way are the ones who helped me heal as a parent and coach.The former head coach who retired in 2015 never let me feel sorry for myself, but most of all, he told me that what happened to us was not my or my family’s fault. In sports, we want our kids to learn how to be a good teammate, learn how to accept success and challenges along the way, but most of all, we want them to have fun. The bottom line is that youth sports are for the children.

I share my story with anyone who asks because this journey has been incredible and writing my story has been very cathartic as I relived the experience in sequence and I can truly move forward.  The biggest lesson I learned was who my friends are and whom I can trust.I am glad to report that we are still involved in the sport of swimming and will continue to do what we can to make our sport a safe place for everyone.

~if you’d like to share any stories about your experiences within the swimming world, please let me know so I can share them.  Please send to- ske68@icloud.com 

Sarah EhekircherComment