Speaking of Sophie crying…
How about some tact? Sophie’s 8. Probably not the best race strategist. A tad inconsistant at times. But cute as hell.
At our recent meet Sophie had a mini brain fart and decided to use catch up free style for her race. A great drill but a sure fire way to add a second and a half to a 25. It worked and she did.
She usually gets first for 8 and under on our team, this landed her in third. Not the end of the world. Remember, she is 8.
The only problem is, there are two graduated relays at the end of the meet, made up of the two fastest freestylers in everything BUT 15-18. Sophie was swimming the A relay weekly with her sister Grace. She obviously got bumped down and to add insult to injury, Sarah pulled out a second for the team and made the B relay.
I give Sophie credit she was a good sport. She put her arms around me and cheered for both of her sisters. Her lower lip was a little more prominent than usual and the cheering was very muffled. The world had not ended though. Yet.
After the relay, the assistant head coach scooped up the little girl who swam the A relay for 8 and under, twirled her around and said “I am so proud of you”. Right in front of sad face Sophie. Who them sobbed.
Honestly, I would not have cared BUT in this particular case I was annoyed. Neither of the head coaches even noticed Sophie had not swam correctly. They did not talk to her before or after her race. I was the one who broke it to her that she had been bumped from her relay. And no one ever picked her up and twirled her around after her first relay. Oh but the little girl who beat her (and to be fair she did in fact beat her AND deserved the spot) happens to also swim for these two coaches year round.
Favoritism has been troubling our summer team for years. I didn’t notice it the first few years because we actually swam for them year round until last year. It is easy to turn a blind eye when favoritism is in your favor. To be favor, I think there is favoritism on all swim teams – and everything else in life for that matter.
This is turning out to be a great life lesson for the girls. They are witnessing first hand what it is like to be the underdog. Grace gets first in her age group in everything but watches the second place swimmer get the congrats. Sarah is swimming for her life against another swimmer to secure a spot for fly and the coaches are pulling for the other swimmer. Sophie could swim with floaties on and nobody would notice. We are putting the “I” in swim this summer.
It is a fantastic position to be in. I could let shit like this piss me off but is it really worth it? In the end we love our girls best. Twirling is for ballerinas. Ring Pops are for swimmers.