Grace has finally “manned” up and decided to move up to the National Training Group in the spring. She has spent most of this season on the fence as to where she wanted to go. She is very lucky to be in a position to decide. A lot of kids have to spend time in Advanced Seniors before moving up – moving to NTG’s the spring prior to your freshman year in high school is a pretty big deal. Grace was the only one who thought going to Advanced Seniors was a good idea.
And it turns out she had very good reason for thinking this.
Her current coaches asked to have a meeting with us this past weekend, to discuss the next few weeks, a critical time in her training, the spring Championship meet is just around the corner. They asked that both mom and dad attend.
I’m a bit of a talker and I like to control conversations. It was very clear from the get go that this wasn’t going to happen today. As a matter of fact, the few things I did attempt to add were really pointless. I could have played on my phone. Sometimes my husband surprises me. He has been a swimmer his whole life yet is really hands off with their swimming. I’m the one who goes to everything. I thought I knew everything.
What I really know are the logistics of the sport. Where we need to go, what we need to take and what time we need to be there. Despite the fact that I go to every meet and every practice, I had no idea Grace was swimming scared. After the last meet I just thought she was swimming bad. Turns out she is scared and running away from the very thing that scares her the most. Success. She believes it is easier to fail and say she knew it all along than it is to say I’m going to succeed. And maybe fail. Between the coaches and dad, they were able to convince her that she needed to get her “head out of her ass” and she needed to believe in herself. Me? I just sat there.
I really don’t care that I didn’t have anything productive to add to the meeting. Or that I really don’t know anything about swimming. All three of my girls know that they have two parents who support them 100%. I’m the tough one when it comes to practice. They go and it isn’t up for debate. I expect them to work hard and be polite to the coaches. My husband has the upper hand in pushing them to succeed at their goals. In the end, they need both. They also know we love them unconditionally and our expectations never exceed reality.
I’m paying attention though. I have known from the beginning of the season that Grace was afraid to go into the NTG’s. I didn’t know why but now I do. As the logistics coordinator I’m now onto her – she understands now that this is the right group for her – and I’ll do my part, drive her there.
She is so close to making Sectionals in several events. I think she finally understands it is no longer a matter of IF. It’s just a WHEN. And as soon as she makes it, it will be all but a forgotten memory. All the tears and failed attempts – she will have those sectionals cuts. And then will want Junior Nationals…I foresee many more meetings.
My husband is an amazing swim dad. I’m the vocal one and he doesn’t get enough credit. I can rent him out if you need some good advice, I have some expensive suits to buy.