Just say it…

“I hear you have a secret”

I was picking Sarah and Sophie up from practice the other day and a parent approached me with an odd grin on her face and said this to me. I hadn’t seen her since the season started and I knew exactly what she meant – but I decided to play her game. I responded “no I don’t”. She hemmed and hawed and finally got to the point. Grace left RMSC. Not a secret. This type of behavior annoys me. And I see a lot of it. Or more so, the behavior that causes people to ask questions in a less than direct way.

People don’t hesitate to brag about their children’s accomplishments in school, sports or in general. But as my kids get older I find it increasingly more difficult to get a straight answer out of people about where their kid swims.

I spent the better part of the spring and summer attempting to talk to people about their kids swim club and/or groups. I was asking simple questions. How many kids are in the group, when do they practice, what is the dry land like, do you like it, does your kid like it? I was surprised by how ambivalent people are about their programs. I don’t for one second believe that they are truly ambivalent, it is more of a perceived ambivalence. I sensed Grace was going to make a move and with time on our hand I wanted to mKe an informed decision.

I don’t really understand it. I think people feel like they are giving away trade secrets if the say too much about their program. I have always been an open book. I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Is it really a secret how many practices your kid goes to a week?

A major deciding factor in choosing the group and club we did was based on conversations we had with other parents. Everyone we talked to spoke highly of the coach, the group of kids and the other parents. I made this decision with confidence. After chatting with a mom who had kids swimming for both RMSC and NCAP, we were sold. She convinced us that our master plan would work.

Once we made the decision I was really surprised how many people expressed disappointment that we didn’t move to “their” site or club. I gently reminded them of conversations we had over the summer, conversations that led to no where.

Maybe I under complicate things. It’s just swimming. I’ll tell you anything you want to know about the groups my kids are in or have been in. I have this mentality that we are all in it together. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about successes, failures, fears and accomplishments. I like having people I can talk to, run ideas by and brains I can pick. It’s hard to find that. It shouldn’t be.

I don’t fault that mom for asking me about Grace’s change in club affiliation in such an odd manner. We have taught ourselves that we can’t simply ask the question.

I’m not a rule follower. Ask me a question. I’ll answer it. We are all just parents trying to do the best for our children. Opening up to each other, being honest about fears and concerns and being open and honest with each other can be very liberating.

So no, it isn’t a secret. Grace moved. But I will let you in on a secret. She loves it. She is happy. And smiling again. That makes me happy,

2 thoughts on “Just say it…

  1. Glad to hear that your daughter is loving swimming again!
    I would agree with you that people tend to hold things close to the chest unless there is some perceived benefit to them. It is somewhat frustrating but at the same time understandable.

  2. I don’t get all the secrecy. Swimming is the one sport where I can basically find anything I want about the history of a swimmer in a matter of minutes. And now that all teams embrace the internet I can easily find out the practice schedules and number of them. And what meets the team went to and is going to.

    What you can’t find out is if the coach is a jerk. Are the kids in the practice group jerks as well. It can also be hard to really understand how the coach trains the swimmers.

    I don’t know why people like to keep things under wrap so much. Of course I would prefer less crowded lanes in practice, but I also know we need a certain amount of paying customers to keep afloat.

    I sent a person that is somewhat a friend 2 really long emails comparing our team to their current team because we used to be on their team. In my eyes it is a free country and for the most part whether your kid swims on our team or not doesn’t really affect my kid.

    Kids come and go from teams. It is part of life. In swimming it isn’t that big of a deal because team points aren’t a big deal. For the most part we aren’t going to suck now that Jane left the team.

    I do believe once a kid hit 11 or 12 it is fair for the kid to get to meet the new coach before making the decision.

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