Jonathon's Closet

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Learning Experience

As they walked into the small (only 6 lanes), poorly maintained and dimly lit pool area, the entire team came to a halt. They appeared rather surprised by their surroundings as they walked to the "away team's" bench area and began to prepare for the meet. When the "home team" appeared on deck, our swimmers looked positively unnerved. Although their opponent looked very casual (no uniforms), our team was clearly outnumbered 3-1! They looked around nervously and began to chatter amongst themselves.

The meet was terribly unorganized. The hosting team leadership was completely unprepared. They even had difficulty locating the roster of events. And 25 minutes after the meet was to have started, they announced that only 1 of their 6 timers was there - and could the timers for our team please come down to the pool deck to fill in! (So much for my chance to simply sit back and watch!)

During warm ups, our swimmers struggled with the starting blocks - they were old, small, and very wobbly. Too small for several of our swimmers to take their normal starting positions! There were no touch pads at the pool ends and the pool was clearly in need of a cleaning. (Usually when I'm on deck, I'm barefoot- it beats wearing wet shoes home! - but NO WAY was I taking my shoes off on THAT deck!)

The opposing teams adults were friendly and pleasant, and it was very obvious that they cared about the kids. The kids were friendly and courteous - although just a little difficult to work with, as many of them didn't speak English well and struggled to find their lanes and events. They had 3 outstanding swimmers who really gave us a run for the money (Jona swam against 2 of them in a 50 free - swam a personal best - and placed 3rd behind these 2 boys!) but we weren't outmatched, merely outnumbered.

Jona spends a lot of time complaining about "how much better life would be" if his Dad were still alive. (He's right, it would be - in SO MANY WAYS) But I suspect that this experience demonstrated to him that things aren't as bad as he seems to think - all in all, he's got it pretty good! We chatted on the way home, and Jona seemed pretty impressed by his own team's facilities - and surprised by the fact that the pool we just left "didn't even have the big screens to announce events, lane assignments, and results". Uh - yeah, kid - all that state-of-the-art technology is expensive!!!


  • Sometimes it is good to see the flip side.

    Take care xx

    By Blogger Britmum, at 1:51 PM  

  • We have the luxury of using one of the local High Schools facilities. Our kids get the same type of experience going to some of our opponents. I think it is good for them to see it.
    Thanks for the comment on our blog. I call her our little miracle since the Dr's didn't know if I could have children! BAD case of endometriosis!

    By Blogger Julie, at 7:45 PM  

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