The Bridge: An Open Letter to Ungrateful Swim Parents, by H. Hauck

The Fitz. Swim Meet proved once again that Patton is the king of age group swim clubs, as we tripled the team score of our nearest rival. This victory was accomplished without several of the outstanding swim stars that shone so brightly last year at this same meet. Old standbys came though again, while many new winners burst into view, adding to our total triumph.

This proves conclusively that as long as Patton has a team unity under my influence we will never have to depend on one or two "super swim stars" to earn our victories. Patton as a team is a champion, and no individual, is indispensable. Swimmers come and go through Patton's championship factory, but the team continues to function and to dominate swim meets.

This editorial is directed only to the ungrateful, unthinking, parasitic parent and to those who are about to fall into this category. Patton swim club marches on without you. You are the people who came to me years ago with an uncoordinated, gangling youngster and said, "please Mr. Hauck, would you coach my child?" You are the same parents who said when your tadpoles won their first ribbon, "you have done a fine job Harry!" And you are the same folks who said to me, "you are the greatest coach in the world," when your swimmers won their first state championships. And lastly you are the same dishonorable parents who said, after your child had set numerous state and national records, "we don't like your style anymore, Hauck, and now that my kid is a polished, experienced champion--get lost."

Well, dear loyalty-lacking parent, Patton is still on top of the swimming world, and intends to stay there, without your pride and joy. For the sake of your forsaken swimmer, I hope he or she can stay on top without Patton. H. Hauck

White Water: There are two types of people in the swimming world: the capital letters and those who live in parentheses. The capital letters are the ones that stand out; they are the beginnings of sentences; they initiate activities and programs; they support the sport as well as themselves. Without them swimming is a shallow water activity--no depth, no color, no fulfillment. Patton is noted for its capital letters; we write long sentences into swimming history because we've got capital letters to write them with. We need a few exclamation marks (champions) to complete these sentences, but by itself the exclamation mark signifies nothing. It must be preceded by a sentence, and a sentence must be preceded by a capital letter. In other words, we've got a good start toward the top, we've got our capitals.

The other type of person is the one who lives in parentheses; he is confined within himself, having little direct contact with the rest of the sport. He is the swimmer who never cheers or encourages his teammates; he is the parent who looks on the program as something his son or daughter has coming to them; and usually he has a list of complaints to go along with this attitude. These parentheses slow down the sentences, they are digressions. We want to keep them at a minimum at Patton. Our growing membership is a potential of capitals and parentheses--which one are you?

Jump of the Month: Doug Webster (Fitzgerald)


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