Friday, August 17, 2012

3rd Place County

I meant to detail that Chloe represented her summer swim team at the County Championships in the 7-8 year old freestyle relay last week. They came in 3rd in the county and they each got a trophy.

The county championships was a bit of an eye opener for me. Chloe has swam competitively for the last year and I knew there were kids out there that were super fast. But, her fall and winter swim league, while super competitive, is heavily regulated and the rules are followed by all teams to the letter. No, the county championships opened my eyes to pushy, tiger parenting, sandbagging by coaches (under-representing a kids time or not officially entering a team because they "didn't know if they would all be able to compete on that date") and kids that look like they are on steroids. And this was the championships for kids UNDER the age of 11.

Let me just first point out that Chloe's relay group,  these four girls in the photo above, won every relay by a large margin in our regular summer swim meets. So, their coach expected them to place, frankly, will all did. And, they did place in 3rd and that is fantastic and we were all very happy.

Especially when you consider the competition. They were against a team that looked like they were from the East German Olympic program from the 1980s. I had to go ask Chloe's coach to clarify that those four girls were eight years old. Wasn't this an 11 and under competition? They had to be teenagers. I taught middle school---these kids HAD to be in at least 8th grade!! One of the girls had to have worn a larger bra size than ME. Not even kidding. The East Germans came in 1st place and the 2nd place team wasn't even listed as a competitor on the roster. I learned coaches from other swim clubs pretend not to be able to get  their rosters in to the county coordinators as a way to do a sneak attack on the other swim teams. How sportsmanlike.

The county championships featured the best swimmers from all the county swim clubs in each respective category and man, were there "tiger parents" galore. It seems today, or at least in our area, that no parent wants to outwardly display being a "tiger mom" or "tiger dad". Oh, but they were there. I saw several non-chalant tiger parenting. My favorite, was displayed from one mom on our swim team whose son swam in two events. In public she acted all chill and laid back, telling her son to relax and "have fun, cause that's why we are here." But, she was displaying a totally different attitude when I slipped out to go to the car and retrieve a beach chair. She had her son by the elbow, with one finger in his face, both safely tucked near the hedge rows by the swim club exit telling him he needed to do a better start and push off and that he needed to "count the strokes to keep a winning tempo". Yea, mom, we're all here just for fun. He ended up coming in first place in the county and I had to roll my eyes when she acted completely surprised and shocked. "Wow, I didn't know he had it in him!" Whatever. She than began to name the dates and location of the state meet he would represent the county in.

I'm off to the grocery store to buy chicken laced with growth hormones and to then to sign Chloe up for private swim lessons to shave 3-5 seconds off her butterfly. {That's a joke BTW}

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