Craig Report - Week Three
My Travels Through SAIL - 6/23/2006
Can you believe it?
We are half way through the season!
First Meet, GCC at SCR
It was HOT y'all!
I arrived as past President of SAIL, Diane Mitchell was having her Official's meeting.
As if God wanted to emphasis the points made at the meeting, a big clap of thunder roared from the east. The meet was delayed for almost 45 minutes as we all sat and slowly melted into the concrete deck. The meet began without the Relays as the first event.
As usual, the facility at Sugar Creek is one of the best in all of SAIL, plenty of deck space and the setup of the pool was excellent. They had plenty of water for the Coaches and Officials; they sorely needed it in the 90+ degree heat. My main memory of the meet was the fact that I feel OLD! Chris White, Neal Robinson, and Sara Belfore of GCC, Mallory Mitchell of SCR were just small children last week! Or is it 10 years ago? These people are now young adults, some day they will be holding Officials meetings, standing on the Deck as S&T judges, or cheering on their own children in SAIL. I bet the parents hope it's much later than the near future! They grow up so fast!
Second Meet, HL at BW
It was really HOT y'all!
Botany Woods is one of the original pools in SAIL.
Jocelyn and Rob McGowan have been the SAIL Reps at this pool for years. They have done an excellent job at Botany Woods. I was told last night that they are in their last year as SAIL Reps. They will be missed by Botany Woods and me! They have become good friends of mine!
Again, the Coaches of both teams were swimming the short events for their teams just a couple of years ago!? Well, it seems they were!
I got to see the reason SAIL is what it is last night.
They had a whole heat of 6 year olds in the short free, this was the FIRST meet for all of the six lanes! The children were a bit scared standing on the blocks, they were looking at the Coaches, Maggie Aiken was shouting encouragement, telling them to put on their goggles. The deck Ref blew the whistle, two of them jumped in! Yep, happens at every meet! They regrouped, stood on the blocks and the Starter told them to take their mark, the tone went off and off they went. Not the best form but for a 6 year old it was great, they swam about 5 yards, stopped, looked around at the Coaches and tried to find their parents, took a big breath and off they went again. It wasn't quit a legal swim, some grabbed the lane lines, they couldn't walk on the bottom because they were so short.
Now this might be against the SAIL rules, but not a single child was DQ'd! And woe unto the S&T that would raise a hand on this heat! The children finished their length and climbed out of the pool, at this moment is why I love SAIL so much. On the face of each of those swimmers developed a smile, a REAL smile. One that these kids will remember for years, they will forget this first swim as the years and many more meets erase the moment. But one thing for sure, the parents of theses kids and I will not!
This is good stuff people!
Third Meet, OF at EFDN
I think my brain is now Medium Rare. Hot? Y'all it's not getting better!
Orchard Farms was part of KB years ago, as BOK we won the Blue Division a few years ago. OF had a whole team of 8 and unders! Not really but sure seemed like it, they joined our group with about 20 members, they are now out on their own and are flourishing with the help of some good people and the team is over 60 swimmers. This year Del Norte has come back into SAIL, they were teamed up with Edwards Forest. As with OF and my team there are growing pains that must be dealt with. There is help available to any team that is new to SAIL, all you have to do is ask!
They also had a delay due to the weather, when I arrived I noticed they had a parking place for me, but sitting in my spot was a bright red car. I found Denise McCain, now let me say one thing, I really don't need a parking place. It's a nice jester by the pools, but this one I had to run with; a young man about 6 ft 2 had parked in the space. His name is Darren McMullins, Denise found him and told him that I was upset that he had taken my spot, I walked up hollering for Darren acting like I was upset. This young man looked like he had just stolen the offering plate at church! We all got a good laugh out of it! One thing about it is that the car Darren had parked in the spot was an old Ford Maverick, I had one just like it in college, brought back some good memories! Darren, your ok in my book dude!
Fourth Meet, TB at PCHM
It doesn't seem as hot anymore, but I have double vision and think I could chug the pool!
I was met at the side of the pool by David Cramer. David will be taking over the Education program for SAIL along with Kathy Still next year. Pebble Creek meets always run smoothly, and this one was no different. The Thornblade coaching staff was up on the side of the pool screaming like all the Coaches do! Rick Fairbanks is a big help with this team, he has coached at EAC for years and is lending his expertise to Thornblade. They had a delay also due to weather issues but the meet was moving very well.
I talked with the Pebble Creek Coaching staff and they had one concern that they wanted me to address. This did NOT happen at this meet, it was at a previous meet. SAIL is summer swimming; it's a time to have fun, introduce kids to competitive swimming and to build relationships. One thing that we should caution our teams and children on is the taunting and trash talking to competition team. SAIL really isn't a league where we need to let this type of behavior, that is all too prevalent in professional sport, find its way into SAIL. This isn't a big thing but we need to let our children know that this is an opportunity to meet some new friends, not to alienate them with taunts and demeaning comments on their team's ability to compete.
Fifth Meet, PMP/BMSW at WHG
Yep I did 5 last night.
Ok, I have lost 10 lbs; I have begun to smell a bit, I need an adult beverage!
I used to go to this pool in my youth; I had a girlfriend that was a Life Guard at this pool back in 1970! Good memories, she dumped me!
I walked onto the deck and the first thing I noticed was a bat was having dinner! That little thing flew all over the place! Bats are a good thing; they eat a bunch of bugs! This was a Tri Meet, so the Coach area was full; Wade Hampton's Sharon Swift and Amanda Harmon were my first stop. They commented that things were running fine except for the bat. BMSW Coaching staff Brook Bridges and Graham Mitchell didn't really have a lot of time for me, they were hollering at swimmers!
Now for PMP, Morgan Burke and Sam Pearcy. My trouble makers in SAIL! Not really, they are the ones that have taken my advice and question the Officials. They had a DQ that they didn't understand; Sam went to the S&T to ask what the call was. He got an answer that he didn't agree with; he then went to the Richard Sheridan the Ref. and asked him to explain the call. Richard went to the S&T and asked for an explanation.
Now for the problem, the Coach should NOT go to a Stroke and Turn Judge and ask what a call was for. The Coach needs to go straight to the Ref.! Asking about a call is a good thing and is encouraged! If you don't know why a DQ was issued and what the infraction was, get up off your rear and ask! The Ref's won't bite your head off, some may be a little busy but they are there for you and will get you an answer. Just a note, Richard Sheridan is one of the best Ref's we have in SAIL, I have worked with him at many meets and he has one of the best dispositions of any of the Ref's on deck. GOOD JOB RICHARD!
Well that's it for this week.
Thanks to all of you that have commented on my weekly blurb! I enjoy doing this and I hope it makes you think about our meets and how we can make them better. But above all, I hope you get a little chuckle out of it. We don't need to be so serious all the time!