Beyond The Crowd, There Is A Lone Athlete And Supporting Coach

Athlete And Supporting Coach

Beyond The Crowd, There Is A Lone Athlete And Supporting Coach (From the Archive)

The Lone Athlete and Supporting Coach poem below, written by Coach Jim Lutz, was inspired from a Facebook post and photo (above) by a mother of a young swimmer named Cora Watkins who watched her daughter swim a 500-yard time trial as the only person in the pool.

Facebook Post: Time Trial. 500 Free. Determined. Swam it alone. Her friends stuck around and cheered her on, and then hugged her when she didn’t make the mark she was reaching for. Pool is empty, swimmers are finished and gone, but look closely at this moment with her coach. “We should seize every opportunity to give encouragement. Encouragement is OXYGEN to the SOUL” -George M. Adams  

BEYOND the crowds, beyond the medals, beyond the sight line of the masses, there is an athlete.

The athlete commits time, energy, pain, tears of joy and tears of sorry.

They have love and support from family and friends.

They often are the first ones to arrive and the last one to leave after picking up equipment that others have left behind.

They are willing to risk everything for the sake of losing hundredths of a second, only to come up short and justifying that a best time still doesn’t feel like they had done anything of significance.

They put their effort out in public for all to see, even when a glimmer of hope to achieve seems rather remote.

They pay the price.

They make the sacrifice.

They willingly give up all freedom for the guidance and direction of the coach in charge.

A simple word can either destroy or can build an insurmountable level of confidence.

“That was great” “You do awesome” “I’m proud of your effort”, “That success you had was all because of what YOU allowed yourself to do.” “You are the best YOU that anyone could have ever hoped for” “YOU are special and make the lives of those around you better.” “Thank you for letting me be your coach.”

By Coach Jim Lutz

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Liz Wells
8 years ago

Love this

Sandra Rattray
8 years ago

Wonderful piece! An Important reminder!

Terri Holmes
Terri Holmes
8 years ago

Very nice — true swim couches knew that words can give children strength. Good lesson to parents!!

8 years ago

You have never really coached until you sat through 500 time trials at the end of a meet. Great example Jim!

Kim Marohn Shuman
8 years ago

A coach is so important!

Claudia O'Brien
8 years ago

So true and lucky are those of us who have a coach like this in our kids lives – Matt Mullen this is how we see you with our boys

C A Scot Campbell
8 years ago

Tim … Been there, got the, actually many, t-shirt

Roberto Martinez Gonzalez

One of most important tool, the coach.

8 years ago

Having known Coach Lutz his entire life, I can testify that he is a deeply religious, family devoted & extremely caring man when it comes to the importance of building character in an individual over any time that a swimmer may have. To Bill V, clear your head and accept the fact that there are good people in this world who genuinely care for others. Apat on the head for encouragement hardly dictates anything your sick comments bring to this fine article. Keep up