Celebrating the Ultimate Swim Dads

Alexa and her father
Photo Courtesy: Lynn Kutch

By Alexa Kutch, Swimming World College Intern.

It’s forty-five minutes before your prelims race. You go into the locker room to put on that fresh new racing suit when all of a sudden, it rips. Panic sets in as you realize you don’t have another one (rookie mistake). You need a new suit fast and come to find that there is only one person crazy enough for the job. You run back on to the pool deck, look up into the crowd and summon your dad. Without hesitation, he runs to the nearest swim vendor and buys that expensive new suit just in time for your race.


Photo Courtesy: Frank Kutch

Father’s Day is upon us, so let’s take the time to appreciate our supportive and sometimes overly passionate swim dads who would do anything to see us succeed in the water. The ones who happily offer to drive us to those early morning swim meets. And when they can’t make it, they’re constantly refreshing meet mobile to see how we did. They’re bribing us with incentives to win a race, even if mom says no. They’re sitting in the stands from before the meet starts until the time it finishes, no matter how many hours it may be. They travel x amount of miles to make sure we can participate in training or racing. We thank them for all the sacrifices they make for us.

Luke's dad writing his events on his arm

Photo Courtesy: Luke Hanner

They were there for us when we first discovered what water was and how to swim in it. They showed enthusiasm when we told them we wanted to join a swim team; stayed to watch practices and then dedicated the drive home to critique us; made sure we knew what event, heat, and lane we were in; volunteered as timers just so they could wish us luck behind the blocks; wore the same designated article of clothing to keep their own swim superstition alive; and recorded every race from summer league to high school to club to college. They shared every accomplishment through some form of social media and messaged us the second a race was over.

So thank you for being the loudest person in the stands. Hearing you over a huge crowd of people makes all the difference in the world. Thank you for taking on the role as our personal one-man public relations team. Being able to recall our times in a moment’s notice and keeping track of photos, medals, etc. shows just how much you care.

Father's Day picture

Photo Courtesy: John Klein

Thank you for somehow getting more nervous about a race than we do. It helps relieve the pressure from our shoulders. Thank you for being there for us when a practice or meet doesn’t go our way. Those big warm hugs are the one thing we need most.

Above all, thank you for being proud of us no matter what. You continue to believe in us and prove to be our biggest fan. We are truly grateful for the best swim dads.

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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4 years ago

Awesome! Well written & it was great to see you this weekend 🙂

Steve Hanner
Steve Hanner
4 years ago

Thank you for this piece from all of dads who are trying to find a new hobby now that the swimming is done. Spooky, it was the best 15 years ever.

Bonnie Klein
Bonnie Klein
4 years ago

Thank you Alexa for a Beautifully written article recognizing our devoted and selfless swim Dads!

Claire Russell
4 years ago

Thank you Alexa for giving all the Swim Dad’s the perfect amount of justice they deserve in this article. True unspoken heroes of the swim world.

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