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Championship Eve

Championship Eve February 20, 2016

It’s Championship Eve, and I’m nervous...

It’s been seven straight years that we have been in the state final.  If successful tomorrow, it will be our seventh straight time coming home with the trophy.  This run has been magical.  This run has looked easy.  This run has NOT been easy.  And every year on Championship Eve, I get a little nervous.

I’m not nervous about the result of the meet tomorrow.  The result will not define this team.  We are blessed to have extraordinary swimmers, but more importantly, extraordinary young men of faith and character.  Young men who put TEAM before self.  Young men who understand and embrace the responsibility, tradition, and privilege to swim for Christian Brothers Academy.  I am so humbled and proud to be a part of this program.

So why am I nervous?  If I have great swimmers and special young men, what is there to be nervous about?  

Because that’s what coaches do - we get nervous.  We pore over every last detail to make sure everything is just right.   We play through every scenario in our heads to be sure we haven’t missed anything.  We look back in time and wonder, did I do everything in my power to prepare them?  

And now here we are.  No more practices.  No more drills.  No more speeches.  It’s now out of my hands and into theirs.  But every year, just as I start to get that nervous feeling, I remember…it’s about trust.  

There is nothing more powerful in the relationship between an athlete and his coach than trust.  

I trust them.  They trust me.  And in an instant, my nerves turn to excitement.  

I trust that they are ready.  They’ve conquered physical challenges.  They’ve overcome mental adversities.  They will swim with their hearts tomorrow.  That’s all I can ask, and all a coach can want from his team.  

But most importantly, I trust that they understand why they are swimming tomorrow.  It’s not for themselves or the team.  It’s not for me or their parents.  It’s not even to “win.”  What they are swimming for tomorrow is bigger than all of that.  Tomorrow they swim for their brothers.  Tomorrow they swim for a legacy that was started before they were born.  Tomorrow they swim for every single swimmer that has ever worn a CBA suit and cap.  They have the collective strength and support of 26 years of tradition behind them, and that is more powerful than anything they can ever hope to achieve on their own.  

It’s their responsibility now to carry the torch.  It’s their responsibility now to add to the legacy.  And when I look into their eyes, I trust that they are ready.

It’s Championship Eve, and I’m NOT nervous…I’m excited.

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