15 Dec 2012

The littlest swimmer

Today Rosie had her first competitive swim meet. Between her coaches and myself we have been building her up for this moment for almost a month and somehow, somehow, it worked. For the first time ever Rosie embraced a new experience rather than shy away from it. I was so proud of her. She had one tiny moment after the pep talk where she looked absolutely petrified and I really thought she was about to fall apart but she didn't. When the coaches took her to the starting blocks she actually smiled. She has moved mountains today.

Our morning started off with us loading the car and driving the 10 minutes to the pool, (how convenient!). As soon as we were sorted she had to head to warm-ups. I told her she would probably get kicked and that it happens to everyone and that it is no big deal. Yes, I lied but if she was feeling fragile and she got kicked in the face she would cry this way she would shake it off.

Why yes, I am feeling particularly confident
Warm up instructions
See her strap on her suit, how it is gaping? It's the smallest competition suit they make. Coach had to call Speedo just for her. 
Waiting for the heats to begin.
I love this picture of her. This was when her anxiety was starting to show.
Before we knew it she was whisked away to the starting area. I couldn't take photos from our side, because we were behind the swimmers and you are not allowed to take photos of their bottoms. (it's a sad world that we live in) so I don't have any photos of her first race which was the fly. There were only 2 swimmers in her heat and she came in second. I don't have her time either.

I smartened up for the next 2 heats and went to the other side the pool but I wasn't able to tell her so she couldn't find me but as is completely out of character she just did what the race officials told her without looking terrified.
Waiting for her starting instructions
And she's off
Go baby go.
She flew! I told her to swim like she was being chased by a shark but I really didn't think she would. She won and the child that came in second was exactly a minute behind her. This is a sport where hundreds of a second count. Everybody was clapping, I was amazed. I don't even think I moved from my spot as I was so shocked. She got out the pool absolutely beaming, she knew.

Next up was her freestyle and she was ready and raring to go. Poor kidlet was turning blue from being so cold but there wasn't much I could do. We kept her wrapped in 2 towels but once they get called to start they have to leave everything with the coaches and there is a lot of time spent waiting.

No fear at all
Just do it!
 no competitors even close.
She really proved herself and boosted her confidence. Coach told them that they might make mistakes because there is so much to remember, but he drilled them before they went in and they all remembered everything. Some strokes you finish with 2 hands, some with one, some with 2 simultaneously, then there was the don't finish face down in the back, that's only for practice, count your strokes under the flags and finish face up. How do they remember all of it? He even told the parents, don't get upset if they get D.Q.'d., they will possibly swim the wrong stroke cos they are nervous but not one of them did. As I stood waiting at the finish line I was listening to the comments from the parents of kids in other teams and they were all saying the same thing: that guy, meaning Coach Andrew, has a lot of winners today, and he did. His team of coaches are really great they work very hard to make it fun yet teach them right. He told every single child today, it is not about winning it is abut having fun. He takes the pressure off of them but still has more wins than any other team, he is just that good.

 Coach Andrew with coaches Vicky and Lisa. 
Santa stopped by to congratulate the kiddies. Rosie took one look at him and said, he isn't real he's not wearing gloves.
(apparently gloves determine fake from legit in her mind)
Rosie has now competed in an official meet so she has times.
 25 m fly...................haven't got them yet!
25m back................29.71
25m free.................29.08

 I'm really starting to like this "Swim Mum" job.


Leah Mei said...

Way to go, Rosie!

val said...

She is fantastic! Rosie I am so proud of you. I only "see" Rosie thru your blog but her confidence level is growing by leaps & bounds!

Love Letters To China said...

Congratulations Rosie!!! So proud of you! :-) I wish we lived closer. I know my kids would love to swim there with those amazing coaches. It means so much when they are instructed properly and with kindness.

Will miss seeing you this afternoon. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas and New Year's. Let's plan on getting together soon.



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