After almost eight years of being a competitive swimmer, my career will be coming to an end after this year. My senior year at Butler will be my last year of competitive swimming. It struck me this past week how much my parents and family have impacted my success in my sport.
Whether you are a college athlete, a high school athlete, or a retired athlete, this article relates to anyone who has played competitive sports. A thank you to our parents is long overdue:
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for waking up at unheard of hours to drive me to morning practice. Until I got my license, of course, after that I was on my own. Regardless, thank you for waking up 4:45 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to drive me to practice throughout the cold winter months.
Thank you for making an appearance at all my meets and games. No matter what day or time, whether I was nine years old attempting to play soccer (no wonder I picked up swimming), or currently when you have to buy a plane ticket to come and watch my college meets, I can always count on one of you to be there.
Thank you for sacrificing holidays and family time to allow me to practice or compete. Through the Sunday morning swim meets or the countless hours of training over Christmas break, you never once complain or ask me to spend more time with the family. You turn my athletic schedule into “family time” by always attending my meets, which makes up for what other quality time may be sacrificed.
Thank you for understanding my busy schedule. You understand the commitment I have made to my sport, and the time and effort that I put into it. You always support me and never doubt my ability to succeed, even when I question it.
Thank you for reminding me there is more to life than just my sport. Whenever I get stressed or overwhelmed with the demands of my schedule, you always are there to remind me that it is just a sport, not my life.
Thank you always remembering you are my parent, not my coach. You leave the coaching up to my coaches, and provide me with the constant positivity and support I need.
Thank you for being proud of me, no matter what. Thank you for constantly telling me how proud you are of me, whether it is about my sport or other success. On discouraging days when my performance is far less than what I am striving for, or whenever I question my ability, you are always there to pick me back up.
Thank you for always supporting me. In all aspects of my life, I know I will always have your support with everything I want to do.