Before I joined the swim team in high school, I remember my mom taking me to the Y at 5am before school to swim. She called herself having pre-season training. If you know my mom, you know she doesn’t do anything pleasantly- before noon. So at 5am, she sat on the side of the pool with a watch (and a nasty attitude), telling me to “kick harder, kick harder”. I’d mumble, “but you can’t even swim” from the ice cold pool, because she couldn’t and still can’t. Yet, in her mind, I was the next swimming prodigy, and she was getting me ready for… what? The Olympics?
Now that I have my own little Olympians, I’m finding myself in the same predicament. I’m mom coaching all kinds of activities that I’ve never done. “Why are you going down? Make them tackle you”, said the person who has never step foot on a football field. Just last week I had to “put up”, as opposed to "shut up", and race my 10th grader in the street when he became irritated with all of my track suggestions. But like my Mom Coach, I know he is able to do better. I know, because I saw him bouncing off my uterus like kangaroo in that first ultrasound. I know because he has God-given strong legs and the heart of a lion. He’s destined for greatness, so I know he can run that 200m better than that!
With our third eye, not only do we (Mom Coaches) recognize raw talent, but we are also able to hone in on your specific areas for improvement. No amount of “prior experience” in a sport can outweigh what I see in you. I have seen your strengths, and I have seen your weaknesses. I know what has broken you and what you’re built of. I didn’t have to run track to know you’re not properly pacing yourself, because it wasn’t the stride or glide that told me. I knew by the look in your eyes.
My mom was right. I needed to kick harder in 9th grade. I had strong legs and long flipper feet. I had a natural advantage in swimming. And although I lost the foot race to Daimon last week, he will realize that my track suggestions are no less valid because of it. He inherited my strong legs, and they will take him far if he allows them to. Hopefully, in years to come, l will oversee him Dad Coaching something he knows nothing about… like cheerleading. And the cycle of long-sighted vision and parent wisdom will continue to trump actual experience.