Truth be told I almost called my blog Tales of a Swim Dad.  That’s because I do spend a lot of time shuttling back and forth between swim practices and wind up spending a lot of time inhaling chlorine as my 13-year-old daughter swims year round and both she and the 8-year-old swim on a summer team.

The oldest is now on her third year-round team as we started at a rather low key, non-competitive team for the first two years before moving to a much more competitive group for two years.  This year, she tried out for and made the uber-competitive team and is working harder than ever and getting better every day. I love watching both of my girls swim.  Really like the vibe around swimming and swim meets.

But that’s not to say that some of the parents aren’t insufferable like in soccer, gymnastics, softball, cheerleading and every other youth sport. It’s funny how these youth sports dynamics imitate the corporate world in so many ways.  I recognized that some folks can’t turn off their work personalities while watching their kids play sports.  That’s why you have the screamers, the bullies, the complainers, the whiners, the miserable folks and everything else you see in the office.

I had some of the funniest and most amazing experiences with swim parents at the team she swam with before her current team. I wasn’t blogging then so I thought I’d take a moment to revisit some of the stuff that made me scratch my head.  I’m calling this Tales of a Swim Dad – Part One because I know I’ll be back to talking about this big part of our family’s life.

For my Facebook friends, you know I have to talk about the coupon ripping lady.  My absolute favorite.  She was a diving team mom at the old team and would bring piles and piles of coupons to practice and sit there and RIP them.  Not cut them…but rip  — from their original pages.  It was loud. It was amazing that she didn’t own scissors and I truly wish I would have bought her a pair at some point.  Opportunity lost.

This was a team of Swim Dads – there were many many more dads who brought their kids to practice than on the current or past teams.  I had a whole script nearly written in my head for a Dance Moms like show “Swim Dads.” It’s amazing how when you bring a group of disparate personalities together how everyone ends up with an “identity” around which you could build a show.

There was the nice guy whose daughter was very good but the family didn’t act like it.  They were accepting and fun and really tried to get everyone to connect through outside activities as well.

There was me (the new guy) who didn’t really know where I fit in. But I figured I could be the narrator – ala “The Wonder Years.”

There was the high powered corporate executive who was preparing to move his family for the 8th time in the kids’ 10 years on earth.  The same people, who, with a straight face said their boy was going to be in the Olympics.  Now I don’t ever want to crush a dream but if you are going to the Olympics, you are more likely to have to be home schooled and training at a facility somewhere in Colorado Springs or Florida.  Not going to private school and going to practice 3 or 4 times each week.  This is the same man who grilled the coaches about what kind of strength training his son could be doing at age 9.  Uh. None.  Kids that young are not supposed to lift weights due to development issues.

There was the loud guy whose son joined the team late and missed a meet because the parents didn’t read the email about what time he should be there and then reamed the coaches to their faces and to all the other parents.

And finally the dad who bragged. Constantly.  About everything his only child daughter did.  He couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t excelling at swimming but I came to find out from my daughter it was because she mostly fooled around in the pool and yakked with her friends.

Lifetime, are you listening here?  Maybe it should be “Swim Parents” so we can include coupon ripping lady and distracted mom whose son hated swimming but she forced him to come anyway.