The joy one gets from being a good teacher, in my case a swimming teacher and coach is that you get to work with generations of swimmers. If you’re good at what you do and make a difference in a positive way, they don’t forget you easily.

I’m blessed with good friends and connections I’ve made in my life through the gift of teaching swimming. So what happens when one of your former swimmers starts having children of their own? You get to thinking… One, how old am I getting?  I knew their parents and grandparents via the sport and now the blessing of getting to know this little miracle of life coming to the world.

So here is a little story I’d like to share with what happened to me last weekend and leave you with a question.  Have you ever thought about your own mortality and what legacy you would like to leave?

I was invited to a baby shower on the sunshine coast to one of my former swimmers who is expecting their first child in May.  Both parents were trained by me in swimming and all the aunties on both sides of the family too.  The request on the invitation asked for something for the baby to read later on via a book instead of a card.  So me, putting my coaching hat on and love of words,  got to thinking, what I would want for her to know and believe if I wasn’t here to tell her myself.  It was quite confronting!

You have to question your own mortality and I said to myself, I may not be here in 15 years time to guide her or advise her like I have been able to with her mum and dad before her.  Wow, did the tears start streaming down then.  My want and desire for this baby girl to know who she is in this world became very real and very important to me all of a sudden.

So I started the fairy story with “Once upon a time….” as all good stories start. I went on to tell her about her parents and grandparents and what good stock she came from. I took it that she’d be reading this letter when she is 14 or 15 years old and questioning her worth and place in the world as all teenagers do at sometime.

Here’s a little extract from my letter to her:

I look forward getting to know you as you grow and develop into a wonderful person, strong, confident, loving and happy.  Know right from wrong, treat people well, be kind to yourself and others, be the best you can be always. Never stop believing in yourself, ever.  Remember always yourself worth and know you are truly valued by all that love you.

There’s more but you get the gist of what I want for her.  My great joy is that I want the best for all my swimmers and I love that they know it from how I coach and guide them through the sport of swimming.  Being a champion sports person is one thing, I want for a champion person full stop!

What would you want for your child to know no matter how old they are now if you weren’t around to tell them in person? Start writing a letter for your son or daughter or grandchild today.  Give it some thought and dig deep.  They need to know and I guarantee you’ll feel awesome after doing this project.  I did.

Coach Spence.

Leave a Reply