In the coaching profession it is said that the measure of a coach is the ability to have their athlete or team ready on the day. I can’t say enough about the job coach Brent Arckey did getting Emma Wyant ready for the 400 IM at Olympic Trials. Not only did she win but also swam a lifetime best – that is being ready on the day!
I am thankful to Brent to having me work with Emma and being able to make my small contribution. As an old guy I could not help but reflect on how fortunate I have been able to work with coaches like Brent and athletes like Emma throughout my career. A special thanks to Emma for bring so much joy to this old man, you are special and will go far in life.
After the race I was thinking about Nort Thornton, who passed away this spring and how much he would have enjoyed Emma’s race. Nort had a huge influence on what I do with swimming dry land and my ideas about training in general. I miss our phone conversations. I am sure Jack Simon was watching from his retirement home in México, but Jack was the one who got me interested in swimming close to fifty years ago.
Another great coach that I was thinking about was as I watched USC perform at the NCAA track meet was the late Tony Wells. USC’s performance had Tony Wells written all over it. Carol Smith Gilbert was coached by Tony and mentored by him. What a tribute to a great man and coach. I sure miss picking Tony’s brain about sprints and hurdles. We had some great times teaching at development camps in the 1980’s.
Coaching is special. It has never been a job for me. I just am so thankful to be able to still keep at it. ONWARD AND UPWARD!