I have been a judge for swim teams for several years now. It’s a way for me to watch my daughter swim without her having to worry about my competitive side coming out. I can’t say anything while I’m judging a swim meet. She’s happy with the arrangement, so I’ve continued to recertify every year without complaint.
This last week my daughter got into our vehicle after a swim meet and said, “I’m never going to be fast enough to win, right?”
Having spent more than a decade in competitive swimming, the short answer was yes, she would never be the star of her swim team, but the short answer wasn’t the complete truth. You see, just like in most team sports, everyone participating on the team has value. Even if you never take first place, a six place finish still scores points for your team. Yeah, it’s hard to be the six place finisher. Very few cheer you on with as much gusto as they do those first place finishers, but a team of twenty-two first place finishers and nothing else will never will a swim meet competition. Swim teams need depth to win—my daughter is part of that depth. So though I know many of the girls on the team don’t think much of my daughter, I keep telling her that she does have value.
What I wouldn’t give for girls to stop being so mean to one another. Every single one of us knows how much it hurts, since we’ve experienced it first hand, but hurting someone else seems to be the only thing we as woman know how to deal with that pain. It’s asinine and counterproductive, but every day I see the cycle repeat itself.