This Thanksgiving I am grateful for a coach that I had in high school. Mr. Burke, the women’s swimming coach, was more than just a coach that stood by the side of the pool. He encouraged us to do the best we could, and had faith in us.
At the beginning of the season I was slow and didn’t know much about swimming. I couldn’t do turns, couldn’t dive, and could barely even do the strokes. Mr. Burke believed that all of us could do what we wanted to as long as we worked for it. I wanted to prove that I could do it and that I could be a better swimmer. At that point, Mr. Burke had more faith in me than I had in myself.
I still remember one of the biggest moments for me during the season was at one of our last swim meets. I was doing the 100 meter freestyle, and put every part of myself into what I was doing. I broke all of my own records, did all of my turns perfectly, and had finished strong. There were girls from my team standing at both ends of the pool cheering me on, and both the coaches almost couldn’t believe it was me. After the race, Mr. Burke told me how fast I went and said how good of a job I did. I know that he was proud and my time proved that he had been right all along.
Ever since then, I have believed that I can do anything I want to, but I have to work for it. He showed me that not only does having faith in others make a difference, but believing in myself would take me that extra step to get me where I want to go.