Each year we kick off our season with a Time Trial Meet at the Fitch Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility (WARF) with a few goals in mind:

  • Ensure that we have good baseline times on every swimmer against which we can measure improvement and with which we can prepare our meet and relay entries.
  • Ensure that everyone clearly understands how Seton Swimming operates at a Meet, particularly arriving on time, warming up efficiently, showing great respect for the national anthem, getting to the blocks in time for your events, and starting a race with the whistle rather than voice commands.
  • Gather data with which to make updates to practice lane and coaching assignments for each swimmer.
  • Ensure that we have all the parent volunteers and supplies that we need to run our meets.

If those were the goals for our Time Trial meet on Friday, November 18th, then I would have to say that we were highly successful.  Not only did we accomplish those goals, but several swimmers made their presence known, especially several swimmers who are new to the team.  Watching the swimmers on Friday gave me a lot of faith in the future of Seton Swimming.

So Proud of Our Captains

After I got home and quietly pondered the results of the Time Trial Meet down in my office, I found myself smiling broadly while thinking about how smoothly things went.   It is no small feat running a smooth event that involves 96 kids and more than 30 parent volunteers.

What made me smile was one of the biggest reasons the event went so smoothly – the performance of our Captains.  Led by Captain-of-Captains, Mary Pennefather, I watched as Kateri Mantooth, Maggie Gibbons, Joey Dealey, JJ Brox, and Joe Wilson (Moira Haggerty was using her leadership talents on the set-up for the Homecoming Dance) each took charge of their own sub-teams with a great balance of discipline and fun.

The process of teaching 96 kids all the things involved in Seton Swimming’s pre-meet routine normally results in us starting the actual meet late – this year, we actually started the first event early.

I really couldn’t believe how smoothly our two brief warm-up sessions went.  Everyone was exactly where they were supposed to be, and for the most part, each heat simultaneously hit the water with the military precision that I expect during our public warm-up sessions.

The highlight of the training session on our pre-meet routine is our lesson on why and how we respect the National Colors before each meet.  I’ve re-posted my blog on “Why and How Seton Swimming Respects our National Anthem and Colors”.   Please read it.

And what a blessing it is to have Col. Matt Schroer and LtCol. Patrick Heiny on our coaching staff.  Their example of the excellence that we have all come to expect from the US Marines is evident in their work with our older boys during dryland and their coaching with our Group 4 swimmers during practice.  I was very proud to have them on deck demonstrating to all of you how to properly stand at attention during the National Anthem.

And finally, I was so pleased with how quickly our large group of parent volunteers gelled to ensure our ability to host eleven (11) meets this season.  Without that ability, we could never give 116 kids the opportunity to swim at Seton because no other school would ever allow us to bring that many kids to one of their swim meets.

It is impossible to highlight every parent involved, but I will say how grateful I was to have so many parents step into significant leadership positions:  Bill Dealey with the dry-deck officials, Richard Borneman with the wet-deck officials, Chris Condon with the timers, Kimberly Dalrymple with meet set-up, and Katie Condon with the Clerk of the Course and nearly everything else that was left undone.

The dry-deck operation was particularly impressive as Mr. Dealey took charge of training his successors.  Hank Konstanty, Melissa Sokban, and Will Waldron all gave me a lot of confidence that we will continue to be able to host large meets in the years to come.

And, of course, our head Referee, the Godfather of Seton Swimming, Charles Seltman.  This is Mr. Seltman’s 29th season with Seton Swimming!

“S” is For Sacrifice

The fourth pillar of our GEMS value system is Sacrifice, We Offer it Up, We Love Our Teammates.  With only 14 kids in Group 5 on Wednesday/Friday, most of you will never get the opportunity to see Madelyn Zadnik (JR), Jacqueline Oswald (SR), and Joey Dealey (SR) serve as Assistant Coaches for the newer swimmers.

What a great example of sacrifice and leadership as they voluntarily get up early on their only two days off to coach their fellow teammates.  I call them “Assistant Coaches”, but they are actually taking the lead in running the practices while Coach Jerry Zadnik and I function more like the “Assistants”.

If you get a chance, please be sure to thank Madelyn, Jacqueline and Joey for their great example of Sacrifice for the love of their teammates.

A Coming Out Party for Some New Swimmers

One thing that invariably happens at Time Trials is that several new swimmers make their presence known with outstanding early season performances.  This year was no different:

  • Lionel Martinez (8) is new to the school and our team, but he has already established himself as Seton’s top swimmer after taking first place in all six (6) events that he swam on Friday night. How about a 51.58 in 100 Free?  Senior Joe Wilson is the only swimmer on the roster who has ever gone faster!  He also set the standard in 50 Free (24.09), 100 Back (1:00.91), 100 Breaststroke (1:05.70), 50 Fly (26.32), and 200 Free (1:59.06).  Several of those were life-time best swims, even when comparing his times to his USA times.  I just love having four (4)-stroke swimmers on the team, and Lionel is clearly a four (4)-stroke swimmer.
  • Stella Paradise (JR) is also new the school and our team, and like Lionel, she established herself near the top among our Seton girls. I was particularly impressed with her 100 Free (57.34) and her ability to perform in all four (4) strokes.  I can’t wait to team Stella up with Clara Condon (10), Ariana Aldeguer (8), Mary Pennefather (SR), Maggie Gibbons (JR), Elodie Brox (SO) and so many others.  One thing is for sure – our girls freestyle relays are going to be pretty strong this season with Stella.
  • Thiago Martinez (7) is only in 7th grade so his swims won’t count in the scoring this year – which is a real bummer because he is already capable of scoring a lot of points for Seton. It is a lot of fun watching Thiago underwater.  He is so fast and sleek, and he has already learned to leverage that skill in his races.  Thiago had superior times for someone his age in every event.  As just one example, when was the last time you saw a 7th grade boy go 1:00.07 in 100 Free?
  • Luke Mantooth (JR) is following a long family tradition of swimming for Seton. With his significant height, he’s understandably spent a lot of time on a basketball court, but it sure is great that he decided to try swimming this year!  Coach DD Ross is working hard to improve Luke’s strokes, and I just can’t wait to see how fast he can get!  Luke already dropped 2.52 seconds in 50 Free after only 5 days of work in the pool.
  • Philomena Kay (8) joins her brother Patrick Kay (7) and her father Coach Scott Kay on the team for the first time this season, and I can already see potential greatness in her future. 1:06.10 in 100 Free for an 8th grade girl is pretty strong, but the most impressive thing I saw from Philomena was her potential to score in all four (4) strokes.
  • Patrick Kay (7) is only in 7th grade, but I can already see great potential in all the high school swimming events. He already dropped .97 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Maggie Schroer (7) is another young swimmer in whom I saw great potential on Friday night. Her 1:13.48 was particularly impressive for a girl her age.  I can’t wait until she is eligible to score next season.
  • Liam Halisky (SO) is not new to the team, but it is his first year back after a one-year hiatus. Liam has come back with a vengeance, swimming some massive PRs.  His biggest PRs were by 20.93 seconds in 200 Free, by 11.81 seconds in 50 Fly and by 8.67 seconds in 100 Free.  He also dropped 4.97 seconds in 100 Breast and 1.87 seconds in 50 Free.

The Great Determination Showed by Joe Wilson

This past summer, Senior Captain Joe Wilson was in a serious car accident where he completely broke the largest bone in his body – the femur in his upper leg.

Starting with his parents, I know how grateful we are were that he was not hurt more badly.  It’s just a reminder that driving a vehicle is probably the most dangerous thing that most of you will do in your life – so give us parents a break when we get a little uptight about how and when you use the car.

When I first saw Joe at the beginning of the school year, he was in a wheelchair.  On Friday night, he was in the water.

Joe’s best times are the fastest on the team, but as you might expect, he cannot swim those times right now.  But imagine how excited I was when Joe told me he wanted to swim anyway.

In a great example of the third pillar in our GEMS value system – Excellence, We Focus on Better, Good Takes Care of Itself – when I asked him why he wanted to swim, he told me, “How am I going to know if I am getting better if I don’t have a time now?”

I love it!

Despite all that, he still had the 2nd fastest 50 Fly time on the team (27.97), the 4th fastest 50 Free time (26.62), and the 5th fastest 100 Back time (1:09.43).

You were a great example to all of us on Friday night, Joe!

Returning Swimmers Who Looked Strong

Normally I would have every swimmer swim every event at Time Trials, but with the exceptionally large number of swimmers on the team this year, I had to cut scope a bit.  That doesn’t mean that some of our experienced swimmers didn’t get a chance to shine through.

Here are some of our returning swimmers who showed serious scoring potential for Seton on Friday night:

  • For the Girls:
  • Ariana Aldeguer (8) is finally old enough to score this season – and score she will! Even at such a young age, Ariana spent all night neck-and-neck with Junior Stella Paradise including taking first place for 100 Backstroke at 1:06.96 – that is a very strong time for a girl her age.  She also set new Personal Records in 100 Free (57.50), 50 Fly (29.74), and 50 Free (27.38).  Ariana is going to be a stalwart of our “A” Relays for the next five (5) years, and that is going to be very fun to watch.
  • Mary Pennefather (SR) is coming off an appearance in the VISAA State Tennis tournament, so she’s just getting back into the water. In spite of that, she once again showed that she will be one of our key sprinters for her senior year.  She also showed that she can swim other strokes.  Her breaststroke look strong, and she even hit a .93 second PR in 100 Back.
  • Elodie Brox (SO) had some insane swims including a 5.82 second PR in 100 Backstroke and a .49 second PR in 100 Free. Elodie is going to provide the coaches with lots of options for relays.
  • Maggie Gibbons (JR) is back with a focus that tells me great things are coming for her. How about an 8.09 second PR in 100 Breaststroke?  She also showed how badly she wants to earn her spot on our “A” Freestyle Relays again.
  • Jacqueline Oswald (SR) had five (5) strong swims that will position her well as a member of our scoring relay teams this coming season. Among those swims was a .89 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Anastasia Garvey (FR) is emerging as a scoring swimmer for Seton this season. Three (3) early PRs in 100 Free, by .43 seconds, 100 Back, by .19 seconds, and 50 Free, by .71, show her potential to improve as she gets farther into the season.
  • Haley Fifield (SO) showed that she is going to be a real player for us this year with some great swims, especially in 100 Back and with her 1.03 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Shannon O’Malley (SO) clearly wants to be part of the fun this season. I’ve seen how hard she is working in practice, and it has already paid off with a .18 second PR in 100 Free, a 2.75 second PR in 100 Breaststroke and a .79 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Kateri Mantooth (SR) has been demonstrating great leadership both in and out of the pool. Friday was a good example of both, including a 1.28 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Rose Waldron (SO) is a multi-event threat now. Not only is she our leading diver, but she also showed me that she can score in multiple different swimming events as well.  I loved to see her 8.57 second PR in 100 Back, her 4.01 second PR in 100 Breast, and her .04 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Madelyn Zadnik (JR) once again demonstrated her versatility with strong swims in every event. Her strongest swim was a 2.66 second PR in 100 Back.
  • Clara Condon (SO) and I made the prudent decision for her not to swim during Time Trials while she rests an injury. She was Seton’s highest individual scorer at the State Championship meet last season.  We all know what Clara can do, especially late in the season.
  • For the Boys:
  • Joseph Borneman (SO) was absolutely insane on Friday night. No one was a more pleasant surprise.  How about a 15.59 second PR in 100 Breaststroke, an 11.43 second PR in 100 Free, a 10.22 second PR in 100 Back, a 3.38 second PR in 50 Fly, and a .67 second PR in 50 Free?  In one night, Joseph jumped from a limited individual scorer to a swimmer who is sure to be a major contributor both individually and in our relays.  It was a great night for Joseph.
  • JJ Brox’s (SR) great on-deck leadership extended to the water on Friday night with some strong early-season swimming on Friday. I expect JJ to be a fixture on our scoring relays this season.
  • Drew Nguyen (SO) staked his claim as one of our top sprinters going into this season. His 58.16 was the 2nd fastest 100 Free time swum for the boys, and he is not even in swimming shape yet.  Drew also cut .51 seconds in 50 Fly.
  • David Hudson (JR) finished 3rd, 4th or 5th in every event, including a 3.73 second PR in 100 Breaststroke. It looks like we will be seeing David on a lot of relays this season.
  • William Sokban (SO) had a 5-PR night, many of which were quite significant drops. How about a 3.20 second PR in 100 Back, a 2.87 second PR in 100 Free, a 1.97 second PR in 50 Fly, a .91 second PR in 100 Breaststroke, and a .25 second PR in 50 Free?  Great job William!
  • Michael Brox (SO) started his move for a position on our “A” Relays with some great swims on Friday. His best swims were a 2.91 second PR in 100 Back and a .34 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Max Wilson (SO) got pretty sick during the meet, but you never would have known that from his 1.28 second PR in 100 Free. Max is part of a very strong sophomore class that will lead much of the scoring for Seton this season.
  • Connor Koehr (SO) is fighting for that top spot in 100 Backstroke after a 2.47 second PR. Only Lionel Martinez was faster.  Connor also showed great improvement in 50 Fly with a 1.72 second PR.
  • Peter Konstanty (JR) is already showing that he wants to become part of the scoring fun this year by swimming four (4) PRs in his five (5) total swims. His most impressive swim was a 6.67 second PR in 100 Breaststroke, but he also had PR swims in 50 Fly (by 1.77 seconds), 50 Free (by .98 seconds), and 100 Back (by .90 seconds).
  • Joey Dealey (SR) should score quite a bit for Seton this season, and his potential to do that showed with several good early-season times. One of those times was even a .02 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Jed Albin (JR) has a focus this year that seems to be much sharper than in previous years. It is exciting for me as a coach to see.  I expect that the results are going to be exciting for Jed to see also.  I’m sure he was very pleased with his 22.69 second PR in 100 Breaststroke and his 9.83 second PR in 50 Fly.

164 Personal Records Already!

Our team’s core values, or GEMs, are Gratitude, Excellence, Meekness and Sacrifice.   The second GEM is Excellence, which has nothing to do with how good you are – it has everything to do with how much better you are.  Over the years, I have noticed that, if we all get better, the winning seems to take care of itself.

From our first practice until Christmas, we will use large chunks of our practice time to build every stroke and every wall from scratch.  This is the result of another truism that I learned long ago – the fastest way for a high school swimmer to get faster is to do the strokes right.  Dramatic improvements will never come by just swimming inefficiently incrementally better.

As you will see throughout the season, I will meticulously track Personal Records or “PRs” (i.e., Best Times) for each swimmer.  That is why seeing new swimmers at Time Trials is so important – to get a PR, you must have a time from which to improve.

It is nearly impossible to write a blog each week that mentions 116 swimmers, but one thing I will commit to – if you swim a PR, you are going to get highlighted.  So, here are the swimmers not previously mentioned who swam at least one PR:

  • Betsy Arnold (7) had four (4) big PRs including a 11.04 second drop in 100 Free, a 9.90 second drop in 100 Breast, a 6.17 second drop in 100 Back, and a .94 second drop in 50 Free.
  • Greg Bauer (FR) went 5-for-5 on Personal Records, swimming a best time every time he hit the water – and some were pretty big drops. How about a 6.24 second PR in 100 Breast, a 5.32 second PR in 100 Free, a 4.82 second PR in 100 Back, a 3.26 second PR in 50 Fly, and a 1.50 second PR in 50 Free?!
  • Molly Bauer (SO) had a good early-season swim in 100 Free where she cut .19 seconds from her PR.
  • Ryan Beltran (JR) swam three (3) PRs including best times in 100 Free (by .93 seconds), in 100 Breast (by .44 seconds), and in 50 Fly (by .28 seconds).
  • Lucia Bingham (SO) had her best swim with her 3.30 second PR in 100 Back. She also cut .97 seconds in 100 Free and .42 seconds in 100 Breast.
  • Mariana Bingham (8) had three (3) huge drops including a 6.03 second PR in 100 Back, a 3.37 second PR in 100 Free, and a 3.22 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Veronica Bingham (6) dropped .61 seconds from her 50 Free time on the first day of practice.
  • Aaron Bishop (JR) is back and already performing well. I loved to see him cut a huge 8.97 seconds in 100 Back, 7.79 seconds in 100 Breast, and 3.09 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Meg Blanchette (SO) is back after a 1-year hiatus and showed how much she wants to get better with a four (4)-PR performance. She dropped 7.76 seconds in 50 Fly, 4.18 seconds in 100 Breast, 1.98 seconds in 100 Back, and 1.41 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Nora Blanchette (FR) was all smiles after cutting 3.19 seconds in 100 Back, 2.88 seconds in 100 Breast, and .83 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Lucy Cunningham’s (SO) hard work in practice already paid off with her 3.36 second PR in 100 Breast and her .90 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Joseph Dwane (8) came back this season and kicked it off with a massive 23.64 second drop in 100 Back! He also had a 5.60 second drop in 100 Breast and a 1.62 second drip in 100 Free.
  • Ben Ellis (8) sure did look good on Friday, especially with his 6.31 second PR in 100 Back, his 5.24 second PR in 100 Free, and his 5.06 second PR in 100 Breast.
  • Kyleigh Fifield (8) has four (4) PRs. In 100 Breast she cut 8.73 seconds, in 100 Back she cut 4.40 seconds, in 100 Free she cut 1.62 seconds, and in 50 Free she cut 1.19 seconds.
  • Josh Fioramonti (FR) spent the very beginning of the season wrapping up with Seton’s conference championship soccer team, but despite that, he still managed to lower his 100 Back time by 1.82 seconds, his 100 Breast time by 1.12 seconds, and his 50 Fly time by .73 seconds.
  • Veronica Gonzalez (7) had a huge 8.57 second drop in 100 Free. She also cut .01 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Jack Gregory (JR) is already showing big improvement. On Friday night, he swam 50 Free 6.48 seconds faster than he did on the first day of practice.
  • Aoife Haggerty (8) had some huge drops on Friday. How about a 13.18 second drop in 100 Breast, a 12.48 second drop in 100 Back, and a 4.59 second drop in 100 Free!?
  • Orla Haggerty (SO) lowered in 100 Breaststroke PR by 1.02 seconds.
  • Claire Heiny (7) had some nice swims on Friday including a 4.59 second PR in 100 Breaststroke and a .59 second PR in 100 Back.
  • Dominic Henry (7) swam 50 Free more than 9 seconds (9.07 seconds, to be exact) faster than he did just two weeks ago on the first day of practice.
  • Victor Henry (FR) has also showed big improvement since the first day of practice with a 50 Free time that was 3.30 seconds faster than the first day of practice.
  • Ava Hudson (JR) is back after taking a year off, and we are so happy to have her. I was also very happy to see that she swam a 1.39 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Elizabeth Hurley (7) used her strong underwaters to propel herself to a 9.54 second PR in 100 Free, a 7.15 second PR in 100 Breast, a 3.66 second PR in 100 Back and a 2.20 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Cora Kramer (8) looked great in her 100 Free, and it showed with a 8.14 second PR. She also dropped 1.79 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Raphael Likoy (8) is already showing huge improvement, particularly in 100 Free where he dropped 12.43 seconds. He also dropped 3.20 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Joey Lynch (7) had an amazing night five (5)-PR night – and all of them were very large. I was so pleased to see Joey drop 7.80 seconds in 100 Breast, 7.00 seconds in 100 Free, 6.62 seconds in 100 Back, 5.76 seconds in 50 Fly, and 1.89 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Aidan McCardell (FR), you were awesome! A 26.75 second PR in 200 Free and a 17.08 second PR in 100 Free?  Outstanding!
  • Maria Miller (FR) had a great swim in 100 Breast, swimming it 3.09 seconds faster than ever before.
  • Colin Nguyen (SR) is swimming on the team for the first time as a senior – I love it when seniors join for the first time – and he showed on Friday night that he is likely to be serious contributor for us this year. His 50 Free PR broke :30 for the first time, and his other first-time swims were all pretty good times.
  • Kenneth Nguyen (8) swam 50 Free 4.19 seconds faster than he did on the first day of practice!
  • Mary Claire Osilka (FR) looked quite good on Friday night with three (3) PRs. She cut 4.16 seconds in 100 Free, 2.55 seconds in 100 Back, and 1.97 seconds in 100 Breast.
  • Allison Quispe (FR) had a great night with a 1.81 second drop in 100 Breast, a 1.59 second drop in 100 Free, and a .85 second drop in 100 Back.
  • Noemi Rodriguez (8) was on fire! I couldn’t believe some of her massive drops.  Believe it or not, she cut 27.01 seconds in 100 Breaststroke and 14.65 seconds in 100 Back.  She also cut 3.70 second sin 100 Free and .65 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Gabriella Russo (8) had a big night, swimming five new Personal Records. She cut 9.87 seconds in 100 Back, 6.43 seconds in 100 Breast, 3.51 seconds in 100 Free, .74 seconds in 50 Free, and .58 seconds in 50 Fly.
  • Briana Shillingburg (SO) dropped 12.13 seconds in 100 Free. I would have loved to have seen what she could have done in her other events.  
  • Daniel Sokban (8) had more PRs than anyone on team – six! He swam a PR every time he hit the water!  Daniel cut 19.02 seconds in 200 Free, 15.30 seconds in 100 Breast, 9.08 seconds in 100 Free, 3.73 seconds in 50 Free, 3.41 seconds in 100 Back, and .53 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Nick Vaughan (SO) cut 6.39 seconds in 100 Free, 4.11 seconds in 100 Breast, and 1.96 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Noah Vaughan (8) swam 50 Free 4.97 seconds faster than he did on the first day of practice.
  • Lily Waldron (7) sure looked good on Friday, particularly during her 10.08 second PR swim in 100 Free, her 4.35 second PR swim in 100 Breast, and her 2.86 second PR swim in 100 Back.
  • Michael Zahorchak (8) had a big night with five (5) new Personal Records. In 100 Breast he dropped 13.23 seconds, in 100 Back he dropped 7.05 seconds, in 50 Fly he dropped 5.77 seconds, in 100 Free he dropped 3.81 seconds, and 50 Free he dropped .41 seconds.

More Things That Worked Quite Well

I started this blog by highlighting several things that pleased me about the way we performed as a team on Friday night.  Among those were the way the Captains led, the way we handled the National Anthem, and the way our parent volunteers jumped in to run an excellent meet.

Let me highlight just a couple of others.

  • Almost No Events Missed
    • Unlike most of our upcoming meets, we used a modified Clerk of the Course at this meet, but starting with our meets in December, we will not provide you with that level of supervision. You are swimming on a high school swim team now, so we make the assumptions that you can get yourself to where you are supposed to be.  Overall, I was pretty impressed with how well our young team was able to get themselves to where they were supposed to be, on time.
  • Notification by Swimmers Who Must Miss the Meet – Normally at this point in the season, we have kids who fail to show up to the meet without notifying me in advance. Amazingly, that did not happen a single time this past weekend!  Thank you!
    • Please keep it up. If you must miss a meet at any point for the rest of the season, please just send me an e-mail now.

Opportunity to Improve

There were only two areas I saw on Friday night where we must improve:

  • Skipping Events
    • I just want to be clear on one thing – you are never allowed to skip an event without permission from me personally.
    • I know some of you were throwing-up on Friday night – I understand – but we also had at least one swimmer who just skipped events without permission.
    • I was a swimmer once too, so I know how nervous you can get before a race. Being nervous is never a reason to skip an event.
  • Arriving On-Time
    • Did you ever wonder why I publish such odd times for the start of our various events? It’s because that is exactly what time I want to start.  When I say that you should be stretching on 6:39 p.m., I do not mean “about 6:39 p.m.”.  I mean for you to be there before 6:39 p.m. so that you can be ready to go exactly at 6:39 p.m.

The First GEM, “Grateful”

With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to share some words from Deacon Don Libera of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton:

This week offers us our first opportunity to put this into practice as we prepare for our Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday. In light of Thursday’s theme, maybe our focus, our theme during the coming weeks should be to have an attitude of gratitude. For indeed, when we are truly thankful, we are humbled because of the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on us.

When the spirit of gratitude is rooted in humility, it produces in us the fruit of authentic love, and becomes contagious. When we think about how gratitude works in our own lives, we know that when someone is sincerely grateful toward us for something that we did for them or gave to them, we are much more open to doing more for them.

When we see a spirit of generosity in our children, even when it is not directed toward us, we are more inclined to be more generous toward them. A spirit of gratitude and generosity in one person often causes the recipient to respond with gratitude and generosity. We bear God’s image in this. We imitate His unbounded generosity, His unbounded love for us. So how better to prepare?

I really like how Deacon Libera talks about the chain reaction that occurs when we show gratitude.  Gratitude is contagious.  Let’s start an epidemic!

Final Notes

  • For this coming week, we’ll finish our work on freestyle and maybe start backstroke – so don’t miss practice!
  • On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. Thanks again to the Given family for running it once more.  I’ll pass on more information shortly, but I can tell you now that I’m looking forward to repeating the successful team effort of last season to raise money for this great cause.

I have been so pleased to see so many of you on deck with me and the other coaches for morning practice.  Your smiles, your laughter, and your desire to get better make it fun for me also.

See you Monday morning,

Coach Jim Koehr

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