Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dear Neenah Swim & Dive Team

Dear Fabulous Neenah Swim & Dive Ladies,

Well, here we are.  The 2011 season is officially over.  I'm not going to lie, I'm not very good with endings.  In fact, I kind of hate them.  But as much as I hate endings, I know how important a good "goodbye" is.  I was all ready to deliver one last "heavy, deep and real Vicki speech" at last night's banquet.  Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the coaches speeches were cut. I was kind of bummed, because (as always) I had a few things I wanted to say to you.  I've decided I need to give that speech anyway, right here on my blog.  The bonus is, you don't have to listen to me get all emotional. (Yay!) So, without further ado, here it goes:

I would have started out by telling you that each and every one of you has touched my heart this year. 
At the end of every season I think, "Gosh, I love these swimmers.  I am never going to love another group the way I love this group."  And then the next group of fabulous, challenging, fun-loving swimmers comes into my life and steals my heart.

Make no mistake, Neenah ladies:  you have stolen my heart

You welcomed me in.  
You accepted my challenges. 
You asked for guidance.
You listened to my advice. 
You challenged me. 
You made me laugh. 
You made me cry. 
You made me proud.
You wouldn't believe how proud I am of you.

I learned so much from you this year.  I learned the difference between club coaching and high school coaching.  I learned what it means to be part of a team where the expectation is to win.  I learned that some of you like hugs, and some of you prefer to cry by yourselves.  I learned that sometimes the best thing I can do is to remind you that you're more than the time that showed up on the board.  I learned that some of you will do pretty much anything for a bag of gummy bears.  And I learned that not a single one of you likes to do breakthroughs.

For the past 3 1/2 months we have been together 6 days a week, at least 3 hours a day.  And you know what?  There was not a single day that I didn't look forward to seeing your faces.  You'd come into practice all giggly or stressed out from your day and then eventually you'd settle in to practice.  Each day you came to work. And each day we'd ask you to give your best.  And you gave it, each day.  Sometimes you'd even ask me to stay after to help you work some more.  Not a single one of you was afraid of hard work.
In the end, we accomplished our goals.  We won Conference.  We won Sectionals.  We rocked at State.  You all saved your best for last, and most of you ended the year with at least one personal best time.  You stepped up and competed and continued Neenah's legacy of winning.  And all of you played a role in the team's success.  Without a doubt, this year would not have been the same without each and every one of you. 
But you know what is even better than winning?  Being part of a team, especially a team as special as this one.   It was my absolute pleasure to watch each of you succeed this year.  I loved seeing the team accomplish its goals.
Next year, we'll come back together and set some new goals.  We'll have new laughs and new moments of triumph.  And while I look forward to seeing you back next year, I know there will never be another year like this one.  Congratulations, ladies, on a fabulous year.

Thanks for the memories.

I am proud to be your coach.


Coach Vicki



    love always, hannah sisto :)

  2. I'm so glad that you could share your speech with us. . . while we're at home. . . next to a box of Kleenex!!!

  3. I continue to believe you are one of the AWESOMEST people i know!!!