Now, forgive me if i come off a little unhinged. I've spent all day at Disney World, which means that of the eight hours I was there, five hours were spent in line and two hours were spent eating and/or taking my four year old in the bathroom.
At least the other hour was spent making dreams come true. So there's that.
I returned, exhausted to my hotel with my family to read the following pieces of news: USA Swimming Board members have spent their valuable time working to fight the biggest crisis facing 12 and under American swimmers. Yes, you got that right: SUITS!
Now, before you get all worked up, I want to admit to a couple faults. I have written very many wrong blog posts about suits. I liked the rubbery ones. I still like wearing them but I get why we can't have them. I started multiple flamewars with Craig Lord on this topic and I'm going to tell you that I was mostly wrong.
Second, you might say that, Chris, can't we walk and chew gum at the same time? As in, can't we focus on the huge cultural shift we will need to create a good environment for young swimmers AND make sure that dumb parents don't spend $600 every few months so their kid can qualify for "Silvers"?
You know, we can, but the wrong issue is consuming the majority of our leadership and discussion oxygen. Its not that it's not important, it just seems that a lot of people feel qualified to have an expert opinion on this, and stay deathly silent on something way more important.
And quite frankly, if you start your explanation of why you haven't strongly taken a stance on the most important cultural issue facing sports with "I'm no expert", please go ahead and get as far away from youth sport as you possibly can.
To that end, I've assembled a nice, tidy priority list of what we should be spending our (limited) time on at the moment:
1. Understanding how we've built our amateur sports organizations on fundamentally flawed values for forty years
2. Figuring out why we still allow abusers of youth athletes to occupy hugely important places of esteem and stature within our sport.
3. Getting transparency on all the major things we have had hidden from us for no good reason.
4. Figuring out how multiple "Boards of Directors" provided little to no oversight of USA Swimming Staff.
94. Figuring out whether 12 and under's should be able to wear "tech suits"
I'm happy to help. Now, before i get back to my vacation, please hold on for this special sponsorship message from Chris DeSantis Coaching.
Today's blog is brought to you by Buffalo Trace Whiskey*: Drink Responsibly and Far Away From Youth Sports Competitions.
*Buffalo Trace Whiskey didn't actually sponsor this post, nor was any Buffalo Trace bottle opened or harmed in anyway while producing this post. Also, it would be insanely dumb if I got a sponsor for my business that overwhelmingly serves people 21 and under.