Over the next couple weeks, I'm taking this blog on the road. Not literally, since I want to stay relatively close to my newest family edition. I have a renewed commitment within recent days to get out and visit some new places.
Since starting this blog, I've gotten to a lot of areas in America that I never knew. I spent part of last fall out in Arizona in the pleasant hospitality of my friend Garrett McCaffrey and Grand Canyon University. I've visited Houston three times in the past year. I went back to Nebraska and saw a whole new part of the state.
That was all fantastic, but I have realized recently that I still know very little about what's going on within a short drive of my home base here in Jersey City, NJ. Likewise, it's been over a decade since I set foot on a pool deck in the LSC of my youth, New England.
So in the next couple weeks, I have already made some tentative plans to visit the following places:
1) Bluefish Swim Club- I'm bringing the whole family up to Boston for the 4th of July holiday, but I'll be spending the morning before the holiday stalking the poolside with Chuck Batchelor and crew. Although I've known Chuck since I was a little baby coach, it's been a long time since I actually took a hard look at what he's doing.
2) Rutgers- Jon Maccoll is entering his first full season as head coach of Rutgers, and has graciously invited me to come check out what's happening at the flagship University of New Jersey.
3) Scarlet Aquatic Club- A club which I'm still sorting out where to go exactly, since it encompasses several sites and groups within the team. I'm really curious after reading up on them via their website to see some of what they are doing in action.
I have a few more places I've reached out to in the NJ area and will update as those visits get set up. I also plan on bringing the head coach of Asphalt Green in Manhattan, David Rodriguez, on a podcast to discuss #skillskill.
Talking with a swimmer recently who was going to attend a Zone Camp, I gave them this advice:
Every single new person you meet knows something that can help you to get better at what you do. Your job is to figure it out, to find at least one thing you can learn from them.
So this is what I plan on doing when I go out to visit these teams. As I would tell my four year old, I'll have my "listening ears" on so that I can learn, and maybe share something valuable too.