One of the funniest moments from my visit to Attleboro last week came as the swimmers were about to settle into their main set. I pointed out to Chuck that I felt conflicted about what I was going to write.
The tone of this blog is often critical, particularly of the patriarchal "old boys". I plan to continue that trend. The post about my visits was not like that, for reasons that should be obvious. I was visiting people that I like!
Which led me to tell Chuck that what I would write would not be like some episode of "Bar Rescue" or "Kitchen Nightmare" or any of that genre of show where a disgruntled "talent" visits a business and tears it to pieces before participating in a miraculous rebuild.
We both thought it would be funny if such a thing did exist. So for fun, let's talk about what that would look like. First a couple of caveats:
1. I'm making myself the Gordon Ramsay character in this show. It's my show and I'll do what I want.
2. Remember this is for fun. In real life such a show would only exist due to the "generosity" of disgruntled parents on board run teams who are convinced that the coach is training their kids too hard/not hard enough/looking at them the wrong way. That is a not funny reality for many people.
Also not funny? The reality that many disgruntled parents are quite justified to not be gruntled.
The Set Up:
An evaluation of the team would probably include having a fake swimmer "try out" for the team. I wish I could say that I would pose as the swimmer but I'm more in the "parent" phase of my life.
Obviously owing to my huge celebrity I would need a disguise, like a solid fake mustache and some glasses or something. No one would see through that. I could pretend to be on the phone but really relaying information on what I'm seeing.
"This guy isn't even coaching, he's just standing their drinking his coffee!"
"T-shirt and athletic shorts? How unprofessional! I expect a shirt and tie even though it's somewhere between the Amazon Jungle and the Mekong Delta on this pool deck".
"T-3000? Somebody get this guy a copy of Sprint Salo."
Afterwards, of course, a key part of this show is where the "talent" confronts the coach/restauranteur with their obvious flaws and breaks them down to tears.
One of Gordon Ramsay's go to moves is to walk around kitchens and food storage areas and find rotten food or poorly cleaned areas. Dirty pools are not in short demand.
Also, there could be a scene in every episode where I test the pool chemicals and scream:
"THE PH IS WAY OFF. YOU'RE MAKING THE KIDS SWIM IN THIS??????"
Finally of course, we could have a confrontation about the swim sets. No matter how well someone's practice is structured, I think I could summon up some outrage at the horribly flawed workouts they are delivering.
"YOU CALL THIS USRPT?? THEN WHY ARE THEY DOING 20x25 AND NOT 30x25??"
"Kicking with boards causes 110% of all shoulder problems, it's science"
"I listened to Eddie Reese speak at the Lower Ohio Valley Sports Performance Masters of Coaching Elite clinic this past spring and he does not do these sets, therefore they are invalid"
The final part of these shows is where businesses are dramatically (and overnight) "rebuilt" to launch again and save the world.
In this scenario, I picture coaches sweating bullets in monogrammed button down shirts while smiling wide as they deliver practices that are sooooo fun while meeting every single child at their ability level, ensuring their progression to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Oh, and we could probably tell the Aquatics Director that the PH is off a smidge. That would be pretty boring but we would have to pay off the PH bit.
Now that we have that settled, I know the first coach I'm going to be visiting. The coach from "Swim Fan". That guy has some serious issues going on, time for "Swim Team Nightmare", I mean "Swim Team Rescue!".