Later today I'll be recording a podcast with a long sought after guest: Susan Teeter. Susan was the coach of the Princeton University Women's Swimming and Diving team from 1984-2017. We're going to talk on this podcast specifically about what she's been up to since her "retirement" last year.
I reached out to Susan specifically this time after the Tucker Center released their report that gave NCAA swimming an "F" grade. Reading the actual reports themselves can give you a deeper understanding than the SwimSwam story.
What frustrated me more than anything from the reports was the discussion about it online. I've already railed several times against SwimSwam's anonymous comment section. But what is also true is that nearly any online forum is dominated by male voices, even when it is something that primarily concerns women.
I was reading a lot of mansplaining on this issue, and I wanted to hear from somebody that had both experienced a long career as a very successful Division 1 coach. More than that, I knew that Susan had always worked tirelessly to mentor and develop other coaches beyond even her own staff throughout her career.
I knew that she has spent the past year deep on this issue, and I wanted her to help me bring the conversation back to some of the voices that actually need to be heard. Instead of a bunch of guys explaining why women aren't represented in coaching, lets hear (crazy idea) from women about it.
I look forward to talking with her, and grappling with my own legacy. It may become a tired story to read or listen to in this space, but I initially avoided talking to Susan when we coached in the same conference. A misogynist male colleague quickly warned me off of talking to her, in misogynist terms.
When I did actually take the time to get to know her, i found her to be an incredible leader, and someone who was caring and wonderful to me. Imagine if I'd just taken my colleagues at his word? And how often does that happen and perpetuate the problem?