The head coach I was training?
Ain't coaching this year. He's advertising for Coca Cola. Which, you know, probably more profitable. But it leaves me in somewhat of a lurch, and here's why:
Without me? There would be no swim team.
I'm not being an egotistical head case. I AM MAKING A FACTUAL STATEMENT. The Y loses money every year on swim team. (Maybe because they don't advertise it, most people don't know we even HAVE a swim team, even though there are plenty of swimmers going through their lessons year after year. They don't fund us in any way. Their swim team budget is entirely spent, from what I can gather, on renting the pool and paying the coaches. No new equipment, no nothing. We have to pull teeth every year to get a lifeguard on deck other than the coaches.) If I don't coach, I guarantee they won't even look for a new coach. The year I started coaching, they weren't looking for a coach, my family just happened to know that the coach from the previous year was not doing it again and so there was an opening. That first year, I had only eight kids on the team because everyone had already made other plans thinking there wouldn't be swim team at all.
I've kept this team treading water (literally and figuratively) for the past six years, and to be honest, I'm tired. In the beginning, I was working at Subway and my schedule was really flexible. But for the past three years, I've been coaching in addition to a full-time job, and it's wearing. I have no idea what life is like during the months of May, June and July because I spend that time coaching and wrestling with the YMCA to make sure the season goes smoothly. I love the kids, and I don't want to let them down, but it's fighting an uphill battle, trying year after year to prove the team is a worthwhile program while the rest of the Y looks down their nose at us, wishing we didn't exist. We don't even practice at the Y's own pool.
There are a couple kids who are interested in coaching, but that's the problem: They're kids. They're sixteen. They can't be acknowledged as a head coach until they're 18.
So, I'm faced with an ultimatum: Coach, or live with the fact that it's my fault there's no swim team this year.