Getting ready for States

The air crackled with nervous energy as the group of swimmers huddled together, their bright team jackets a beacon against the stark white walls of the hallway. Coach Miller, a stoic figure with a clipboard in hand, paced back and forth, her calm demeanor a stark contrast to the buzzing excitement of her team.

At the front of the line, Sarah, the team captain and a powerhouse backstroker, bounced on her toes, her eyes gleaming with anticipation. Beside her, Becky, the quiet but fiercely competitive butterfly specialist, stared intently at the closed doors, visualizing his race. Further down the line, Maya, the team's newest member, fidgeted with her goggles, her face a mixture of excitement and fear.

Every now and then, a muffled roar would erupt from within the natatorium, sending shivers down their spines. The sound was a potent cocktail of cheers, whistles, and the echoing boom of the starting signal – a symphony of competition that quickened their pulses and tightened their grips on their swim bags.

Coach Miller stopped pacing and turned to face the team, her voice firm but laced with encouragement. "Remember, you've trained for this. Trust your preparation, trust yourselves, and swim your hearts out. We're in this together."

A collective nod rippled through the group, their eyes meeting in a silent pact of determination. They were no longer just individuals; they were a team, united by their passion for the sport and their hunger for victory.

As the doors finally opened, the roar of the crowd washed over them like a wave. Sarah took a deep breath, a steely glint in her eyes, and led the team into the arena, ready to leave their mark on the state championships.

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Swim, SKWIM and Water Polo coach and publisher in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a nonprofit advocate organization and webmaster to the International Swim Coaches Association. Head varsity and middle-school swim coach for The Ellis School. Former candidate for public office on multiple occasions.

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