North Bay Aquatics Youth Team, 2024 Bronze Medal USA Swimming Team
Every year, USA Swimming recognizes 200 clubs across three categories (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) for their Club Excellence Program. For the first time in club history last year, North Bay was recognized as a Silver Medal program, marking us as a top 100 club in the country. Our goal was to move up into the top 75 this year, but we slid back into the Bronze Medal category, which is for teams in spots 101-200.
This is of course not an inherently bad thing. There are roughly 3000 clubs in the US, so being recognized at all puts you in the top 6% of the country and should be celebrated!! However, I wanted to use this opportunity to talk about failure, something we all could embrace a little more. The coaching staff often talks with the athletes about it being okay to fail, so I think it is important we recognize when we as a club fall short of our goals. Going from Silver to Bronze doesn’t make us a worse organization, people, athletes, coaches, or parents, just means we weren’t successful according to this singular metric.
We all will inevitably fail in life – miss that JO cut, not get into the college you want, lower than desirable GPA, failed relationships, not get the big promotion, etc. I hate to be cliche, but how you respond to that shortcoming is what is important.
So, time to get back to work. Hope this news motivates a few of you as much as it motivates the coaches…