To help celebrate our 3rd birthday (tomorrow!!) Coach Max shared his thoughts on the club today! He is not only one of our Head Coaches, but also a parent of one of our athletes, and reflects upon both below.
“I joined Gator Water Polo as head coach of the 10/12U team in 2014, about a year after John and David founded the club. I have a unique perspective because I am both a coach and an athlete’s parent. One of the first things I noticed once coming aboard was the deep love and experience that John and David have for our sport. I have played from the age of 9 through high school and college in California and beyond, so I’ve been exposed to a great deal of different water polo philosophies and traditions. Gator Water Polo’s coaches bring all of those philosophies together in a youth club that has tremendous potential.
I never pushed my son into the sport because I didn’t want to be ‘that kind of dad’, but he knew that I coached. When he was 9, he asked if he could try water polo. I said sure. So, we went to the pool, and he froze up and didn’t want to get in the water – just wanted to watch from the deck. I walked over to John and had a quiet, discreet chat, asking him to go over and talk to Max. He agreed and after about 5 minutes, Max was in the pool and being taught technique by John and David. He was hooked from that day on and plays for both the 12U and 14U teams today. To this day, I don’t know what John told my son, but I am thankful for it.
Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of coaching is seeing the development of our young athletes. It’s very rewarding to see the progression of our kids as athletes and people. It’s great to see them work hard every week, get better, deal with bad days, see them laugh and also get frustrated. But probably the best thing is to see them have fun.
As a non-profit organization, we have made great inroads into our future development. From David and my trips to Tallahassee to lobby for pool funding, to grant writing, and to laying the foundation for the expansion of water polo as a varsity sport in our local high schools, our future is very bright. We have an outstanding core of athletes and families and I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays to come!”