on Jun.26, 2012, under stick to the pitch
When I was 15 years old, I moved to Jacksonville, Florida to swim at the Bolles School.
Up until I moved to Bolles, I was a total loser not just in school and the pool, but also in life….
My new coach, Gregg Troy was incredibly tough.
You could not miss practice.
You couldn’t show up late.
There were no clowns on the team — anyone who was not focused, would not make the cut … not just because the coach would kick he/she off, but the teammates on the team wouldn’t allow it.
Everyone was focused not just in the pool, but also in their personal lives.
I had a fairly successful first year with the team, but it wasn’t until my last two years in high school that it all clicked — in the pool, school and my personal life.
Practice was hell, but I really got into training hard.
We did sets that no other high school team in America could or would do.
The team thrived on working hard together – and no one moaned and complained.
We all had the same goal which was to be the best, not just as individuals, but as a team.
Reflecting back – the secret was obvious: we were led by a great coach (a great leader) who ensured we all had or developed the same core values.
Because we trained so hard – the team became very close and there was a possessiveness of “the team.”
Clowns, mediocre, half assed teammates did not last.
There was strong pride amongst us … we considered ourselves to be the best high school swim team in America.
No one missed work out – but, no one ever wanted to miss workout.
No one was late, but no one wanted to be late – if anything some fought to see who would be the first in the pool.
We were an exclusive team, like an exclusive club ….
And we supported each other from letting anyone or anything bring us down.
My senior year, we were the number one high school swim team in America – and several teammates went on to win Olympic medals at the Barcelona Olympics.
Unquestionably, what made us, “the team” so good was the discipline Coach Troy instilled in us to adhere to the core values of the team.
His discipline created consistency.
Coach Gregg Troy is the current USA Men’s Olympic head swim coach for the upcoming Olympics.
Yesterday, the USA Olympic trials began in Omaha – and the first 4 events were all 4 won by swimmers who swim for Coach Troy – including Ryan Lochte who beat Michael Phelps.
Imagine the impact Coach Troy – this leader has had on 1000′s of people’s lives … indirectly, positively impacting even the lives of his swimmers families and friends.
I can’t imagine my life today had I not had the opportunity to swim for Coach Troy – and I am forever grateful to him.
Coach Gregg Troy doesn’t have a facebook account, he doesn’t have a blog, he hasn’t written any books and I am fairly certain he doesn’t “tweet.”