Paying Success Forward – a simple act of kindness

Competitive swimming and paying success forward:

Paying success forward is a cornerstone principle to us as swim parents. It is an important process to nurture our swimmer as a person (and not just an athlete.)  It keeps her grounded and humble.

Swimming is like a toffee apple.  Tough to eat, but sweet and soft on the inside.  It is a long, hard road which requires more than the average amount of commitment, work, and endurance.

We are blessed with a youngster willing to do the work, make the sacrifices at a young age and commit to the long-term plan.

The beginning of paying success forward

Paying success forward through an act of kindness.

March 2016.  It is our third year of swimming and Monica established herself as a provincial swimmer following the KZN Provincial championships in February 2016.

Paying swimming success forward

Monica pays her success forward to her best friend at the Kloof MiniLympics in March 2016.

Our neighbor and Monica’s best friend (Amber) receives a certificate at her school for the “Most improved swimmer”.  At this point in time, our town does not have training and coaching facilities. (Dad continues his ASCA coaching qualification in order to continue Monica’s training.)

As a result, we (Mom and Mica), decides to help her with some stroke correction in a very informal way.  We have great fun helping Amber at her home pool.

The girls enter a fun swim meet called the MiniLympics. Monica does very well at the meet and she decides to give one of her medals to her Amber with the instruction to earn her own next time they swim.

We spend Saturdays at Amber’s house helping her with her strokes, practicing starts and turns until May when winter sets in.  Swim training like this is great fun and we become a great team

During the winter of 2016, the sessions continue at the gym where there is a heated pool.  We take every week as it comes as Monica’s best friend has other commitments than just swimming (school, dancing, winter sport etc.)

Growing our effort to inspire other swimmers:
WSC September 2016

WSC fun gala September 2016 – silver and bronze medals for our best friend.

September 2016:

The girls enter the Westville Swimming Club fun gala.  This was Monica’s first ever swim back in 2013.  As a result, WSC fun gala holds special meaning to us.

The meet goes very well despite rain and cold weather.  Amber earns a silver and bronze medal.

We are so proud of her achievement and express the wish to build on her success – she becomes highly motivated and told us that she would also like to win all her events including the 100-meter IM.

Monica advises that, in order to do so, she will have to learn to swim butterfly and attempt to swim an individual medley.

Inspiring fellow swimmer

October 2016. Monica pays her success forward to a swimmer from Gauteng

October 2016:
Seagulls SC winter champs.

Monica makes a new friend from Gauteng (Alexia).  She stays with us while swimming Seagulls winter champs and the two girls become close friends.

Even though she wins her swimming heats, medals elude Alexia and she becomes very despondent.  Monica decides to give her gold IM medal to her friend as motivation.

The concept grows as she tells Alexia that once she wins medals, she has to inspire someone else by paying her success forward.

Alexia has to work hard in the coming year in order for her to swim for her own medal at Seagulls SC champs 2017.  The girls stay in touch and we will keep our diary updated.

Inspiring friend to swim IM

Seagulls fun gala December 2016. Our friend completes her first 100-meter IM. Mica pays medal forward.

December 2016:
We enter Amber and Monica into the Seagulls fun gala.  Our friend is entered for her first 100-meter IM.  She completes the event and we are so proud of her.

Monica decides to keep the motivation going and she gives her friend her gold IM medal.

The medal comes with a motivational message: Let’s work on breaststroke and butterfly, in order to improve the IM.  

The next goal is set.

Paying success forward in 2017:
Inspiring young swimmers

Monica handing over one of her gold medals.

End January 2017: Our family travels to Richards Bay to swim Ushaka championships.  It is just a fun weekend away for us.  Monica cleans the medal table with some 9-and-under meet records.  She decides to pay her success forward once again by giving a medal to Pongola Swimming Academy.

We leave it up to PSA to decide who the swimmer is that always try hard but just never make the podium.  Monica befriends her fellow 9-year-old swimmers at Ushaka champs and we stay in touch with the club.


Paying success forward works

February 2017:
Amber swim trials and is chosen to represent her school’s swim team.  We attend the Inter-house gala.

She swims like a superstar in the 11 & Under age group.

The school awards the 11 & Under Freestyle ELCOX Cup and the DAWE trophy for 11 & Under Backstroke to her as she won these events. What an amazing turn of events and it all started with one simple act of kindness……

All things considered, we did not expect this turn of events.  This project just became fun.  We aim to continue to inspire those around us and will update this site with news as we pay our success forward.