My daughter Olivia joined the Stroke and Turn Program at the South Amboy YMCA in June of 2012. For our daughter, Olivia, the South Amboy Y has been a place to fit in. Olivia has been diagnosed with ADHD and has always had some difficulty finding a place where she is comfortable. Olivia is competitive, has low self-esteem, can be unfocused and headstrong and usually questions whether she can do something. But once she began her “Stroke and Turn” classes at the Y, her attitude began to change thanks to her amazing coaches.
The first was Sara, who understood and connected with Olivia immediately. She is the person that can get through Olivia emotionally by always giving her positive feedback and telling her that she can accomplish anything by trying her best and never quitting. Sara is the young positive female role model that Olivia needed and wanted. Then there is Steve, who may not agree but can get Olivia to focus longer than most and always makes her feel like she is part of the team. He may not know this but Olivia always looks for him when he is not around which is a big thing for Olivia. And then there is Robert. Robert has been a hands-on coach who has never been afraid to get down to Olivia’s level to get her to understand what he is showing her. He jumps in the pool with her and leads by example. Most importantly, Robert has had the biggest influence in Olivia’s overcoming her fears and raising her self-esteem. Whenever she is in training with Robert, she rarely questions whether she can do something because he never gives her the opportunity to do so. Although Olivia still has a lot to learn, these three individuals have been a positive force in her advancement as a swimmer.
In these past few months since joining the South Amboy Y, there have been a number of positive changes in Olivia’s behavior and attitude and we thank Sarah, Steve and Robert for making some progress in breading down some of the pieces of the wall she puts up. We are confident that Olivia will continue to improve because she is surrounded by people that are helping her take the right steps on her life’s journey.