My Mentor

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A shy kid in a new place. That’s what I was at the end of sixth grade when I switched swim teams and came to Lake Country. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous I wouldn’t fit in. But that all changed when I met Coach Bob.
I was eleven and had a small voice, but he seemed to understand me. I felt like he truly cared about me and my swimming and wanted me to succeed. Bob had a passion for coaching and you could tell he wasn’t doing it for the money, but that he truly loved it.
Everyone said I was his favorite, but I didn’t care. All I wanted was someone I was comfortable around and I could trust.
In my swimming, I saw immediate results. I was cutting time at every meet and having more fun than I have ever had. Bob helped me develop a good work ethic and technique that has shaped my whole swimming career. I would not be where I am today if he had not been there for me those two years.
On a more personal level, we could always joke around. One day, he called me C instead of Caryn and it stuck. I can’t remember the last time he called me by my full name. He used to say “sweet sassy molassy” and I would crack up every time. He always knew how to make me laugh when I was having a bad day.
Today, we still have that easy rhythm. But aside from joking around, we can also talk about life. I’ve told him what’s going on at school and how I’m doing in my classes, what’s going on at home and how my family’s doing. Most times, our conversations don’t have any direction; we just say what’s on our mind. It’s just so easy to talk to him about anything; he is one of the first people I will go to if I need to talk.
Bob is part of the reason why I’m still swimming. Two years ago, I wanted to quit. But after talking with him, he motivated me to stick with it. When he sees me down about a bad race, he says “C….smile!” And I always do because I remember the bad races he helped me through and the good times we had.
I still come to him for advice both in and outside the pool and I know he will always be there for me. Bob Jenkyns is a mentor, coach, and friend I am grateful to have in my life. This is why he should be Educator of the Year.





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