What A Cool Dude | Teen Ink

What A Cool Dude

June 6, 2018
By PTurner BRONZE, Willmington, Delaware
PTurner BRONZE, Willmington, Delaware
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Two things are infinite. The universe or human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe.
~Albert Einstein

When I first heard that I had PE class, I wasn’t so happy. I thought the teacher would be this middle-aged man in his midlife crisis, or a hardcore, rude teacher. I didn’t know what to expect. I was scared out of my mind since it was the first day of my freshman year starting high school. Instead, all of my fears vanished when I walked into the class. The class was filled with boisterous banter, yet he seemed laid back and relaxed. He was an easy person to talk to which allowed me to feel a little better. His name is Craig Young. Mr. Young teaches physical education at Delaware Military Academy. He is the also the coach for DMA’s swim team; he has been teaching and coaching at DMA for quite some time. Everyone knows who Mr. Young is. But why am I nominating him? Well, Mr. Young was very supportive, he saw potential in me that I never knew I had and he is a great coach.

One can imagine how frightened a freshman in high school would be jumping into the pool for the first time on the swim team. During practice, everyone was experienced swimmers, and yet here I am doggy paddling laps. He worked with me individually to teach me the basics of swimming. I felt so discouraged in the beginning. He instructed me how to dive off of the blocks. The first time I dove off the blocks, I went straight down, head first. My legs flew over me. Needless to say, my diving skills sucked, yet he kept encouraging me, and I felt really great about myself. A few takes later, I dove and he began to jump and cheer. He was genuinely proud of me. He believed in all of us and pushed us to become better because he knew we could reach our full potential.

Mr. Young saw potential in me. Since he was my PE teacher as well, I guess he saw how well I played different sports with the guys in my class. As I was coming out of the locker room he said to me, “You should join the swim team.” Reluctantly, I told him, “I don’t know how to swim.” Mr. Young just waved me off and said, “You can learn.” “Again, I never swam before,” I said to him. Once more he said to me, “I’ll teach you. I feel that you would be amazing at swimming.” Then I gave it a shot. As time progressed, I was slowly improving. I was not as good as everyone else on the team, but I was getting there. Weeks later, I had my first swim meet. The list of events was released, and I realized that I was swimming a 100m freestyle. Dread immediately washed over me. Even though it is four simple laps, I was filled with terror. I had never done this before; moreover, I did not want to do it either. Approaching him, I asked if I could scratch it. Mr. Young declined my request with a smile on his face. He patted my shoulder and said, “I believe you can do it.” I unwillingly swam the event, and I did really bad. I crawled out of the water really tired, sad, and dead on the inside. Instead of disappointment, Mr. Young had a smile on his face. Furthermore, he was so supportive along with everyone else on my team. He ended up doing that to me again but in a relay race. I was stressed out and not prepared, but he gave me the courage to do it.

“Embrace the suck,” My coach said. At that very sad moment, I knew it was going to be a hard practice. He would push us to our limits because he knew we could do it. Some practices were the worst but I benefited from them. My endurance got better, along with my technique, and I felt satisfied with myself. Mr. Young was understanding, very calm and a cool dude. The first time I did a flip turn, I crashed straight into the floor. When I popped up above the water, Mr. Young says with a slight smile, “That was good! Try not to flip on your face the next time.”

In the end, Mr. Young is awesome. He was an awesome coach, supportive, really encouraging and an all-around nice guy. He got me into swimming (Now I like doing it), taught me how to swim and how to be better. Mr. Young has given me the confidence to try new things and to go for it. He believed in me and everyone else. He was always funny and an easy going person. Mr. Young would push us because he knew we could excel. Even though he chucked me into events that were challenging, he knew I could do it. This is why I am nominating Mr. Young, he’s my 2018 Educator of the Year.

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