I entered the world of competitive swimming the summer before I started high school. Over the next six years, I swam in three hundred races and spent more than one hundred total days in the water.
During this time I worked under three different coaches. Each had a great influence on my swimming career. They were persuasive. When they spoke, I listened. They all possessed high credibility in my eyes, yet the reason for my regard varied greatly from man to man. The nature of the credibility was different in each case.
Coach Moyle was a whirlwind of activity. It was he who spotted me that first summer as I lounged by the side of the pool. He walked over briskly and began to persuade me to join the club team. He claimed he could make me into a great swimmer. I was flattered. No outside adult had taken an avid interest in me before. He painted a picture of healthy exercise, friendship with other swimmers, and the ribbons, medals, and trophies that could be mine. It was impossible to say no to ...1