Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

How Swimming helped me in my youth

I grew up in a town in Queens New York called “Corona” it was predominately made up of hard working Italian families. It was a “working man’s” neighborhood. Most Dad’s had limited education and most had migrated from Italy to find their dream in the USA. Most Moms were stay at home moms who cleaned their homes, cooked huge meals and cared for their kids. Playing softball in the park and running around play Ring-O-Lero ( a rough house game for boys) was what most of us did  when we were in grade school. As we approached high school gangs started to form the way you got along in the streets . I found my refuge at the local pool called Flushing Meadow Amphitheater Pool in Flushing Meadow/Corona Park. I found that the gang members kind of respected that I was different. I was a diver who trained every day and they didn’t mess with me.  

.  Here I am as a young 14 year old diver at my favorite place…THE POOL, who knew then that this is where I would spend most of my adult life, who knew then that Coaching Swimming is what I would do most of my adult life. I have swimming to thank for keeping me out of trouble in my neighborhood. So many of young boys from Corona wound up in Jail, or dying from drug overdose it is scary….


The pool is where I met my lovely wife Ginny, now 52 years later we look back at those days like it was yesterday. Ginny was also a kid from Corona escaping the street scene. Ginny began her swimming career, swimming along the lane that divided the deep water from the shallow water, she went on to be a great swimmer and a great swimming teacher and coach.

I also have my deep faith in the Lord keeping me grounded in a good life. My hero of course was my Dad, he was a good man who loved his children. He only wanted his children to be strong, healthy and get educated. At dinner at night, he would ask us…”OK Peter, what did you learn today”? And boy, you better have had an answer!……Thought I would share these thoughts with you today….Coach Pete


January 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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