Hilarious Excuses Swimmers Have Tried To Pass Off On Their Coaches

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Hilarious Excuses Swimmers Have Tried To Pass Off On Their Coaches (Archive)

Because it is always good to laugh, we bring back some of these excuses that were actually uttered.

You’d be lying if you said you’ve never racked your brain to come up with any–and I mean any–excuse to get out of going to practice.

“I’m sick.” Chances are you’ve already used that one…more times than you’d like to admit.

“I’m too tired.” True, but that one won’t get you out of anything.

“My shoulder hurts.” Please, be a little more creative than that.

“My alarm didn’t go off.” Oldest trick in the book.

Although excuses are the easy way out and act as a barrier to success, I’ll admit, sometimes the most creative excuses result in a good laugh.

Here are 11 of the funniest excuses college coaches have ever heard:

1. “I had an athlete who was heavy into astrology and informed me that they could not make practice as their daily horoscope had forewarned them of an accident awaiting them. I didn’t see them for three days until the ‘danger’ had passed.”

Woody Woodard, Head Coach, Colorado State University

2. “I had a first-year swimmer who texted me to tell me that he could not start preseason with us because he got a tattoo and ‘it went bad.'”

Eileen Hall, Head Coach, Saint Michael’s College

3. “I had a swimmer leave me a voicemail at 4:15 a.m. telling me the airline called to say that her flight was going to leave two hours early, which meant she couldn’t make the last workout before winter break.”

Brad Burnham, Head Coach, Bowdoin College

4. “We actually had a kid this past year look at us and say, ‘I was just hanging out with friends.'”

Jason Hite, Head Coach, University of Indianapolis

5. “I had an international swimmer tell me he missed practice because of bad dreams.”

John Brooks, Head Coach, Brigham Young University

6. Coach: “Did you train over Thanksgiving?”

Swimmer: “No.”

Coach: “Why not?”

Swimmer: “It was too cold out.”

Coach: “How cold was it?”

Swimmer: “I don’t know. Maybe below 60 degrees. I didn’t go outside.”

Leslie Shevlin, Head Coach, Willamette University

7. “The swimmer was too full from the trip us coaches took them on to the Cheesecake Factory.”

Jamie Platt, Former Head Coach, La Salle University

8. “The best one from last year is ‘Sorry I couldn’t make practice, I had to break up with my girlfriend on Skype.'”

Heidi Voigt, Head Coach, Northern Michigan University

9. “The swimmer came to the pool and realized that they left their suit and equipment bag back in their dorm. They went back to the dorm and it was locked so they did not come to practice.”

Richard Sybesma, Head Coach, Texas Christian University

10. “I had a swimmer tell me they couldn’t come to practice because they were up all night long studying. It was a Saturday.”

Gerry Cournoyer, Head Coach, University of Vermont

11. “I had a swimmer, in the middle of winter, wipe out on his bike on his way to early morning practice because it was too slippery. When I asked why he rode his bike in the snow, he admitted it was to hopefully wipe out and not be able to practice.”

Jon Carlson, Head Coach, Gustavus Adolphus College

Props to these swimmers for thinking of these creative excuses, but my guess is that they didn’t go over too well with their coaches.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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2 years ago

Not an excuse as such but a funny coaching story nonetheless.

As a Coach at a meet I had a member of pool staff complain about one of my swimmers.
The swimmer had swapped the male/female changing room signs over (pretty funny in itself) and been caught.

So I questioned the swimmer who swiftly denied it was her. I said “but Becky, you had your club hat on when you did it” to which she said “but there’s loads of us with our club hats on, so why you picking on me?”…
“Because your club hat is the only one with Becky written on it!!!”
?

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2 years ago

Dennis Hay

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2 years ago

Charlotte Garner the spider bite

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2 years ago

Andrea Forshaw Abbey Webb Sian Dyer we would all have so many omg

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2 years ago

Charlotte Garner spider bite ??

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2 years ago

Kassidee Smith “I have a cramp”

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2 years ago
Reply to  Julia Algie

Julia Algie I have to get out early cause I have to walk to school hahahah

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2 years ago
Reply to  Julia Algie

Kassidee Smith “I’m going to miss dinner in the boarding house”

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2 years ago
Reply to  Julia Algie

My period cramps hurt hahah

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2 years ago
Reply to  Julia Algie

Kassidee Smith

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2 years ago
Reply to  Julia Algie

Julia Algie what

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2 years ago

One of my swimmers once told me he couldn’t swim in a team event at the weekend because he was ” teckin his pig t’ pig show!
(We are in a very rural area but he got 10 out of 10 for originality)

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2 years ago

Coach, I had to take care of the ducks, there’s a raccoon that is breaking in and killing them.

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Kara
2 years ago

I had a swimmer tell me she missed practice because she just got a pedicure and loves the new polish color and didn’t want to mess that up.

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2 years ago

I had a swimmer tell me she missed practice because she just got a pedicure and loves the new polish color and didn’t want to mess that up.

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2 years ago

TCU Swimming & Diving Alumni look who made the article ?

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2 years ago

“It’s my Mom’s birthday.” 1)She gets them yearly, and 2)It will still be her birthday after the workout.

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2 years ago

Also coaching in a smaller high school, lots of FFA kids, one of them shows cows, and has one that’s rather stubborn. “I couldn’t get my cow into the trailer, and she kicked me too” I laughed the entire practice. (Wisconsin)

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2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Keleny

Michael Keleny I definitely told coaches all kinds of shit. Like I can’t practice because it’s my birthday (in a week ?‍♀️). I didn’t even use an excuse sometimes, just clung to the blocks until I was pried off.

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2 years ago

Simon R. Pickering I’m sure you had a whole load of ours jotted down ?

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2 years ago

Stewart Crowe I bet you’ve heard some classics over the years…

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2 years ago

1: fell asleep with my face in the cereal Bowl
2: jetlag after a weekend trip with a 1 hour difference (not even morning practice)

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Hugo
2 years ago

I also had the jet lag excuse for one hour by a 2 year old at practice. The Senior boys heard him and he left crying.
The best one though was the kid that told me his mom was working late and he had to go home to turn on the oven to cook the roast.

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2 years ago

Jose Torres jajaja

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2 years ago

Some of the best from you!!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Crowe

Stewart Crowe ? Fair!

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2 years ago

George Morreal these are all fair enough, especially number 11

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Anonymous
2 years ago

I asked a younger swimmer why they were sitting on the wall and his response was “Because I’m Sea Sick!” ?

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Mel
2 years ago

Not sure if she has used this excuse with her coach but my daughter misses every Monday morning training. Her excuse “because I have a life”.

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Roger Karns
2 years ago

My spleen hurts.

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Anonymous
2 years ago

The water is too cold for my stroke

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Melanie
2 years ago

After 35 years of coaching I thought I had a good one to share, but nope, I can’t beat these excuses!

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Gwen
2 years ago

I can’t practice because I have diarrhea-

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Cate
1 year ago
Reply to  Gwen

That’s a pretty good excuse. ?

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2 years ago

Jens Peter Träff de her komme jo slet ikke i nærhede af Magnus eller Flemming

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2 years ago
Reply to  Sune Thonesen

Sune Thonesen nej Magnus Iversen og Hans “begravelser” om morgenen er på et helt andet niveau. Ligeledes Flemming og hans spirituelle pauser 🙂 🙂

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2 years ago
Reply to  Sune Thonesen

Mage til respektløshed skal man lede efter, fra to så æreløse svømmere!?

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Reply to  Sune Thonesen

Magnus Iversen de er bare misundelige

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2 years ago
Reply to  Sune Thonesen

Kasper Flemming Rasmussen helt enig. Tydeligt at se ingeniører ikke ejer skyggen af kreativ tænkning!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Sune Thonesen

I sgu så søde i to ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Sune Thonesen

Magnus Iversen det bliver i hvert fald tydeligt når Man kigger i det big black book of the ventetid 🙂

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2 years ago

These made me sad. If a young adult doesnt want to go to practice occasionally they shouldnt need to make excuses.

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Cate
1 year ago
Reply to  Dianne Fraser

A “young adult” should know what it means to make a commitment. Perhaps if said “young adult” doesn’t want to make that commitment they need to do something else.

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2 years ago

I had a kid tell me he was late because it took him 10 minutes to get through the line at Sonic. He was 25 min late. I tried to explain that if he didn’t go to Sonic he still would have been 15 minutes late. He didn’t get what I was sayin…….

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2 years ago

I had a teammate when I was 13/14 get out because he had “asthma in his leg” and I laugh about it to this day

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2 years ago

Paula Caucutt…”My teeth hurt?!”

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Reply to  Gretel Ryan

Gretel Ryan Paula Caucutt I kid you not I heard that one on Thursday. My response, “Good thing you don’t need teeth to swim. Ready go.”

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2 years ago
Reply to  Gretel Ryan

Bahahahaha!!! I have heard that one also!!!!?Gretel Ryan

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2 years ago

Conference call works well for Masters swimmers lol

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Tamunotonye Edward
2 years ago

These swimmers don’t know the kind of priveledge they have. I’m a Nigerian, a pretty good swimmer, and I’ve been looking for a swim coach, or even a swim school here in Port Harcourt, to help me fulfil my dream to become an international/ competitive swimmer, but to no avail. I think there are talented swimmers in West Africa/Nigeria that needs coaching and even a standard swimming pool, and it will be a really good thing if NGO’s come here and help.

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2 years ago

I would like to hear some stories from Coach George Zimmerman. NO need to share any of mine, they have been well documented and dicussed.

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2 years ago

Joe Casedonte

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lily
2 years ago

I had a swimmer no show at morning practice, her sister was already in the pool training so I knew she was in the building.

I sent someone to check on her and turns out she had fallen back asleep in a changing room cubicle!

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2 years ago

Paul Kevin Mason

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2 years ago

Samantha Sutherland

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2 years ago

Super funny!!!

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2 years ago

Cheryl Carpenter

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2 years ago
Reply to  Marissa Kordal

Marissa Kordal lol I love the last one – riding the bike in the snow lol just so they could wipe out hahahahaha

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2 years ago

Jackie Pell i think my excuse of being penny locked beats all of these.

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Bob Steele
2 years ago

Guy was late to AM practice because of a traffic jam in town. He lived in Wasco, CA, a very small town without even a traffic light.

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2 years ago

There is a new excuse everyday. One was, I had to have breakfast with my father. Ok kid, why dont you have breakfast with your father before or after practice? Huh? No words!
I had a doctor’s appointment. You knew you had practice. Why couldn’t you make the appointment on Saturday after morning practice? Duh?
Why did you miss practice? I was feeling tired. My response, WTH.
I die when I hear a notorious slacker say, can we have a easy practice today? Yes, we can have easier practices when the races become easier.

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2 years ago

??

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Diego Pombo
1 year ago

I was subbing for a10-12 age group:

Kid: I can’t swim today, i got injured
Me: What happened?!
Kid: Mosquito bite! (pointing to his ankle)

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Jim
1 year ago

I had a team mate once not come to practice because ” the garage door fell on my car.” Sadly he was telling the truth. The garage door had fallen on the car, a two door, and bent the frame on the door, so niether door would open. They actually had to have a tow truck come out and pry the door open to get the two guys out of the car. If I hadn’t seen pictures I would not have believed it.

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Anonymous
1 year ago

“My Speedo is at the dry cleaners”. Still cracks me up.

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Phili Balcombe
11 months ago

I had one tell me once that he had an emergency table tennis match.

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