Through various discussions with Leilani about the idea of a national water polo program, we decided to open an exploratory committee. I contacted water polo coaches from the United States to see what their thoughts were on the possibility of developing a national water polo program in Afghanistan, what it would take, milestones, and what possible measurable results could be achieved, if any. The feedback I received from members of the water polo community was outstanding. Everyone was very supportive and offered quality feedback. They reinforced my thoughts and also provided some good ideas as well.
Based on this information, I decided to move forward. This project could not be remotely completed without the support of Leilani, and of a team. First, I made sure that Leilani would be supportive and I also convinced her to help me start a non-profit organization, assuming that my next meeting with the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee goes well, and if it even occurs. I also called my mother, Jane Piasecki, and some fellow coaches, Bahram Hojreh from Los Alamitos Water Polo, and Grier Laughlin from Colorado Water Polo to see if they would support the project as well. I also called some other individuals that I felt would be very helpful in this project but unfortunately were unable to help because their schedules would not permit. I also called Scott McCook, a parent of a former player of mine. I caught him out of the blue on a Saturday morning. He was probably thinking I was calling from somewhere locally (Southern California) to catch up, not to be calling him from Afghanistan to talk to him about the potential of this project and the possibility of his involvement. Ironically, when I first told him the reason I was calling, he paused and then asked me to repeat what I said. Not because I mumbled or that he did not hear me, but because he had to process what I was telling him, “Water Polo and Afghanistan.” I actually think that I caught most people that I called or emailed off guard like that, Scott’s response was just classic.
Now with a good, reinforced plan in my head, and the support that I need at hand, I am confident for my next meeting with the Swim Chair. I hope that they Afghanistan National Olympic Committee will have interest in this idea. We will see what happens.