One reason that I like coaching swimming is that it allows me to lie to children a lot. I am not trying to trick them, usually, as much as I am saying things that are obviously untrue or ridiculous to tease them. Intentionally deceiving small children isn't very hard, so it gets old after a while. Constant innocuous lying, however, is the child-teasing gift that keeps on giving, if by "giving" you mean "tormenting small children."
Often on the pool deck, I often offer my swimmers "rewards" as motivation for their good efforts. "If everyone kicks their fastest on this last lap," I'll announce to the 6 & Unders, "You all get to help wash Coach Sean's car!" Sometimes I will promise to let kids do yardwork if they swim fast, or help put away the equipment. Kids are usually motivated enough by arbitrary rewards like points, or competitions between lanes, so I don't believe in bribing them with anything good.
Sara and Sami were little girls that my sister Kelly used to babysit. Sara was one of the stars of the 6 & Unders in 1999, my last year of coaching their team, and Sami was her soon-to-be-three year-old sister. (Now Sami has grown up to be an aquatic superstar herself) For that whole year, Kelly and I promised a trip to the dump as a reward for anything Sara and Sami did. If Sami held her breath successfully during swim lessons with Kelly, trip to the dump. If Sara's free relay finished in first, trip to the dump. I'd talk at length about how much wonderful garbage there was at the dump, how great the air would smell, and how much fun it would be to visit. Sara was firmly convinced she was never going to the dump, but Sami would occasionally seem enthusiastic about the mounds of garbage, at least until Sara got frustrated and yelled, "We don't want to go to the dump, Sami!"
After I left the team, I didn't see the kids until the following summer, when my new team, the Beavers, visited the old pool. I was swarmed by kids when I first arrived, including the still-pint-sized Sami and Sara, who was three inches taller than she'd been the previous summer, and lacked front teeth. I said hello to them, picked Sami up, and had not even began my next sentence before Sara yelled, "Hey! Don't start in with that dump business again!"
So I didn't. But half an hour later, Kelly told a girl named Jenny that she had a pet moose living in our backyard, and I didn't deny it.