Recognizing the enthusiasm of potential varsity swim team members, Coach Cindy Presse and Coach Ji Min Kim devised a method to channel swimmers’ talent in the service of others. The coaches introduced an opportunity to coach middle school swimmers every Tuesday and Thursday afterschool. In addition to the new practice routines brought last year, these coaching sessions give a new experience to varsity swimmers in preparation of their spring season.
Although these practices were not made mandatory to attend, previous varsity members expressed their eagerness, explicitly asking the coaches if they could come and help out. Members of the varsity swim team who attend middle school swimming practices help organize records, time laps, or correct students’ swimming forms during the session.
“I don’t practice outside of school as much as other varsity swimmers,” said Jeffrey Park (11), previous varsity swimmer. “Because of this, I, along with other swimmers went to Coach Presse and Coach Kim and asked if we could get more time to swim by helping middle school swimmers.”
The coaching sessions do limit the time available for varsity swimmers to concentrate on their own records and abilities. However, according to Brian Kim (11), last year’s varsity swimmer, helping middle school swimmers brought more benefit to the high school swimmers than they had expected.
“We are kind of the coach’s work study,” Brian said. “This doesn’t really help [varsity swimmers] get in shape, but it helps us better reflect on ourselves—an opportunity that was never available to us in previous years. When we explain to the little kids on how to correct their forms, we ultimately think about our forms and start to realize areas of improvements.”
Despite the fact that winter season has just begun with the start of basketball and cheerleading, varsity swimmers have already begun to prepare for their upcoming spring season and are ambitious to bring positive results.