By Sara Seibel
Eat. Swim. Sleep. Repeat; this is the daily life of a high school swimmer. Committing to a hobby takes dedication and preparation, and this water sport is no exception.
From 3 to 5 p.m., the team meets daily after school at the Multigenerational Center. They focus on technique and skill, such as turns and diving off the blocks, as well as strength and endurance. Later in the evening, the team does “dryland,” which is an out-of-water workout that consists of running, using stretch cords for arm strength, jumping rope, doing reaction drills and ab work, working with a medicine ball and focusing on positive mental imagery.
Some club swimmers plunge into early morning practices at around 5 a.m. on weekdays and then continue in the afternoon with either their club team or high-school team.
On Fridays, before a meet, the team practices dives and sprints to surpass their current speed with the help of their coach, Mr. Stump, who gives them advice.
“Coach Stump gives us a pep talk on what we need to improve on, and it really boosts my motivation,” Sae Adachi, sophomore, said.
Swim meets, which are races against schools from all over the county, occur every Saturday and last more than a few hours – some beginning at 3:30 p.m and lasting until late in the evening. They include individual events and relays. Day one of Dual Meets, which are against one other school, is April 2.
Swimmers overcome struggles in school and in their sport. It can be challenging to participate in other school clubs when they spend most of their time practicing after school, and missing practices can become a threat to endurance and muscle mass.
Challenges are never easy, but practicing every day helps with time management and supports a healthy lifestyle, which make a swimmer stronger.
Diet is crucial to a successful performance during practice and during a meet, where fruit and power bars are usually available. A well-balanced meal consists of healthy carbohydrates, protein and plenty of water.
“For a swimmer to perform their best and not feel sluggish, it’s good to eat healthy and drink plenty of water throughout the day, not just during practice,” team captain, Taylor Luna, junior, said.
Uniforms show off school colors and allow swimmers to proudly represent their team. Suits are blue and black one pieces with a cougar head and last name embroidered on the back. The caps are white with a navy “C” outlined in red. Goggles are also a must and practice gear includes fins, kickboard, and paddles.
The swim team is working hard for regionals at UNLV and state which take place May 21.
“There are always going to be challenges, especially when you may not feel like always going to practice or working out, but it’s best to stay positive, and it’s important that we’ve trained hard all season for these meets, so why not give it all you have when you can?” Luna said in her final message to her team members.