Just Keep Swimming

Wynne Reddin, Fall 2014 J1 student

Sixty-five percent of people in the United States don’t know how to swim, according to Pool Corporation.

However this is not a problem for two Olathe East high school students. Sophomores Delany Green and Mackenzie Bohn both girls swim for Olathe East, and Green also swims for the Kansas City Blazers (KCB).

KCB was founded in 1975 and has since been coaching swimmers across the metro area.

“I have been swimming since I was 7,” Green said.

This is common for swimmers who swim for a club. However, Bohn started swimming competitively last year, when she was a freshman in high school. Bohn and Green agreed that swimming takes a lot of commitment and time.

“It takes probably three to four hours [out of my day],” Bohn said.

Green said she spends about 10 to 12 hours at practice every week during the club swim season. Dedicating this much time to swimming takes time management skills, she said.

“[During] club season, time management is a lot easier,” Green said. “I don’t come as much.”

Managing time also comes down to how many practices she has to attend, Green said.

“[One thing I would change about high school swimming is] having to practice both morning and afternoon,” Green said.

Both girls agreed swimming in both the morning and the afternoon was challenging, but Bohn said she faces more challenges during the high school season.

“You have to be careful what you do outside of the pool like what you eat, and you have to make sure you’re staying active when you’re not swimming,” Bohn said. “In the pool, [the most challenging aspect is] staying motivated and even when it’s really hard to keep going and encouraging your friends to do the same.”

Green said the attitude your teammates have can affect your swimming.

“High school swimming [has a better atmosphere],” Green said.

Attitude isn’t a problem that just high school aged swimmers face. Professional swimmers like Tyler Clary have mentioned how attitude can affect your effectiveness while training.

“It’s amazing how much your mood can affect your ability to train effectively,” Clary said in a tweet.

Even though mood, attitude and atmosphere can have a negative effect, it also causes swimming to become people’s favorite sport.

“It’s really fun and you get to meet a lot of new people, and you get faster throughout the season,” Bohn said about her favorite part of swimming.

The lasting friendships you make with your teammates and coaches is what Green said she liked most about the sport of swimming.

Coaches also play an important role in a swimmers career. Bohn and Green said they like their high school coach, Dave Youker.

“[Coach Youker] is very motivating and is good at helping you with your strokes,” Bohn said.

Green said Youker knows her on a personal level making him a better coach because he knows her strengths and weaknesses.

Green said she wishes she could change the club swimming practices.

“I think we should work more on technique instead of endurance,” Green said.

Bohn said she thinks there is an advantage to focusing solely on high school swimming.

“You can get your body in shape, and you can do a lot of things just in high school season without club swimming,” Bohn said.

Even though high school swimmers may not be as experienced as their teammates who swim for a club, Green said there are still some similarities between the two seasons.

“[Club swimming and high school swimming are similar in] the things we work on, being faster and doing well at meets,” Green said.

Even though the two seasons are similar in many aspects, there are some differences between the two.

“High school swimming is much more of a team atmosphere compared to club swimming. Club swimming is very intense,” Green said.

Even though different seasons bring different challenges and triumphs, both create memories that will live on through the years.

“My favorite memory is when [BV sophomore] Wynne [Reddin] did a flip turn, hit me square in the eye, and I started gushing blood,” Green said. “[My favorite high school swimming memory was] definitely going to State and being a part of a small group of girls.”