Swimming is no easy feat. Swimming with 10 feet of water underneath you is even more challenging.
“During my three years on varsity, an average day for me includes several hours of practice” says varsity swimmer Luke Walsh. “During swim season I have to wake up at 4:45 a.m. every weekday to get ready for practice which gets started around 6:15 a.m.”
To be a high school swimmer, a student athlete must show a great deal of dedication. Not only does the sport involve spending several hours in the water – but the athletes must take great care of their bodies and maintain a good sleep schedule.
“When I splash in cold water – it shocks me awake” Walsh says. “After practice we go change in the locker room to get dressed and ready for school.”
Swim practices vary depending on the focus of that day. Some practices like the long aerobic sets can be very draining and leave the student athlete fatigued.
“I do love short sprint sets because I get to work on what I do at the actual swim meets” Walsh shares. “Even when we have difficult drills, practice is usually fun because of my teammates. It’s more fun to swim with your teammates, laughing and having a good time.
While Walsh enjoys practicing with his teammates, on occasion he does enjoy swimming alone and focusing on his individual skills.
Swim meet days are a completely different vibe for Walsh.
“Whether it’s your first ever or your 20th meet, the feeling of being nervous and having butterflies in your stomach does not change,” Walsh admits. “In high school meets you usually have four events you swim in, depending on if you’re on the relay team or not.”
Swimming is one of the few sports that is based on individual performance, even though there are competitions that result in team wins.
“You really have to focus in as an individual, because when you’re up on the starting block, it’s you vs everyone else in the pool,” Walsh says.