Every year student athletes on the swim team compete for a spot at the state competition. Colleen Gibler, an LSW spanish teacher and also a coach, has been a coach for 38 years. Gibler said she has high expectations for her swimmers, which is why she prepares her swimmers as much as she can.
When asked how she conditions her swimmers Gibler said, “There are two practices a day. weights, stretching, dryland activities, and hours in the pool,”
All of the swimmers have said they work their hardest the entire season to make state up until the conference meet.
“Two and a half solid hours of hard swimming with maybe twenty to thirty seconds of rest after hard efforts. Have you ever seen someone run wind sprints in the gym for basketball? Do that for two and a half hours,” Gibler said about what the swim practices are like.
Varsity swimmer Faith Lilly, who is a junior in high school, said she’s been swimming for twelve years as it’s been apart of her family for a long time.
When asked what inspired her to start swimming at such a young age, Lilly said, “My mom swam her whole childhood and was an all-state swimmer in high school. I was kind of forced into it when I was little and then I started to like it as I got older.” Coach Gibler said she is always trying to push her swimmers to do better each and every day because there is always room for improvement and she wants her swimmers to succeed.
“I try to show them it is all in their control to improve and change…it is on them to use that information to become their best self,” Gibler said. Varsity swimmer and sophomore, Isabel Kelderman said she relies on coach Gibler and her teammates especially in tough times.
“My teammates and my coach play a big role in pushing me to be my best. They are always there to keep me going when i’m tired and remind me of the end goal” Kelderman said when asked how she pushes herself to get better everyday.
Lilly said she relies on her teammates to get better everyday, but in a different way. Lilly explains how competition during practice and the right mindset can make all the difference.
“By just having competition in the pool during practice, we all try to keep up with each other and keep a mindset of going fast and trying to drop time,” Lilly said. The main goal for all of the swimmers is to drop time and become as fast as they can in the water.
Dropping time and being faster is a main part of swimming. Swimmers are expected to meet a certain time of quickness in their event to qualify for state. Gibler said that state swimmers work a little extra when the time for qualifying for state rolls around.
“State girls do a little extra work when the others are fine tuning for the conference meet, the state swimmers don’t rest and continue with strength and power,” Gibler said.
Although Kelderman did not qualify for state this year, she said she has now set goals for herself and plans to accomplish them as she continues swim for the rest of her high school career.
“I want to eventually make a state cut and I want to win conference with my team” Kelderman said. The swim team did not win conference this year, however, Gibler said that winning is a goal for the years to come.
“My goals are to help them reach their goals…and learn to set goals that are reasonable and in line with their actions.” Gibler said, “for some, that is just getting faster or stronger. For others that is technique.” Gibler said. At the end of the day the swimmers realize it’s all about creating a bond between them and their teammates, both Lilly and Kelderman said that swim team feels like a family.