Happy Half-Way

by

By: Joel Shinofield
Head Men’s Swimming Coach

We have reached the midpoint of our season, hard to believe that we have already arrived at our mid-season invitational.  With two weeks left in the semester and the guys coming off some time training at home over Thanksgiving Break, we head over the mountain to Charlottesville later this week to attend UVA’s Cavalier Invitational.  We will compete against UVA, West Chester and American, but more importantly we will compete against the clock to see where we stand at the halfway mark of our season.

As a coach, I love this time of year.  I can really get a feel for the progress we have made, the areas where we still need work and I start to pencil people into our conference line-up.  Our conference rules, as well as most others, only allow 18 scoring competitors in the championship meet.  So these mid-season times at this meet, which is conducted in a similar manner to our championship meet, play an important role in the choices I make in regards to that roster.  We are lucky in that our conference permits us bring our entire team to the meet thus allowing those competitors who do not make the scoring roster to still compete with the rest of the team.  While I can take everyone, I still have to make the tough decisions about who makes that scoring team.

You would think that there would be some animosity among guys who are fighting for those roster spots and without a doubt the guys compete to the bitter end to earn one of those spots.  However, one of the things I am most proud of in regards to our team is the support they show each other even though they are competing for spots on Bluegrass Mountain Conference and NCAA relays as well as scoring spots at the conference meet, they will all be behind one another at the meet this weekend.  More importantly, at our conference meet they will show the same support for the guys who are swimming exhibition as for the guys who are swimming for points.  I have seen a great performance from an exhibition swimmer motivate our entire team to take their performances to a higher level, which would not happen if they were not focused on how every teammate was racing.  Anyway, this is a great part of the season and a huge part of our team coalescing into a whole that is greater than the individual parts.  I plan on watching great performances this week and watching our guys compete as a team

PS- Good luck to Seniors Josh Gonzalez and Winston Stagg as they take part in final interviews for Teach for America this week!

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