By: Olivia Wile
Despite the conclusion of another fall semester at the University of Findlay, winter break is really no time to take a vacation from competitive swimming.
While the UF men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams’ recent trip to Boca Raton, Fla. may have seemed like a vacation, it was far from it. In fact, our team completed our highest volume of training during this week.
Although it meant returning to campus early, we were pretty excited for training trip this year. We left from the Detroit airport on Thursday, Dec. 28 and returned to Findlay the next Saturday.
We spent most of the week at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, swimming twice a day on most days as well as lifting. We also went on a few fun team trips including a visit to Deerfield Beach on New Years Eve and Boomers On New Years day. At Boomers our team enjoyed mini golf, go-carts, arcade games, and laser tag. We also spent an afternoon in Fort Lauderdale as well as enjoyed a cookout at the beach.
As this is the sixth consecutive time the Oiler swimming and diving teams have taken a winter training trip, Head Coach Andrew Makepeace explains why it is such an important part of our program.
“The biggest reason is just to train in a tropical location and build team chemistry,” Makepeace said. “You’re able to focus solely on training and enjoying time with teammates.”
Makepeace also explains that training in the same place the entire year can become redundant.
“Some people don’t know that training at your home facility can get real bad, real fast,” he said. “People get upset, there’s a lot of animosity.”
As exhausting as it was, I believe that our training trip helped our team improve both in and out of the water. I believe that any form of team bonding can contribute to the chemistry of that group.
The article “Accidental Tourists: The Benefits of Training Trips” quotes the University of Tennessee Women’s Coach Matt Kredich in emphasizing why such trips are so beneficial.
“Whether down south, off shore or overseas, swim training trips are designed to improve team unity, confidence, individual skill level and fitness,” said Kredich.
So as painful as the 10 x 100’s off the blocks in long course meters were, I am most likely going to remember the way my team rallied around each other to finish the set rather than the lactic acid built up in my muscles. Not to mention the scene of my teammates shivering and running around the pool deck for warmth as we were practicing in about 50 degree weather from eight to ten at night.
After completing my second training trip with the team, I am thankful for another great experience in Florida and am already eager to see what next year will bring.