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Hawkeye Swim Camp helps prepare for next level

BY DOMINICK WHITE | JUNE 13, 2013 5:00 AM

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The sounds of the swimmers, young and old, echoed throughout the hallways of the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. Crowds of swimming enthusiasts were making their way to the pool.

Among them were campers between the ages of 9 and 18, and with them were members and coaches of the Iowa swimming and diving teams.

“We have about 145 to 150 participants this week and around 260 in total,” Iowa swimming coach Marc Long said. “It’s a great experience for everyone involved.”

Today ends the first weeklong session of the 2013 Hawkeye Swim Camps, sponsored by the Iowa men’s and women’s swimming teams. Throughout the week, the campers went through two or three daily training sessions, spending the duration of the camp on Iowa’s campus.

The drills the campers partook in were technique-specific, helping develop good habits. Much of the instruction they received mirrored the same training that the Hawkeye swimmers go through every day.

“It’s definitely a technique-based camp,” associate head coach Frannie Malone said. “We’re focusing on the fundamentals of swimming and talking a lot about competitive swimming and how to incorporate fundamentals and techniques into becoming a great swimmer.

“We do technical work with our team of Division-1 swimmers every day, because it doesn’t matter how much training you are putting in if you are not technically correct.”

The regimens the campers take on each day provides a taste of the next level of swimming. It allows some of the younger swimmers to speed up their times and some of the older swimmers to start establishing themselves as legitimate college recruits.

“Many of the camp’s younger swimmers swim competitively on summer league teams or USA teams,” Malone said. “A lot of the 16- and 17-year-olds are swimming for their high-school teams while starting to look at whether or not they can swim in college.”

Much of the camp’s time spent in the pool focuses on perfecting such swimming strokes as freestyle, butterfly, and the breaststroke, as well as executing starts and turns for each stroke. Additionally, the camp concentrates on details and certain training elements of high-level swimming, such as land workouts and eating properly.

Camp participants were lectured on the benefits of eating a balanced diet and performing out-of-water exercises daily during the afternoon training sessions.

The Hawkeye Swim Camp also gives young swimmers an opportunity to spend time and interact with members of the Iowa swimming teams. Campers get a unique chance to focus on individual work with the Hawkeyes during each of the training session.

Sometimes, the campers aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“This is a great opportunity for the swim team to give back to the community,” Iowa freshman Matthew Boyd said. “This is a good way to advertise for the swim team while helping a lot of kids reach the next step in their careers … You get an atmosphere of success and a desire to become better, because you’re around a bunch of kids who want to be better.”


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