Staples-Motley/Verndale swim team captains; Lili Schneider and Emily Veronen.Amanda Olson starting her first season as head coach for the Staples-Motley Swim team.

New swimming coach finding early success

Captains excited for season

With a lot of very young swimmers on the team, Staples-Motley Coach Amanda Olson is finding big improvements after just one week of practice.

“Already they’re doing things they thought were impossible ... it’s starting to click,” said Olson.

The team started doing time trials early because Olson said she wanted them to notice their improvement. She said her goals for the team are “getting the girls to love the sport, getting healthy and learning to improve.”

Olson knows about falling in love with swimming since she joined her high school team in seventh grade. She continued swimming into her first year of college. “My life was swimming,” she said, “I loved it.”

When she started teaching at Motley-Staples Middle School last year, Olson attended the swim meets and found herself helping out some of the girls.

When last year’s coach moved away, Olson was asked to apply for the position. She got support from her boyfriend, family and school staff and decided to do it.

When she started Olson first noticed that some of the girls could use technique work and gain good habits to help prevent injuries. So for summer workshops and the first week of practice, she taught a lot of the basics.  “We are now applying everything and working on strength and endurance,” said Olson.

The swimmers are also responding to the practices. “We’ re a lot better than last year, we have a good new coach and are very excited,” said team captain Lili Schneider, “everyone is working hard.” 

Captain Emily Veronen agreed. “We are excited for a great season, we want to improve as a team, not just individuals,” said Veronen.

The team will continue with their diving program if there’s enough interest. Last year’s diving coach Tony Stanley has agreed to help girls continue to improve on their diving.

Olson said the ultimate goal for the season would be for the team to win at least one meet, despite the youth and inexperience. “A little success would be awesome for the girls,” she said.

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