Diving Into the Start of a New Season
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The four strokes of swimming: Fly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Free. All of these strokes require swimmers to put in their ultimate hard work and effort; however, straight sets of each stroke at practice does not simply “perfect” the stroke. Specific drills, weight training, and strict diets throughout the whole season add on to perfect a stroke and better times during meets. And because the Boys Swim season goes on for a long, hard three months before the Conference or Sectional meets, the daily training is a long grind for a future payoff.The boys started this year on Monday, November 21, which is as early as possible given the end of the girls season, to get prepared for their first meet, just two weeks after practices start.
Senior swimmer and Captain, Joe Cangialosi, gave his preseason outlook:can’t wait for the daily grind to start back up again.”
The “daily grind” includes two and a half hour practices, six times a week, including a distance day, timed sprint workout day, and a weight lifting day. Head Varsity Girls and Boys Swim Coach, Chris Cook, plans specific workouts to prepare the boys for the meets, focusing on building up their strength and endurance.
Bowling, golfing, and tabata are three of the specific workouts done to build that endurance. “Bowling and golfing sets isn’t actually bowling or golfing. Bowling is a set that includes (10x100s) four all out laps, 10 times. Golfing is a set that includes (16x50s) two all out laps, 16 times: four fly, four backstroke, four breaststroke, and four freestyle,” explains Cangialosi. These workouts are done every Wednesday, causing the boys to be physically exhausted, but eventually feeling great after the workout is finally done.
Junior swimmer, Tom Radziszewski explained, “Practices can be tough sometimes, but the outcome is worth it.”
Every swimmer works as a team at every practice and meet, to push each other to do their best. No matter what age or level, the boy’s guide each other throughout the season. Although the JV and Varsity teams practice at different campuses, they get to know each other really well in the beginning with team bonding . Because of working hard throughout the week, the boys bond and relax on Saturday morning practices by doing Yoga as a team.
In addition to getting to know each other at practices, the long season is made better by forming friendships beyond the pool as well. Radziszewski stated, “One of our favorite things to do as a team is go to Top Golf. It’s fun to see how personalities come out from the guys while just hanging out and playing golf.”
“After every home meet, we usually go to Wingstop to celebrate after the meet,” Cangialosi added. Another time that the boys get to know each other well is during their Conference Dinner. The dinner happens the night before the Conference meet, to eat well and to celebrate the season. They cheer each other on at the Conference meet the following day, and at every meet, during individual and relay events. The whole team works as a family, like brothers. As a senior, Cangialosi advises the underclassman “to always try their hardest, and to never give up, no matter what time they get.”
The commitment and dedication to always try their hardest shined last season, when the boys finished strong with a fifth place finish out of 15 teams at Sectionals. They hope to go even further this year. “One of the main goals for the team this year would be possibly winning conference,” states Radziszewski.
Cangialosi believes that there is “a chance that the team can make it all the way to Regionals.” Cangialosi also added that there are many “strong sophomores and juniors” on the team, increasing their chances of hopefully beating their top rivals this season: Hinsdale South, Addison Trail, and Downers Grove South.
With the “daily grind” starting early, the boys will be prepared for their first home meet of the season: Tuesday, December 6 at 5:00 p.m. against West Chicago.