Swim brings back FAST

Varsity swimmers and head swim coach Edward Gautreau revamped FAST, a program in which varsity swimmers work with beginning junior varsity (JV) swimmers to improve on technique, on Friday, March 20.

“This program is important because to become better in swimming you have to have other people look out for you. They’ll need the encouragement. People want to get better and if they’re are not improving they lose the motivation, so we’re trying to change that,” swim captain senior Theresa Lo said.

Gautreau hopes the JV swimmers will improve on their overall stroke mechanics, arm stroke, kicking, starts, turns and racing strategy. Extra practice will help JV learn how to race certain events and will help prevent swimmers from being disqualified.

“I hope JV gain the thought of never giving up. I know in my past, I experienced times where I just wanted to quit in the moment. But those people that tell you don’t give up, gives motivation, but it’s the people around you that keep you swimming,” swim captain senior Bryan Dao said. “I hope JV swimmers that are in younger classes gain the thought of never backing down.”

Because swim practices between JV and varsity are held at different times, there isn’t much time for each group to communicate and know one another. FAST represents an attempt to instill camaraderie among a team of 109 swimmers.

“It’s also a good way for them to interact socially with kids they may not know very well. Since we have such a big team, It’s hard to interact with everybody and know everybody,” Gautreau said.

Swim captains will have their own group so they can personally keep an eye out and encourage JV swimmers to ask questions.

“I used to be like those younger swimmers when I first started,” Lo said. “When I wanted to get better and learn something, I worked to make myself better and it was all on me. Knowing that I’m making a difference in these swimmers is a good feeling.”

Since varsity swimmers have learned themselves, they’re able to give tips and advice to the younger swimmers. When the younger swimmers are in varsity, they can do the same as well.

“I think FAST creates great camaraderie among the team. The Varsity swimmers now get a chance to cheer on the junior varsity swimmers that they’ve taught. The JV swimmers can cheer on varsity and say ‘These are the swimmers who taught me how to learn to do what I do,'” Gautreau said.

In addition, coach Gautreau hopes that such close interaction will inspire the younger swimmers to train harder.

“It gives the JV kids something to aspire to, for example, something to aim for when they see how good these varsity kids are,” Gautreau said. “I hope JV swimmers gain not only the knowledge of swimming properly, but the motivation to get better. The motivation to say ‘I see how varsity does it and I want to swim like that.’ It gives them motivation because they see varsity in action and they see these varsity swimmers taking an interest in them.”

By Jeffrey Tran, Staff writer

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