Nitro Swimmers of the Week for April 16–22, 2018

Intro to Nitro

Cedar Park: Joshua Smith and Harper Key
This week we did a lot of diving and a few backstroke starts. Josh had a great week, starting off with demonstrating a super smooth catch-up freestyle drill with a quick breath and kept his head down. I couldn’t have asked for a better example. Then he finished with some outstanding dives, head down and gliding under the water in a streamline. Looking good, Josh!
I am still looking for words to describe Harper’s backstroke start. It isn’t instinctive for most kids to throw their head backward and try to dive upside down, but Harper did a near-perfect start…and it was her first time ever learning it! She exploded all the way out of the water and the most impressive part (to me) was her underwater body waves. I’m still speechless! Harper and Josh are both great swimmers and great learners—thanks for being awesome, you two!—Coach Lindsay

Bee Cave: Anson Wong and Elitza Rosen
This week Intro worked on butterfly. Anson earned the title “King of Butterfly” with his low breath, straight-arm recovery, and rhythm. This kiddo has been continuously rocking at practice, and butterfly week was icing on the cake. Anson has demonstrated excellent bodyline and head position during each stroke—with butterfly, he kept his chin at the surface of the water and was able to get his forehead in the water quickly. Elitza also demonstrated for her teammates how to take a low breath and press the forehead down quickly. In addition, Elitza was able to perfect the kick-reach, kick-breath rhythm. She’s a fantastic streamliner and always comes to practice smiling and laughing. Both swimmers have become leaders in the pool! Thank you for all your hard work Elitza and Anson! Keep it up! —Coach Raven


Technique and Fitness

Cedar Park: Rida Aziz and Ryan Chung
Awesome job to Rida and Ryan on this week’s 75-yard kick set. They were aiming for a time of under 1:20 minutes.  It was so much fun as a coach to see there anger and frustration at almost meeting there goal and also the joy of meeting there goal or dropping time from the previous kick. They were focused and determined to improve and that’s what we look for to be a swimmer of the week. Great job you two this past week and thanks for being a part of the Nitro family and we’ll see you at the pool. —Coach Stephen

Bee Cave: Liam Galloway
Liam is a boss. This guy is full of integrity. Allow me to set the scene. We’re in the middle of the tough kick set when Liam gets one of those annoying cramps in his foot. So he had to miss a 75. Once practice has concluded and everyone is climbing out, I see Liam still kicking. He took it upon himself to make up for what he’d missed. Now that’s a kid who’ll grow up to do great things!—Coach Jonny



Cedar Park: Austin Staffel & Tara Friedman
Tara is such a quiet soul by nature but performs extremely loud in the water. She works very hard and always has her thinking cap on. She annihilates every set thrown at her and achieves with poise. By attending most every swim meet she can, she constantly drops times and receives personal bests. I am so proud to say that at the TXLA 10&U Long Course meet she received a BB cut in the 50M backstroke and a B cut in the 50M breaststroke! This is EXCITING. What an honor she will have to attend big championship swim meets soon! I’m elated by this young lady. Way to go Tara!!
Austin is, let’s face it, small in stature but has the biggest heart and personality. It’s remarkable how far Austin has come with understanding body height and how in swimming we can make ourselves taller than we really are. That is certainly showing at his swim meets! Like Tara, Austin ALSO received a B cut in the 50M freestyle at the TXLA 10&U meet. This kid is relentless and never gives up. He is so passionate about what he needs to work on, consistently asks me what he could do next, and takes advice seriously. 
Thank you both for being awesome and GO NITRO!—Coach Makaylee
Bee Cave: Campbell Walker
Campbell continues to impress with her strong kick and tall strokes, showing a really great effort when we work in breathing pattern training, as well as racing with limited breathing. I can always count on her to push just a little farther than asked when it comes to limited breathing. She is really starting to exhibit a great deal of confidence on attacking her walls no matter which stroke we happen to be working on and her underwater streamline is getting her to the fruit loops almost every turn! I can’t wait to start training in the long course pool to see how her stroke tempo holds up it should be some great opportunity to show how strong she really is do the longer swims. Great job young lady! I can’t wait to see the 200 free.—Coach Chuck



Cedar Park: Samuel Yang and Aaron Li
I have been really pleased to watch how these two young men have grown as athletes over the past several months we have been working together in Silver. Backstroke in particular has become a strong suit for them both. Every day at practice, they are racing each other and smiling while they do it. I love watching them chase their dreams! Go Samuel and Aaron!!—Coach Paige

Bee Cave: Joshua Kou
If you walk into practice on ANY given day, you’ll find swimmers near the edge of the water, negotiating with the traditional ceremony, of entering the pool. It’s not an easy task. Believe me. I’ve found myself on both sides of the ritual. For a coach, we have to be strong, and hold the line. But make no mistake, for a swimmer, it could psychologically be the greatest hurdle of the day! So I often find myself searching for combinations of inspirational words and friendly ultimatums, hoping to generate enough courage that they take the leap. This week however, Absent from my list of usual suspects, was Joshua. Here’s a quick rundown… Joshua Kou – Quick witted. Bright. Friendly. Usually Smiling. Always Joking. Great Technique. Chronic “late getting inner”. Now you know him. Kinda.
Anyways, Joshua has had some good weeks in the past.. but… I really can’t explain… just how much of a clinic he put on this week. On EVERY LEVEL, he brought the Heat… Great Effort. Great listening. He excelled in our flip-turn work. He took lead of his lane when needed. He made some great breaststroke adjustments. Quickened his Fly breath. He pushed himself during swim sets, dominating the reverse IMs and our Races at the end of the week. If he had done any more, he might have had to start charging admission! … All joking aside, you often get to see effort during a practice – which tells you, you are on the right track. However, it’s something more rare, to be able to witness a turning point. I believe I witnessed that in Joshua. And I know, he’s only just getting started. Great Job Joshua. This week, did not go unnoticed. Keep on catching Fire!—Coach Nick


Advanced Silver

Bee Cave: Daniel Alpatov
Daniel has made a smooth transition into Advanced Silver where we believe small things are all things. He takes feedback and diligently works it into his strokes, racking up two BB times at the last meet with many good things to come this summer. We finished our 15 x 100s and he exclaimed “That’s a new record for me!” Always looking for ways to get better and celebrate the small victories—that’s what this sport is all about. Keep grinding, Daniel.—Coach Bobby


Gold I & II

CP Gold I: Madison Shanahan
Props go out to Madison as she really shined in the pool this past week. Madison is never one to shy away from our tough sets, even pushing herself to the top of the lane at times. She has tons of great things going on with her strokes, but with the little corrections we do make, Madison makes them quickly. It was great to see how well she swam at the TXLA meet this past weekend, picking up some BB times and knocking on the door of the next goal. Keep it up Madison!—Coach Adam

CP Gold II: Alexa Simmons
Alexa Simmons is this week’s top dog!  Alexa took to last week’s instructions really well.  She has learned to open up her freestyle recovery, and while she’s just a young ten-year-old, she now swims like she’s six feet tall.  Alexa has a lot to learn, but since she’s a kiddo who can understand concepts and change things for the better at a whim’s notice, I don’t doubt that she’ll be flying high this season.  You’re a shark in the water, Alexa!—Coach Alex

Bee Cave: Will Singletary
I love SOW for many reasons, whether it be to recognize an amazing performance or even better, great attitudes. This week my Swimmer of the Week goes to Will for a simple act that made my heart smile. We currently have a new swimmer on the team, he moved from out of state and knows no one. This weekend at the meet I looked over during warm up dives and Will got out of the water and turned around and reached out his hand to help pull his new team mate out of the water. While it’s not a huge act, it was a huge act of compassion. Will, you make me proud to coach you!—Coach Allison