Nitro Swimmers of the Week for Jan. 29–Feb. 4, 2018

Intro to Nitro

Cedar Park: Esha Shanbhogue and Laine Staffel
Intro did a whole lot of breaststroke kicking this week. I worked with Esha a little bit to correct some toe pointing, and every time I looked at her, I saw her working so hard. She kept up that hard work the whole week. Esha, that is called diligence and it’s a great thing to have! Laine has come a long way since starting Intro, especially with her kicking. Her streamlines are looking fantastic, and this week she demonstrated breaststroke kick on her back with perfectly flexed feet.  I can always count on both these girls to be listening at practice and ready to do their best, and I’m glad to have them in our group! Nice job you two! —Coach Lindsay

Bee Cave: Jacob May
Jacob a high-energy crazy dude! He always comes in making silly noises and funny faces. Full of energy, he not only makes his teammates laugh, he also helps them out. This week Jacob really stood out by helping a teammate find a spot on the wall. Without prompt, Jacob scooted over and called a lanemate over to sit next to him. He also helps his lanemates with leaving the wall when using the pace clock. All that said, Jacob is also a hard worker. This week he rocked butterfly! He developed a good sense of the rhythm using our “kick-reach, kick-breathe” drill and how to stretch the arms out during the recover phase. Keep shining Jacob! —Coach Raven



Cedar Park: David Arevalo Lopez
Bronze had a weeks worth of breaststroke work, and I heard and saw lots of great things from David. He was consist on his streamline/under water pullouts, showed a great body line, demonstrated a powerful kick, and put everything together for a great looking breaststroke. David is a fearless leader, always willing to go first and push himself to the top. Keep it up David, big things in the future for this guy!  —Coach Adam

Bee Cave: Adam & Jude Yacoub
January has been a great month for Adam & Jude, improvements in so many areas, length of stroke, body line, kicking efforts, streamlines, turn speed, and you can see how competitive they are both becoming every time we do timed swims off of the blocks. The heart of these two young men can’t be separated and when you train with your brother you also push your brother even harder. Right now in straight up racing I would be hard pressed to find out which one has the greatest drive. This is getting good and I can’t wait for their next meet! Great Job Gentlemen! —Coach Chuck


Technique and Fitness

Cedar Park: Casey Henne
Awesome job in the pool this past week and more importantly regarding keeping that one goggle in  the pool technique.  Head position totally affects the body alignment. Great job keeping the head steady and the body rotating.  Looking forward to introducing you to a bit more advanced swimming this coming week.   Thanks for being a part of the Nitro family and we’ll see you at the pool. —Coach Stephen

Bee Cave: Soren Murdock 
Soren had a very special week. After breaking the all-time Bee Cave TF record in the 100 IM at last week’s Nitro at The Races swim meet, Soren decided he’s now a force to be reckoned with. Not only has he been crushing practices for months now, but he’s also added a practice to his regimen by signing up for our Summer League Tune-Up program. It’s become very clear how serious he is about his swimming. He’s a champion in the making! What’s better, he’s a champion of character. Respect, leadership, and dedication are the three adjectives I’d use to describe my man, Soren. I wish I could coach him forever. At least I’ll forever be his coach 🙂 —Coach Jonny



Cedar Park: Emery Mehok
This young lady has recently shifted up to become one of our lane leaders recently in practice. In addition to that, she is beginning to find her love of going FAST! One day this past week I let the group know we were going to do a 50 Free Fast, and her smile lit up the pool deck! Emery’s genuine excitement was contagious and the whole group ended up having a thrilling & great practice due in significant part to her youthful leadership. Great job supporting your team and loving the sport, Emery! Can’t wait to see what summer season holds for you.  —Coach Paige

Bee Cave: Elise Morrison
If there is someone else out there like Elise, I sure haven’t met them yet. I think I may have caught Elise without a smile once, but to be honest, it could have just been a mistaken glare from the sun. Always happy. Always working hard. Always being a good teammate. Always showing up, EXCITED and ready to race. Elise is just this relentless ball of joy, that just won’t take no for an answer. Not only this, but she listens and applies what you tell her without hesitation – which now that I think of it, could become a lethal combination if you don’t pick your words carefully, because she might very well, run through a brick wall for you!  
But no matter the situation, no matter the challenge, Elise will push herself to the max, and even beyond. she put that on display during our drop out set this week – a set not only designed for challenge, but failure. Yet, something else happened. One by one, each swimmer found their point of failure, and dropped out, until there was Elise. I asked the swimmers watching what they thought she was feeling right now, and the most memorable line was, “NOT GOOD.”. But you could see, her stroke didn’t waver, she continued to fight and drive into the wall, and embrace that uncomfortable feeling. She tuned that pain not pure relentlessness, and it transformed the experience from a sobering lesson, into one of passion and excitement. At the end, the entire group cheered as she kept churning, reaching down deep, searching for just a little more juice, fighting for just one more lap. Even as a coach, who was supposed to be teaching it, I found myself taking a step back, and bearing witness to it. 
So often, we find ourselves so driven by the beauty of a blooming success, that we overlook all that went into those seeds. The struggle. The Heart. The Fight. These aspects are the only thing we can control, so it’s no coincidence that they are also what truly give meaning to the story. Yet we tend value the results, and try to keep ourselves at a safe distance, weighing the probability of winning from the public embarrassment. However, more often than not,  the best lessons don’t come from simply winning, but how to handle to defeat. In the face of impossible odds, how do we respond? Do we shut down, or do we keep pushing? 
Elise kept fighting. All the way to the very last lap, she never gave up. She never quit. She just experienced the failure. And instantly, went right back to smiling. And I promise you, the group got the message. Because I know I did. Some moments are just special. This one happened, because Elise is. I’m just glad I’ve been given the opportunity to coach her… and to learn from her as well. Great job Elise! —Coach Nick


Advanced Silver

Bee Cave: Austin Kar
Austin has come a LONG way since his days in TF to become one of the hardest trainers in the group. Talent beats hard work except when hard work works hard. Austin shows up daily with an attitude of how can I get better today; he doesn’t get too caught up in what others are doing and stays focused on the work right in front of him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at Sectionals in a few years! Keep grinding and dreaming big, Austin from Austin! —Coach Bobby


Gold 1 & 2

Gold 1 CP: Lauren Roberts
Let me tell you, Lauren is one tough swimmer. Not only is she constantly leaving it all in the pool, I can’t count on Lauren to be a great example for the rest of the group. It’s not just in the water, either, as she is great in our dryland exercises. Lauren has a big week leading up to Junior STAGS, where she is going to crush it! Keep up the hard work Lauren! —Coach Adam

Gold 2 CP:  Nathan Lowe
Nathan has been learning a lot about connectivity in his strokes.  Last week, we took some time learning about proprioceptive pushing vs pulling and tried some really important (albeit, a little goofy) pushing/pulling exercises on land.  Nathan jumped back in the water afterwards and his freestyle looked ten times better.  We’ll be keeping an eye out on that freestyle this week and Nathan is only going to get faster.  Let’s go, Nathan! —Coach Alex

Bee Cave: Natalie Yung
Miss Natalie, your smile is contagious! I love having you in Gold group and seeing how hard you want to work each day. It was the beginning of this week when you walked in and I knew I wanted to give you Swimmer of the Week simply because you are just a positive influence on all of your teammates. Keep working hard, as I know turning 11 can always be a jump in intensity, but I know that your are up to the challenge!  —Coach Allison