New swim coach a familiar face to team



June 16, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Iola’s Seahorses will be coached by a familiar face this season. Michael Wilson, longtime team member, is stepping into the role. This will be his first year as swim coach.
“They were looking for people to be coach and eventually got a hold of me,” Wilson, 19, said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, sure!’”
Wilson was a Seahorse from middle school up until his senior year of high school. He graduated from Iola High in 2014, making it his final season of swimming eligibility. Wilson said that he missed the competition aspect of being a part of the team.
“Yeah, it kind of stinks. But, at the same time, it’s also kind of nice because you don’t have to worry about racing or anything,” Wilson said. “I don’t have to get as tired as I did [racing] last year. I still have a lot of work as coach.”
Being coach also carries more responsibility.
“It takes up more time than you’d expect. It’s part-time. We have practice in the morning from 8 to 10 a.m.,” Wilson said. “I’m also doing a lot of work outside that time to get ready for meets.”
Taking charge of the  40 or so members on the team has been a bit easier of a transition, thanks in part to being a former member.
Being coach doesn’t come with a rule book, Wilson said.
“I guess just trying to figure everything out because no one really tells you what to do 100 percent,” is a challenge, Wilson said. “So, I have to figure out workouts and stuff like that. I’ve kind of figured out a way to manage what do to get ready for meets, but that’s the hardest thing.”
Wilson is happy that swimming is still in his life. During this past year as a student at Wichita State University, Wilson was able to use its indoor pool whenever he wanted to. So, the sport hadn’t completely disappeared from his life.
“You have to think about how to teach things, which is different,” Wilson said of being a coach. “It’s tougher to teach than to just do it.”
Wilson said his style has changed from being a swimmer to being the coach. He’s focused the team on conditioning the first few weeks of the season. Now his focus is starting to turn toward technique.
The team’s first home meet of the season is on Wednesday at the Iola Municipal Pool at Riverside Park.

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