By Josh LashleyGOSHEN — When considering the act of swimming many people conjure up the idea of summertime fun in a pool or the maybe the lake or ocean with friends and family.
But it’s important to keep in mind that swimming is also an athletic activity and can be quite competitive and challenging — as members of the Goshen High School swim program can attest.
For a student-athlete to reach as close to their full potential as a swimmer at the high school level it takes stamina, discipline, dedication, technique and the ability to be coached, among many other attributes.
Motivation is also a key for a swimmer to reach their fastest time and that’s where not only coaches, but leaders on a team captain play a pivotal role.
Goshen has a pair of captains on the roster who are not only self-motivated, but can also help their teammates improve in a variety of ways as well.
Jessie Shih and Amit Fuchs, both members of the junior class, have earned captainship honors for the Gladiators this season. Head coach Melissa Kubik is proud of the characteristics possessed by the captains.
“We prefer that our captains are upper classmen,” Kubik said. “They have more experience dealing with many student-athlete issues that arise during the season. This experience gives them a great opportunity to mentor our younger swimmers who may not have experienced these issues before.”
How have the student-athletes on the Gladiator roster improved throughout this season, aided by Shih and Fuchs?
“A better question would be what haven't they improved on,” Kubik said. “When we started, about 50 percent of the boys had never even taken a swim lesson previously. These boys have worked extremely hard to be able to complete the full slate of events covered in a high school swim meet. I think they have surprised themselves more than anyone else with their improvements.
“We often do ‘team teaching.' This is where we divide the athletes into small groups and they help each other with things like proper streamlines or pull-outs for different events. It is good for team morale and bonding. Our captains have been a huge part in developing a sense of family within our brand new program. We have Junior National Honor Society and High School National Society members of our program, we are extremely proud of what these boys are capable of in and out of the pool.”
The future looks bright for the Gladiators.
“We are a young team and have the unique opportunity to have all our current swimmers return for next season,” Kubik said. “With the hard work and dedication shown by these athletes, I feel that in each of the coming years we will make tremendous progress.”