BSN Sports Swim Team of the Week: Lakeside Swim Team

While meets are largely on hold worldwide right now due to the effects of COVID-19, and many teams are just getting back to practices, BSN Sports still wants to highlight and celebrate swim teams from around the country. This week, we’re taking a look at the Lakeside Swim Team.

The Lakeside Swim Team of Louisville, Kentucky, traces its existence back to 1928, and over the years it has produced ten Olympians, including Mary T. Meagher, numerous national and junior national team members, and junior national championships.

We spoke with head coach Mike DeBoor to get an idea of what makes the Lakeside SeaHawks special, as well as some of his thought on coaching in general. DeBoor describes his coaching philosophy simply as, “be your best, get better, make everything count and know you worked harder than others.”

DeBoor has been with Lakeside for over twenty years, and we asked him about what he thinks makes the SeaHawks team chemistry so special.

Tradition, high expectations, I love being on deck – so I think our practice atmosphere is better than most. I don’t feel like the kids love every practice or that I’m their favorite, but I do think they never dread coming. You can work hard and enjoy it. We seem to be balanced with gender and ages so always people to challenge. I think overall the team has a good work ethic, maybe lacks focus on details. I think it’s important that I coach an age group group, so I know the kids and I am around with the younger ones. Also think being able to train at Lakeside Swim Club makes us very unique and adds so much to the whole team.

Obviously the COVID-19 shutdowns limited the SeaHawks’ ability to practice, but it didn’t keep the team from staying connected, as the team kept in touch through Zoom meetings, e-mails, Zoom drylands, a senior parade in cars, and even placing “I’ve Hawk’d” signs into teammates yards.

As the SeaHawks are getting back into the water, we asked DeBoor to describe what an iconic team set might be.

Anything fast into the EN3/Vo2Max area  – 40×100’s is one we do all types of variations – maybe the week we do a main set of 10×400, 20×200, 40×100 day after day and if they say “please let’s not do 40×100 the next day we might do 41x 100 with a note that says I listened and we won’t do 40×100.  6×200 on 8:00 Dive IM Predictor set.  I mix a lot of things up so more a style or type than a particular set.

With over two decades of coaching experience, DeBoor was able to reflect on some of the struggles he’s faced as a coach.

Managing staff, I avoid conflict and probably trying to do too much myself.  Not sure I do, just try to get better , try to learn from the past and try to listen to the staff and or allow them to do more.

Of course, this much time with such a successful team has also produced a host of great memories for DeBoor, and he had trouble nailing down one specific favorite.

So many! 2004 Rachel Komisarz making the Olympic team, 2008 Caroline Burckle making the Olympic Team, 2012 Clark Burckle making the Olympic Team – then the daily little things that happen with every swimmer. Letters and or cards from swimmers or past swimmers telling me the impact I have or had and how they didn’t appreciate it but do now , etc.

Lakeside Swim Club is one of 3,000 swim clubs in the United States.  How can we grow that number and promote the sport? 


Founded in 1972 as a factory-direct equipment company, today BSN SPORTS is the largest distributor of team sports apparel and equipment in the United States, with over 3,000 employees across 80 regional offices. At BSN SPORTS we believe that sports have the power to change lives. At the heart of what makes sports happen are the coaches, teachers and mentors who work with young and old alike to build meaningful lifelong experiences. That’s why our mission is simple. The more time we save coaches with everything they do off the deck, the more time they can spend changing lives. And that’s the real final score.

Get your swimmers in custom team gear with your team’s logo. My Team shop provides a one-stop-shop solution to custom apparel, suits, footwear, equipment and accessories. It’s simple to setup and the My Team Shop platform can even serve as a fundraising solution to earn dollars for your program. To set one up today email us at [email protected]or call 1-877-217-9027.

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2 years ago

It’s always amazing to me how clubs like this can sustain success for so long. Different coaches, different generations of athletes, shifting demographics, etc. and still they persevere. Must be amazing to be a part of.

Big Club Coach
2 years ago

I can feel your pain. Team culture is always a little easier when you’re at a huge club like this with the decades-long tradition that Lakeside has.

Make your focus on small changes. When you see positive culture happening organically, capture it, acknowledge it, reward it, and encourage it. Have programs in place that capture, acknowledge, reward, and encourage those things. Maybe a swimmer of the week program where they get a special cap, or team captains, or “helmet stickers” like they do in football.

It won’t be overnight, but slowly and surely you will see changes.

2 years ago

This is a fantastic program and Mike is truly one of the best coaches and developers of talent in the USA. Mike has been getting it done for years and I have nothing but respect and admiration for this class act.

Lakeside swimmer
2 years ago

“ I think overall the team has a good work ethic, maybe lacks focus on details.”
Mike is an icon lol

Martyn Wilby
2 years ago

Mike is one of the BEST coaches at developing swimmers he has done this for over 25 plus years…Congrats buddy keep it going!

Reply to  Martyn Wilby
2 years ago

Agreed…big congrats!