While swim meets and practices are largely on hold worldwide right now due to the effects of COVID-19, BSN Sports still wants to highlight and celebrate swim teams from around the country. This week’s BSN Sports Swim Team of the Week, Tiger Aquatics, hails from Louisiana, operating out of Louisiana State University as well as three other nearby locations, and consists of roughly 250 athletes.
Louisiana State head coach Dave Geyer has owned Tiger Aquatics for the last six years, and works alongside a team that includes head coach Reed Robelot to ensure that the club team adheres to its mission of developing swimmers of all ages and levels. BSN spoke with Geyer to get a sense of what makes Tiger Aquatics special, as well as some of his thoughts on coaching in general.
According to Geyer, one thing that sets Tiger Aquatics apart from other teams is that…
We really promote and try to build our program as a family. That’s important for me with both of my daughters swimming. We obviously have a business to run and at times like right now there is some stress involved but when you treat your membership with respect like a family they support you through thick and thin. Those are the families you want around.
Obviously, coaching a Division I swim team and owning a club team keeps Geyer busy, but having put in place a great staff means that he’s able to focus on what he needs to, while still staying involved with the team.
So my primary role is kind of like being the wizard of Oz. Just being behind the curtains, maybe not so much smoke and mirrors but letting the coaching staff I put in place do their thing. I’m there for a little guidance and direction but that’s about it. Last summer we had a coaching transition so I did spend a solid 6-8 weeks with our senior group and it was a blast. In hindsight I joked with them that I was just their rebound coach. Dangerous, out of the box, not really good for them. But they had fun, swam fast and finished the season loving the sport. So it was a success. Coach Reed Robelot stepped on deck and has done a great job uniting our satellites and helping those coaches grow to their potential with the pools they have.
We tend to talk a lot about “success” in swimming, but not always about being “happy,” especially as coaches. When we asked Geyer what makes him happy as a coach, he said…
Happy swimmers. Pretty simple.I know you can’t make everyone happy and that is always a challenge at any level of swimming but if there is an environment that can be created where they really enjoy what they are doing, swimming fast come easy. From a parent perspective, it’s that smile at the end of the race where your kid knows the work was worth it.
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