While swimming around the world has looked a lot different over the last 18 months, we’re excited to have finally gotten to see Olympic swimming again, and we’re still highlighting and celebrating swim teams from across the country. This month, 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 eleven Olympians, including Tokyo Olympian Brooke Forde and the legendary 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 were 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 Team is one of 3,000 swim clubs in the United States. How can we grow that number and promote the sport?
ABOUT BSN SPORTS
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.