Let’s play a game of “which one doesn’t belong.”
This team has so many different practice locations (I’m not sure this is even one of them) I’m not sure how its considered one team
No working ventilation system.
Just watch the video, I’ve seen a lot of things on YouTube that I didn’t think were real but this may top them all.
Swam here once and it is an awesome facility.
(It goes on like that for most of the gold medal clubs).
I guess I shouldn’t have named the game “which one doesn’t belong” because USA Swimming has tallied the scores (however it is that they do that) and these 10 programs came out with the highest totals, so all of them belong. This scoring decides the most successful programs throughout the United States.
My Dad is a coach for the Dayton Raiders, the #8 team on the list above. He posted the picture above of the facility in which his team practices. The facility is nothing special, I can say that because during a majority of my younger swimming years I swam in the same pool. The facility is a 6 lane 25 meter pool, the ventilation system no longer works, so the team depends on the four doorways to the outside and a giant fan, to top it off it is located in an area town that is not the best area.
It is a facility that is bad enough that it could be used as an excuse for the coaches and the swimmers. But having swum in this pool and having swum for my dad, I know “an excuse” is not what it is being used for. It is used to make the swimmers tougher. I’m sure that the coaches and swimmers would love to have any of the other facilities that pictured above, but I don’t know if they would be the same swimmers or same team without swimming in that pool. Swimming is hugely mental, more so than a lot of people think. To be able to swim in their facility day-in and day-out takes a special toughness, one that can’t necessarily be learned or gained swimming outside in sunny California.
My freshman year of college I was part of a similar situation. I attended West Virginia University, coached by Sergio Lopez, who is currently the coach of the #5 team on this list, Bolles Sharks. WVU’s facility is an 8-lane 25 yard pool with a small separate diving well. As freshmen that year we didn’t even receive our own training equipment until almost halfway through the year. At the end of the 2006-2007 season, we had won the Big East Swimming Championship and were ranked in the NCAA top 25. The WVU facility is not nearly as bad as the Raiders, but in the college swimming world where teams are able to draw swimmers in using a fantastic facility, the situation is comparable. We were able to accomplish what we did because everyone, swimmers and coaches, had one goal in mind and we held each other to that goal.
I could recount that year in novel form, but I’ll spare everyone. I guess the moral of the story is that the facility doesn’t necessarily determine the fate of the program. In fact it can be used as an advantage. I want to congratulate the Dayton Raiders, coaches and swimmers, you have accomplished a lot more with a lot less and that took a special group of people. Continue whatever it is that you’re doing, and I’ll keep dropping in to get my ass kicked whenever I can.