The University of Michigan swimming & diving teams are constantly pushing the envelope and looking for a new angle and a new way to engage the fans of the sport, and this Saturday, they’ve got a new pitch for swimming.
Michigan head coach Mike Bottom, through the @umichswimdive Twitter account, will be live-Tweeting the teams’ big rivalry meet against Ohio State in Columbus (the women will also be swimming Nebraska).
“Here at Michigan, we want to try new things and we feel this is a unique and different way to let the swimming community become a part of our team,” Bottom said. “We want the fans that interact with us to feel like they are on deck with us during what is promised to be a very fast, ultra-competitive meet.”
In a rivalry meet, things can get heated, and I think the best-case scenario is that Bottom will let loose a little bit of raw frustration or a little bit of unplanned exuberance, but at the very least, the thoughtful Bottom will hopefully display some of the things that do go through a coach’s head during a meet.
After meets are over, its easy for everyone in hindsight to say that it doesn’t matter, or that this happened or that happened, but all swim coaches know that there’s significantly more than that for coaches to think about during a meet. What do we need to place in this race to win the meet? Where did someone miss a turn? Are we seeing XYZ that we worked on in practice last week reflected in the races? Did the team react to our training schedule the way I expected them to?
Getting these sort of insights from Bottom, will provide some value to swim coaches and swimmers around the country who might be following, but perhaps even more value to just the pure fans of swimming, who don’t have the benefit of good color analysts on TV calling meets all that often.
At any rate, it will be fun, and almost surely will grab a ton of buzz, at least the first time. Those tweeting at different points will be Mike Bottom, head diving coach KZ Li, associate men’s head coach Josh White, associate women’s head coach Rick Bishop, and assistant coaches Mark Hill and Danielle Tansel.