SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.
Getting to see the defending national champions at work was a treat.
And not just because they’re the defending national champs.
Practice starts at 3:00pm, but the UT men get there early to play 6-square (4-square but with 2 more squares). The goal was to get to the King Spot and stay there for as long as possible. Once you had gotten out 3 times, you were out of the game for good. For the amount of fun they had doing it, and how competitive they got with it, I felt like I was a kid at recess. It was a blast, and totally caught me off guard.
According to Eddie, Texas goes fast on Tuesday and Friday. By the end of this week, the Texas guys were pretty beat up, so Eddie threw something at them he thought they could handle. 8 rounds of 3×25, doing a round every 3 minutes. If you did them free, they were on :15, back/fly was on :16, and breast was on :18. Go fast. There were some good battles going on, and you could tell the guys worked hard and got tired.
My favorite part of practice was a Hook ‘Em tradition; literally, it involved hooking. The guys threw their snorkels across the pool and tried to hook them on the far flags. Usually they did this before they got in the pool, and for each snorkel that was hooked, they got in an extra minute later. However, at this practice after they went through their sprint set (and did another 4 rounds of the 3×25 kick), John Shebat made a deal with Wyatt that if he hooked his snorkel right then and there, they could warm down instead of going through the kick set again with fins.
I was on the other side of the pool filming the women’s practice when this happened, so sadly I didn’t witness it. However, I did hear the entire men’s team hooting and hollering when Shebat hooked it perfectly on the second set of flags and earned the boys their warm down.