After a month of pre-season practice, the Katonah swimmers put their best stroke forward when the KSDT coaches pulled out stopwatches and clipboards for two days of time trials last Thursday and Friday. For the veterans, there was banter and anticipation at the “mock-race” situation. For the newcomers up on the starting block, it was their first look at the world of racing.
“Many of them don’t know how to apply their diving skills to competitive racing,” explained Head Coach Erin Knapp. “By teaching them the commands of ‘Swimmer step up, Take your mark, GO!’ and practicing with those commands, it gets our younger swimmers ready for their first race. “
The purpose of time trials is for the coaches to get a sense of who has improved since last year, who winter swam, and what they need to focus on before the first meet. Some of what they look for are the obvious DQs, like one-handed touches in breaststroke or butterfly, or turning onto a swimmer’s stomach before touching the wall in backstroke.
With a week to go before their first meet, time trials also give Knapp a first sense of which swimmers are strongest at which strokes, and which will be starting this Saturday against Cortlandt.
But at Katonah Swim & Dive, it’s also about progress. “We update each swimmer’s time throughout the season and keep track of their progress,” said Knapp. “That way, a swimmer who is training very hard at practice and participating in B meets will have the opportunity to swim in an A meet.”
Ok swimmers, Take you mark… and GO KSDT!