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Swimmers dive into strategy of positivity

The swim team is creating a positive environment in hopes to win League title

Swimmers pose for picture before start of the meet. The Lady Rams swim team remains undefeated. [Photo by Isabel Abdouch]

It’s the last race of the meet, as Holt’s final four swimmers prepare for their relay race. They’re told if they win the race, they win the league title. They line up and the race starts. Competing with everything they had, they took second to their rivals, Grand Ledge. They tied the meet. “Being so close to winning last year was definitely fun...This year we’re focusing more on other aspects like having fun and bonding as a team,” said junior captain Avalon Jones. “ This season, the Lady Rams swim team is taking a new approach to their strategy to win the meet against their rivals Grand Ledge. They are taking a step back and shifting their focus from winning to bringing together the girls in a positive environment. “Our captains have done a really good job of trying to help us to enjoy the sport more because it’s a really, like, mentally rigorous sport, so you have to make sure you are mixing in fun. Our captains are doing a really good job of keeping it light hearted but serious when we need to be,” said junior Maggie Hoerner, who has been a swimmer all her life. Senior Livia Osbun agrees that being in a positive environment does ,in fact, help her when it comes down to her race. “... We really try and take them under our wing, make sure if someone’s having, like, a tough time be there for them. We really try and make sure everyone’s there cheering on everyone because I know that that’s a huge thing. Swimming is really hard, so it helps if you have a lot if people by you, supporting you, pushing you to be your best,” said Osbun. Though viewed as a weakness at times, the team’s strength is staying optimistic. Swimming is a hard sport, and it takes a toll on the girls mentally and physically. “Even though we are negative, our strength is that we all are conscious about trying to make it better, to have more positivity with each other and everyone’s super close and we all support each other,” said junior Callie Troutman. Although the girls encourage one another, self confidence still seems to be scarce. Osbun also makes note of how swimming can take a toll on her enthusiasm. “My weakness optimism? Practices can get hard, so sometimes, you know, I don’t wanna be in that water, but I think actually motivating other people helps motivate me, too,” said Osbun. Another strength the Lady Rams have this year is one that they haven’t had in a long time. “We have very good depth. I mean we’ve got really good girls, and then we’ve got some girls who aren’t as fast, but I mean, my coach, the captains ,the faster girls ,we all say this to everyone, everyone counts. I mean especially against Grand Ledge, they’ve got really great depth too. I think the team, as a whole, we work really good together. I think we all have a lot of fun together,” said Osbun. The team has a total of thirty girls, which is bigger than they’ve ever had. With such a large number, they are able to use the depth tactic so well. They range out and collect more points for the team throughout events. The more girls they have per race, the more spots can be filled. This gives the girls points. Not only have they been bringing positivity to the team, they have began looking at their competition positively. They do not view them in as much of a negative way as they might have in previous years. “I would say there are definitely swimmers across the field. All have those types of connection with each other just because the swimming community is a small community and everyone knows everyone and like we can all relate. So I would say I’m definitely close to some people on other teams and we definitely have this connection” said Hoerner. She likes the connection that the swimmers share, and believes that that is why she can’t find any room for hate when it comes to Grand Ledge. Said Troutman,“We all have our misconceptions about people but for Grand Ledge, oh I don’t know they’re fine. They all work hard and they’re all good athletes, and as a team, we probably do have our yanno, ‘ah we hate them’, but no one actually feels that way about them individually...They’re a good team, just like us, and they work hard just like us.”

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