RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.9 (Swimming & Diving)
1-2-3-4 finish in the 100-yard freestyle. Nusbaum (52.24), Sieperda (52.81), Straight (52.99) and Barker (53.24) ???? #KUswimdive
— Kansas Swim & Dive (@KUSwimDive) October 21, 2017
Practice makes perfect – a mantra synonymous with sport. With practice comes repetition, repetition, repetition, and then muscle memory takes over. That saying makes sense for a lot of the sports like football, basketball and baseball, but for endurance sports, it’s all about consistency.
The Kansas swimming and diving team, much like track & field and cross country, uses a format of consistent training to perform at a high level when it counts. In team sports an overall record is a dictator of success, however, swimming and diving uses its swim meets throughout the season to prepare for that one event that means all, the Big 12 Championship in February.
To perform at the highest of levels at the conference meet, it takes a swimmer or diver months of consistent training and racing to peak at the right moment. Something head coach Clark Campbell prides his program on.
“Our program is built on consistency,” Campbell said. “We need to be consistent in everything we do. For student-athletes like swimmers and divers, the more consistent you are, the better you are going to perform.”
Year after year, that formula has bred success at the league championships, where Kansas, as a team, has consistently finished second the last four-straight seasons. Prior to that breakthrough 2014 campaign, the Jayhawks had never finished higher than third.
“We have a lot of good swimmers,” Campbell said. “How they race and train throughout the season is a predictor of how well they will fair at the Big 12 Championship in February. If we have heart and courage, and are consistent in our training, we will swim at a much higher level at the end of the season.”
The end of the season seems far away with the conference meet slated for February 21-24 in Austin, Texas, and for the Jayhawks, the road to get there runs through eight meets, one intrasquad scrimmage and five months of consistent preparation.
That preparation continues with a taste of Big 12 competition when Kansas travels to TCU for a dual meet on Oct. 28.