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The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

Seniors return to neighborhood swim team to coach

Seniors+Lillian+Reid+and+Luke+Cavallo+return+to+their+neighborhood+swim+team+as+coaches.
Grace Darcy
Seniors Lillian Reid and Luke Cavallo return to their neighborhood swim team as coaches.

After school on weekdays and early mornings on weekends, seniors Luke Cavallo and Lillian Reid dedicate their time to their local swim team: The Wahoos. 

“I’ve swam since fourth grade. My mom made me,” Reid said. “She said I could quit once I got into middle school, but I didn’t feel like quitting because I had made friends. So I stuck out.” 

Both Reid and Cavallo were put on the Wahoo swim team at a young age. Both grew to enjoy the sport and returned to the team this year as coaches. For Cavallo, this is his second job for the summer.

“I needed more money for college,” Cavallo said “They called me a day before Wahoos (practices) started, and they were like ‘we need an extra coach’ and it fit my schedule.”

“My favorite thing about coaching is when the kids start showing progress. I can actually see that they are learning. It’s nice.”

— Luke Cavallo

Both students work on all weekdays and are up early for meets on Saturdays. For Reid, the new job as a swim coach for the team made sense.

“I’ve been a swim instructor for two years so I know how to swim,” Reid said. 

Now with practices starting, the coaches have to run practice for under-7 year olds all the way to 18 year olds. With different age groups coming at different times, the skills and drills that they do have to change with the age group.  

“With the younger kids you have to be in the water the whole time. And it’s a lot of physically showing them,” Cavallo said. “With the older kids, it’s mostly telling them what they need to do. Then occasionally you correct their form.”

Under the head coach’s direction, each coach supervises a couple of lanes of swimmers, along with teaching all the age groups different strokes and techniques. 

“I had a kid and she was really struggling with breaststroke and wanted to give up because she wasn’t good in the beginning,” Reid said. “I was like, ‘No, you have to keep trying to get good’ and as she kept doing it she kept getting better.”

Through the first month, both Reid and Cavallo can see progress.

“My favorite thing about coaching is when the kids start showing progress,” Cavallo said.  “I can actually see that they are learning. It’s nice.”

The pair of coaches also have to manage the behavior of a large group of kids. Cavallo typically ignores the problem child so as not to interrupt the other kids’ lessons. If kids are misbehaving, Reid has a different approach. She takes away what even the older kids want – their lollipop at the end of practice.

When the pair swam for the Wahoos they each remembered a tradition they enjoyed. For Cavallo it was pep rallies, for Reid it was the team chants before every meet. Though the trend has faded over time, Reid plans to bring them back full force. 

“Last year on the team it was dull when we did our chants. There weren’t very many people,” Reid said. “So I want to bring back like it was when I was first on the team and it was super fun.”

Though one of the smaller teams in the area, the coaches said the Wahoos swim team is the most tight knit in the area.

“On the Wahoos, if one person is swimming then we’re all cheering for that person,” Reid said “We have one of the best communities. We are pretty much a family on the Wahoos.”

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    HaleighMay 28, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    Love the article and the writing style!

    Reply