Michael Magas coaches the Woodland girls’ swim team in the fall, but he does not stop coaching after the leaves change and the season ends. He spends his winters as the Long River Middle School Swim Coach. After taking over last season, he has modified the everyday workouts to make swimmers stronger and to practice all four swim strokes: the butterfly, freestyles, the backstroke, and the breast stroke.
“I have introduced workouts that are on a more difficult level,” Magas explained. “I took some of the high school workouts and tailored them to a middle school level, to cover a variety of strokes and skills.”
This new coaching style adds skills that will better the middle school and high school programs. Magas hopes that the way he runs the team will get middle school swimmers more excited about swimming at the high school level.
And so far his efforts have paid off. After one year as head coach, changes can be seen in the high school teams. The Girls’ Swim Team gained nine freshmen swimmers, all of whom were in great shape and performed well on the high school level.
“This year, the freshmen on the team were more involved and they had a bigger part in the success of our team,” said swimmer Lisa Thrasher.
The same holds true for the Boy’s team.
“We’ve had more freshman join in the team this year than in the past,” said Boy’s Swim Team Captain Aidan Music.
Freshman swimmers from both the girls’ and boys’ teams feel that Magas prepared them for the more demanding high school programs. The swimmers saw a big change in their skills thanks to Magas’ one-on-one help with working on technique and strokes. On top of help with skills, the swimmers felt that Magas truly cared about their improvement.
“He made sure to answer everyone’s questions, no matter what, and he really cared about us and bettering our times,” said freshman swimmer Brooke Pope, who swam on the middle school team last year.
Hopefully, Magas will continue to have a positive impact on the middle school swimmers leading to stronger high school programs in the years to come.