Swimming World Presents “A Voice for the Sport: Mission Viejo Coaches Come Home”

Photo Courtesy: Jerry Hammond

A Voice for the Sport

Thomas Wolfe titled his famous book, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” My guess is that Mark Schubert and Michele Mitchell either did not read the book or never believed in its title.

They both have returned to their roots in Mission Viejo, Calif. Schubert returns for his second stint as head swim coach after serving on eight Olympic staffs for USA Swimming. Mitchell, a former Mission Viejo diver, two-time Olympian and the current president of USA Diving, returns to Mission Viejo as head diving coach.

One of the most famous quotes from Wolfe’s classic novel was “Make your mistakes, take your chances…but keep on going…”

Even if Schubert and Mitchell never read that quote, they certainly embody it. Both have shown a willingness to take chances, make mistakes, learn from them and keep on going. If anybody can “Go Home Again,” these two aquatic giants can certainly walk back through that door.

On April 7, the city of Mission Viejo celebrated the grand reopening of its Mission Viejo Marguerite Aquatics Center. These are hallowed grounds where numerous Olympic divers and swimmers—dating back to the early ’70s—once trained. The city spent more than $11 million renovating the aquatic center, and with it, opened a new era and the next chapter, with Schubert and Mitchell leading the way.

The renovated facility is a jewel in the fast-paced life of Southern California. The diving platforms are the only ones on the west coast of the United States that allow for synchronized diving. No expense was spared for the diving program. The renovated diving area now sports a new office, two in-ground trampolines, three dry boards, TiVo and water belts that are all under canopies.

The eight-lane competition pool remains at 50 meters, with new tile lines and deep gutters. A two-sided video board separates the diving well from the competition pool. The teaching pool kept its footprint, but is now more parent- and kid-friendly. What is most striking is that the seating capacity has been extended to hold 2,000 under an impressive shade structure.

On opening day, three-time Olympian Greg Louganis, 58, climbed to the top of the 10-meter platform and thrilled everyone with an inward dive inpike position that scored perfect 10s. Not to be outdone, 1976 Olympian and Mission Viejo City Councilman Brian Goodell took the first lap in the 50-meter competition pool to the delight of everyone.

Rowdy Gaines was the master of ceremonies and spoke to the packed crowd while young athletes paraded around the pool carrying flags from every country. After ceremonies, demonstrations and speeches, young children played in the water while past Olympians signed autographs.

What struck me most was the amount of detail that went into every aspect of the renovation, which was managed by city manager Dennis Wilberg and assistant city manager Keith Rattay. How they kept the project on time is a true testimonial to the relationship between city, community and athletics. It was very evident that the entire Mission Viejo community takes pride in its aquatic history.

When everything was said—and the crowd had cleared—the brightest smiles on deck were those of Mark Schubert and Michele Mitchell, who were both “Home Again.”

To learn more about the reopening of the Mission Viejo Marguerite Aquatics Center, check out the June 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

june-2018-katie-ledecky-cover

[PHOTO COURTESY: THE LEDECKY FAMILY]

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Take a look inside Swimming World’s June 2018 issue:

FEATURES 

016 PLENTY AT STAKE 
by David Rieder 
Although the Americans will not be facing all of the world’s best swimmers this year as they do during an Olympic or World Championship year, so much is on the line at this summer’s Pan Pacific Championships— including U.S. team selection for the 2019 international meets. 

020 BOOM TIMES
by Michael Randazzo 
USA Water Polo is expanding…but it is not without its share of growing pains. 

023 LONG SWIM THE QUEEN 
by Bruce Wigo 
Queen Elizabeth II, now 92, used to be quite the swimmer. Those who saw her swim described her as a “very strong and graceful swimmer,” and she inspired many other children in the British Empire to follow her good example. 

024 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH MARGO GEER 
by Annie Grevers 

026 THE NEXT CHAPTER 
by Annie Grevers 
After two years of college at Stanford University and two NCAA team championships—and with two years remaining before the 2020 Olympics— Katie Ledecky, the world’s greatest women’s swimmer, is transitioning into life as a professional swimmer. 

030 NUTRITION: AROUND THE TABLE WITH LIA NEAL 
by Annie Grevers and Dawn Weatherwax 

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: JACK SIMON 
by Michael J. Stott 

014 STAYING FOCUSED 
by Rod Havriluk 
Swimmers who want to swim faster must continually focus on technique. However, even those with the best intentions face many obstacles to maintaining focus throughout a team training session. This article suggests strategies that can help. 

032 SWIM BENCHES: THE COACHES’ FRIEND 
by Michael J. Stott
This installment is the second in a multi-part series in which Swimming World explores the role of swim benches in dedicated training. 

039 SPECIAL SETS: REACH FOR THE (BIG) SKY! 
by Michael J. Stott
Great things are happening in Big Sky Country. In December, Montana’s Ethan Harder and Katharine Berkoff became the state’s first-ever junior national swimming champions. 

042 Q&A WITH COACH TOM HIMES 
by Michael J. Stott 

043 HOW THEY TRAIN BETH BOTSFORD 
by Michael J. Stott 

TRAINING

038 DRYSIDE TRAINING: FIT AND FAST FOR SUMMER 
by J.R. Rosania 

JUNIOR SWIMMER

035 GOLDMINDS: MAIN SET RESET 
by Wayne Goldsmith 
Over the past few years, there has been a big change in swimming coaching—and more specifically, a revolution in the way main sets are being completed. 

045 UP & COMERS: DAWSON JOYCE 
by Taylor Brien 

COLUMNS 

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT 
013 BEYOND THE YARDS 
046 GUTTER TALK 
048 PARTING SHOT 

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Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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