Swimming World Presents – Special Sets: Back To Basics With University of the Cumberlands Coach Eric Skelly

SW September 2020 - Special Sets - Back To Basics With University of the Cumberlands Coach Eric Skelly
University of the Cumberlands Coach Eric Skelly

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Special Sets: Back To Basics With University of the Cumberlands Coach Eric Skelly

By Michael J. Stott

While college swimming as we know it faces a roadmap unlike any in recent memory, Coach Eric Skelly of the University of the Cumberlands, Ky. is treating the return to campus and formal practice as business as usual.

Eric Skelly is the head men’s and women’s swimming coach at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. He is also a two-time NAIA Coach of the Year and past president of the NAIA Swimming and Diving Coaches Association. In March, his Patriot women finished third and the men seventh at the NAIA National Championships, never having finished lower than eighth in his previous nine years.

Instrumental in the Patriot finish was the performance of Mendy De Rooi, who just completed her junior year. A Dutch import from Lelystad, Netherlands, she was named Female Swimmer of the Meet after winning three titles in the 100 yard butterfly (53.99), 100 free (50.45) and the 500 free (4:58.51).

As swimmers are set to return to campus this fall, Coach Skelly admits, “There is still an uncertainty as to what the upcoming season is going to look like, but I’ve focused most of my efforts on treating the season as we normally have. Our focus has always been on the long game—the end result being the NAIA National Championships.

“I’ve approached each of my seasons at UC with the same mindset, which is that most of our athletes have done the minimum with regards to staying in swimming shape over the summer.” Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has not afforded more pool time for any athlete, committed or not. “Our season typically lasts 27 weeks. Because of NAIA rules, any week that we use for conditioning (nothing involving the water), does not count toward our 24 limit.

“Our first two weeks have always been designated to conditioning. During this time, we get our incoming athletes familiar with our weight room, stretching and dryland exercises. We increase intensity as a test to see exactly who followed the summer training plan (given to all athletes the beginning of June). This period is also our chance for the new and returning athletes to get to know one another,” says Skelly.

To read more about Coach Skelly and access his Back To Basics sets,
Check out the full article in September’s issue, available now!

SW September 2020 Cover - Matt Grevers - Age is Just a Number[PHOTO CREDIT: TAYLOR NATIONS]

 

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Swimming World Magazine September 2020 Issue

FEATURES

010 IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN
by Dan D’Addona
Indiana’s Carmel High School has won the girls’ state swimming and diving championships for 34 straight years, a feat unequaled by any other high school—not only in swimming, but in any other sport.

012 BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
In Swimming World’s first mythical national high school championships to determine the best teams of the last decade, Carmel High School of Indiana won both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.

013 GIRLS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

015 BOYS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

017 PREP POWER
by Andy Ross
Since Swimming World first began recognizing the top high school teams in the country in 1971, The Bolles School of Jacksonville, Fla., has won 18 national prep school titles—10 boys’, eight girls’. The Bulldogs have also captured 12 combined championships (public and independent schools), with both teams finishing No. 1 six times.

020 THE GOLDEN YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING
by David Rieder
Public schools Santa Clara and Mission Viejo built high school swimming dynasties from the 1960s through the early 1980s. Not only did they dominate high school swimming, but unlike today, they also produced many of the swimmers from that era who competed in the Olympics.

026 STILL CHASING EXCELLENCE
by John Lohn
Matt Grevers does not need to achieve anything more to stamp himself as an all-time great. But even at 35, there is a desire to accomplish more, and there is no reason to doubt Grevers can come through.

029 SUMMER OF SPEED
by John Lohn
Politics interfered at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, preventing South Africa’s Jonty Skinner from competing head-to-head against the USA’s Jim Montgomery in the men’s 100 freestyle. But that summer, they became the first two swimmers to break the 50-second barrier in the event, with Montgomery clocking 49.99 at Montreal, followed by Skinner with a 49.44 at the AAU National Championships three weeks later.

032 THE TROUBLE WITH SPRINTERS (Part 3): GARY HALL JR.
by Bruce Wigo
The theme of this series of articles has been that sprinters are different from other swimmers—athletes who have historically been considered troublemakers by the establishment, but who have been great for the sport. This month’s featured sprinter is Gary Hall Jr.—one of the greatest in Olympic history…but, perhaps, one of the most maligned and misunderstood.

COACHING

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: TRUST IN SCIENCE
by Rod Havriluk
Based on the many counterproductive technique elements that are conventional wisdom, it seems logical to ask why there is not a greater acceptance of science in swimming. The purpose of this article is to give swimmers and coaches some very real reasons to trust in science and scientists.

040 SPECIAL SETS: BACK TO BASICS
by Michael J. Stott
While college swimming as we know it faces a roadmap unlike any in recent memory, Coach Eric Skelly of the University of the Cumberlands, Ky. is treating the return to campus and formal practice as business as usual.

043 Q&A WITH COACH SION BRINN
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN TAYLA LOVEMORE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

036 DRYSIDE TRAINING: MORE CORE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: GABI BRITO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

023 DID YOU KNOW? JIM CROW

037 THE OFFICIAL WORD

042 MOMS AT MEETS

047 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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