Wheaton Lyons Swimming Prepping for Winter Training Trip

Wheaton Lyons 2014

By Kelley Baylis, Swimming World College Intern

NORTON – Wheaton Lyons swimming finished out its final meet for the 2014 fall semester this past weekend at the Winter Invitational hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Lyons finished strong and will take on a three-week break for the holidays. They will then return to Norton on Dec. 29 to begin their winter training.

The Lyons will be traveling to Miami, Fla., Jan. 1-7 and will practice at Florida International University. Head coach Barrett Roberts had a lot to say about the team’s upcoming trip.

Barrett Roberts Wheaton 2014

Photo Courtesy: Wheaton Athletics

 

“I expect this year’s training trip to be very similar to trips we have taken in the past,” Roberts said when asked about the similarity of this trip to the past. “At this point, we have a number of traditions that are a part of training trip each year. Some of these are training traditions, such as challenging test sets that we save for this time of year.”

“Others are team-building social traditions such as ‘game night’ and ‘skit night,'” Roberts continued. “This year we will be in Southern Florida, but the team makes the trip, not the location, and so I have high hopes for what is sure to be another great week!”

The training trip always puts athletes to test physically and mentally, but the experience and tough training gained from the trip is what shows at the end of the season. The training conditions swimmers and pushes them past their limits.

“Obviously I expect the team to benefit from the training, but I also know that they will benefit from forging closer personal relationships with each other. The coaches don’t hold back when writing workouts in early January,” Roberts said.

Roberts offers some vital advice for what the first-year athletes should expect for their first training trip experience.

“They should be prepared for a physical and mental challenge every time they jump in the pool,” Roberts said. “They should be prepared to get loud for their teammates, even when they are struggling to catch their breath during a set. They should also expect to have a ton of fun with not only their closest friends on the team, but also with those who they haven’t yet become close with.”

Not only will the Lyons face a tough week in the pool, but Roberts plans to push the athletes in dryland workouts as well.

“Whenever possible, we try to continue our strength and conditioning program during training trip, in addition to shorter dryland work before or after a pool session. Last year, we incorporated more dryland into our pool workouts that I would love to do again this year” Roberts said. “Regardless of the location and available equipment, we usually start to transition our dryland workouts away from being cardio-based, and we try to focus on exercises that work on explosive movement. We have also done yoga and meditation work on the beach in previous years.”

While in Florida, the Lyons will compete in a dual meet against other college teams from around the country with mostly sprint-oriented events.

“It’s always fun to compete against NCAA DI and DII competition and it is our only long course meet of the season,” Roberts said.

“The week is meant to be exceptionally challenging, but also very positive and fun,” Roberts said. “In order for that to happen, the athletes need to motivate and support each other. In previous years, our team has done an excellent job creating a positive and energetic atmosphere throughout our training trip. As a result, we are always a closer and more cohesive team after we return to Wheaton.”

After the January training, the Lyons will travel to Clark along with Mount Holyoke to compete in the first meet of the spring semester on January 9 and then travel to Trinity on January 10.

Kelley Baylis is a sophomore swimmer on the Wheaton College women’s swim team, who is currently the school record holder in the 50 and 100 back. Prior to joining the Lyons, Baylis trained with the Wilton Y Wahoos in Connecticut.