RIO Swimmer Spotlight: Megan Ewing —
As the calendar flips from March to April, we are taking a few minutes to chat with another member of the Rio Swim Family. This month we sat down for a short Q & A with a local High School swimmer, Megan Ewing, who has been swimming for RIO for quite some time.
Patrick Tolson, Director of Rio Swim Club’s Development Team: Good Morning Megan. Tell us what you like most about swimming?
Megan: I love swimming because it is different from any other sport I have ever tried. While it is a team sport, it is also an individual sport, and while physical training is important, so is the mental aspect. My coaches have always told me that a race consists of 20% physical and 80% mental; if you think you can do it, you can, and I think that’s why I love the sport so much.
Patrick: You have been swimming for Rio for a number of years, what do you like the most about your experience with EVO and then, subsequently, with RIO?
Megan: I definitely liked getting different experiences with different coaches. I began swimming lessons as a Porpoise in EVO and quickly advanced to Dolphin and eventually Advanced Stroke, and slowly climbed the ladder to D2, leading me to start swimming with the high school power hour group. I like that I have had so many incredible experiences with all of the coaches at RIO, and each coach has something unique to share with us, helping each of us reach our goals as a swimmer.
Patrick: You really have seen all aspects that we are able to offer from the EVO swim lessons and then on to the RIO swim team. You mentioned coaches helping you to reach some goals. What are some of the goals you currently have for your swimming?
Megan: When I first began swimming I didn’t have many goals, other than to swim an entire lap without stopping. As I was coached and trained and given tips by several RIO coaches, I began expecting more of myself, leading me to develop goals like finishing 2 laps, then 4 laps without stopping. With the help of my coaches, I set reasonable goals for times I wanted to remain below. At the start of last season, I was unsure if I wanted to leave RIO and all of my incredible friends and coaches to swim for my high school. My team encouraged me to try it, and assured me that they would see me once I finished the season with my school. I went in to the first practice at my high school with the goal of making the team. Not only did I make the team, but I made the varsity team and received a varsity letter for my times in the 100 freestyle. Without the help of my coaches I never could have even dreamed of making it as far as I have.
Patrick: Wow! Not only did you make the High School team but you made Varsity in your 1st year. How did your time at RIO help you prepare for your 1st High School Swim Season?
Megan: Without RIO I feel I wouldn’t have been prepared for my high school’s swim team. With RIO, I learned all of the correct techniques for all of the strokes, and the coaches make it a priority to help you learn every trick there is to being the best you can be. While swimming in high school, it was often difficult to get this one-on-one time, as there were 45+ swimmers on my team, with only two coaches. RIO taught me everything from the names of strokes to which strokes your toes should be pointed for, helping me to prepare for any possible drill or set that could be thrown at me during the high school season.
Patrick: Now that you accomplished a few of your goals, like making your High School Swim Team, how have you grown in your swimming? Have you adjusted your goals for the pending season?
Megan: My goals in the sport have definitely grown, just as I have. I began swimming after I learned that the sport helped those with asthma slowly “grow out of it”. I began swimming hoping I could get across the pool without stopping. Now, with the help and support of RIO, I have not only made the varsity swim team my freshman year, but lettered. I began swimming just for fun, but over time, I have developed a deep love for achieving things I never thought I could. My goal setting process has definitely changed. I used to go for goals I knew I could achieve. RIO taught me otherwise. I learned I needed to push myself and make my goals more challenging. They assured me that the reward was so much better of that than achieving something I knew I could already do. Three weeks before our final swim meet at my high school, I promised myself I would letter, although I still needed to drop several seconds. I thought back to RIO and how much goal setting had helped me. I set a goal for myself, which I ultimately ended up reaching. As of now, I hope to letter in my 50 freestyle next season and swim in the State Championships.
Patrick: We wish you good luck on achieving your goals for the next High School season Megan. As we close out our time, lets finish off with Megan’s Parents and get there perspective. During your time at EVO and RIO, you have experienced lots of swim instructors and coaches, what is one piece of advice you could give to parents that are new to our program?
Megan’s Parents: As a parent the biggest advice I can give to parents starting this program is to communicate with their coaches and really get to know them. Stay for the lessons. Watch the lessons. Watch the techniques they use so you can try to replicate when you are “practicing” with your kiddo. Ask questions. Know what the expectations are for moving through each lesson level. Every coach, I have interacted with has genuinely wanted to give each child the best experience they can have in the pool.