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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Swimming & Diving

Cougars use fatigue as motivation


The Cougars had 20 top-five finishes and placed 46 in the top-ten in the 20 events at the LSU quad meet. They get back into the pool Saturday against Texas A&M on the road.  |  File Photo/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars had 20 top-five finishes and placed 46 in the top-ten in the 20 events at the LSU quad meet. They get back into the pool Saturday against Texas A&M on the road. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

Three months after the season began, the grind — mainly the fatigue of practice combined with meets — is beginning to take its toll, but that could be a good thing.

The team is tired, but it’s good that they’re tired because they’ve been working hard, said head coach Augie Busch.

“One of the nuances of swimming is you get beaten down when you’re training really hard,” Busch said. “You just get really tired so definitely that meet would stand out.”

The Cougars’ best meet was the Phil Hansel Invite at UH back in November, where Busch said the team has seen the most success.

The Cougars finished fifth at the Phil Hansel Invitational, setting 20 personal-best times and two school records during the three-day competition. The key, Busch said, is that the team was better rested — he wants the team to build toward a similar performance.

“It’s way more than just swimming, although that’s a big part of it. It’s also about getting stronger out of the water, so it encompasses a lot of different areas,” Busch said.

The swimming workout schedule consists of three days of weightlifting across campus, three days of running and working in the pool six days out of the week. Busch said he is a technical person and a big believer in film. Each practice he spends time showing the team what they need to improve on and what they’ve accomplished with professional films and recordings of their own meets.

“The eyes are connected to the muscles. I think most humans are visual learners for the most part, so a picture is worth a thousand words,” Busch said. “I can stand over the lane and tell them something, but until they see it, don’t expect them to really get it. I don’t understand why coaches don’t do this.”

Sophomore diver Natasha Burgess said her last two dives haven’t been what she expected and is working on improving.

“I slipped out of a dive midway. I was supposed to do a three and a half, and I lost grip on my legs and landed on my stomach. But I was really proud of myself because I kept competing, and I still got third in the meet even though I failed the dive,” Burgess said.

“The next couple meets, I’m mostly trying to improve on my confidence, go in with a better frame of mind going and hopefully come out with some better results.”

While the main goal for Busch and his team is to be faster in each of the three events at conference and beat personal best times, his focus is not on whether they win or lose.

“I really just want to improve. I really don’t want to think that if we don’t finish in the top two or three at conference then we’re failures,” Busch said. “I like to focus on our own gig and have the best meet we can.”

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