We spoke with Club President, Zach Ziemba, about the SIUE Swim Club. Started in Fall 2015, they are making waves during their second semester as a club! Currently, practices are Mon-Wed 6-7:30pm and Thu-Fri 3-5:20pm in the Indoor Pool. Times may vary depending on club member preferences.
Why did you want to start the Swim Club at SIUE/ how did you come up with the idea?
If there was a swim program here at SIUE that competed at the NCAA DI level I would have walked on. Since there was no swim team, I wanted to provide the university with an opportunity to train and possibly compete against other schools. I just felt that there was a need to offer this experience to others.
What does a normal practice consist of?
I come up with the workouts Mon. – Wed. and our VP, Parker Arnholt, is in charge of practices Thurs. & Fri. Typically, a practice starts out with a warm up swim to get a “sweat” going and to get heart rate up as well as get the blood moving. The workout commences with one or two swim sets usually on a time interval. These are also a specified distance. After the beginning set(s) there is a main set, which is the bulk of the workout. This set is essentially the main goal of what the workout aims to accomplish on a given day. Sometimes it might be distance, other times it is sprint work. I am planning on incorporating drills into our training as well to teach proper technique. To finish, there is always a cool down set which is a nice long easy swim. Some practices there may also be sets after the main set that are accessory sets to the main set to enhance that days workout goal, but practices always ends in a nice easy cool down. We do have days were we play games though! Water polo is a favorite!
Do you have plans to compete against other schools?
Initially that was the plan. However, as a whole our members just enjoy swimming for the exercise! We decided not to compete this semester. I would like to offer the opportunity to compete at some point, but right now there is no interest.
If someone has never swam competitively before, can they still join/what advice would you give them?
Absolutely they can join! No experience is needed and I would be more than happy to help teach someone to swim. I would tell them not to get discouraged, work hard, stay positive, and most importantly have fun. The most important thing to me is offering an environment that is competitive so that you get a great workout, but also be able to do that with people you enjoy being around. We have a great group and we have a lot of fun!
Are there any fees or team suits they need to purchase?
Currently there are no membership fees! All you need is a swimsuit and goggles. Although, we have kind of talked about the possibility of getting team gear such as bags or equipment in the future which might call for club dues.
Fun fact about swimming?
A little less than half of Americans do not know how to swim! Swimming is a great full body workout that trains all muscle groups and is very low impact on the joints, which means less wear and tear on the body as opposed to higher impact activities such as running.