CHS Swim Team “Relays” a Message of Team Building

CHS Swim Team Relays a Message of Team Building

The Calvert High School swim team has been diving into their 2022 season with effort, team spirit, and a ton of accomplishments. So, what does it mean to be a part of the swim team? 

Swim Coach and English teacher Mr. Brian Dryer sees similarities between coaching students to compete in sports and teaching them in the classroom. “Sports, just like the classroom, requires you to meet the kids where they are in terms of ability. There is a wide range of experience on our team… During my 18 years of coaching, I have seen kids not knowing how to put a swim cap on and kids that are being recruited to swim in college. The biggest similarity between students and student athletes is that no matter where they start, you get to see the results as they learn and improve. You also never know when things will ‘click’ and they will go beyond expectations,” said Coach Dryer. 

Being a part of the team is also a unifying experience for those involved. Junior Riley Strain said, “Being part of the team is just like being part of a group of friends. You all share a common interest and spend a lot of time together, so everyone gets to know one another.” 

Junior Nick Humphreys said, “Being part of the team is always fun, my teammates are almost always positive and reassuring. I don’t think there has ever been a dull moment when I’ve been around them.” 

This trend of team spirit and comradery continues when comparing swimming with Calvert High to sports outside of school. Sophomore Drew Lynch, who recently broke two school records, said, “The atmosphere of sports outside of school is very serious, focused, and pressuring to the point that sometimes it could be suffocating or nerve-racking. On the other hand, sports on a school team can be serious but also laid back. It’s more focused on cheering your teammates on and helping others improve.” 

Strain continued, “School Swimming is much more team-oriented than Club Swimming. In Club, everyone is there for their own times, and people are rarely cheered for beyond their parents. At high school, we are much more focused on how the team performs than the individual.” 

This team unity often leads student athletes to feel more connected to school in general. “I personally feel like student athletes feel a bit more of a sense of belonging at school. We have many swimmers that are also on a club team, but they choose to swim for us to have the peer recognition, the record board, the announcements, and to even have staff members support them,” said Coach Dryer. 

Student athletes seem to agree. “Being involved with CHS as an athlete has made my view of the school more positive, made school life more fun, and has introduced me to more people around the school,” said Lynch. 

Aside from team unity and school spirit, Coach Dryer believes that there is independent growth that can be gained through participation in sports—particularly swim. “I always hope that the kids take away a sense of accomplishment and self-determination from our sport. Swimming takes a different kind of discipline than other sports, as many times it is just the swimmer, the black line on the bottom of the pool, and a clock. Everything in our sport is very ‘cut and dry’ as in they either swam fast or they didn’t… But when the kids leave, I hope they can say that they ‘did it’, that they pushed themselves to their limits and became the best they could.” 

Though there is much to be gained as a member of the swim team, it is hard work. “Being a student athlete has taught me that if you don’t manage your time correctly you will be in ‘hot water’,” said Humphreys.