By Kaley Kwan
Town Crier Editorial intern
Although Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics-Dana Kirk Swimming last month had to shut down its practices at Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the youth club’s coaches have found new ways to help keep their swimmers engaged, communicating and in shape.
Coaches have been sending out regular emails that include swimming history, at-home workouts for swimmers and their families, and challenges – short activities they can do on land. Coaches also post photos of the challenges on Instagram, tagging “PASA-DKS.”
“Exercise releases endorphins and even if you feel horrible in the moment, 20 minutes later it makes you feel a lot better,” head coach Dana Kirk said. “What we’re trying to do with the workouts we send out is make them mentally engaging. We are trying to keep everyone connected and together and give everyone a little bit of a break every day.”
That’s welcome news for club swimmers like Jason Liu.
“The fact that everything’s canceled makes a big impact on people that swim there,” the junior-varsity member said. “I think people have to adapt to it by figuring out how to exercise without practice. For me, I walk around or do indoor stuff like pushups and curl-ups. Socially, there’s less interaction even with social media platforms ... which I’m kind of sad about.”
As for when the swimmers will be back in the water together, Kirk is taking a wait-and-see approach. The Olympic medalist said there is the possibility of small-group practices once the pandemic dies down and the state lifts restrictions.
For more information on PASA-DKS, visit teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=pcspa.