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Swim team: a coach’s perspective

What does it mean to be a Bulldog? With the wide variety of personalities and preferences the BHS student body has to offer, it is nearly impossible to paint so many with such a broad brush.  As such, Bedford High school offers many extracurriculars for its students to experiment with and explore. This includes a wide variety of sports for every season. When observing BHS athletes perform, one can really begin to get a better idea of what the spirit of a Bulldog truly is. This is most of all exemplified by the coaches, as they lead their impressionable athletes by example.

Through interviews with the BHS Swim Team’s coach, Mrs. Cullen, it has become quite apparent that the athletic staff set very admirable examples. Those of ambition, of optimism, of competitiveness, and, most importantly; of an appreciation for fun. When asked about the goals she has set for this season, Coach Cullen answered with hopes that the athletes improve with time, and that they will end with a strong performance at Division One States. When asked about her swimmers’ best events, she sung high praises to her pupils, speaking of how she felt very fortunate to have very well rounded athletes on her team. She is confident that the team will be able to score points in any event for the duration of the season, which is, quote, “a great problem to have!”. When asked about the biggest obstacles the team may face this season, Cullen answered that it was nearly the same every year. That is, time management and academic obligations for the athletes. With a very busy season that lasts only two and a half months, athletes have to be very mindful of their health and performance both in and out of the pool! When speaking about the swim team’s biggest competition, the coach answered that Swimming and Diving were very unique sports in that they score differently during the regular season than they do in championships. In other words, the big challengers are ever changing! This must make for a very competitive team, as, in a way, everyone is the competition. Any one team could be the BHS swim team’s rival during different seasons! Finally, when asked about the moments she was looking forward to most as a coach, Cullen answered that, in her experience, every year is different. She certainly has prior knowledge to back that statement, as she has been coaching this team since BHS opened! However, she said, close races and “come back from behind” relays are always fun to watch!

The season ahead of the swim team seems to be shaping up as a great one, with an optimistic coach who fully supports her swimmers in their growth as athletes, and recognizes their difficulties as students. As Coach Cullen’s responses have shown, to be a Bulldog is to have ambition, to have drive, but also to have compassion and an appreciation for fun. These messages are ones that are sure to be passed down for generations of BHS’ alumni, and will certainly continue this school’s esteemed reputation.