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Pikes love the qualities of new head coach
Cole Midtdal is a rookie when it comes to coaching swimmers, however, the new Penticton Pikes head coach brings a wealth of experience in competitive swimming.
At 18, Midtdal has been in the pool since he was three and just finished his first season with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns varsity program. With the Pronghorns, the Okotoks, Alta., product swam side by side against athletes who competed in Olympic trials and have won national meets.
What attracted the Pikes to Midtdal during an interview conducted over Skype was his passion for the sport and working with kids.
“He loves being at the pool and helping kids to set goals and improve,” said Pikes vice-president Christina Krause. “He has an infectious energy and we are excited to have him as our head coach.”
“I like teaching these kids. They are pretty eager,” said Midtdal, who was told about the position by his former Okotoks swimming coach. “I love swimming. I like passing on my knowledge.”
Nearly three weeks into the job, Midtdal said things have been great. Along with his own experiences in the pool from practice and competitions, Midtdal will look to his former and current coaches for advice when needed.
“I’m learning as I go as well,” said Mitdtal, who has never been to Penticton before but said it’s beautiful and looks forward to the summer weather.
His focus, while working with the swimmers, is on technique.
"Technique they need to get down," said Midtdal, adding he will crack down on proper starts, turns and stroke. "There is lots of room for improvement. Sitting on a gold mine. Lots of kids are willing to train, willing to work hard."
The Pikes club is growing and they have more kids interested in the competitive side of the sport. Krause also said that if there are more kids interested in joining, the Pikes are still accepting registration with forms available on their website at www.pentictonpikes.com.
Krause said Midtdal brings a wealth of experience in both swimming technique and competition and is inspiring kids to have fun.
Midtdal won't have to wait long to see how the swimmers perform in a competition. The Pikes are hosting this weekend to kick off the summer season at the Penticton Community Centre May 31 to June 1.