Jan. 21, 2014
Swimmers and divers spend hours upon hours refining their respective disciplines, knowing that the difference between winning and losing can come down to .01 seconds or .01 points. Now the members of the University of Michigan men's and women's swimming and diving teams have more training tools at their disposal to become faster, stronger and more precise.
The day after the Maize and Blue hosted the Michigan Open (Nov. 22-24), construction crews moved into the northwest corner of Canham Natatorium and worked through the break between semesters to create a space that will serve both swimmers and divers. When the crews moved out, they left behind an elevated diving mezzanine and space for an Endless Pool training system below it.
"The mezzanine has been needed around here for a number of years," said head coach Mike Bottom. "The divers now have a place where they can do their own dry-land training, where they can have their own dry boards."
The mezzanine features a pair of springboards and thick foam pads for the divers to land on. Previously, the northwest corner had one board and was generally an inefficient use of training space.
"It's a statement by our administration, and it's a statement by Michigan that says to our diving program, 'What is it going to take? Because we're going to give it to you. We're going to bring this diving program to national prominence once again.' That is Dave Brandon telling us to get it done because we're getting it done," said Bottom.
Below the mezzanine deck is a brand-new Endless Pool Elite stroke training system. Endless Pools are the equivalent of aquatic treadmills, with a steady stream of water flowing against the swimmer ("counter-current") as they try to propel forward. The training pool is equipped with mirrors and cameras to provide instant feedback to an individual swimmer.
"The swim coaches will be able work with the athletes and communicate clearly through video and with mirrors. The athletes will be able to see the changes they need to make," said Bottom. "That whole corner of Canham gives you more athlete-coach interaction."
Canham was already equipped with a dryland deck chockfull of spin bikes, weights, TRX suspension trainers and much more. Now, the evolution of Michigan's swimming and diving training continues with the addition of the mezzanine.
"We brag that this is best training facility in the country, and I believe it is the best at this point, and we're getting better," said Bottom.
The Michigan Athletic Department is committed to providing all of our student-athletes with the facilities and resources that they need to compete at the highest level. Embracing this challenge, we took a look at every facility and every sport and identified the greatest priorities. We have now created a comprehensive plan that will impact all of our student-athletes and elevate Michigan Athletics to a new level of excellence. To learn more about how to support our student-athletes through this initiative, please visit support.mgoblue.com/victors-for-michigan/explore/.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (firstname.lastname@example.org)