The Swim Clinic was started 11 years ago by Malden High School’s Swim Team Coach, Jessica Bisson.
The clinic is open to everyone spanning from four-month-olds to adults. With the number of different people of different ages, the level of experience in the water varies. However, Bisson added the “main purpose of [the] swim clinic is to increase a persons comfort level in the water.”
Although mentoring the swim clinic and coaching the swim team are two different things, Bisson stated that “both are very rewarding in their own way.” The swim team also assists in teaching during the clinic. Swim team captain, Tony Giech described that teaching people in the swim clinic who have no experience in the water is “challenging” and “... harder to teach them techniques...since they might be overwhelmed by their fear of the water.” Nonetheless, Giech helps the uneasiness by helping direct focus to “breathing and body position...because those are the two most important things in swimming.”
While some of the people attending the clinic are inexperienced, there is room for experienced swimmers as well. Bisson says with experienced swimmers the focus is about improving the “technique of all 4 strokes, turns, and dives (starts).” Sarah Oliveira, swim team captain, stated that she also helps swimmers “improve strength, stamina, and technique.” With the help of the swim team , all levels of swimming are able to improve regardless if it’s the first step in the water or the hundredth.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an inability to host the swim clinic until now and it being brought back has made people reminisce and continue creating more memories. Oliveira described that kids remembering their instructors and familiar faces makes the experience “bittersweet to be starting [her] final year of swim and getting to work with swimmers for the last time.” Giech explained that being able to do it again and “continue sharing [his] love of swimming with others” is “memorable enough.”
Advising the swim clinic for so long as well as the Malden High School swim team, Bisson has had many memories, especially with mentoring kids younger who had eventually joined the swim team when they attended Malden High School. Bisson remembered that “one swimmer [she] had, came to swim clinic for years to work on his stroke technique and he was so excited to join the MHS swim team when he got to high school. During this swimmer's senior year, he became a captain and led the team well. He managed to come in first in the 100-yard butterfly at States.”
Bisson described this memory as one of her most “rewarding moments [she] has experienced so far as a coach and a swim clinic instructor.”
Malden High School Principal, Chris Mastrangelo, added that this clinic is “a great opportunity for [the] kids and mentors.”