Illinois swimming and diving gets creative with training


(WCIA) — With public swimming pools closed during the pandemic, Illinois swimmers are getting creative with their training. Under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan, public pools won’t be open until Phase Four, so in the meantime the Illini have turned to alternatives for their off-season training.

For Illini with a small pool at home, they’ve been using resistance bands to work on their stroke. Others, like Illini junior Sidney Kennedy, had to swim laps in a pond.

“You have to switch your whole stroke up almost to be able to sight and see where you’re going,” says Kennedy. “You can’t just swim blindly. Luckily the pond I was in only had fish in it.”

No pools during COVID-19 also means no diving boards. Divers have trained their moves on land, mattresses, and trampolines. Illinois senior and Champaign native Lizzie Gile says one of the biggest things was just trying to stay in shape.

“It’s been a lot of trial and error, I’d say,” says Gile. “Just trying to figure out what works best for me, whether that’s workout videos or doing weights or swimming in a lake.”

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