The ASU men’s and women’s swim and dive team will compete in two dual meets Friday and Saturday against California and Stanford as the Sun Devils look ahead to the end of their season.
Assistant swim coach Dan Kesler said the Sun Devils use these meets as a way to hone in on their skills and prepare for the upcoming Pac-12 Championships, which take place at the end of February and in early March.
“In the training cycle for our meets, we’re able to fine tune some things and use that meet to see where we’re at and what are the last minute things we need to work on,” Kesler said.
These two meets are a way of testing the waters before the important events that take place at the end of the season arrive. The team has altered its training schedule during this part of the season to prepare for these events.
The first half of the year, the team trained simply for the purpose of training. During the second half of the year, the team has shifted its focus to working on more specific skills.
To train for these upcoming meets and the approaching end of the season, the team is working on four things: more pace, more speed, more power and more explosive work.
“The overall preparation at this point in the year is speed,” Kesler said. “We’re training to race.”
The team’s focus on speed will not only help the Sun Devils against Cal and Stanford, but for the rest of the season in its entirety.
The team is full of younger members and is looking forward to seeing how they have progressed over the season. The upcoming meets will help the less experienced players in their preparations for the Pac-12 Championships.
At this point in the season, the freshmen now know the routine of practice, the expectations of the team and how to get around between study hall, classes and practice.
Kesler believes the team has much more cohesiveness than in the beginning of the season and they mesh well together.
“At this point, they are a team,” he said.
ASU struggled against Cal and Stanford last season, with both the men’s and women’s teams losing.
At the UNLV Fall Invite in November, the ASU women’s team finished second to Cal and the men’s team finished fourth. Although Cal outscored ASU by over 800 points, ASU had some strong finishes in several of the events.
Meet action begins at 1 p.m. Friday against Cal in Berkeley, Calif., and at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.
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