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Swim coach brings skills to the community

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

The summer sun and swimming pools just seem to go together and Park City High School head swim coach Matt Hayes wants to make sure everyone can take advantage of it. Next Monday, he will begin offering a coached swimming workout every weekday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. at the Park City Racquet Club (PCRC) pool.

As the leader of one of the most successful high school programs in the state and an accomplished swimmer himself, Hayes is committed to giving adults as many opportunities to take advantage of it as possible. The PCRC already offers a noon-time coached swim workout, but both Hayes and the pool’s aquatic director, Kelly Haakenson, wanted to make sure there was a class for people that can’t take a lunch break or work out of the area during the day. Hayes, who is a competitive Masters swimmer in Salt Lake was also aware that many Park City swimmers were driving down to the Salt Lake Valley just to get a good swim workout each day and he wanted to change that.

The class will have its fair share of Masters swimmers and members of the high school squad, but Hayes wants all water lovers to feel comfortable in his class. Hayes is opening up the class to swimmers of all abilities and ages, as long as they know the basics of lap swimming.

"I will try and accommodate everyone that I can," Hayes said.

The six-lanes of the PCRC pool will be separated according to speed and ability, so that both competitive and recreational swimmers will feel comfortable attending the sessions. Hayes will design the workouts according to the Stanford University Masters model, so each day will have a specific theme, such as an aerobic focus, a leg focus, endurance or sprinting. Hayes is hopeful that the variety and participation by all abilities will help swimmers feel more comfortable and satisfied with the workout.

"My experience is knowing that competition is just one part of my sport and that most people that pick up a sport are not necessarily in it for competition," Hayes said.

Mostly, Hayes just wants people to use swimming as another way to exercise.

"I see swimming, at any level, as a lifetime fitness thing," Hayes said. "I’m less about competition than about teaching people to swim as a lifetime activity."

Haakenson feels the same way and that is why she is excited to offer the new program.

"We try to cater to people that want to swim and not feel embarrassed," she said.

Hayes says that his strong point is stroke development and hopes to help people in the area improve their technical swimming. He would also like to see the scope of pool-related activities expand in general for older youth and adults.

"I think every pool needs to expand its overall offerings for adults," Hayes said.

He thinks most people see swimming pools as merely a place to play in the water, and limit themselves from many other activities, like fitness workouts, diving and water ballet.

"There are so many things that they can be used for," Hayes said. "They are not utilized as much as they can be."

Hayes knows a thing or two about pool activities. He was an All-American swimmer in high school in Southern California, swam for the University of Utah competed in Numerous Masters and national championships. In August, he will head to Stanford University for the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) World Masters Aquatics Championships.

The coached swim workout meets every weekday Monday through Friday from 7-8:30 a.m. at the PCRC Pool. Interested swimmers need a Summer Swim Pass a general facility pass or a punch card for admittance. Please bring a swimsuit and goggles, all other equipment will be provided. Call 615-5401 for more information.


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