We caught up with Rushmoor Synchro SC head coach Louise Ross (nee Woolley) about her involvement in synchronised swimming, competing in the Masters and being a coach at the National Age Groups.
How long have you been involved with synchronised swimming?
I’ve been involved for more than 20 years, first as a competitor and then as a coach. I stopped competing in 2009 and after being a volunteer coach at Rushmoor, I became development coach in 2011 and have been head coach since January 2014.
What was your favourite memory from when you were a competitive swimmer?
The 2009 World Championships was really special for me as I was captain of the GB team. I then retired from international competitions and took the British solo title that December which was equally special.
What was it like competing at the Masters last month?
Masters is so fun! I didn’t compete for one year (2011) and I really missed it! I still get nervous when I compete but everyone is there because they want to be which makes it really special.
How many people do you currently coach?
At the moment we have 75 swimmers and around 15 Masters. These include swimmers who are just starting out at the age of six or seven, to those who have represented GB in World and European Championships.
How important are competitions such as the National Age Group Championships?
The NAG Synchro Champs are really important as it’s often the first chance for many of the swimmers to see competitors from the rest of the country. It’s also not just about the competition – it’s about meeting people, staying away from home and performing a routine in front of a large audience.
What’s it like being a coach at NAGs?
For a coach, most of the work is in the build-up to a competition so it’s great to have the opportunity to sit back and see how the swimmers have improved since last year. You might not see how far someone has progressed during training so a competition is a really good opportunity to see their development.
Any tips for those taking part in this year’s NAGs?
Have faith in your training! Don’t worry if things go wrong, move on and focus on the next routine. And also have fun!
What should people do if they want to get involved in synchro?
There are lots of local pools that offer taster sessions such as Aquafun classes. These are a good introduction to synchro and good way to see if you like it. Then it’s about starting with the basics and developing from there!
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