Bemidji Girls’ Swim & Dive Finds New Ways to Practice for 2023 Season
It’s an unusual thing when you show up for swim practice and the team isn’t in the pool, but out on the track instead. It’s just something Bemidji girls’ swimming and diving head coach Woody Leindecker does to “keep things fresh.”
It’s not the only thing, though. In the coach’s office you’ll find waterproof radio headsets – great for giving immediate feedback and also playing some tunes.
“I’m personally not a huge fan of Woody’s music taste,” said senior Elena Harmsen with a laugh. “But sometimes when it’s a good song I do tend to feel myself pick it up a little more.”
Other training tools include using a snorkel to help the swimmers focus on specific movements and form without having to worry about coming up for air.
“It’s the first year I’ve ever used a snorkel,” said sophomore Abbey Damen. “You have to flip turn and then blow the water. I’ve choked on water a few times and coughed super hard, but I really like them.”
For Coach Leindecker, however, there is no training that can replicate experience, something the Lumberjacks are fortunate to have heading into their 2023 season.
“We’re excited because we’re returning all of our points that we scored,” said Leindecker.
The Jacks finished last in Section 8AA last year, a departure from the success of the early to mid-2010 squads that won six Section 8A titles, including five in a row from 2011-2015. But they feel confident this year’s team is much improved and ready to make some waves.
Bemidji girls’ swim and dive has their first meet Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. against rival Brainerd at Brainerd High School.