Just Keep Swimming!

Coach Alden Deer cheers on her swim team.Swimming has always been a huge part of my identity. I joined a swim team when I was five years old, and continued to compete all the way up through college. During a peak practice season, I would often spend more hours in the pool in a week than some adults spent at work! When I started working at Dana Hall, I was thrilled to learn that part of my job would involve coaching JV and Varsity Swimming.

Every day after school in the winter season, students walk across campus to the Shipley Center and head to the pool deck for practice. For 90 minutes, girls take a break from academics to focus on training with their peers. On any given day, we could be working on pacing for distance events, fine-tuning flip turn technique, or breaking down strokes with drills to improve tempo and turnover. It’s a great end to the academic day, and the team has become a tight-knit community of athletes through their hours spent together in the pool. The swim team is unique in that it’s one of the only teams at Dana that’s open to students in 5th through 12th grade. Both JV and Varsity practice at the same time, so although there is a speed distinction between the groups, the teams feel more unified. 

Although I’m past my own days as a competitive swimmer, I love having the opportunity to be on the other side of the pool deck as a coach, and it’s a great chance for me to interact with many of my students outside of the classroom. We’re looking forward to wrapping up our season in the next few weeks as we anticipate competing in the first-ever Eastern Independent League and Independent School League Championship meet at the end of the month. The team has been training very hard, and I’m excited to see what they are able to accomplish by the end of the season!

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About Alden Derr

Alden Derr is the Mathematics Department Chair at Dana Hall School and the Head Coach for JV and Varsity Swimming. She joined the school in 2014.

3 Replies to “Just Keep Swimming!”

  1. Alden,
    Your leadership on the pool deck and in our classrooms is incredibly valuable. Thank you for sharing your love of swimming with so many of our girls!

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