Vavra looks to promote swimming
Allysa Vavra knows swimming and she's anxious to share that knowledge with area youths.
Vavra will combine her incredible talent in the pool with her unmatched passion for the sport to give aspiring swimmers an incredible opportunity for improvement.
The Panther Valley High School and Indiana University graduate will be running a week-long swimming camp next month in Lansford.
"I know the opportunities that swimming gave me and I would love to see other young athletes in the area get those types of opportunities," explained Vavra about why she decided to run the camp. "There are a lot of instructional camps in this area if you play basketball or volleyball or a number of other sports. But there wasn't anything for swimmers.
"I thought this would be a perfect way for me to give back to the sport and give back to the community."
With a long list of credentials that include 2011-12 USA Swimming National Team Member, 2011-12 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year, 2011 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist, and seven-time NCAA All-American, Vavra obviously knows something about swimming fast.
The name of her camp the Swim Fast Technique Mini Camp with Allysa Vavra reflects that.
"Swimming is something I was good at and was passionate about." said Vavra. "I believe this camp will help others achieve success in swimming. There are a lot of opportunities out there for swimmers.
"You don't have to be a world class swimmer or have Division I talent. There are hundreds and hundreds of Division II and Division III colleges that are looking for swimmers. I want to help swimmers reach their potential and take advantage of the opportunities out there."
Vavra will be sharing her expertise in all four strokes, helping swimmers with their techniques and working on drills to help them improve their times.
"This isn't a 'learn to swim camp,' said Vavra. "I would like everyone who signs up to at least have a basic knowledge of the four strokes.
"That said, the camp isn't only for elite swimmers. This is open to swimmers of all different ability levels. No matter what level they are currently swimming at, I'm confident that I can help them improve."
But Vavra knows there is a lot more involved in becoming a successful swimmer than just mastering the strokes. That's why the camp will provide insight and instruction in a host of other areas.
"I will definitely work with the swimmers to help them be more technically sound with their strokes," said Vavra, who will be assisted by a number of college swimmers from the area. "But there are a lot of other things that help swimmers improve their times.
"I will talk to them about things like nutrition and conditioning. I will also try to give them the benefit of my years of experience when it comes to mental preparation, overcoming adversity and life choices. I will be sharing with them a lot of things I didn't know when I was their age."
Vavra knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle in her sport, but she's not running the camp to groom Olympic champions. Instead, she wants to give back to a sport that has provided her with so many benefits over the years, and at the same time help young athletes get the most out of their natural talent and ability.
"The one thing I'd like young swimmers to know is that they don't have to be rich to succeed in the sport and they don't have to be super talented," said Vavra. "They just have to have passion and dedication. If they have both those things, they can succeed."
Vavra's Swim Fast Technique Mini Camp will be held June 10-14 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon at the Lansford Pool. She will also hold a make-up date on Sunday, June 16 for anyone who still has school on June 10. The cost is $100. For information or to register, phone Vavra at 570-657-0818 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I'd love to use my knowledge of the sport and my contacts in the sport to help area swimmers fulfill their potential," said Vavra. "I want to establish a great foundation that the swimmers who attend this camp will be able to build on and that they will benefit from for years to come."