The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Coach Profile: Zach Wolfe’s innovative approach to swimming

Valerie Pilipenko
Coach Zach explains a drill he wants his swimmers to complete before swimming their last set of the day.

For many athletes, the demanding nature of sports often leads to burnouts, often caused by the immense pressure imposed on them by their coaches. However, Highlands Dolphins swim coach Zach Wolfe effectively coaches his athletes with a creative approach to the sport.

Wolfe first discovered his love for swimming when he was four years old. His mom regularly took him to a pool over the summer, where he started taking swim lessons. His positive experience with his instructors inspired him to apply as a swim coach, where he eventually applied the same fun energy into his lessons.

“My coaching has evolved over the years from teaching swimming and wanting to win to now helping people grow and develop as people and teaching them life skills,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe teaches his swimmers to advocate for themselves and learn to be responsible from a young age. By being on the team, Wolfe expects his athletes to learn how to communicate effectively because he believes learning this skill sets them up for later success.

Though he wants his swimmers to be successful in every aspect, Wolfe understands that making mistakes is inevitable. He creates an environment where athletes feel comfortable making mistakes, helping them see them as valuable learning opportunities.

He communicates very clearly either through constructive criticism or by helping you grow as an individual.

— Kris Nguyen

This focus on fostering a supportive environment goes beyond the pool, reflecting on Wolfe’s genuine care for his athletes.

“My previous coach wasn’t as involved. However, with Coach Wolfe, it’s the exact opposite. He wants us to succeed and do well in and out of the pool,” said swimmer Ethan Kovty.

Wolfe instills this idea of success not only within individual swimmers but also in the collective Highlands team. To build a tighter community and better team culture, Wolfe hosts various events ranging from team-building exercises to waterpark trips.

These trips motivate the team to push themselves to go to swim meets, provide something exciting for them to look forward to and reinforce the team’s commitment to continuous improvement and enjoyment of the sport.

“One of our philosophies is just put in the effort and work hard. You don’t need to be strong, big, or talented; all you need to do is put in an effort, and good things will happen. Do a variety of strokes, and practice what you’re not good at. Have fun with it as much as you can. It’s supposed to be a fun activity,” Wolfe said.

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