New swim coaches look forward to coaching swim team

The Westlake High School swim team has two new coaches this year — Alison Soelter and Steve Navarro. These two are previous swimmers with experience coaching high school and will hopefully lead the swim team through a triumphant season. Since the Westlake High School girls team won state the previous year, the possibilities are endless for what the team could accomplish this season.

FD: Favorite sport to watch?

Soelter- Sports are always on in our household. I don’t really have a favorite, but I do prefer NBA and PGA tournaments.

Navarro- Basketball.

FD: Favorite race?

Soelter- My favorite race to swim is the 200 Individual Medley. My favorite race to watch is the 50 free.

Navarro- 50 free.

FD: Swimming history?

Soelter- I swam competitively for just [more than] 15 years. In that time I competed at several National Championships, the Olympic Trials and NCAA’s as part of The University of Texas Women’s Swimming and Diving Team (’05-’09).

Navarro- Swam from Age 5 to 20. I was a sprinter and swam the 50 free, 100 free and 100 back.

FD: Where did you coach before coming to Westlake?

Soelter- I came from Austin High School in El Paso, TX. Prior to that I coached club, summer league and gave lessons.

Navarro- Chapin High School for 5 years.

FD: What brought you to Westlake?

Soelter- The opportunity to work with an outstanding program! Westlake has a strong tradition of excellence, and I wanted to use my experiences as a high level competitor to carry on that tradition.

Navarro- A new challenge and I wanted to come back to live in Austin again.

FD: What would you consider your coaching style to be?

Soelter- My coaching style combines several styles into one. I interact with my swimmers in a way that generates an atmosphere of respect, self-development, mental and skill growth and accountability.

Navarro- Motivating. Getting to know my athletes to know which buttons to push at the right time to get the most out of them.

FD: What changes do you want to make to the swim team?

Soelter- I am not looking to make major changes to the team, but strive to continue the tradition of excellence by creating a hard-working, goal-striving family.

Navarro- I want the athletes to be closer with each other. A lot of people consider swimming as an individual sport but swimming for and representing a high school is more of a team sport atmosphere.

FD: What do you love about the sport of swimming and how do you plan to incorporate that into this team?

Soelter- Swimming is a lifelong sport that teaches important values such as; how to organize your time, work with others, camaraderie and self accountability. The latter two are my favorite.  While it is an individual sport, each person has to be their best, for the TEAM to be its best. Swimmers have to develop strong mental and physical skills in order to achieve greatness. Also, life is about relationships and interacting with one another. Swimming teaches you how to work with others and build lasting relationships.

Navarro- Swimming more than any other sport gives back to you exactly what you put into it.  You cannot get away with having talent alone. Excelling in swimming requires you to be dedicated and requires you to put in the grueling training even when you are hurting or not feeling up to it. This team will learn that time management as an athlete is very important in order to excel in the pool and in the classroom.