At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, Coach Betsy Murphy arrived on campus to fulfill the recently vacant Head Swim Coach position at Timber Creek. After the past couple years as an assistant swim coach at Central High School, Murphy was excited to transfer and lead a entirely new team to high victories.
“I’ve known most of [the kids] from the neighborhood [swim team], I’ve gotten to watch most of [them] grow up,” she said when asked about her motivation to transfer. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Murphy has taught a local neighborhood swim team, The Heritage Hurricanes, during past summers, building relationships with her students as she trains them for high school and other swim opportunities. Karson Gopffarth and Sidney Delgado, swim team captains, who had both swam previously with Murphy were eager to hear the news of their new coach due to coaching bonds they had already constructed with her over the years.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand what a dynamic coach she is,” said Delgado. “She’s an amazing role model and she’s taught [us] how to swim, and how to ‘coach’ others. [This change] will be really good for the team we’ll have a chance to create a lasting legacy and I’m sure that it will send us to amazing places,” elaborated Gopffarth.
Murphy bases her training and practices for the team around her personal high school and college swim team experience which developed her love for the sport.
“At times, I would see at the pool that the kids weren’t having fun [during practice],” Murphy said. “I want them to understand that you can still work hard but have fun as a team.”
Excited for what is to come as the season develops, Murphy is focused on “scoping out” the team’s current abilities in order to identify what they can improve upon and lay a solid foundation for a success. Wanting to take the element of “constant pressure” out of the pool in exchange for “a little healthy competition”, Murphy hopes to push swimmers while allowing them to enjoy the sport, reiterating her goal of incorporating entertainment into the practices. Each individual practice for the team has a structural meaning behind it facilitated by Murphy. She focuses on the seemingly minor techniques in order to build each individual swimmer stronger in every aspect of the sport.
“I want them to feel as if there’s a point behind every practice,” Murphy said. “They should feel as if they’re truly becoming better, not just repeating the same sets.”
With her main inspiration as a coach is drawn from UCLA’s famous basketball coach, John Wooden, she bases her structure for the team upon his “pyramid of success,” which draws together several different aspects to create one successful team. Each layer of the pyramid is required in order to build a strong foundation of which a team can grow upon.The Falcon Swim Team will compete in their first meet lead by Coach Murphy Sept. 16, 2017 at the KISD Natatorium.
At the top of the pyramid sits two loaded words: competitive greatness. Murphy treasures the idea that “if you have a good base, success will lie at the top.”