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Totman piloting the Aquanauts

Josh Aldrich
Wednesday June 15, 2005
Lloydminster Meridian Booster

Tyler Totman has now gone full circle with the Lloydminster Aquanauts – the student has now become the teacher.

Totman has traded in his Speedo for a stopwatch and has taken over as the head coach of the Aquanauts, a club he has been part of off and on since 1992.

“I’m a much better coach then I ever was a swimmer,” said Totman. “As a swimmer I was mentally weaker and didn’t challenge myself enough. As coach, I am mean and hard and make them work real hard, so there’s no chance to slack off and have fun.”

He says this with a bit of a laugh, but in reality he’s bringing some discipline and dedication to the swim club and sometimes almost has to break out the drill sergeant inside himself.

“This year is so much fun because his practices are so long and you think it’s a joke but it’s not, it’s a real practice,” said 11-year-old swimmer Brianna Wells. “So you kind of freak out at first but when you’re done you feel so much better.”

Totman, of course, has their best intentions at heart. With 12 years of swimming under his belt he knows what it takes to get to the next level, and he is pushing them in that direction.

“I have extremely high expectations and I made sure they knew that at the start of the season,” said Totman. “They have to be at every practice, work very hard, are never allowed to dog it, and then they’ll see the payoffs in their times at the end of the season.”

There is a lot of potential there for him to work with already in the Aquanauts fold. From Jessica Kelly to Jonathan Smyth, A. J. Mokelky, Rebecca and Mary Cavanaugh, as well as others, there is a lot of provincials potential.

At a time trial late last month, for example, Mokelky set two new personal bests, and his sights are set high this year as he would like to add a provincial gold medal to the silver and bronze he already has in the 100-metre breast stroke.

“I was definitely expecting one, the other was a complete surprise. I was really surprised at my start, but I think there will definitely be more of that this year,” he said.

This Saturday, the Aquanauts will be hosting their own meet at the Leisure Centre with registration at 8:30 a.m. It is an event the swimmers look forward to as it is one of the few times all year they will have a home pool advantage.

“It’s usually a good opportunity because at most of our meets there’s usually only two people cheering for you,” said Mokelky. “But for this meet everyone comes out and it gets you pumped.”

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