U of M coach mentors swimmers

By Caitlin Bush and Allison Lackner

University of Michigan’s synchronized swimming coach, Shelby Peterson Unsworth, joined the North-South combined synchronized swimming team practice Tuesday, Dec. 12. Freshman Abbey Meth said their new coach, Robin Hartnett, wanted to bring Peterson Unsworth in to help them with their technique.

“She just wanted to give us that extra push so that we can beat a lot more teams than we did last year,” Meth said. “She really helps with technique.”

Unsworth helped correct the girls’ current techniques through individual help in hopes of improving the team overall.

“She showed us completely different techniques that we had never seen before because I was on the Grosse Pointe Woods team,” freshman Caroline Stafford said. “It’s a completely new idea of everything that you’re doing. I didn’t realize that I’m doing a lot of it wrong.”

Unsworth shared her experiences and demonstrated a lot of the moves through the warm-ups. The girls are confident her coming to practice will improve their performance this season.

“It was really eye-opening,” Meth said. “She would go in the pool and do an example for us of a move, and we would just be like ‘oh my gosh that’s like really good.’ Just like the grace that she had and I think it all gave us an idea of what we should strive for.”

Both Meth and Stafford said they left the practice feeling more knowledgeable about the sport. This will probably be the only time Unsworth will join a practice, but the team hopes she will return next season to help them again.

“She was really nice to everybody. She definitely knew what she was doing. She said she’d been doing it for like 17 years,” Stafford said. “She came in, and everyone just kind of clicked with her.”