Linda Irish Bostic is the Head Coach at Palm Beach Masters Swimming Club, on the Florida Gold Coast, USA. She was a competitive swimmer for over 15 years and held?numerous Southern AAU age group swimming records during her younger years. ?Having worked alongside some of the Worlds best swimming coaches, Linda now has a swim programme with over 200 swimmers.
Margot Wheeler caught up with Linda and asked her a few questions about her love for swimming and her infamous Winnebago!
Your son Kedric played football for Princeton, and you detailed your Winnebago as a Princeton tiger. Now that he has graduated you have transformed the Winnebago into the swim team Wahoo bus. Where did you get this idea from? And what has it done for the team’s moral.
It was actually my husband’s idea! He suggested it. The RV was so successful as a tailgate meeting place for the Princeton football parents and alumni that we thought the same level of camaraderie and enthusiasm could be developed with our swim team.
The team really enjoys having the Wahoo Wagon, as they now call it. Having it recently at Greensboro, NC for the USMS National Championships worked out great. They could relax between events in it. Other teams were even envious that we had such a neat place to hang out at and to celebrate together after each session of the swim meet.
You started the program with 1 pool and it has grown to 3 pools with over 200 registered swimmers. Why is the program so popular/successful?
First and foremost, swimming is a great sport. People swim for so many different reasons. We try to understand what brings each swimmer to the pool. Some swim for fitness, others swim for health and then there are those of us who like to compete. Many on the team are triathletes. We welcome everyone.
And we offer a variety of workout times to fit everyone’s schedules.
But, I believe the key to our club’s success has been our coaches! We have great coaches on deck for every workout! They are positive, fun, have a passion for swimming, and spread a contagious enthusiasm. Wahoo!
Swimmers tell me all the time they come to our practices as much for their mental state as their physical. They leave the pool feeling better, smiling, and happy because of the positive energy from our coaches and swimmers. They keep coming back!
Word spreads and other swimmers notice when people are having fun while working together toward their individual goals.
Today we have 288 registered USMS swimmers with Palm Beach Masters! I feel very blessed and fortunate that the program has been so successful. I never thought at 52 years old (and after 25 years in Corporate America), I’d be making a living and having so much fun as a Masters Swimming Coach.
Forty- Eight Palm Beach Masters went to the Nationals in North Carolina and the team finished 3rd in the Nation. How proud are you of that achievement? What was the highlight of the weekend?
I still can’t believe it!!! I’m so happy and so, so proud! I NEVER expected we would place 3rd to get our very first Top 10 Local Club banner to hang at the pool!!! 2 years ago at Santa Clara, CA we placed 47th with 8 swimmers and last year at San Antonio, TX we placed 91st with 4 swimmers! This year … 3rd place by JUST 4 points (over the 4th place club) with 48 swimmers! An amazing achievement!
There are so many highlights it’s hard to list just one.
– We had swimmers who swam grueling events for the first time and completed them.
– 46 swimmers scored points for the team!
– Our 65+ mixed (2 women & 2 men) relay broke a USMS record in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay!
– My UF college roommates joined us, swimming in a meet for the first in over 30 years.
– We had lots and lots of FUN supporting each other!
But the really great thing was seeing everybody come together as a team. Our swimmers all swim at different workout times at our 3 pools across Palm Beach County. And yet at this meet in Greensboro they were all cheering for each other like they had swum in the same lane together for years. I was very, very proud of each one of our National Team members.
The Olympics are in 3 months, other then swimming what sport or sports will you be watching?
I enjoy watching the amateur athletes more than the well-known professional athletes of say basketball and tennis. So, I’ll be watching gymnastics, track & field, along with ALL the swimming finals.
Author: Margot Wheeler is a self-proclaimed sports junky. Loves everything about sport, has played, coached and refereed many sports in particular basketball. She is a graduate from York University in Toronto and played varsity basketball while attending. She is currently working for the Raptors-905 D-league basketball team. Last summer Toronto hosted the Pan Am games and she volunteered as the television graphics person. 2016 Rio count down is on and Margot will be glued to her social media following all stories