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T2, YMCA Pair Up With Dreams Of Building Nationally Elite Program

Swimming: T2, YMCA pair up with dreams of building nationally elite program


Friday, May 7, 2010

 — Southwest Florida’s newest competitive swim team has wasted no time making a splash in a local pool.

The YMCA of the Palms announced this week that it is teaming with T2 Aquatics, a swim club for all ages formed in 2009 by longtime YMCA volunteer Kevin Erndl. T2 takes over management of the YMCA Norris Aquatics Center in North Naples, where it will host practices and meets.

Also this week, T2 announced it is bringing in a nationally renowned coach. Former Olympic coach Paul Yetter will guide the team that competes in USA Swimming and Swim Florida events.

Yetter is an elite name among USA Swimming coaches. He worked at the North Baltimore Aquatics Club for eight years, where he coached Olympian Katie Hoff. Hoff has 11 American records and three gold medals.

While in Baltimore, Yetter was an assistant under Michael Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman. Yetter was an assistant with the U.S. swim team in the 2008 Olympics. He was an assistant at Auburn the past year.

“If you had to paint a picture of what a quality swim team would look like … the partnership between T2 and the YMCA is exactly what you’d paint,” Yetter said. “I feel like we could be the best team in Florida and shoot for the best team in the USA.”

Yetter will coach all T2’s swimmers, not just the elite age group competitors (9 to 18 years old). T2 will offer lessons and programs for swimmers of any level from age 5 and up, including a masters program for adults.

Beside coaching, Yetter also will develop other programs. He’d like to start swim lessons and start to bring in professional swimmers and college teams to train.

North Baltimore was recognized by USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program last year, winning a gold medal. Yetter thinks T2 can attain that type of success in Naples.

“The opportunity for us to create an age group team and also a professional team is an awesome opportunity,” said Yetter, who plans to move to Naples later this month and start coaching June 1. “I’ve been involved with a few really good teams. I can see how, in forming T2, Naples can have a team like that.”

Having a coach of Yetter’s caliber will be good for swimming in the area, Naples YMCA branch director Monica Leatherman said. The coach’s addition will be a boon for local youth.

“We’re very, very fortunate (Yetter) accepted this position,” Leatherman said. “Kids in this area are very, very lucky to have him. His résumé speaks for itself.”

Erndl has worked with the YMCA swim programs for five years. He formed T2 last year, originally focusing on training athletes for triathlons. He said he started discussing the partnership with the Y last year.

T2 will have a handful of local coaches, some coming from area high schools. Erndl made it clear, though, that Yetter will be involved with all aspects of the club.

“It’s a rare opportunity to swim with a coach of Paul’s stature,” Erndl said. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity for all swimmers, not just elite ones but the whole spectrum. Paul is coming in to build a system, not just coach a select number of athletes.”


This article can be found here: NaplesNews.com