The 13-year-old member of the Aberdeen Swim Club has changed his attitude and his fortunes when it comes to the sport of swimming.
As he prepares for this weekend’s High Point Swim Meet at the Aberdeen Aquatic Center, Nelson has a new perspective about jumping into the pool.
“I used to think of it more as something that I had to go to every day,” Nelson of swim practice. “Now, it’s somewhere where I can go talk to my friends. It is hard, but it’s still fun.”
Nelson’s change in demeanor has been easy to notice, according to ASC coach Elyce Kastigar.
“I look at Isaac over the years and I just really see a maturity level in the sport,” Kastigar noted. “I think now he’s got a drive for success and improving and gets really excited about it.”
As Nelson has gotten older, his desire to be the first one to the finish line has gotten stronger.
“When I was little, I didn’t really care about winning so much and I didn’t get nervous before races,” he said. “But now, I get really nervous before races.”
While Nelson wants to improve on his own times when he competes in a meet, he also wants to defeat the swimmer in the lane next to him. In fact, he dislikes losing almost as much as he likes winning.
“I just don’t like to lose,” Nelson said. “It doesn’t feel good.”
Nelson, who is in his fifth year in the sport, said there is a big difference between swimming indoors as compared to outdoors.
“Normally, indoors it’s a 25-meter pool so you get more turns and it’s a lot faster. Out here, it’s a 50-meter pool and it’s a lot slower,” Nelson said. “You don’t get as many turns and those help you with your time.”
Nelson pointed out a pair of ingredients as key factors to determining the outcome of races.
“The start is one of the most important things, especially in short races, and the turns are really important, too,” he said. “Because on both (turns), you’re going faster generally than you are when you’re normally swimming because you’re pushing off of a wall. That’s why when you have more turns you get faster times.”
That is an interesting observation from an individual who at one time didn’t pay much attention about such things.
“He’s developed much more of a drive for competition,” Kastigar said.
Not only that, but his frame is also developing into one that looks like a swimmer.
“That is just a natural kind of strength when you can be long and lean,” Kastigar pointed out.
Put his body, his mind and his spirit together and it is easy to see why Kastigar gets excited about she talks about Nelson’s future.
“I think he’s got potential to really do very well in the sport,” she said. “It’s been fun to watch and see him develop.”