Perhaps it’s too far to deem swimmers the world’s natural heroes (or is it?), and while we’ve collectively come to the consensus that you never know what’s around the corner, Makayla Sargent would argue that swimmers are better prepared for the throes of life than most. It’s the nature of the sport, and it’s imperative that this inform one’s coaching.
Through my own training and racing experiences, I have learned how unpredictable the world is, which has led me to coaching and teaching with a very open mind. I have met so many people from all over the world through my swimming career, and this opened my eyes to how unique and different each individual is. I have definitely transferred this realization into my coaching, as I now know that each athlete works differently and may have their own prior experiences that I can learn from as a coach as well.
An observant and receptive teacher, Makayla not only draws from her own experiences within the sport, but borrows techniques from some of the most influential mentors in her life. When she’s not in the pool, you can find Makayla doodling in her art journal or splashing colors on a canvas, an unlikely talent she discovered through a special “coach” in her formative years.
As a kid, I always loved doing arts and crafts, but never took art very seriously. I had my own little sketch book that I would do random drawings in, but I never developed any further skills until I moved high schools as a sophomore and met Mr. Denner. I remember the first day of my art class I was so overwhelmed with the talent of the people surrounding me. I felt that I did not belong in that class, but immediately Mr. Denner became a mentor to me and I not only grew as an artist but also as a person because of him. At first I always approached his classroom in intimidation, but once I accepted the challenge as a positive thing, the art room became my safe haven where I felt most at peace.
Makayla anticipates that this story may resonate with young swimmers looking for their niche within the sport, and she is eager to shepherd them to their “home.” As one who overcame adversity within swimming herself, Makayla hopes to carve out a path for young athletes with her expertise.
“I grew up in a very small town with not much access to swimming teams, therefore I had to travel a lot and sacrificed a decent part of my childhood to do what I loved. I think I have a unique story that can help inspire other athletes as well.”
Studying occupational therapy with a focus in pediatrics, Makayla is gifted in communicating with children, and emphasizing the importance of healthy, efficient stroke habits. Emphasizing body line and awareness, Makayla knows how to articulate seemingly small stroke changes that produce monumental increases in efficiency, establishing “feel” early on.
Sign up for a clinic with Makayla today!