Three hours after a morning practice, Addison Peitz is back at the Memorial Park pool.
It’s her home away from home, and away from home.
Peitz, a 21-year-old native of Hartington, Nebraska, has recently taken up residence in Yankton where she is serving her first year as the year-round head coach of the Yankton Swim Team.
Herself a former swimmer, Peitz has spent half of her life in a pool.
It long ago became a passion.
“I love that it’s an individual sport and a team sport at the same time,” Peitz said during a Wednesday afternoon interview at Memorial Park.
“You have the support of your team behind you, but you’re also racing yourself and the goals you set for yourself.”
Peitz, a 2016 graduate of Hartington-Newcastle Public School, has found both aspects beneficial throughout her swimming career — from the youth level on up to the college level.
A former member of the Yankton Swim Team, Peitz then moved on to the University Nebraska Kearney, where she swam for three seasons. She will forego her fourth season, because she is set to graduate in December with a degree in Recreation, Park & Tourism Management.
And oddly enough, Peitz became a successful college swimmer despite her home town not having its own swim team.
When she was 11, a summer rec team was formed in Hartington, and Peitz gave the sport a try.
“I fell in love with it,” she said.
By the time Peitz was a freshman in high school, swimming had become a passion.
“I remember thinking, ‘I really want to do this for four more years,’ and that’s when I came up to Yankton with the club team,” she said.
Eventually, Peitz joined the coaching ranks in addition to her prowess in the pool.
A year ago, she helped coach the Hartington and Yankton squads, but is now the year-round head coach for the Yankton Swim Team.
“It was an easy transition for me, honestly,” Peitz said.
Peitz is now in charge of running a Yankton Swim Team program that includes 24 boys and girls participants from ages 6-16.
She credits the influence of every swim coach she’s ever had on her role as a coach herself.
“I’ve had a wide variety of coaches, and they’ve all helped me in their own way,” Peitz said.
With all of that experience from which to draw from, Peitz is now a head coach.
“I’m really excited to do this,” she said. “We’ve really wanted to focus on the team culture.”
Which means what, exactly?
“We tell them that it’s not about performances or times, but what we value as a team,” said Peitz, who stressed hard work and commitment as core values.
Swimming, she added, is a good outlet for her intense, driven personality.
“Everything you do in swimming is a goal,” Peitz said. “And that’s what we’re working on with the team; goal setting.”
Yankton will host its annual Charity Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at the Memorial Park pool.
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