Setting a goal and reaching a goal are a way of life and gives a person that chance to compete against themselves to get better over time. By introducing the “Pitchfork Challenge”, one of the Cozad Swim Team Coaches, Anne Burkholder, gave swimmers the chance to challenge themselves to become one of members of the elite group.
This season, the challenge was to see how many laps they could complete without breathing in both freestyle and butterfly strokes. Each no-breath lap was immediately followed by 15 wall push-ups with no rest in the continuous effort for multiple laps.
“Watching young athletes figure out that they could indeed achieve success in the Pitchfork Challenge was a fulfilling experience. As they realized that I believe in their ability, the swimmers also began the personal journey of believing,” explained Burkholder. “The Pitchfork Challenge showcased tremendous improvement in both work ethic and fitness amongst the athletes.”
There were 38 athletes that completed the freestyle challenge with 17 of those also completing the butterfly feat. There were six athletes under the age of eight that completed the challenge with only one breath.