Jocelyn Wettlaufer joined the Gator Swim Team in the fall of 2017, but there was no need to feel nervous. Previously a participant in the YMCA School Age program and YMCA swim lessons, Jocelyn remembers that her first practice was “so much fun and I made some new friends!”
She started with the Developmental Group, and within a year was swimming with Age Group I. “[I have made] it to state every season since I have started,” she says. She hopes to move to the next level, Age Group II, and make Regionals in the next Short Course season.
At swim meets, Jocelyn competes in several different races, but says that her favorite is the 100 M backstroke. She and the other swimmers get of a lot of encouragement from the team as a whole. “[We] do Gator cheers before the meet, and then during the meet, we cheer on our teammates and give high-fives.”
Jocelyn credits the work her coaches do to help her reach her goals. “At this past Short Course State, I was having doubts about my 200 IM. Coach Erich came up to me before, and helped conquered my fears, and I didn’t disqualify. I love having coaches who want me to get better and improve each time I race.”
While making and hitting goals, Jocelyn has found much more in her Gator experience. “I have made a lot of friends on the team, from my Age Group up to the Seniors.” These relationships also help develop her as a swimmer, as she views the older swimmers on her team as role-models.
JoVal Wettlaufer, Jocelyn’s mother, has also enjoyed her time as a parent of a Gator, and has found ways to get involved, such as serving as volunteer chair on the Gator Board. “It has been a wonderful experience getting to know the other parents, as it is a very welcoming environment.”