Categorized | Sports, Swimming

Nitro Swimming coming to YMCA of the Highland Lakes in Burnet

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

BURNET — The YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond is about to filled with Nitro.

Nitro Swimming is opening a satellite location at the center, 1601 U.S. 281. It is recognized as a top-five program by USA Swimming, the governing body of the sport.

Nitro Swimming opened an indoor facility in Cedar Park in 2007 and then another in Bee Cave in 2011.

According to Nitro owner Mike Kolebar, the YMCA facility’s senior program director, Jennifer Kenson, was instrumental in bringing the program to Burnet.

Now he is looking for a head coach to lead the Burnet program, noting he already has two assistant coaches whose backgrounds and references checked out. The ideal candidate will know each stroke and how to teach it, he said.

That is why Nitro has been successful, he said.

“Coaches that we have are not the kind who stand there and do nothing,” he said.

Kolebar and his wife, Tracy, began Nitro in 2006 in an outdoor pool. But they realized in order to have a year-round program, they needed an indoor facility.

So the couple built a natatorium at 1310 Toro Grande Drive in Cedar Park. By 2011, they expanded to Bee Cave, opening that facility located at 15506 #D Texas 17 West.

Today, they have 140 employees.

“It was worth it,” Kolebar said. “We’re having a ball doing what we’re doing.”

Since the Kolebars have Nitro going the way they want it, neither thought about adding another location. Until Mike Kolebar talked to Kenson.

“It’s not our model; we don’t own our facility,” he said. “I know we can extend the Nitro brand.”

Kolebar had already toured Galloway-Hammond, spending time in the Tex Robertson Natatorium.

“I’ve been there to see the pool a number of times,” he said.

In addition, former Burnet High School swimmer Seth Timmons was a Nitro swimmer. Timmons is now a member of the Oakland University swim team. Oakland University head coach Pete Hovland also coached Kolebar.

Kolebar anticipates the cost to swim in Burnet will be about $120 per month. Part of the money covers the usage of the natatorium.

“We don’t intend to come in there as a money maker,” he said. “It’s more important we deliver value to a family.”

They work with children starting at age 6, though Nitro does have a couple of 5-year-old swimmers who have demonstrated the basics of the sport.

The Nitro owner said his team is not just about working with the most talented and naturally gifted swimmers. Coaches want to teach the fundamentals of the sport to those who want to be better at swimming.

“We have a lot of casual swimmers,” he said. “They haven’t discovered their inner swimmer. We start with the basics and teach the disciplines.”

The team attends a meet once every five or six weeks, even if it’s one they sponsor. Many of Nitro’s meets are at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas. The team also goes to meets in San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

Part of the reason for the time between meets, Kolebar said, is because he works with families who have children. One might be a swimmer, while the others participate in different activities. So having meets every few weeks allows families to do multiple activities.

Still, Kolebar couldn’t help but point out the merits of his sport.

“I love it because of the lessons it teaches, of how to handle setbacks, delayed gratification and fitness,” he said.

Go to www.nitroswim.com or email Kolebar at mike@nitroswim.com for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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