Malvern Prep Swimming

In his first season as head coach, Mr. Paul Edwards, MP ‘10 and Malvern swimming alum, hopes to help his swimmers have a deeper understanding of the sport and grow in positive ways.
Malvern Prep Swimming

Mr.  Edwards, a Malvern Prep alumnus ‘10 and current Upper School teacher of Macroeconomics, has the new responsibility as the new head coach for the swimming team here at Malvern. He hopes his profound understanding and love for the sport will translate through coaching at his alma mater. 


“I started swimming when I was six years old and went all the way through college. Over time, you just develop friendships. You develop discipline in your life, and it just teaches you so much beyond the pool. Swimming is a great sport, and [I’m grateful for] the relationships that I’ve built and the opportunities that it’s afforded me over the years. It just has been a really, really great experience and a big part of my life,” Edwards said.


Edwards was already the assistant coach for the Malvern swim and dive team last year so he already has a feel for how to do things. He wants the upperclassmen to continue to be leaders and each swimmer to do their part.


“I was assistant coach last year, so I am familiar with a lot of the boys- the upperclassmen especially. [I hope to] get to know them and figure out what it is that they love about swimming. [My job is to] make sure that everyone feels like they’re a part of the team. They’re a part of our success and I’ll make sure that everyone is just pulling their weight so that we can get to that next level,” Edwards said.


Edwards already has a feel for the swim team because he was assistant coach last year, and has plans for practice and how he is going to run them might place new ideas and skills into the team.


“For the most part, we’re sticking with a practice schedule that we had developed last year, but I’m definitely bringing certain things into our practices that I think that we need to focus on or emphasize. I’m making sure that our practices are rigorous and that our athletes are getting the type of practices that they need to succeed when it comes to meets,” Edwards said.


Entering the 2023-2024 season, Edwards has many goals and hopes for the year. He knows the team has a lot of talented underclassmen and he is excited for the future of the team as a whole. 


“We’re in a really interesting time right now- the team is very young with a lot of youth talent. What I want to see this year is to see our upperclassmen step up into leadership roles and our younger guys to start to contribute and bring us towards the goals that we see in the future. This year, I just want to see an improvement from last year and improvement in all of our guys and I would like to see just the team really come back together and be there for each other,” Edwards said. 


Edwards is ready for the season but has some things that he is obviously a little nervous for his first season as the new role of head coach.


“Yeah, I’m really nervous. You know, I went here, I swam here. So I understand the tradition, the legacy and all the success that Malvern Prep had in the past and I’m here not just to go through the motions and collect some extra cash. I really want to bring us back to that top prominent level where we used to be, and I take that responsibility and the role of helping guide our young men very seriously,” Edwards said.


Edwards is very excited and ready to go this 2023-2024 season. He is ready with a plan and has connections with the boys on the team already but he is hoping to deepen his connections with and grow them as swimmers, and good respectful young men.


“I can’t wait for the Inter-Ac meets because there is always some rivalry. There’s always that tradition with the same teams that I’ve swam against. Once we swim against our Inter-Ac opponents, that’s when I feel like the fire really comes out and the boys really step up for the team.” Edwards said.


Edwards is nervous and excited to go into this season as the new head coach for Malverns Swim and Dive team but he wants to see the potential that this team holds. 


“It’s just really cool to be in this position. Because when I went into swimming, or when I decided to go into teaching just six or seven years ago, my goal was to come back here and teach social studies as the swim coach. So now that it’s here, it’s really just a really surreal experience.” Edwards said.


The students on the swim team are working hard to have a successful season and are thriving in the middle of their 2023-2024 season. Swimmers have a great connection with Coach Edwards and will continue to strengthen this bond as the season goes on.


Alex DeVries, is a Malvern Prep student-athlete. Alex is devoted to giving swimming his all inside and outside of Malvern. Alex thrives within the team culture and hopes to continue the legacy of the Malvern upperclassmen.


 “My experience has been great, honestly, the community and especially seniors that graduated last year kind of set up the team culture pretty well in terms of how we like to prepare ourselves for Easterns and National Catholic. So I think the experience has been great and I’m looking forward to continuing that legacy.” Devries said. Easterns and National Catholics are mid season swim meets where swimmers compete against other prep schools in the Northeast and around the nation. Typically, the team does extra prep work, including shaving, and tapering (recovery work) so as to compete in top form at these prestigious competitions. 


DeVries’s goal for the season is to score many points as well as contribute by winning his individual events.


 “My goal for the Malvern season is to score as many points for my team as possible, and be a big contributor on multiple relays, as well as make a big impact on my individual events at the end of the season,” Devries said.


High school swim meets have a shortened event format that does not include some of the longer swimming events featured in NCAA, United States Swimming, or international competition. DeVries primarily swims the 200-yard butterfly outside of school, but the shortened format shakes things up for school meets. 


“My best event that I swim is not in Malvern’s schedules would be the 200-yard butterfly, but during high school meets, the 500-yard freestyle is my best,” Devries said.


New coaching and a strong team culture allow for a strong team potential for the future. Hard work and determination are what the Malvern Prep Swimming program is built on and these values will continue to allow the team to continue to succeed. 

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