When last year's boys swimming season came to an end in February, Jacobs co-op coach Rick Andresen wrote something in his notes that he referred to at the start of this season.
"I wrote no rest before the state meet because I think he might have had too much rest," Andresen said of swimmer Alex Reinbrecht. "He's going to go keep swimming all the way up until the meet this time."
Reinbrecht has qualified for the state meet in his first three seasons and looks primed to do so again as his times already are at, or near, the state qualifying standards. But although the senior is familiar with the meet, he hasn't improved on his times that got him there and faced early exits when he didn't qualify for the finals.
And with only this season left to realize his goals of making the finals and finishing in the top five, he plans to attack his swims and practices this year with a lighter attitude in hopes of overcoming his short comings on the state's biggest stage.
"I've been there every year but I've always not got it done," the area's top distance swimmer said. "One year it was an overtaper, and other years I had other excuses. This year I want to get up and go my senior year and make the most of it."
The senior has been swimming for 13 years, since he was 5, and he remembered how much fun he had at that age. But when he got to high school, he ended up putting too much pressure on himself and ended up faltering at big meets even thought he talent was there.
"I've learned that if I think about it too much I don't to too well," he said. "So I just want to have fun and relax and not be so uptight. If I relax and just get up and race and put my heart into it I end up doing really well. If I look at it like a job and stress, then I fall apart."
Once last season ended, Reinbrecht hopped right back into the pool and hasn't stopped training since. He also bulked up a bit over the summer months and focused on sprints to help him get more power out of his stroke, which will help during his distance swims. He also started doing yoga to stay limber and lean, which is key for distance swimmers.
On Wednesday, Andresen got a good look at how his team and Reinbrecht would respond to swimming tired during the St. Viator Invitational. The coach put the team through a grueling workout the night before and liked how his team responded.
With the swim season under way, Andresen has been looking for ways to get his the team in top shape by the end of the season, though limited practice times have proved to make that tough, which is why Reinbrecht's own offseason work has put him ahead of the pack.
"Because of our limited practice times, he really doesn't have that great a base to rest from come postseason," Andresen said. "We're only able to get in about 5,000 yards a day when other distance swimmers in the state are able to get in 10,000 yards a day between morning and afternoon practice.
"But he's a natural and he has a lot of natural ability, and that really helps him."