CHEYENNE — Don Brinkman has been in the Cheyenne swimming world a long time. He knows what it takes to make a team focused and ready for the task at hand. He knows so much, he’s willing to dive right right.
On Saturday, Brinkman, Cheyenne Central assistant coach, jumped into the Central pool with several members of the Lady Indian swim team during the 100-yard freestyle. He posted a time under 1:18 but that was the unimportant part. His only goal was keeping a promise.
“Last week, when we were at the Cheyenne Invite, Friday night we had a talk with the girls about getting here on time and being ready to go for practice,” Brinkman said. “So on Saturday, at the end of the Cheyenne Invite, I made a deal with them. I said if everybody’s at practice and we start at 5:30 every day this week, I’ll swim an event during the senior swim.”
The Central girls did just that. They showed up on time for practice every day during the week, forcing Brinkman to live up to his end of the bargin. With Bailey Dolph and Bailey Hamann making up two of the three swimmer scheduled to take part in the 100 freestyle first heat, Brinkman dove in and swam well. So well, he posted the best time.
But it’s not all the seasoned coach is willing to do to motivate his team. Brinkman, the former Cheyenne East boys coach, is a regular at doing stunts to amp his team up for a competition. His most regular feat is wearing costumes at the conference meet.
In the past, Brinkman says he’s worn numerous outfits, including a hobo costume in front of the Wendy’s in Laramie to get his team fired up. While he won’t say what he’s got planned for this year, Brinkman admits he’s “going to out do” himself. But the only way to see first-hand what he wears, is to be there.
“I’m ready to go,” Brinkman said. ” I’m going to out do myself this year. It’s another one of those motivators for the girls to want to go to conference to see what costume I’m going to show up in.”