A Stingray Swim Club swimmer using the new headsets in the pool. Photos: Seaford Russell Jr.

Cayman swimmers are taking advantage of new technology that allows athletes to listen to their coaches while in the pool.

Stingray Swim Club purchased 20 ONE Focus headsets in March in the hopes of enhancing swimmers’ training, which is going well so far, according to head coach David Pursley.

“Coach Jackson Hannam got here four months ago and he was telling me about… the things they were doing to help improve the teams [in the US] and swearing by these headsets,” Pursley told the Cayman Compass. “It took us a while to get the funds together but once we did, we went ahead and made the purchase and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the results.”

He added that the headsets offer communication throughout training, which previously wasn’t possible. “We are probably getting three times as much feedback from the swimmers than we did before,” said Pursley. “Their heads are in the water the whole practice, so we had to wait for them to do 50 or 200 metres before getting feedback. So, it could be up to 10 minutes before talking to them, but with this [technology], it’s constant.”

One Stingray athlete using the headsets is swimmer Krya Rabess, who said the new equipment has been effective. “They are very beneficial,” Rabess told the Compass. “It keeps the practice flowing more. For example, if coach Dave needs us to correct our stroke, we can do it right away instead of having to wait to apply it,” she said.

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Coach Jackson Hannam speaks to swimmers over one of the new headsets.

While listening to Pursley and Hannam is the main focus for the training athletes, the headsets also enable the swimmers to enjoy music while practising.

“That is the advantage other sports have through practice – they can always listen to music,” Pursley said. “So, for those longer [training sets], if you put some music on, they can really get some entertainment out of it.”

The total cost of the headsets was about US$3,000.

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