By: Thomas Eubank
Last February, Godwin men’s swimming won the Class 5 State Championship. Swimming is a winter sport in Henrico County, but many of Godwin’s top swimmers train year-round with nationally-ranked local club, NOVA. NOVA is known for its grueling practice schedule and early morning practices.
Senior butterfly and IM specialist Aidan Jacobs was a key piece in the team’s championship campaign. Jacobs began swimming for his summer swim team at Canterbury when he was six years old. He fell in love with the sport and joined NOVA that following year.
Initially, Jacobs did not enjoy swimming for NOVA. He stopped swimming there for a year, restarting when he turned eight and has continued his swimming career there for the past nine years.
Fast forward to 2022, Jacobs is now in the most elite practice group, Senior Elite, at NOVA and practices six mornings a week from 4:30 to 7:00 AM. Jacobs practices daily in the company of top-notch swimmers committed to schools such as South Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia. Jacobs practices an additional three times a week, doing doubles after school. The senior spends 19 hours a week in the pool.
Jacobs’ practice group also lifts weights together three days a week for an hour and a half at a time. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Jacobs attends two practices, one before school and one after school and then immediately begins his lift post practice.
4:00 AM- Jacobs begins his day with a 4:00 alarm and makes the ten minute drive to NOVA’s newly built location at Regency
4:30 AM- Jacobs starts his morning practice
7:00 AM- Jacobs’ practice conclude, and he goes home to eat breakfast before school
8:30 AM-Jacobs leaves his house to start his school day at Godwin
1:30 PM-Jacobs finishes his school day. He uses his time before his afternoon practice to get homework done and nap.
4:00 PM-Jacobs leaves his house for his double(practice) at Regency.
6:30 PM- Jacobs leaves Regency and starts his hour-long lift with his practice group at the Steward School
7:45 PM- Jacobs goes home, eats dinner, and finishes any extra homework
9:15 PM- Jacobs goes to sleep for the night.
Juggling school and sports are tough for many teens around the world. Jacobs says that he does not struggle with this problem. “Swimming has helped me develop discipline in and out of the pool,” said Jacobs. Jacobs takes his schoolwork seriously and stated that time management has played a huge factor in his ability to balance school and sports.
Jacobs’ parents recently spoke on his swim career. “It’s impossible to estimate the amount of time we’ve invested in the sport, however it has been absolutely worth it,” said Jacobs’ parents.
Over Jacobs’ career, he has done more than swimming for wins. “Aidan has made lifelong friends, established a tremendous work ethic, and built character through success and failure,” said Jacobs’ parents.
Speaking with teammates of Jacobs, it is clear that he is a hardworking and supportive teammate.