Ricky Munch: Training, traveling, and being a student-athlete

Ricky Munch: Training, traveling, and being a student-athlete

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Florida swimming training in their outdoor long course pool in Gainesville, Fla. (Photo provided by Ricky Munch)

Behind the Blocks: NCAAs or bust tracks the training and development of former All Met swimmers working towards the goal of making the NCAA Division I championship meet in March during the 2013-2014 season. Each week the swimmers will post a personal blog about training with their respective school’s swim program and the daily challenges of life as a student-athlete at the D1 level. Check back every Tuesday for new blog posts, and join us throughout the season for a behind-the-scenes look at some of the country’s elite collegiate swimmers and swim programs.

Ricky Munch is a junior at the University of Florida. He began swimming with the Fairfax Station Flyers at age five in the NVSL and continued his career at Robinson Secondary where helped the Rams to the 2008-09 and 2009-2010 Va. AAA state championships. He trained with Machine Aquatics in Vienna prior to his enrollment at Florida.

The last two weeks have been eventful. The Florida men’s and women’s team traveled to Missouri for our third meet of the year.

It was a quick turn around after traveling across the country and back from Minnesota. We got three days back in the Swamp, and then we headed to Missouri. All the traveling was definitely exhausting, but also a lot of fun. I think any swimmer will tell you that the best part of being a college swimmer is away meets. It is fun to travel to different places and to spend time with your teammates. The hardest part is being away from school for so long. I missed about a week of classes while traveling. It was hard to keep up, but I managed to spend a lot of time on the bus and plane doing homework and studying, so I was in good shape when I got back to Gainesville.

Ricky Munch’s University of Florida athlete page

I had a very different event schedule at the Missouri dual meet than I usually swim. I swam breaststroke on the 200 medley relay and the 100 breaststroke, 100 free, and 100 fly individually. I did well in fly, which is an event I have never really swam or focused on.

Florida at Missouri results
Munch: 100 breast (56.02); 100 free (46.65); 100 butterfly (50.72); 50 breast (25.07) [relay split]

These past two weeks the coaches have had us do a set of ten 25s fly a number of times — sometimes from a push and sometimes off the blocks. The focus is to kick to 15 meters on our side and then break out and take four strong fly strokes to the wall as fast as possible.

It is nice to see that my off strokes are coming along. Coach Gregg Troy really believes in training every stroke. Since I have been at Florida, I have trained butterfly, IM and distance freestyle and not just my specialties — breaststroke and sprint freestyle. I have really progressed as a complete swimmer instead of only being able to swim one or two events like I did in high school.

Read Ricky’s first athlete blog: ‘A new season begins’

This past Saturday Gator swimmers had a great opportunity to participate in Climb for Cancer organized by the UF Athletic Department. Myself and other UF athletes played games and sports with young kids battling cancer. It was a fun and rewarding experience. I spent the entire time in the gym playing basketball with the kids and my fellow athletes.

Looking ahead, Florida will host Georgia at home this Friday. Afterwards we get the weekend off. This weekend is one of the highlights of the fall, as a lot of UF students will spend the weekend in Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia football game.

Click here to read more from Behind the Blocks: NCAAs or bust

Brad Phillips

Ricky Munch

Stephen Seliskar

Sarah Haase

Eva Greene

Philip Hu



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