Jennifer Muzyk, head coach of the New Canaan YMCA Aquianas Synchronized Swimming team was recently named Developmental Coach of the Year by USA Synchro.
The Developmental Coach of the Year award is presented to a coach who has made a significant impact in helping developmental athletes progress to higher levels of the sport within the last 12 months. The award was announced at the 2013 United States Aquatic Sports Convention in Anaheim, CA.
Judy McGowan, President of USA Synchro commented, "Jen Muzyk has developed a very solid program at the New Canaan YMCA. She consistently places athletes into our National Team Trials, a stepping stone on the path to becoming an Olympian. The positive way she interacts with her athletes is admired by everyone. USA Synchro is proud to select her as this year's Developmental Coach of the Year."
Muzyk has been a coach at the New Canaan YMCA for 13 years, where the Aquianas Synchronized Swimming program currently includes 75 young athletes. Prior to sharing her love of the sport as a coach, Muzyk spent a great deal of time in the pool herself as a collegiate All-American Synchronized Swimmer and two-time MVP for Canisius College. Additionally, Muzyk was a swimmer herself at the New Canaan YMCA. She trained with the Aquianas team in High School, which prepared her for her collegiate career, and was even named "Aquiana of the Year".
Muzyk commented, "I was very surprised when I learned I had received the award. I love coaching and it's my passion. It's really rewarding to watch the transformation of an athlete as she matures as a person and transitions from relying on a coach to push her, to motivating herself. My biggest goal is that each girl gets something out of the program, and that doesn't have to be a first place medal. The social aspect of the team is very rewarding for the girls as they form this close group of friends.
"I'm very grateful to have the support of the Y and our parents' organization, which allow us to really focus on our coaching and athletes."
The New Canaan Aquianas Synchronized Swimming team sent 43 girls to compete at the 2013 Age Group Championships earlier this year. Additional recent accomplishments for the team include two former Aquianas who were members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, two former team members representing the
United States and placing third at the World University Games this past summer, and over the past six year, preparing 15 athletes to continue the sport and compete at the collegiate level. USA Synchro also shared that one of the deciding factors in naming Muzyk this year's award winner was that one of her swimmers, Emma Baranski, won the U.S. Junior National Solo Championship, the first time in 55 years that an East Coast swimmer won the title.
Craig Panzano, Executive Director at the New Canaan YMCA added, "We are extremely proud of Jen and our synchronized swimming program here at the Y. I have been able to watch first-hand how these young athletes build self-confidence, responsibility, and relationships through their involvement with the team, and the program is a great example of what the Y is all about--providing opportunities for youth and adults to connect, grow, and be active."
To learn more about the New Canaan YMCA Aquianas Synchronized Swimming team, visit www.newcanaanymca.org or contact Jen Muzyk at 203-966-4528, ext. 183.
About the New Canaan YMCA
Founded in 1954 by a group of community volunteers, the New Canaan YMCA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enrich all people in spirit, mind, and body. As an inclusive community service organization, the YMCA turns away no one for reasons of race, religion, or economic background and last year awarded nearly $400,000 in direct financial assistance. Serving the communities of New Canaan, Pound Ridge, and South Salem, the YMCA also strives to partner with a variety of outside organizations to further its role as a community service provider.