114: Making a Swimming Difference with Nica Nadadores

Making a Swimming Difference with Nica-Nadadores cofounders Scot Robison, Timmy Hayes, Kyle Shoemaker, on LIVETHEFUEL

Who/What/Why Your Nica Nadadores Swimming Co-Hosts:

Our Mission:

To use the sport of swimming as a tool to empower the next generation of leaders in under-served communities in Nicaragua.

Our Core Values:

1. Leadership

2. Self Improvement

3. Big Dreams

Our Program:

Nica Nadadores is a swim team, youth development and empowerment program, community service vehicle, and scholarship initiative. We do more than just teach kids how to swim. We empower them to dream big and achieve their goals in all areas of life.

We run daily swim practices, conduct monthly community service activities, mentor on life skills and leadership, and provide academic financial assistance to children who show commitment to Nica Nadadores’ values. Our goal is to help our student-athletes reach their full potential by showing them that their progress and success in the pool is transferable to the classroom and to the rest of their lives.

Forty-six percent of Nicaraguan children do not advance beyond ninth grade. Public schools in the area are overcrowded, teachers are under-trained and underpaid, and a full weekly schedule consists of less than 20 hours of classroom instruction. The Nica Nadadores scholarship program enrolls student-athletes in higher-achieving schools and provides them with the support to succeed. The program holds participants accountable for in- school performance as well as outside study.

Nica Nadadores is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that relies on financial contributions from supporters in the United States and abroad. Please visit their site to send questions or comments at http://nicanadadores.org/contact.

Quote: “With A Purpose” ~ Rob, Lehigh University Swim Coach

On This Episode You Will Hear:

  • [spp-timestamp time=”00:20″] Recording LIVE from the Lost Tavern in Hellertown, PA.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”00:50″] Kyle Shomaker and Timmy Hayes, two of the three co-founders of this youth Nicaraguan benefitting charity.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”01:00″] Also hanging out and watching the Philadelphia Eagles play the New York Giants in football too.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”01:30″] Getting the backstory from Timmy.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”03:40″] Timmy hated school, a 980 on his SAT’s and swimming got him through.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”06:50″] Dead birds in a green pool.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”07:30″] Getting to know Kyle Shoemaker and the Blue Eagle Swim Team.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”09:30″] In Nicaragua it’s Swim or you sit on your plastic chair and watch TV.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”10:30″] No credit for participation. If you’re a minute late, you don’t practice. They have to keep the grades up over time. Success is not about their athletic performance. It’s about their education, their leadership ability, and what they’re doing for their community.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”12:35″] These kids are the lowest class of the second poorest country in the western hemisphere.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”13:20″] Their families household income is around $284 per month with a typical family size of 5-6 people.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”14:30″] Empowering kids to launch their own outreach programs.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”15:10″] Bringing US-based swim teams down to Nicaragua to learn from their Nicaraguan youth athletes.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”16:30″] The powerful impact with Alfredo becoming a success story of his own.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”18:00″] Kyle jumping in and explaining how they’re trying to break the cycle of poverty.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”20:00″] Gaining confidence in life from just learning how to swim better.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”21:30″] A common mentality in Nicaragua is that of “if you are not doing anything bad, you are succeeding”. If you’re meeting your basic needs, you’re right at the line of doing good, that’s socialism. Everyone is doing just enough to get by, no one strives to do more. The kids, unfortunately, have learned that if they aren’t doing anything bad then they’re doing good.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”22:30″] The concept of coaching to accept change.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”24:40″] The problems with participation awards.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”25:25″] Self-improvement is individualized. In swimming, when you are racing, you can’t have anyone else pick up your slack.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”25:40″] Relating this coaching concept and the value of participation to the new Baywatch movie with Zach Efron.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”27:20″] Kyle bares new info for Timmy that he struggled too and never got to go to ACC’s during his freshman year at Clemon University.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”28:50″] Internships and real-world work are needed now more than ever. A great GPA and a great pedigree aren’t enough.

Competition breeds success ~ Kyle Shoemaker

  • [spp-timestamp time=”30:40″] Swimming and track are really the only well-established sports that support cross-gender training.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”31:30″] Competition breeds success.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”32:00″] Swimming making an impact in Kyle’s future career in Finacial Services.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”34:05″] Timmy shares the truth on their program having a high attrition rate. They look for kids that have very supportive parents at home. They get rid of kids that are more ego-based and more self-centered.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”35:45″] Discussing the Eagles kicker during our podcast that was about to kick a 61-yard field goal attempt during the Eagles vs Giants game.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”36:05″] Discussing their own internships that allow US-based swimming university athletes to come down and work with Nica Nadadores.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”36:50″] We explode in amazed cheers as the Eagles kicker achieves his 61-yard field goal kick! This same kicker missed a 56-yard attempt earlier in the game and is only in his early twenties. So impressive!

Athletes are hireable people because they know how to deal with pressure. ~ Timmy Hayes

  • [spp-timestamp time=”38:25″] With 1 second left he closes the deal! We work this into our athletic discussions on the value of “how do you deal with pressure”.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”38:35″] Athletes are hireable people because they know how to deal with pressure.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”39:30″] Kyle likes to believe he’s one of the more difficult coaches. He’s got higher expectations for younger kids.
  • [spp-timestamp time=”40:30″] C
  • [spp-timestamp time=”01:15:10″] Final Words



[spp-tweet tweet=”Swimming to empower the next generation leaders in underserved communities of Nicaragua @NicaNadadores “]



Links and Resources:

People Mentioned:

Final Words:

Shoutout to Rob, their prior coach at Lehigh University. When we were young, we were ingrained with the message… “With A Purpose!” initially created from the coaching of “Walk With A Purpose”. Being deliberate with your actions.

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About the author, Scott

Host of the LIVETHEFUEL Podcast | Public Speaker | Sales & Marketing Professional | Coach | Traveler | Consultant | Health Educator | Former Firefighter