New Aquatomics coach brings passion, excitement to LA

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By The Staff

Mark Scott, the new head coach of the Los Alamos club swim team known as the Aquatomics, has been in or around pools since he could walk. 

Scott’s father was a swim coach, so he was at the pool quite often. Scott taught himself how to swim at 3 years old, was on his dad’s team at 4 years old, and swam competitively for 17 years. 

After his many years of competitive swimming, Scott did not miss being in the water due to the amount of injuries he had been forced to deal with. However, Scott quickly realized “it felt really good to be on deck,” and he began coaching.

Scott has been coaching since 1975, including stints at NCAA Division II school University of Puget Sound and NCAA Division I school University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Scott’s coaching path has not always been straightforward, though. Twice Scott has dealt with 5-year-stints of feeling burnt out due to stress and high levels of competition.

Scott says that stress and pressure is “dependent on what the coach wants out of the team, and what the swimmers want out of the team.”

As for the reason Scott chose to coach the Aquatomics, he said, “Partly because it’s at altitude, partly because of the history. Back in the 90’s, this program was a good one. And once a program has demonstrated that it’s a swimming community, it usually stays that way.”

Scott spoke highly on the culture of Los Alamos, saying “The parent’s for the most part are interested in having their kids do something elite. Most of them are already elite academically, so success is something that they are not shying away from here.”

The Aquatomics appear to have a bright future under Scott. “We’ve got some of the most talented swimmers I’ve ever worked with,” said Scott. “I don’t want to spend my time on teams that fail.”