Swim Season with Coach Matsui



Coach Matsui is the new swimming coach this 2022 season at Kalani High School. He joined us from Kaimuki High where he previously coached swimming and track.

Olivia Kulaga, Profile

The buzzer goes off, and swimmers push themselves off the block, diving into the water. All you can hear and see is splashing as they race across the pool to reach the wall and rush back. You’re swallowed by the sound of your teammates and coach cheering everyone on as the race comes to an end.

Kalani swim team gets to experience this almost every Saturday of their season, thanks to the 2021-22 swim coach, Tyson Matsui.

Coach Matsui is a social studies teacher here at Kalani and had experience coaching the Kaimuki High School swim team for four years. When presented with the opportunity to coach the Kalani swim team, he took it.

“I’ve swam growing up, pretty much my whole youth,” Coach Matsui said. “So it was something I thought I would enjoy.”

So far, he says the swim season has been “really good” and that he’s “really impressed” by the swimmers’ positive attitudes.

“They’re working hard, they’re motivated, very friendly, and it’s easy to coach when you have athletes who are willing to work hard,” Coach Matsui said.

Even though swimming is a competitive sport, Coach Matsui’s goal isn’t for swimmers to be the fastest but to be the best they can be.

“You know winning is nice, but not everybody can win,” Coach Matsui said. “So I mentioned at the first day of practice that our goals isn’t to win individually as a team, it’s just to get better and by showing you get better. You come to practice every day, you work hard, you have a positive attitude, and just see your times improve from the first meet to the last meet; that’s just our ultimate goal.”

Varsity swimmer Abigayle Vendiola (11) explains that although Coach Matsui can be strict with practice five days a week and meets on Saturday, he’s motivating and helps the team improve.

“When we do relay and dives practices, it actually helps me to improve on what I want to focus on in meets cause coach will always say ‘oh your dive is too deep you need to start lengthening your streamline’ or stuff like that I mentally tell myself so I can actually do it during the meet,” Vendiola said.

Coach Mastui says that he does plan on coaching the swim team again next year, and his goals remain the same:

“The goals are always to just improve from one year to the next, so if you’re a freshman this year, then the goal is to get better as a sophomore and so forth,” Coach Matsui said.

Latasha Hui (9) explains that she feels that Coach Matsui understands what’s best for the swimmers and that he wants to push them more so “we can do our best.”

“He understands that we need breaks to slow down,” Hui said. “He knows how much we have to swim, how many meters per day, and he also knows when to slow down and lessen down the meters when more competitive meets come up.”

Vendiola also mentions that Coach Matsui helps the newer swimmers, dubbed “the red group,” by lengthening their times and allowing them to take breaks when they need to.

“Coach is also really encouraging,” Vendiola said. “He likes to tell us after sets ‘good job,’ and I think it probably motivates them to keep swimming with us.”