Deb Tekippe helps kids on the West Union Swim Team - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deb Tekippe volunteers with swim team for more than 20 years

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WEST UNION (KWWL) -

"I believe in hard work, so these kids work hard, very hard," said Deb Tekippe.

Deb Tekippe is a volunteer coach for the West Union Swim Team.

She started volunteering in 1992, a few years after her sons started swimming. But Tekippe herself doesn't have any formal training when it comes to swimming.

"None. I really can't even swim. My kids swam on the Cedar Falls Swim Club, and I went to all the practices and you can learn a lot by just sitting and watching the coaches. That's what I did," said Tekippe.

She uses all she's learned through the years to help hundreds of kids become better, faster swimmers.

"I think she does a good job. She pushes everybody," said 14-year-old swimmer Megan Feldman.

Deb Tekippe said there's one key to success.

"Work hard. Talent doesn't matter. It's how hard you work," said Tekippe.

Deb Tekippe has a special connection to this year's coaches. She taught all of them as kids. Assistant coach Emily Nelson said the lessons she learned from Tekippe carried her through life.

"Strive for something that you want. It may be way up in the clouds, but if you put your mind to it, you can get it done," said Emily Nelson.

Head coaches Lauren Smith and Bailey Moss worked with Tekippe when they were six years old. One was a really good swimmer, and the other needed a lot of work.

"I was the good one," said Lauren Smith.

"And I was the bad one," said Bailey Moss.

Thirteen years later, Moss and Smith are glad Tekippe is still a volunteer coach.

"I don't know where our team would be without her," said Moss.

Deb Tekippe said she can't imagine spending her summers anywhere but the pool.

"I love the kids. They're terrific," she said.

Deb Tekippe may expect a lot from the kids on the swim team, but it's always because she wants the best for them in and out of the water.

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