Coaching Clinic

FullSizeRenderBeing a Coach for a long time, I have seen a great number of things happen in the sport of swimming all the way from training tools to stealth suits to wedges on starting blocks to the elimination of going past 15m under water. So, when I went to the Central States Swim Clinic this past weekend with Anna, I was looking forward to being able to see the new cutting edge material.

The clinic featured Olympian Josh Davis, Katie Ledecky’s club coach Bruce Gemmell, University of Texas Head Coach Carol Capitani, USC Head Coach Dave Salo, along with a couple others.

There was a great deal of technical things discussed and I have some strong ideas on how to incorporate them into my program, but the other part was what I call the non-swimming pieces that these people brought forward. Things that I attempt to do on a daily, weekly, seasonal basis with my team.  Things that reinforced to me that the way we run our program in Waukesha are the right way.

Coach Capitani had a quote from American Photographer Maggie Steber on the board that read “Its more about how you connect with people and everybody does that in a different way.”  Connecting with people and understanding them each day is something I value at home and on my teams.

Her notes for working with her team included:

  • Don’t trample on people
  • Always be Authentic
  • Be direct. Say it

Coach Gemmell had two quotes that hit home with me when he was talking about thinking long term with our athletes.

  1. “There is no market for fast 10 year olds”  This was in reference to kids that are that age and swimming club practices 6 times a week and think that they should be moved up to 8 practices a week.  We need to be discouraging “sports specialization” in the early years. They athletes need to be working on basic body movement.
  2. Parent – “My kid is a sprinter”  Coach – “No. Your kid is a swimmer”   Need to swim all of the events 🙂

Josh Davis was in one of the last sessions and was talking about his past and what he is doing now.  He reiterated that he was a late bloomer in the sport and claims that he did not have a legal breaststroke kick when graduating 8th grade.  But he gave all the credit for his success to Coach Fletcher who was his age group coach.  “When he believed in me…that is when I started believing in myself” 

What a fantastic reminder to keep preaching to your athletes!

There is a strong chance that I will be going to more clinics like this to make sure that I am staying on top of my game when it comes to pieces like this as well as the technical items.


About kbedalov

Husband, Father, Coach, Friend. Just living life the way it was suppose to be: honorably, respectfully, and passionately. View all posts by kbedalov

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