View Full Version : Comments About Great Masters Swim Coaches

Ahelee Sue Osborn
October 1st, 2009, 11:22 AM
The Pacific Masters LMSC always does a great job with their communication out to its membership.

The current (Sept/Oct) monthly newsletter opens with clips from various nomination letters for the 2009Coach of the Year Award.


Take a look at some of the characteristics, ideas and level of concern that swimmers appreciate in their masters swim coach:

"The nominators for the Coach of the Year were passionate about their coach. It made choosing the Year very difficult of the Committee. From the nominations for the Coach of the Year, I took a paragraph that best exemplifies what made this coach special in the eye of the writer. (I took
out the names as all the coaches are special).
-michael (moore)

The aspect I appreciate most about the coach is that he focuses on the person, we are not, nor have we ever been a number or one of the swimmers. Because he focuses on the person, he knows how fast you can swim; he knows which competition is appropriate and of course which lane you should swim. Many times the coach knows how fast I can swim better than I do! (DH)

Coach is very active during her workouts, constantly giving tips and suggestions. Sheís not idly standing on deck waiting for the end. Itís easy to see improvements in my fellow swimmers when they are swimming next to me or swimming faster in my lane. Coach seems to have an
inexhaustible bag of new drills to correct strokes. She communicates clearly and demonstrates what to do. (AL)

He never fails to be upbeat, encouraging, and supportive to all of us. He is on deck from dawn until dusk, with multiple workouts that he puts together and coaches. In addition, he participates in many extra swim-related activities outside of the weekly workouts. He knows and remembers the names of the 100 or so swimmers that attend Masterís
workouts, and is able to personalize each workout so it is good for each and every one of us. (CA)

Once I started Masters swimming, however, I started having shoulder problems. In a swim meet in 2006, I injured my left shoulder so severely that the pain prevented me from being able to swim at all. I couldnít even close my car door while seated in the driverís seat! In 2007, I had
arthroscopic surgery on my left shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum. The surgery was successful and following extensive physical therapy, I was able to start swimming again in early 2008. Even though I
started out very slowly and carefully, I again started having left shoulder pain. Coach noticed what I was doing wrong with my stroke, something no other coach had been able to do. All through 2008 he worked with me extensively and through his coaching, I was able to perfect a swimming
technique that allowed my to not only swim pain-free, but actually swim better times than I had ten-years earlier! The culmination of my recovery was when I won first place in the Menís 65-69 400 Meter Freestyle (short course) at Walnut Creek in October 2008.(BL)

Coach attends clinics on a regular basis and gives us some of the best most up-to-date coaching tips and specific techniques. She uses videotaping as a tool and connects with each individual swimmer to ensure they are moving through the water to the best of their ability. Coach is continually motivating and challenging us to swim better through improved stroke technique and to push ourselves with difficult time intervals. It does not matter if the swimmer is a new masters swimmer trying to learn how
to swim or a chiseled top notch veteran swimmer who has extensive swimming experience. She provides excellent coaching so that each individual can achieve their goals. (MM)

The coach puts the whole coaching package together in an awesome way. Sheís able to meet each swimmer, from record holders to rookies, right where he or she is and explain what changes the swimmer needs to make to get to the next level. As a kinesthetically-challenged swimmer, Iíve found her clear, concise instruction has made my stroke more efficient: she tells me what to do in terms that I can understand and implement. Her interest, her patience, and her confidence that we can do what she tells us make us willing to put in the effort. And we know that sheís watching when we do. (CL)

Her workouts are varied, which keeps me coming back for more. She is determined to make every swimmer in her program a better, more knowledgeable swimmer. Sometimes that means explaining what base pace is to a 60-year-old. Other times it means letting us slack off a bit if our heart is not in it. But most of the time, it means talking us through the set, providing ďconstructive criticism,Ē cheering us on when we PR, and encouraging us to come back the next day when we donít. I even think I
am making progress on my head-lifting habit.(GH)

A handful (literally, five) of us decided to swim at Nationals in Clovis. Three of us hadnít swum since 2006 at Worlds, and the fourth hadnít competed since high school, thirty years ago. Coach worked with us for months. In addition to stroke, she made sure we practiced starts, turns, and finishes. No matter how ugly we looked, she stayed positive. Four of us decided to swim the mixed freestyle relay. Coach had to teach us relay starts, which were also new to us. For Nationals, she and her boyfriend drove down and spent all of Sunday with us on our final events, including getting our relay splits. We were so jazzed! (VI)