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swimon90
July 12th, 2012, 02:47 PM
Hello Fourmites!
I have a question. Please bear with me as a I give a bit of background!
I am currently an age group coach. I coach the more advanced swimmers but not quite senior swimmers and the agegroup level (just above the novice our first year swimmers). I have been coaching for three years now and I am about to graduate college this December. My undergraduate degree is not exercise related in anyway. I have ACSA level 1 and 2 certifications and am a USA certified coach.
My question is this. I want to coach full time as a head age group coach or move into college swimming. I have been considering graduate school for an exercise related degree but I am uncertain if that is the best path. There does not seem to be one way to go about this. I am just uncertain if a grad degree would be worth the time and money however it seems like it would help me get that type of full time job at a university or a larger USA club

What has been your experience with coaches? Do you know of anyone who would be willing to share their experiences as a coach with me?

I really appreicate any help and insight you can provide!

Thanks! :)

ande
July 12th, 2012, 03:14 PM
Hello Fourmites!
I have a question. Please bear with me as a I give a bit of background!
I am currently an age group coach. I coach the more advanced swimmers but not quite senior swimmers and the agegroup level (just above the novice our first year swimmers). I have been coaching for three years now and I am about to graduate college this December. My undergraduate degree is not exercise related in anyway. I have ACSA level 1 and 2 certifications and am a USA certified coach.
My question is this. I want to coach full time as a head age group coach or move into college swimming. I have been considering graduate school for an exercise related degree but I am uncertain if that is the best path. There does not seem to be one way to go about this. I am just uncertain if a grad degree would be worth the time and money however it seems like it would help me get that type of full time job at a university or a larger USA club
What has been your experience with coaches? Do you know of anyone who would be willing to share their experiences as a coach with me?
I really appreicate any help and insight you can provide!

Thanks! :)

a graduate degree is nice but not necessary for swim coaches.
on the other hand
it might be well worth your time if you could get accepted as a graduate assistant for a strong NCAA swimming program where the position provides a scholarship and you get to study under an incredible coach for a season or 2.
I think studying under great coaches is invaluable. If I wanted to be a great swim coach I would study under coaches like Bob Bowman, Eddie Reese, Steve Bultman, Sergio Lopez,
coaches that have helped many swimmers swim faster.
I think that would be more important than graduate degree.

I know that when Bob Bowman was learning the ropes he tracked down Paul Bergen, who was no longer coaching and spent 2 or 3 weeks shadowing/helping out on Pauls horse farm talking with Paul about how to coach swimmers.

Coaches should be selected on their ability to develop swimmers and meet the other requirements of their job, dealing with parents, managing assistant coaches, ...

I think it's good to earn ASCA Certifications (http://www.swimmingcoach.org/services/certification.htm)

but ultimately it's all about helping swimmers swim faster.

I would study the greatest coaches

read articles
Swimming: Phelps's coach hits all the right notes (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/sports/01iht-SWIM.1.6934569.html)

If you want to be a real innovator then master proven styles before developing your own. (http://theswimmerscircle.com/2011/11/30/chris-ritter-the-art-of-training-inside-the-box/)

Rob Copeland
July 12th, 2012, 05:49 PM
I want to coach full time as a head age group coach or move into college swimming.At the club and college levels there are very few openings for head coaches and most of those will go to assistant coaches who have a proven track record of success.

Also there are big differences between coaching USA-S clubs and coaching at the college level. Before you jump to one or the other you should talk to coaches about what they do beyond athlete coaching to see which you prefer.

A great place to meet a lot of coaches face to face is a the ASCA World Clinic, this year Sept 4-9 in Las Vegas.


And if you go the grad school route, I suggest you look into MBA programs in Sport Management. A head coach running a business as much as training swimmers.

Nickel
July 12th, 2012, 10:14 PM
As a teacher I have to say that the extra degree is the way to go. As a novice I have to say my advice may be wrong. It does seem like a degree would open up possibilities to work at the college you are getting your degree. You could get your foot in the door and maybe make some contacts for down the road.

orca1946
July 13th, 2012, 12:48 AM
Do you want to coach for the pay or teach & coach? You need to get more back ground before someone will hire you to run a higher level program.
If this is your goal ---- GO for it !

EJB190
July 13th, 2012, 02:57 AM
Do you want to coach for the pay or teach & coach? You need to get more back ground before someone will hire you to run a higher level program.
If this is your goal ---- GO for it !

I agree here.

What is your current degree in? It seems to me if you want a college level job you're going to need to show experience. If you can't get a paid assistant coaching job, maybe find a regular job and become a volunteer assistant coach. Work your way up the ladder. One of my high school coaches was a grad student (psych), made a few thousand dollars being the head coach of my team, and is now a paid assistant coach at a college. I guess another option is find a school that's working on building a swim program and start there.

Fun story: My great grandfather's brother was a college professor and was involved in coaching football at the school. The school needed a swim coach and asked him to be it, though he knew nothing of swimming. He reluctantly agreed and supposedly built a very good swim program for the school. He didn't know anything about swimming and made off alright.

EJB190
July 13th, 2012, 03:07 AM
Do you want to coach for the pay or teach & coach? You need to get more back ground before someone will hire you to run a higher level program.
If this is your goal ---- GO for it !

I agree here.

What is your current degree in? It seems to me if you want a college level job you're going to need to show experience. If you can't get a paid assistant coaching job, maybe find a regular job and become a volunteer assistant coach. Work your way up the ladder. One of my high school coaches was a grad student (psych), made a few thousand dollars being the head coach of my team, and is now a paid assistant coach at a college. I guess another option is find a school that's working on building a swim program and start there.

Fun story: My great grandfather's brother was a college professor and was involved in coaching football at the school. The school needed a swim coach and asked him to be it, though he knew nothing of swimming. He reluctantly agreed and supposedly built a very good swim program for the school. He didn't know anything about swimming and made off alright.

swimshark
July 13th, 2012, 06:53 AM
Hello Fourmites!
I have a question. Please bear with me as a I give a bit of background!
I am currently an age group coach. I coach the more advanced swimmers but not quite senior swimmers and the agegroup level (just above the novice our first year swimmers). I have been coaching for three years now and I am about to graduate college this December. My undergraduate degree is not exercise related in anyway. I have ACSA level 1 and 2 certifications and am a USA certified coach.
My question is this. I want to coach full time as a head age group coach or move into college swimming. I have been considering graduate school for an exercise related degree but I am uncertain if that is the best path. There does not seem to be one way to go about this. I am just uncertain if a grad degree would be worth the time and money however it seems like it would help me get that type of full time job at a university or a larger USA club

What has been your experience with coaches? Do you know of anyone who would be willing to share their experiences as a coach with me?

I really appreicate any help and insight you can provide!

Thanks! :)

I practice with a USA team - Curl Burke. The part I'm a member of is a small part of the main Curl team. In our group most of our coaches are assistants and don't do this as their full-time job. I know several are also college students. The full-time coaches are ones who have either started off as asst and moved their way up or, in the case of my coach, have an excellent background of high level rankings (world records, Olympics, etc). I think starting off as an asst and moving your way up would be your best bet.

jaadams1
July 13th, 2012, 11:13 PM
I practice with a USA team - Curl Burke. The part I'm a member of is a small part of the main Curl team. In our group most of our coaches are assistants and don't do this as their full-time job. I know several are also college students. The full-time coaches are ones who have either started off as asst and moved their way up or, in the case of my coach, have an excellent background of high level rankings (world records, Olympics, etc). I think starting off as an asst and moving your way up would be your best bet.

I was an assistance coach with a USAS team for 5 years in Oregon, and it definitely was a part time thing. No way could I be able to live off $600 a month! Problem with that is trying to find a full time job that will work with swim team hours, and the changing hours of swim team as the various seasons changed with high school swim teams having priority after school hours, etc.

swimon90
July 14th, 2012, 01:18 PM
Thank you all for your responses! It is good to get different perspectives. My undergraduate degree is in theology youth ministry if that helps clarify. I currently am a 20-25 hour a week paid coach for a USS/usa club team. Studying under a recognized coach however makes a lot of sense. I am sure I could get another assistant club coaching job like I have now but I am trying to figure out how to put myself in a position to step up in the next few years. Perhaps being an assistant may be helpful if I coach under a recognized coach.
To answer the question about teaching. I wouldn't mind teaching but I would rather make my money coaching/perhaps personal training on the side/ and maybe an aquatics director or some combination.

Thanks again for the input! Feel free to add any other thoughts/experiences

orca1946
July 15th, 2012, 12:10 AM
Hey, let us know how it turns out. Good luck.