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kedi
June 19th, 2002, 03:18 PM
How are local teams related to USMS?

If a member has a complaint about a coach (nothing serious like "lets people drown"... more along the lines of "skips practices") should the member contact USMS or do the locals have governing boards?

How does a member get in touch with the people who make decisions about selecting coaches? Asking the coach isn't really an option.

Thanks!

emmett
June 19th, 2002, 03:58 PM
Coaches aren't related to USMS or your LMSC any differently that any swimmer is. Unless your coach is doing something to expose USMS or your LMSC to some sort of legal risk, they aren't going to be involved.

Generally a coach is either 1) an entrepreneur coach (owns the program, works for himself), 2) hired by a swim club's board of directors or 3) hired by the management of the facility. In any of these cases the coach may be paid for his services or not - but responsibility for the services rendered still lies directly in the lap of whoever the coach works for (or whoever you write your monthly dues check out to). In many of the cases 2 & 3 the coach is autonomous enough (or powerful enough in the club organization) that it may seem more like case 1.

In ANY event, I can't conceive of a situation where taking your concerns to the coach first wouldn't be the best course of action. Think of it this way, if your coach is not happy with the way you are swimming, or with how often you attend practice, would you expect your coach to take up the subject first with your employer (or spouse, or next door neighbor or lane partner)? Likely not.

If your coach isn't willing to listen directly to your concerns, and then address them to your satisfaction (or explain why he can't or won't) then you should be shopping for another coach.

If you are unwilling to bring your concerns directly to your coach's attention, don't be surprised if he is not very receptive to getting the complaint second hand from his employer. It would be a bit like you going above your immediate supervisor's head to a higher manager to complain about your supervisor - without ever having talked the problem out with your supervisor.

kedi
June 20th, 2002, 11:29 AM
Thank you for explaining the structure- this isn't a situation for USMS, then. A group of us from my team were wondering because they've talked to the coach in the past & some of the issues have not been resolved, so we were wondering where to go next.
Thanks again!

emmett
June 20th, 2002, 03:28 PM
It sounds like your coach is not hired by a board of directors from your team. Ostensibly this would have been the group that would have talked to the coach in the past and either insisted on changes or handed him his walking papers.

So, is this an owner/coach situation? If so, and you are confident that all communication avenues have been explored, then it is time to exercize your capitalistic masters prerogative and move your $$ (and your person) to another team. An intermediate step might be to deduct a percentage from the dues you pay in direct relationship to the number of workouts your coach missed, indicating your intent to do continue this practice.

Or is he a facility-hired coach? Perhaps you should verbally ask, once again, the Head Coach to meet with a small group of team representatives to discuss the issue. This meeting should be at some time other than workout time. If the coach is unwilling to do this then you might consider writing a formal letter to the coach asking for such a meeting and CCing whoever employs your coach (or whoever your team dues checks are made out to). The intermediate solution noted above of deducting an amount from your dues, and including a note explaining precisely why, might be helpful. And, again, if all efforts fail within a reasonable period of time, voting with your dollars and moving to another team is an option (at least it is in Austin where there are a number of teams).