View Full Version : Types of Coaches

Dennis Tesch
May 25th, 2006, 05:32 PM
What type of coach had the most infuence on your swimming career?

Positive/Motivator Coach - This coach is always positive, rarely every say's anything bad or critical, just constently tries to motivate.

Critical/Hard Nosed coach - Opposite of the Positive coach. Negatively motivated and is always in your face.

Sit on the side coach - This coach writes to workout and then sits on the side of the deck and reads the paper.

Type A/Super organized coach - Always on the go, knows everything about anything and can tell your best times when you were 12 years old.

Scientific Coach - Know everything about physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, fluid mechanics, and anything else that has to do with exercise and sports training. Has no social skills.

Laid Back/Type B coach - Always fun to be around, team motivator, but will let you change the set if you beg enough.

I've had numerous coaches through out my swimming career and I thought it would be fun to find out about everyone elses experience with the coaches they have swum under. The poll I put together represents the different kinds of coaches I've had the privilage to be associated with. I am sure there are many other catagories of coaches that aren't represented and many coaches that are a combination of these. Just mark "other" if your favorite type of isn't listed.

May 25th, 2006, 09:00 PM
I actually had a "combo coach" that had most all of the best qualities of each group you listed. Greg Troy, from age 6 to 18.

May 26th, 2006, 10:08 AM
You don't know a good coach until you've had a bad coach. My first college coach threw tennis balls at us if he wanted our attention. It was so degrading and frightening! One of my favorite coaches was my high school's women's coach. She was laid-back and didn't push real hard. She was a pe teacher also. However, I don't know how much I learned from her. She really pushed hand entry and hte front quadrant swimming. I had her for swimmign class. One time, we overturned canoes and played Roman warship. It was great.

Matt S
May 26th, 2006, 02:53 PM
My best coach was my college coach, John Leonard. He could and did use all of the coaching styles listed. (Actually, I was a bit in awe of all he knew about swimming. Coming from the less sophisticated programs I experienced before Lake Forest College, swimming for him was humbling, and early in my career I occasionally wondered if I belonged.)

Frankly, I think that will often be the case. If a coach relies on one coaching style, (s)he is probably ignoring a lot of the tools in the tool box.


Frank Thompson
May 30th, 2006, 01:02 PM
Not trying to highjack the thread, but Shane Gould has some interesting remarks about the state of swimming and the different coaches she encountered in her great career. What is interesting is her thoughts about Olympic Training Camps.

Also she talks about the styles of coaching from many years ago, namely Don Talbot. I still have the original book that was written by Don Talbot called "Swimming to Win" and that book was very influential when it came out years ago. A lot of people today don't remember him except for what he said about Michael Phelps not proving anything in swimming after he set all those World Records in 2003. He did have to eat crow after saying that.

Story is here. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/11404.asp

May 30th, 2006, 02:37 PM
My coach Jimmy Thompson http://swimdownhill.com/_wsn/page7.html Hard nosed, but positive renforcement. A great guy!!!

June 1st, 2006, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
You don't know a good coach until you've had a bad coach. My first college coach threw tennis balls at us if he wanted our attention. It was so degrading and frightening!

My bad coach was during my senior year in high school - he was sleeping with one of my teammates.

It creeped me out so bad my times dropped, and I had a very poor swimming year. Because of him, I turned down a scholarship to Univ. of Colo. (Which ended up working out when they dropped their program the next year).

June 1st, 2006, 02:17 PM
My worst "coach" was back when I was in summer league in high school. He was also in high school, about 2 years older than me, and had no real authority over the swimmers. Since it was summer league, the other swimmers were only at practice because their parents made them. Pretty much everyone would skip a 50 or 100 whenever we were supposed to do a 200 or more. It was horrible and made me want to quit the team because I actually wanted to work hard and improve.

Peter Cruise
September 15th, 2006, 12:56 AM
Difficult question. I've said elsewhere that Archie Mckinnon made a great impression on me; a positive, upbeat person- unfortunately only had him for two years. The only other age group coach who I thought was great was George Haines, bur I only had him for a 3 week camp. Otherwise...not so good. I was the first person in the history of Victoria B.C. swimming to switch clubs (which eventually led to me quitting as I turned 14) because of how bad my coach was (didn't savvy technique, played favourites etc), but most of all (for me), didn't take any responsibility when he let one of his pals take our workouts who smoked cigars on deck & yes, you won't believe this, while we were all out on deck & being exhorted by him to work harder turned and butted his cigar out on my forearm (thinking my arm was one of the diving board supports). That was the coach who made the greatest impression on me.

All of my masters' coaches have been wonderful by comparison.

September 15th, 2006, 07:40 AM
Archie was a great coach met him in 1951 at the Canadian Championships in North Vancouver and at several other meets, he coached a great Canadian 100 swimmer Peter Salmon.

April 12th, 2007, 02:16 PM
My age group/USS coach Jeff Zwicker was a combination of all of the above, depending on the circumstance. I started with him at age 5. He was always my coach even during the HS and college season. As a masters coach I find myself trying to think like he would have.

April 12th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Hey wait...can I re-vote? I thought the Side on the Side Coach was the one that walked the side of the pool and coached you as opposed to waiting at one end. Now I see it as a typo.

Maui Mike
July 2nd, 2007, 02:43 AM
Long ago I went to a brand new high school. They asked one of the math teachers to coach the swimming team. He knew nothing about swimming but was a great guy and since we had a pretty good age group program in the community we won some meets. He did pay attention and learned pretty quick. He also had a very young son who we used to throw around the pool. Years later I heard that Mr. Shaw became the head of the US Olympic water polo committee. His son, Tim went on to swimming greatness and even made two Oly water polo teams. Mr Shaw has passed away but I will always have fond memories of him.

April 29th, 2008, 11:42 AM
My best coach was not even my coach, officially. I was a cross country runner in high school and broke my ankle the day before our first meet my sophomore year. I was told that swimming would be good therapy but I didn't know how to swim.

The high school I went to had a great coach who had won numerous state championships. I would go into "open swim" during my free periods and without asking, he would give me advice on everything to help me become a better swimmer. That along with a lot of hard work got me to the point that I went on and swam Div II for 4 years, swam masters on-and-off for 20+ years, selected to represent the U.S. 3rd Air Force in Brussels Belgium for an international Air Forces swim meet, became a high school swimming official for 8 years (including 7 state championships) and now as an age group head coach.

This man was extremely successful during his high school tenure and did not need to help out some skinny kid that could only swim underwater (taught by my dad who was a WWII underwater demolition expert, that's the only way he knew how to swim) but he did, and besides my parents has become one of the most influential people in my life.

This coach went on to become the head coach at the University of Nebraska where he coached many successful swimmers, even some Olympians (Penny Heynes for example) but I always remember him as the coach that took the time to make a difference. Thanks Cal Bentz.

Sorry if I jacked this thread...but I think a lot of us have similar stories about how or who got us involved in swimming and isn't this kind of what this thread was about?

July 2nd, 2008, 03:15 PM
any coach that could keep me loose and make me laugh...I was hard enough on myself as it was, he showed me how to not take myself to seriously and enjoy swimming for what it was, a chance to hang with friends and have a good time

July 2nd, 2008, 04:56 PM