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Questions from Coaches

Education Director Bill Brenner answers your questions

  1. SmartyPants Vitamins USMS Fitness Series

    by , February 13th, 2018 at 03:14 PM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: Why should I encourage my swimmers to swim in the SmartyPants Vitamins USMS Fitness Series? All of my swimmers can already swim for more than 30 minutes and longer than 2,000 meters or 1,650 yards.

    A: As coaches, we aspire to inspire the athletes under our care. We motivate each individual to improve, reach his or her goals, and have fun every step of the way. The rewards for self-identified success are many, and we should all take pride in doing our very best to help others do their very best.

    Coaches are proverbial givers and the beneficiaries of coaches’ efforts are the athletes. Participating in the Fitness Series should be promoted as an opportunity for the swimmers to become givers. The time spent swimming the challenges should be used as time to self-reflect upon how grateful we are to be able to swim. Give thanks for our coaches, teammates, family, and friends who support us in our passion for the water. Give thanks that we are not fearful of the water and can enjoy the sanctuary the water provides. Give thanks that we can help others not as fortunate as we are by supporting the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, which provides grants to teach adults to swim and become safer in and around the water.

    My challenge to you: Inspire your swimmers to swim, celebrate what they love about swimming, and support our foundation that brings the love of swimming to others.

    The challenge is not: Can you swim a time or distance faster or farther than others. It’s what can you do with the time while you’re swimming.

    (If you have any questions, check out our FAQs page for coaches. You can also sign up your club or workout group to host the Winter Fitness Challenge from Feb. 15-28.)

    Updated February 14th, 2018 at 10:55 AM by Bill Brenner

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  2. Do you supply the spark?

    by , June 15th, 2015 at 01:00 PM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: Do you supply the Spark?

    A: I always look forward to the fireworks display on the Fourth of July. The brilliant explosion of colors and the sounds that follow ignite my memories of displays I've enjoyed with family and friends in the past. While the public displays with their lengthy and large bursts of colorful lights are fascinating, it's the fireworks my friends and family detonated ourselves that make me smile the most. Maybe it's because you strike the match, you light the fuse, and you anticipate the outcome of your actions.

    Sometimes I get the same feeling when I light a spark in one of the Masters swimmers I coach. The shouts and smiles of success and accomplishment renew my passion for our profession.

    Ask yourself: Do you deliver a spark to each of your swimmers every day? Do you teach them a new skill, create a new challenge, or help them establish a new goal? Do you display a passion for coaching by not just writing a good workout, but by delivering it with a smile and burst of energy?

    Disney and hundreds of other theme parks conclude each day with a magnificent fireworks display as they send us out their gates smiling happily, albeit tired, looking forward to our next visit. Well, I think we all know a few Masters swimmers who are really just grown-up kids loving the energy and excitement of the fireworks a Masters coach brings to every practice and leave yearning for more.

    I challenge you to be the spark!

    Updated July 6th, 2015 at 11:43 AM by Bill Brenner

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