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Making Coaching And Swimming Work

  1. Who Has Time

    by , August 7th, 2009 at 04:48 PM (Making Coaching And Swimming Work)
    As I begin to explore my options for offering coaching online to swimmers who are friends and family, with the intention of offering the service down the road to clients, I am rediscovering the most invasive issue for swimmers - life.

    I have long had that problem myself. I either have to work my 'real' job, coach or take care of the humans and canines in my household before I can consider training myself. What makes it easier or more difficult to fit training when we all have to live life?

    Time management.

    One of my swimmers lives in Chicago. She is young, not in a committed relationship, and very energetic. She loves to swim and was totally self motivated to get going with a focused program. Our goal was the Big Shoulders 5K in September - and we had 13 weeks to train her for it.

    After three weeks, she had a busy weekend and broke her stride. We could not connect for our Sunday phone call and subsequently she did not swim Monday morning. Understandable. She made it up that night.

    The following week it was work overload. Then poor timing on our Sunday phone call. Then work again. She began to make herself feel guilty for 'bagging out' all the time. I was constantly assuring her that she had priorities and swimming was last to come into her schedule - so it became first out of her schedule. This was a mistake on my part. I was so busy making sure she didn't have any negative feelings associated with her swimming that I did nothing to address her main problem - time management.

    As coaches; as US Masters coaches, how much pressure do we put on our swimmers to stick with the plan? Can we help our athletes, regardless of ability or commitment level, be better time managers and should that be part of our expertise?

    I believe we can and should. Offering your swimmers advice on time management is beneficial to both the individual and your program. I am not on any one philosophical bandwagon, but there is so much information out there (on the web and in print) that it is relatively easy to learn and understand time management strategies that fit your coaching style, program and group of athletes.

    As I incorporate these and other concerns into my online coaching philosophy, I will post them here. Time management certainly isn't the most critical issue I have, but today its the most relevant.

    This is my first post here and my first blog. My background other than coaching USA and High School Swimming is as a software developer and business owner. Hope you enjoy.