Coach Connection Newsletter #16 - 4/21/2017

Coach Connection Newsletter #16 - 4/21/2017

 | Friday, April 21, 2017

  1. Inaugural Junior Open Water National Championship
  2. 2017 #SwimBiz Presentations
  3. Off-Season Nutrition Tips
  4. Freestyle – Flutter Kick Focus
  5. USADA Update
  6. Bill Belichick Reveals His 5 Rules of Exceptional Leadership
  7. It’s Time to End the Sideline Sportsanity
  8. Maximizing the Capacity for Excellence
  9. The Truth About Positive Self-Talk
  10. What Separates Champions From ‘Almost Champions’?

Inaugural Junior Open Water National Championship

A 5K Junior National Championship event will now be offered during the USA Swimming Open Water National Championship weekend. Athletes must be 16 & Under on the day of competition (May 20, 2017) and achieve the qualification time standards posted on the meet information.
Entries are due May 9, 2017.
For more information please visit

2017 #SwimBiz Presentations

The #SwimBiz presentations have been posted on our website. Please scroll down past the schedule to find PDF’s of the presentations.
2017 #SwimBiz Presentations

Off-Season Nutrition Tips

By Jill Castle, MS, RDN, April 19, 2017

When the swim season is over, swimmers often wonder if they should change their eating habits. Should they continue to focus on the training diet? Should they eat as frequently as they have been or should they taper eating to reflect a decrease in exercise? Are there foods they can eat to preserve their physique?

When the swimming season ends, eating patterns need to shift to accommodate the decreased demand for energy and nutrients. The goals for eating during the off-season include maintaining a healthy weight, keeping the muscle tone and mass that has been accumulated during the season, and matching nutritional requirements for continued growth and development.

Off-season eating may not be easy for some swimmers, as the habit (and perhaps enjoyment) of eating large portions, pre-training snacks and post-training recovery foods may have become ingrained, making them challenging to reverse.

Learn more here

Freestyle – Flutter Kick Focus

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, April 19, 2017


To really sprint in freestyle, you're going to have to develop a strong kick. Focusing on how much you use your legs can really help this.

Why do it:

Learning to drive your stroke from your kick is one option to really swimming fast. Because many swimmers focus so much on the pull, switching your focus during sprints to the kick can help you develop a new tool.

How to do it:

  1. Start with a length or two of freestyle using very little kick.
  2. Just as with any descending set, as the lengths go by, start to increase the intensity of the legs.
  3. Continue to drive the stroke from the legs and allow the arms to match whatever rhythm that develops.
  4. On the fastest swim, rather than focusing on the arms, shift your attention to over-kicking to drive you forward.

How to do it really well (the fine points):

This is really a mental drill as much as a physical drill. Pinpointing all your attention to your legs during fast swimming will help you increase the effectiveness of your kick. If you spend most of your time thinking about your pull, switch the focus to the legs every once in a while to make sure you're leaving nothing to chance.

Get access to many more flutter kick videos here

Create your free account and get a new video everyday

USADA Update

Please share these USADA articles and resources with your athletes and their parents. These links may be included in a Team newsletter or re-posted on your Social Media platforms.

Is clomiphene prohibited in sport and what are the health risks associated with its use?

Supplement FAQ: The HRL says some dietary #supplements contain illegal ingredients. What does that mean?

What's the IV rule and why are IVs prohibited in sport?

Bill Belichick Reveals His 5 Rules of Exceptional Leadership

By Suzy Welch, CNBC, April 2017

Ask Bill Belichick if he's one of the winningest coaches in NFL history because he's a football genius, and he makes a face that's familiar to anyone who has ever seen him annoyed. Which is, basically, everyone.

Roughly translated, the face says, "You're killing me here."

But then, after a sigh, because, after all, he's agreed to talk about his life and career in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC, Belichick offers: "I think I know a little about coaching. I think I know a little about leadership."

You think?

Love the Patriots or hate them, Belichick's 209-78 record for New England says it all. Football teams do not lead themselves, and they certainly do not lead themselves to five Super Bowl victories.

Learn more here

It’s Time to End the Sideline Sportsanity

By Reed Maltbie, Changing The Game Project, April 10, 2017

As soon as I stepped out of my car in the parking lot, I could hear it. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon of travel soccer, but there it was. You know what I’m talking about: that sometimes beautiful, often times excruciating cacophony of sounds that we have come to know as “cheering for our kids” during a typical youth sporting event.

The scene plays out week after week, in gyms and soccer fields, on pool decks and ice rinks. Young children gear up and try their best to play difficult sports that take years to learn. Well-intentioned fans get ready to enthusiastically support these young athletes. Everyone smiles, exchanges pleasantries, and settles in for an idyllic afternoon. Then, when the whistle blows and the game starts, millions of well-intentioned, loving fans are transformed into something entirely different. There is some kind of invisible force that turns rational, logical people into raving, yelling fanatics totally consumed by every call, and every play. What do they get?


Learn more here

Maximizing the Capacity for Excellence

By Mike Voight and Jeff House,, April 2017

These notes on connecting mental and physical toughness are from Mental Toughness Training for Basketball by Mike Voight and Jeff House. I hope that you can use it as a model to think about ways to help your players improve. I like that it breaks down mental toughness into different capacities. Players have different mental strengths and weaknesses just like they have different strengths and weaknesses to their game.

“Nowhere is it more abundantly clear than in competitive sports that everything is interconnected. What you think, how you act, what you eat, how much you sleep, your fighting spirit, your fitness, your passion for life are all intimately connected”
—Jim Loehr, Ed.D., Mental Skills Trainer

Below are some questions for players to answer that can help them gain a better awareness of their present capacity level. Before a player can operate to his/her maximal capacities, he/she must be aware of his current level and how far it may be from his top effort.

Learn more here

The Truth About Positive Self-Talk

By Lindsey Wilson,, April 12, 2017

There’s a lot out there about positivity and the importance of having a positive mindset: talking to yourself positively, talking to your kids positively, even talking to your pets positively. (Groan… Yes, it’s a thing!)

All this positivity can be a bit much.

And that’s saying a lot, especially coming from someone like me who’s a BIG believer in the power of the glass-is-half-full mentality. The complication with positivity is that it can be hard to distinguish what is actually helpful and what is just, well, fluff.

That’s why I want to talk specifically about self-talk today because, in my opinion, self-talk serves as the basis for so many things in our lives: our beliefs, our outlook, our confidence, how we interact with others, and much, much more. But, I don’t just want to talk about self-talk alone; I also want to dive into the research behind it to make sure this isn’t just another ‘positive self-talk is great’ article. Yay!

Seeing as our focus is athletics, I want to specifically analyze the research looking into the relationship between self-talk and performance. Basically, my big question is:

Learn more here

What Separates Champions From ‘Almost Champions’?

By Brad Stulberg, The Science of US,, September 2016

Great athletes are fascinating. It’s a thrill to watch the very best of the very best. And though your natural abilities (or lack thereof) may prevent you from becoming as good as the champs, you can improve yourself by emulating their behavior. And yet there’s an overlooked group that is worth your attention, too, if for a very different reason: the almost greats, those who were once good enough to play with the best of the best, but ended up in second-rate leagues.

It’s the perennial million-dollar question of nature versus nurture, sure. But the difference between the greats and the almost-greats (which, by the way, applies well beyond sports) also appears to be at least partially driven by one specific thing — how each group responds to adversity. The greats rise to the challenge and put in persistent effort; the almost-greats lose steam and regress.

For a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology…

Learn more here



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