Coach Connection Newsletter #18 - 5/5/2017

Coach Connection Newsletter #18 - 5/5/2017

 | Friday, May 5, 2017

  1. U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming to Return to Omaha in 2020
  2. Freestyle- Mega Catch
  3. Dolphin Kicks in Races
  4. USA Swimming Foundation Gives Financial Support to USA Swimming for Coaches Clinics & Conferences
  5. Tired of Worrying if Your Pool Will Be Available When You Need it?
  6. The Art of Leadership
  7. Infuse Your Team with Passion
  8. 10 Strategies to Help Coaches and Athletes Defeat Adversity
  9. We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong
  10. Risk, Innovation, Winning

Quote of the week:
"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. They do not always set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of their actions and the integrity of their intent." ~Unknown

U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming to Return to Omaha in 2020

CenturyLink Center Omaha will host fourth consecutive Olympic selection event

Following sustained, record-setting growth since 2008, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming will return to Omaha for the fourth consecutive occasion in 2020, USA Swimming, the United States Olympic Committee and the Omaha Sports Commission announced.

Held every four years, the Olympic Trials rank as the most prestigious swimming event in the United States. The 2020 Olympic Trials, scheduled for June 21-28, will serve as the sole selection meet for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, which will represent Team USA in the pool competition in Tokyo, Japan. The Trials competition will again be held at the state-of-the-art CenturyLink Center Omaha.

The USA Swimming Board of the Directors approved the selection of Omaha as host city during its meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last weekend.

“Bringing the Olympic Trials back to Omaha has always been our priority, as the city of Omaha, the Omaha Sports Commission and the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority have worked diligently to make this arguably the best swimming event in the world and one of the premier events in all of sports,” USA Swimming Interim Chief Executive Officer Mike Unger said. “The CenturyLink Center Omaha venue, surrounding facilities, hotels and restaurants provide the ideal set-up for coaches and athletes from a competition perspective and also to showcase the sport to fans. Omaha has done a tremendous job welcoming our swimmers, coaches, fans and families with open arms.”

The 2016 Olympic Trials eclipsed all previous attendance marks with nearly 200,000 spectators across 15 sold-out sessions – in a 14,500 seat venue – and a 30 percent increase in tickets sold over 2012. More than 36 million television viewers watched live primetime coverage from the eight nights of Trials on NBC, and the event generated more than $74 million in economic impact for the city of Omaha.

Last summer’s Trials featured a number of memorable performances, highlighted by Michael Phelps clinching a spot on his fifth U.S. Olympic Team and Katie Ledecky winning Trials titles in three freestyle events. Buoyed by their success in Omaha, Team USA went on to win 33 total medals – 16 of them gold – at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Olympic Swim Trials back to Omaha in 2020,” said Chris Kircher, Chairman, Omaha Sports Commission. “The Swim Trials has become one of the nation’s premier sporting events, and we are honored that Omaha will, once again, provide a home base for its success. We are grateful not only for the City’s active role in helping make this happen, but also for the pledge of support that we’ve received from the County, State, private and philanthropic sources.”

“The vision of the Omaha Sports Commission has been to make Omaha a premier sports community. With established community support for amateur athletics and world-class facilities, like the CenturyLink Center Omaha, we have the unique capability of hosting large, complex events,” said Wes Hall, President, Omaha Sports Commission. “The 2020 Olympic Swim Trials will further enhance Omaha’s image as one of the nation’s great sports communities, and we want to thank USA Swimming for their long-time partnership and commitment to bring it back to Omaha.”

"The City of Omaha and our citizens have shown tremendous support of the Swim Trials, the athletes, coaches and fans that come to Omaha from around the country. We’re thrilled that USA Swimming has selected Omaha for the fourth time,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “The CenturyLink Center Omaha is the ideal venue for this event, and we can’t wait for Omaha to be in the national spotlight again.”

Over the course of the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials, more than 520,000 spectators have enjoyed the country’s top swimming competition.

Once again in 2020, two temporary 50-meter pools for Trials will be installed by Myrtha Pools in the CenturyLink Center Omaha, the state-of-the-art, 17,000-seat sports and entertainment venue in downtown Omaha. The convention center will serve as the home for the award-winning, 100,000 square-foot USA Swimming Aqua Zone, a sponsor and fan experience area. More than 100,000 spectators visited the Aqua Zone in 2016, and the USA Swimming House – a hospitality hub that sold out every night – debuted last summer.

Olympic Trials by the Numbers

  • 4 – number of times Omaha will host U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming
  • 35 – interactive experiences at 2016 Aqua Zone
  • 1,800 – approximate number of athletes who competed in 2016 Trials
  • 14,500 – capacity for 2016 event, which sold out for all 15 sessions
  • 100,000 – total number of spectators to enjoy the 2016 Aqua Zone
  • 200,000 – attendance for the 2016 event, a new record that surpassed 2012 total by 30 percent
  • 520,000 – number of spectators combined at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Trials at CLC Omaha
  • 36 million – number of viewers who watched NBC’s live coverage in 2016

About U.S. Olympic Team Trials

A collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies, U.S. Olympic Team Trials are held in multiple sports prior to each edition of the Olympic Games and allow athletes to vie for the honor of representing Team USA. Often the last stop in an athlete’s journey to the Olympics, the Trials also offer fans an up-close experience with America’s sports heroes before they go on to compete on the world’s biggest stage. Selection procedures for each sport are developed by the NGBs in concert with the USOC and follow parameters set forth by each International Federation.

Freestyle- Mega Catch

By Glenn Mills, Go Swim Video of the week, May 3, 2017

GoSwim Video of the Week - Freestyle - Mega Catch
or here

This drill comes to us from our good friends at Almaden Swim & Racquet Club. Coaches Andre Salles-Cunha and Jason Martin. While we're not sure we did the drill justice, as Jason was quite the model, we hope we get the point across. Thanks Andre and Jason, we really felt this one.

Working on an early catch is important for all strokes, but figuring out the best way to pinpoint your focus is pretty tough. Using a kick-board allows you to concentrate on getting your entire body involved.

Why Do It:

Mega Catch-Up drill encourages you to "set-up" the catch with a bit of rotation to the other side. This makes it more like actual swimming, as you'd never be starting the catch from flat (or certainly shouldn't).

How to Do It:

  1. The drill is in three phases. You'll start with the kick-board held lengthwise (the normal way). Place your hands on the board shoulder width apart. Drop one of your hands under the board and push it forward. When you do this, the opposite shoulder will lift, or rotate up. As soon as the shoulder has popped up, initiate the catch with the hand that's under water.
  2. Rotate all the way through the pull, snapping the hand out at the back to get the full range out of the pull.
  3. In phase two, rotate the board sideways. The drill is the same as phase one, only now you'll be able to have a target to reach past. Push your extending hand PAST the board, rotating the opposite shoulder up. Pull again as before, snapping all the way through the finish, and make sure you place your hand back on the board at shoulder width.
  4. Phase three is the finish. Perform the drill without the board. Hands should be shoulder width apart. Extend one arm while rotating the opposite shoulder up. As that shoulder starts to fall, pull the hand back and snap through the finish.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):

There are a few key points in this drill. Hands shoulder width apart on the board, initiate a shallow catch (just under the board), and snap through to the finish.

Think of each of those through each phase and repeat many times. You may find it's easier to accomplish this with one arm or the other, but continue working to even out the stroke. We also found we were bending the elbow left on the board a little too much... but we're working to keep that arm a bit straighter.

Over the past 16 years we’ve made a LOT of freestyle catch videos. Check them out here

Get your free account and get a new video delivered everyday

Dolphin Kicks in Races

By Russell Mark, USA Swimming High Performance Consultant, May 1, 2017

Dolphin kicking has transformed from a fad of the 90s to a skill that is essential to success in today’s racing. It’s especially prevalent in the 100 and 200 events, but it is growing as a factor to achievement in the 50 free all the way up to the 800 and 1500 free. It’s also not just an important skill to mature elite athletes, as more and more athletes at Junior Nationals and the USA National Junior Team are making it a part of their craft. A good dolphin kick can translate to success at any level in every event except breaststroke (kind of).

Learn more here

USA Swimming Foundation Gives Financial Support to USA Swimming for Coaches Clinics & Conferences

Did you know?

Thanks to the more than 550 swim teams using the Swim-a-Thon fundraising platform in 2016, the USA Swimming Foundation provided USA Swimming with $120,000 to bring you a series of Coaches Clinics and Conferences, including: 3 Women’s Leadership Conferences, The National Age Group Coaches Summit, and 8 Regional Coaches Clinics.

With your continued support of the USA Swimming Foundation’s Swim-a-Thon fundraising program, an additional $120,000 is being allocated to USA Swimming in 2017 to fund the Club Analytics Project. This project upon completion, will provide you with Membership & Performance database reports, a benefit for every USA Swimming member club in the U.S.

When you host a USA Swimming Foundation Swim-a-Thon, you are not only raising critical funds for your team, you are providing valuable educational resources for your coaches, and giving back to the sport of swimming by providing learn-to-swim opportunities to kids across the country through the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative!

More than 200 clubs have signed up to host a 2017 USA Swimming Foundation Swim-a-Thon this spring.

Sign up to host your very own today!

Tired of Worrying if your Pool Will Be Available When You Need it?

Attend one of the 2017 Regional Build and Program Your Pool Conferences to learn what others groups are doing to be proactive.

Over 1,600 people have attended the Regional BAP Conference with approximately 150 new facilities being commissioned and a supporting role in over 100 additional projects.

We provide you with information that helps you make the best choices in assembling your team of architects, engineers and other professionals to form your team of planners. The right people involved with the best plan for programming and design gives the project
the best chance for success.

Obtain information about USA Swimming’s Facilities professional providers and how they can play a major part in your success. You will have an opportunity to meet some of the professional providers because many of them attend the conference.

Attendees will gain information about:

  1. Planning and building your facility for Total Aquatic Programming
  2. Validating the needs to explore possibilities for aquatic centers
  3. Figuring costs to operate and programming income potential
  4. Programming pools for financial sustainability
  5. Renovating and upgrading existing pools
  6. Designing and building new facilities
  7. Understanding and identifying adversaries and advocates for the project
  8. Have a better understanding on pool and building size options and cost to build
  9. Other management options and value received pricing
  10. New building technologies
  11. Enterprise plans to help with business plans and feasibility studies

Regional Build-A-Pool Conference Schedule- Confirmed dates & locations below:

Click here to register for the conferences

Dates of Regional BAP City/State &Hotel:

  • MAY 5-6, 2017, Minneapolis, MN, Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot
  • JUNE 16-17, 2017, Uniondale, NY, Long Island Marriott
  • AUGUST 5-6, 2017, St. Louis, MO, Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel
  • SEPTEMBER 2-3, 2017 Washington, D.C., Washington D.C. Hilton
  • OCTOBER 21-22, 2017 Denver, CO, Omni Interlocken Hotel

For a visual map of the 2017 Regional Build a Pool locations click here.

For questions contact Sue Nelson or Mick Nelson

The Art of Leadership

By Cory Dobbs, Ed.D., Founder, The Academy for Sport Leadership,, April 24, 2017

Lessons from the Art Studio

“Students who are truly student-athletes have a chance for a life-transforming, life-shaping experience. I can tell you how thankful I am for having had that experience and how it’s shaped me in countless ways. It’s an absolutely formative experience.” –
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,
Speaker at the 2010 NCAA National Convention in Atlanta, Ga.

Leadership is one of the most important topics of our time. And it’s likely one of the most important attributes for effectiveness in any human endeavor. The success of any institution, organization, group, or team, is grounded in the effective application of leadership. For any organization to sustain success it must invest in the development of leaders—current and future— to avoid a regression towards mediocrity.

Since the dawn of civilization, groups have utilized leadership for various purposes beginning with the need for survival. Organizations today view leadership as a necessity for success and it is hard to find a person today who does not give at least lip service to the importance of developing leaders.

Learn more here

Infuse Your Team with Passion

By Dr. Cory Dobbs, The Academy for Sport Leadership,, April 24, 2017

Every team has players who always do less than they are asked; still others who will do what they are asked, but no more; and some who will do things without anyone asking. What every team needs is more of the third group, players who serve to inspire those around them to do things that will make the team better. These are the players who constantly renew their commitment to being their best for the team and whom others would do well to model.

A fun and energizing environment is much more productive than a routine and stale environment. Student-athletes who enjoy their sport and their teammates come to practice with more energy—more passion. And this can be contagious.

To help lift your team’s performance look for ways to infuse your team with passion. Help teammates believe in themselves. Build their confidence and self-esteem. Search for ways to make your teammates feel important and appreciated. Celebrate and get excited about
the successes and accomplishments of your teammates. Make it a daily goal to point out the strengths and contributions of those around you.

Learn more here

10 Strategies to Help Coaches and Athletes Defeat Adversity

By Juan Pablo Favero,, July 2015

It’s frustrating for athletes when they’re running on fumes, feeling like they have nothing more to give and that no matter what they do there is nothing left to push past a seemingly insurmountable wall. They can feel hopelessness, discouragement and defeat knocking at their door.

Whether the exhaustion is physical, emotional, mental or a combination of the three, we have all experienced what it’s like to “hit the wall.” While the wall is definitely not a good state to be in, there are two important facts we must remember for our own sake as well as that of the groups or teams we lead or coach.

Learn more here

We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong

By John Traphagan, Harvard Business Review, January 06, 2017

A common thread in the study of organizational culture is the idea of culture as a unifying force that brings people together to work productively toward the attainment of organizational goals. In this approach, organizational culture is understood as a variable to be used in projects of social engineering aimed at creating unity and cohesion.

But that’s not really what culture is about, nor is it a useful way to think about organizations. Why? Because culture isn’t just about unity; it’s also about division. Rather than a deterministic “thing” that shapes behavior and unifies people, culture is something people use, often strategically, to achieve goals. It can also provide a basis upon which people contest and counter certain ideas and values while accepting other values associated with a particular cultural context.

Learn more here

Risk, Innovation, Winning

By Toto Wolff,, April 26, 2017

This conversation is with Toto Wolff. If you follow Formula One, you know what Toto has helped build over the past handful of years. He’s an owner and the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

Formula One is known as the tip of the arrow when it comes to motorsports — their cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, being able to maintain very high cornering speeds (pulling 6g’s) by generating incredible amounts of aerodynamic down force. They race at speeds of up to approximately 230 MPH.

Toto is a father, husband, and businessman. He knows risk. He knows innovation. And he knows winning. Under his leadership, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has clinched a hat-trick of Formula One World Championships, winning a total of six titles and more than 50 Grand Prix since 2014.

The reason I wanted to have the conversation with Toto is because he has an incredible way about how he see’s organizational success — how he balances the financial tension between innovation and risk and how he works with highly talented drivers and engineers and ultimately — I wanted to understand what is at the center of his relentless drive…..and….how exactly does someone become able to be an owner of a Formula One team (let alone the Mercedes team).

This conversation is loaded….Hope you enjoy and are able to put at least one of insights in the conversation into action.

Oh, by the way, Toto speaks fluent German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Polish.

Learn more here



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