Coach Connection Newsletter #24 - 6/16/17

Coach Connection Newsletter #24 - 6/16/17

 | Friday, July 14, 2017

1. Selection for the World Championships, World University Games and World Junior Championships This Summer
2. Scholastic All-America Program
3. Club Communication Toolkit
4. Backstroke - Drive the Hand Forward
5. USADA Update
6. Swim-A-Thon
7. Lionel Messi and the Will to Compete
8.  Be Transformational, Not Transactional
9. Is It Just Me? When Learners Think They Can't Because Others Can
10. 7 Reasons You Miss Untapped Talent in Your Company

Selection for the World Championships, World University Games and World Junior Championships This Summer

To help you prepare for Trials later this month

The full selection procedures can be found here

Please remember the written Selection Procedures shall take priority over any verbal explanation, clarification or interpretation of the Selection Procedures, including the attached document.

Scholastic All-America Program

Application Process open from June 1- August 15, 2017

2016-2017 Academic Qualifications

•Grade completion requirement – applicant must have completed 10th, 11th, or 12th grade GPA Requirement – minimum 3.5 GPA for the current academic year.

•A=4, B=3, C=2. If numerical grades are used, the following scale will be used unless the school’s letter grade conversion is given on the transcript: A=90-100; B=80-89; C=70-79.

•Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual credit college level academic courses will earn one half (.5) extra Grade Point. Grades for academic subjects only are calculated – history/social studies, English, mathematics, sciences, foreign languages, arts (visual and performing), computer sciences. A grade lower than a C in an academic subject will mean automatic rejection of the applicant. Grades for non-academic courses will NOT be calculated - band, choir, health, driver education, physical education, and any other class marked non-academic on a transcript.

•There will be no special status designation for a 4.0 GPA other than for a national champion who also has a 4.0 GPA.

Pool Requirements

•Applicants must have swum an individual pool time equal to a 2016 Winter Junior qualifying time in any individual event during the SAA qualifying period (August 16, 2016 – August 15, 2017) with qualifying times in SWIMS – list of times are posted on the USA Swimming website. A qualifying time will be available for selection from the SWIMS database during the application process. Only ONE time is necessary and only ONE application is necessary.

•Disability or Open Water Requirements (for athletes without pool requirements)
• 2017 Deaflympics– July 18-30, 2017, Samsun, Turkey
• 2016 Can-Am Open – November 25-27, 2016, Miami, FL
• 2017 Speedo Can-Am Para Championships – Mar 31-Apr 2, 2017, Windsor, ON

• 2017 Open Water National Championships – May 19-21, 2017, Castaic Lake, CA

Learn more here:

Sign in here to apply:

Club Communication Toolkit

USA Swimming wants to help you promote your team within your community and grow the sport at the grassroots level! To make this process easier USA Swimming has created a Clubs Communications Toolkit to provide some tips and guidance in your team’s communications and marketing efforts through 2017 and beyond.

The toolkit covers basic information on the following topics:
• Internal Communications
• Key Messages
• Local Media Relations
• Photography & Videography 101
• Social Media Best Practices
• Template Press Releases & Media Pitches

Each topic has its own file within the toolkit and discusses best practices, helpful tips and successful execution methods to better communicate with your team and in your community.

You can find it by following this path, or by clicking here:

Backstroke - Drive the Hand Forward

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, June 14, 2017


Setting up a good backstroke catch is essential to improving your times.

Why do it:

Too soft of a hand entry can mean certain swimmers miss the initial catch on their backstroke. This quick drill and get just a bit more drive forward prior to initiating the pull.

How to do it:

1 - Build the swimmer’s rhythm and feeling of having the hand enter with a bit more firmness.

2 - Have the swimmer take three firm strokes, but on the third, PAUSE a bit and ride the extended arm forward for just a bit.

3 - Now make sure the swimmer drives forward with a stronger kick.

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

Well, this has to be moved forward to swimming, right? For this, we count on rhythm. We set a Tempo Trainer to a slow rate, and make the swimmer focus on a SHARP transition from side to side, focusing on driving the extended hand forward.

Over a few lengths, we speed up the rate, but make the swimmer focus on making the transition to extension with such quickness, even at the higher rate, she has to pause just a bit.

While this method of extension rather than immediate catch isn’t for everyone, it is sometimes ideal for swimmers in longer races.

Come watch our inspiration for this video, Olympian Margaret Hoelzer:

Get your free account and follow our weekly theme, learn more, swim faster:

USADA Update

This is a great resource to share in your team newsletter, with athletes, parents and on your team website!

The USADA pocket guide is a condensed overview of the #antidoping process. Great for those new to new anti-doping.



Don’t be lapped by the competition! Summer is a great time to start your club’s Swim-a-Thon™ fundraiser. In 2016, over 550 teams raised $7.4 million dollars (that’s an average of $13,450 per team). In addition to raising critical dollars for your program, athletes participating can win great prizes to incentivize their fundraising efforts and hard work in the pool. Your club could even win a personal visit from Olympic medalist, Katie Meili! Let’s grow our sport – and your team. Learn more about this program and register today:

Lionel Messi and the Will to Compete

By John O'Sullivan, Changing the Game Project, April 2017

Lionel Messi lay battered on the turf. As he raised his head from the grass, he spit out a mouthful of blood and a tooth. He’d just taken an elbow to the face, one of many kicks, elbows, and bruises he would endure that day. Soon after another player was given a red card for a wild sliding challenge on him, but Messi would not be deterred. In the final moment of the biggest game of the year, the Clasico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, the diminutive giant stood tall and scored the winning goal in a 3-2 victory for Barcelona. The goal – his second of the game and 500th for his club – will go down in history, in one of the greatest games ever played in this historic rivalry, by one the greatest players the game has ever known.

People talk about Messi’s speed, skill, and understanding of the game. They talk about his balance and agility, his magical left foot, and his uncanny ability to show up at the right place at the right time. But the one thing people rarely talk about – the thing that matters the most – was on full display.

The will to compete.

Lionel Messi is a competitor. You can knock him down, foul him, step on him, and try to knock him off his game. But when it comes down to it, he gets back up, and let’s his game do the talking.

Learn more here:

Be Transformational, Not Transactional

Credit: NCAA Baseball, Sam Houston State University

This is a true coach. A true leader of young men. Someone who is creating a legacy of excellence in the people he coaches.

Watch video here:

Is It Just Me? When Learners Think They Can't Because Others Can

By Kevin Bross,, May 4, 2017

An eight-year-old student picks up a tennis racket in physical education class. He throws up a ball and makes solid contact, hitting the ball over the net with relative ease. A classmate named Roberto watches in awe as he perceives him to be a young Pete Sampras. “Why is it so easy for him?” he thinks to himself as he swings and misses the ball several times.

A fifth grader quickly breezes through a ten question worksheet on adding fractions without needing help from the teacher. Next to her, Caleb becomes frustrated as he struggles to make sense of the math. “My brain doesn’t work like hers” he thinks to himself as he puts down his pencil in despair.
A high school junior, presenting at a school assembly, mesmerizes the audience as she moves confidently across the stage, passionately conveying her message. In the audience Makena wonders, “how is she able to do that? We’re in the same speech class.” She continues to watch intently, convincing herself that public speaking just comes easy to some people. She believes her struggles to deliver speeches in class without saying “um” after every sentence is further evidence that she isn’t a “gifted” speaker.

Educators across the country have been working hard to share research with students…

Learn more here:

7 Reasons You Miss Untapped Talent in Your Company

By Yoram Solomon, Founder, Large Scale Creativity,, November 2016

Did you ever volunteer to do something above and beyond your job, just to be ignored? Companies lose great opportunities by not tapping to this talent.

In 2005, I told my boss that I could put together a marketing and strategy training program in the company. The company was (still is) a Fortune 200 company, but appreciated engineering skills more than marketing and strategy. Much more. At the time, I served on the board of the Association for Strategic Planning, and was invited to speak at their national conference. However, my boss thought it was a waste of my time that would not add any value to the company. Besides, I already had a "day job" that I needed to perform.

That didn't stop me, and I started looking for a champion who would listen. I eventually found it in the company's organizational development manager, who was willing to help me put together such a training program, which we called "The Competitive Toolkit." 7 lectures later, and more than 500 company employees who went through it (after their business units transferred funds to my business unit for the training), the program was a success. The lectures were well attended at the company's auditorium, were streamed to multiple locations, and were downloaded to be watched by those who couldn't (or wouldn't) attend in person.

However, every day Corporate America misses talent that exists right under its nose. This talent might be yours. As a result, special skills and talent go untapped. Why?

Reasons why skills and talent go untapped:

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