Coach Connection Newsletter #34 - 8/25/17

Coach Connection Newsletter #34 - 8/25/17

 | Monday, August 28, 2017

1. 2018 Club Excellence Program Announcement
2. Important Notice: The Athlete Protection Training Will Be Offline Monday-Thursday 8/28-31
3. SPLASH Magazine Online Tips
4. The Little Big Things
5. USADA Update
6. Four Powerful Leadership Lessons From Bruce Lee
7. Coaching for the Long-Term: Staying in the Game
8. New Study Reveals Whether Multi-Sport or Single-Sport Athletes Have a Better Chance For Success
9. How to Say “No” and Reclaim Your Career
10. Decide To Be A Decision Maker

2018 Club Excellence Program Announcement


USA Swimming is pleased to formally announce the 2018 Club Excellence program
and provide directions to all clubs regarding the application process.
For complete program information and the link to begin the application, please visit the Club Excellence page on the USA Swimming website.

In order to apply for the 2018 program, clubs must:
1. Complete the online application form available on the USA Swimming website.
2. Submit eligible pool performances using the Online Meet Entry (OME) system on the USA Swimming website.
Eligible open water performances are submitted using the online application.
3. Submit both components - the online application and the performance scoring - by the Oct 13, 2017 deadline.

Following is the complete timeline for the 2018 program:

09-01-17: Application period begins. Program announcement distributed to all USA-S clubs. Application form and info available on the USA Swimming website.
10-13-17: Deadline for submitting applications and the Online Meet Entry from clubs to USA Swimming.
12-15-17: Club rankings announced by USA Swimming and Grant applications sent to all qualifying clubs (Gold and Silver).
02-16-18: Deadline for qualifying clubs to submit grant applications to USA Swimming.
04-13-18: Grant awards announced by USA Swimming

Also, please note that the application requirement again includes Club Recognition Program participation. All clubs applying for the 2018 Club Excellence program must successfully complete at least Level 1 of the Club Recognition Program.
If you have previously completed Level 1, you don’t need to do it again.

As the entity that directly delivers services to athletes, swim clubs are vital to the ongoing growth and success of the sport. The Club Excellence program is one way in which USA Swimming recognizes our highest performing clubs and rewards them for a job well done.

Important Notice: The Athlete Protection Training Will Be Offline Monday-Thursday 8/28-31


The APT is getting an upgrade! We are moving to a new platform called USA Swimming LEARN. In order to best set everyone up for success, we will be shutting down the current APT for a few days next week to make the transition. During this time, no one will be able to complete the APT.

When we are back up and running, the APT will be hosted on USA Swimming LEARN. More information will be sent about LEARN later in the week.

Most non-athlete members will need to renew their APT this fall prior to the 12/31/2017 expiration date. By closing the APT next week, we can make the process much easier for members moving forward.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please notify your contacts and send questions my way. We hope to be live on the new platform prior to the 31st, and a press release will go out when that happens.

SPLASH Magazine Online Tips

By Jim Rusnak, USA Swimming Director of Media Properties, Splash Magazine Digital, August 2017

Talking Starts with Olivia Smoliga

The Summer 2017 issue of Splash Magazine offers some great tips for starts, turns and finishes.

Here, Olympic and World Championship gold medalist Olivia Smoliga shares her strategies for a great start.

Melanie Margalis' Tips for IM Turns

The Summer 2017 issue of Splash Magazine offers some great tips for starts, turns and finishes.

Olympian Melanie Margalis offers some tips for IM turns.

The Little Big Things

By Dr. Cory Dobbs, From the Academy for Sport Leadership,, August 2017

Excellence Begins by Sweating the Small Stuff

I recently had breakfast at a neighborhood Denny’s. During the course of the meal I visited the restroom. Upon entering I noticed scraps of paper towel on the floor. The sink basin revealed soap drippings that had probably been there since the day before. No, I’m not a neat freak. It’s just that in a world addicted to mediocrity little things are really big things.

The small stuff matters.

Learn more here:

USADA Update


My doctor treated me with a prohibited medication in an emergency situation. What should I do?

#Supplements marketed as natural doesn't mean free from prohibited substances. #UFC #themoreyouknow

New to drug-testing and curious if you might be tested? Learn more about who USADA is able to test.

Coaches are vital to the success of the athletes they support. Resources and links just for you!

Requirements for TUEs depend on your competition level. Find out your level here.

#Supplements that claim to be “alternatives to medication” may contain undeclared meds. Recognize red flags.

Four Powerful Leadership Lessons From Bruce Lee

By Luis E. Romero , Contributor to Forbes Magazine, August 2017

When we think of Bruce Lee, we probably think of his monumental skills as a martial artist and an entertainer, and possibly about his untimely death at the young age of 32. What we don't always realize is that the man was an active and impassioned leader—someone who not only trained others, but inspired them in ways both deep and powerful. Here are 4 Leadership Lessons we can take from Mr. Lee.

Learn more here:

Coaching for the Long-Term: Staying in the Game

By: Pete Van Mullem, PE H, July 10th, 2017

The retention rate for high school coaches is reportedly declining. After the 2015 high school football season, 116 of the 601 head football coaching positions in Southern California were open, and in Florida 129 of 560 high schools were looking for a new football coach (Rohrbach, 2016). Administrators often feel forced to select, evaluate, and retain or remove coaches based on external pressures (i.e. a losing season, unhappy parents, etc.). Sadly, this urgency to produce winning programs coupled with dwindling administrative support, is putting coaches in a constant survival mode.

Learn more here:

New Study Reveals Whether Multi-Sport or Single-Sport Athletes Have a Better Chance For Success

By Brandon Hall,, July 25, 2017

"You've got to specialize if you want to be special."
You may have heard similar sentiments before. However, a growing amount of research is finding that specializing in a single sport too early may be one of the worst decisions a young athlete can make.

A new study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's annual meeting found that specialization does not appear to increase a youth athlete's chance of eventually achieving elite status in their sport. In fact, the opposite may be true.

"Our study, which is the largest study to date examining the topic of single sports specialization, provides a foundation for understanding current trends in specialization in youth sports," said Patrick S. Buckley, MD of the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia, PA), in a press release.

Learn more here:

How to Say “No” and Reclaim Your Career

By Emily Hoffman,, August 2017

How do you say “no” to requests and projects that come across your desk? I want to be helpful and do everything that’s asked of me, but if I said “yes” to every request I received, I wouldn’t actually get to my top priorities and that would reflect poorly on my performance. How do I balance urgent requests with long-standing responsibilities?

I started my life as a people-pleaser. I had a strong sense of perfectionism and I wanted to be liked. Put the two together, and I would do just about anything to keep from letting someone down. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, ever.
These motivations served me well in my career for many years. I developed a reputation as someone who could be counted on, someone who produced results. But then, several years into my career, I had an important realization. My career wasn’t mine any more. My career belonged to all the other people who made requests of me.

I was doing what they wanted or needed me to do, what they asked of me, rather than doing what I wanted or needed to do.

Learn more here:

Decide To Be A Decision Maker

By Harvey Mackay, Syndicated Columnist, August 2017

A confused young man went to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist intently listened to his patient and then offered his insight.

"It appears to me you have trouble making decisions. Would you agree?"

The young man pondered for a moment and then responded, "Well, yes and no."

Many people struggle with making decisions. Whether the issue is personal or professional, the inability to decide on a course of action can ruin relationships or careers.

"Inability to make decisions is one of the principal reasons executives fail," said leadership guru John Maxwell. "Deficiency in decision-making ranks much higher than lack of specific knowledge or technical know-how as an indicator of leadership failure."

Learn more here:



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