By Emily Sampl | Thursday, September 14, 2017
It’s been a summer to remember for the Magnolia Aquatic Club in Magnolia, Texas, as the team finished fourth overall at the Speedo Junior National Championships and then sent Lucie Nordmann to the FINA World Junior Championships for Team USA. Nordmann also qualified for the 2017-2018 National Junior team in four events, while teammate Joy Field made the team in open water.
Magnolia was recognized for its recent success with a silver medal ranking in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program, as the team collected 21,648 points to finish ninth among silver medal clubs for 2017. It marked the fifth year in a row the team has earned silver medal status.
Head coach Terry Jones, who has been with the team since it began in 2003, has helped lead the program to new heights, and shares the team’s key elements to success in this week’s Club Excellence spotlight.
1. Consistent coaching staff. I have found that when you have consistency in your staff, programs are more successful.
2. Consistent philosophy. Having a consistent staff that shares common goals is important. We as a staff believe that you should not rush the process when working with kids. Our focus is to keep them swimming well and enjoying the sport through graduation of high school and beyond.
3. Demonstrating that we care for the kids. The old saying, "they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," is true and something we want to demonstrate daily.
4. Engaging with and challenging our swimmers. I have found that kids want to be challenged and want the coach engaged in the process. They don't want a passive observer. They want your full attention, giving them consistent feedback.
5. Our pride doesn’t get in the way of our success. The relationship between the swimmer and coach needs to include open and honest communication. Swimmers need to be able to express their opinions and concerns without the coach taking it personally. Likewise, swimmers need to be able to hear constructive criticism knowing the coach is only trying to help them be the best they can be. If we don't let pride get in the way, both the coach and swimmer can grow.