By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Thursday, September 28, 2017
For coach Doug Reyes and the Sierra Marlins Swim Team in Folsom, Calif., building a successful program has come down to maintaining a positive culture focused on the team, and a supportive staff that works together to continue building the foundation set by their predecessors. In 2017, the Marlins were recognized by USA Swimming as a silver medal club in the Club Excellence program rankings.
“We’ve been very blessed in our success with Club Excellence over the years – that has always been part of our plans and our goals,” Reyes said. “We feel strongly that we’ll be in the running for the silver medal spot again in 2018.”
After a strong summer in which the team placed backstroker Bryce Mefford on the 2017-2018 National Junior Team, the Marlins are hungry for more success with a handful of up and coming swimmers ready for a breakout season. Reyes outlines the team’s road to success in this week’s Club Excellence spotlight.
- Jeff Pearson. Jeff coached for 20 years and retired in 2012, but as a coach and CEO his presence, work ethic and leadership has been a great foundation for our success. He took the Marlins to the point of consistently being a major force and power in California and the team ranked high nationally for years. I can’t give enough credit to Jeff and the continuation of the staff to keep us rolling in the right direction.
- Our culture. Our emphasis on team and teammates, life skills and concepts of the week teachings, combined with work ethic, mental strength and toughness, a positive attitude and fun make the Marlins a home where you can be successful. Our culture builds and reinforces success.
- Quality of the athletes and families and the staff. For a long time the staff has been very consistent. When you have four or five people working together for years, that’s a great thing for the program. Over the years, great athletes and families have become Marlins, which keeps the cycle of success rolling.
- Plan your work and work your plan. Jeff was the total package at leading, managing and guiding the team. We had a four-year plan every Olympic cycle and it’s amazing how consistently those steps were achieved. Some coaches are afraid to put their goals out there but Jeff never had a problem doing that, and it became a great cycle.
- Support and backing in Folsom. Without a relationship with the city of Folsom, none of this can happen. They’ve been very kind and supportive of the Marlins – the rec department and staff have been great.