Coach Connection Newsletter #37 - 9/15/17

Coach Connection Newsletter #37 - 9/15/17

 | Thursday, October 5, 2017

1. USA Swimming Recognizes 1,100 Scholastic All-America Picks
2. USA Swimming Championships Dates and Sites
3. All-Strokes - Stroke Count
4. 8 Snacks Young Swimmers Should Downplay in Their Diet and Why
5. USADA Update
6. Youth Sports Study: Declining Participation, Rising Costs And Unqualified Coaches
7. How Champions Build Trust and Camaraderie
8. Appreciate Talent, But Praise Effort
9. Three Truths About Confidence
10. What to Do When You Inherit a Team That Isn’t Working Hard Enough

USA Swimming Recognizes 1,100 Scholastic All-America Picks

Top student-athletes honored by USA Swimming for 2016-17 school year

USA Swimming is proud to recognize more than 1,100 prep swimmers, who excel in the classroom and in the pool, as 2016-17 Scholastic All-America selections.

After earning a 4.0 grade point average and winning the men’s 400-yard individual medley title at the 2016 Winter National Championships, USA Swimming National Team member Sean Grieshop (Cedar Park, Texas/Nitro Swimming) received the only perfect score among the 1,158 swimmers honored this year. With his selection, Grieshop becomes a three-time SAA team member.

The Southern Zone led the way with 364 Scholastic All-America selections. North Carolina Swimming topped the LSC rankings with 82 honorees, while SwimMAC Carolina was the top club with 35 swimmers recognized.

Visit here for a complete breakdown of the 2016-17 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America team. The application for the 2017-18 team will be available June 1, 2018.

In order to be considered for the Scholastic All-America Team, swimmers must maintain a 3.5 GPA for the current academic year and swim a time equal to a 2016 Winter Junior Championships qualifying time in any event during the qualification period. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible for inclusion.

USA Swimming Championships Dates and Sites

As approved at 2017 USAS Convention

May 11-13 Open Water Championships Tempe Town Lake, Tempe AZ.
Aug. 2-5 Futures
         Central – Rochester Recreation Center, Rochester, MN.
         South – Triangle Aquatic Club, Cary, NC.
         West – Santa Clara International Swim Center, Santa Clara, CA.
         North – SwimRVA, Richmond, VA.

July 25-29 Phillips 66 Nationals Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine, CA.

July 31-4 Speedo Junior Nationals Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine, CA.

Nov. 28-1 Winter Nationals Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC.

Dec. 5-8 Speedo Junior Nationals

           East – Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC.
           West - The University of Texas, Austin, TX.

July 31-4 Phillips 66 Nationals Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.
Aug.6-10 Speedo Junior Nationals Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

All-Strokes - Stroke Count

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, September 13, 2017


Counting strokes is a simple way to check your technique in the middle of a set.

Why do it:
The simple combination of the number of strokes, combined with your time, gives you an idea if you're holding proper technique when things get tough. Some strokes are easier to manage than others.

How to do it:
1 - First, this isn't about more or less being better, you have to find the optimum count at the optimum rate that gives you the best chance of going to optimum speed based on your goals.
2 - This is about how to adjust your count and where to focus if your stroke count starts to vary too much.
3 - Breaststroke and freestyle are the simplest. Both strokes offer the opportunity to GLIDE more, or change rate more simply by adding addition in the front of the stroke.
4 - Backstroke and butterfly typically have pretty set stroke rates and lengths, which means you'll need to make adjustments to stroke count off the walls.

How to do it really well (the fine points):
If you want to adjust your stroke counts on freestyle and breaststroke, try to breakout at the same spot, and either lengthen or shorten the amount of time you spend in extension.

If you want to adjust your stroke counts for backstroke and butterfly, count the number of underwater dolphins off each wall, and either add or subtract from that number to impact the overall number of strokes per length.

Remember, everything you do will have an impact. The further you go off the wall, the less strokes you take, the less air you'll get. Less air can have a harsh impact on the overall swim... so be careful to not just focus on LESS, but rather, discovering that perfect balance for each stroke... that allows you to go the speed you need to. Then check every few lengths to make sure you're sticking to the plan.

8 Snacks Young Swimmers Should Downplay in Their Diet and Why

By Jill Castle, MS, RDN, September 13, 2017

When I talk about fueling the body for sport, I often compare the types of fuel swimmers use to perform. For example, an athlete’s body is like a sports car or a race car. It warms up quickly, gets up to speed swiftly, can go fast, and endure for hours.

Think about it: race car drivers only allow premium fuel in the car to get the most out of the car’s performance. The same mentality should be used for the young athlete. Swimmers want to get the most and best performance from the food supplied to their body.

Learn more here:


USADA Update

Please share these USADA articles and resources with your athletes and their parents. These links may be included in a Team newsletter or re-posted on your Social Media platforms

While they serve a specific purpose for legitimate health reasons, what are you reasons for using #supplements?

Youth Sports Study: Declining Participation, Rising Costs And Unqualified Coaches

By Jacob Bogage,, September 6, 2017

Between skyrocketing costs, sport specialization and coaches needing training, youth sports is in the midst of a crisis, according to new data published Wednesday by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and the Aspen Institute.

Athletic participation for kids ages 6 through 12 is down almost 8 percent over the last decade, according to SFIA and Aspen data, and children from low-income households are half as likely to play one day’s worth of team sports than children from households earning at least $100,000.

“Sports in America have separated into sport-haves and have-nots,” said Tom Farrey, executive director of Aspen’s Sports & Society program. The group released its research at its annual Project Play Summit on Wednesday in Washington. “All that matters is if kids come from a family that has resources. If you don’t have money, it’s hard to play.”

Learn more here:

How Champions Build Trust and Camaraderie

By Elizabeth Boger,, August 22, 2017

Kelly Pannek knows the importance of a team-first attitude. For three seasons, the Plymouth, Minnesota, native has played with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s hockey team – studying the culture, building relationships with teammates and winning two NCAA Division I national championships.

This fall, Pannek will be establishing connections with a new team.

As she postpones her senior season for a chance to compete with the United States Women’s National Team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Pannek will trade her maroon and gold jersey for red, white and blue.

She may be one of the newcomers to a club of veterans, but Pannek knows what she learned at the University of Minnesota and in youth hockey will ultimately help boost the synergy with her new teammates.

“It’s kind of a crash course to get to that (Olympic) level,” Pannek said. “But it’s that mindset you need to have to be successful as a team at any level. We have that commitment with Minnesota, where you have to be committed to the team. With Team USA, it’s the same thing. You have to be committed to what we’re trying to do and be a good teammate.”

Pannek will be playing with some familiar faces, including former college teammate Dani Cameranesi. The duo, which hopes to compete with Team USA this winter in PyeongChang, South Korea, offered advice about being a good teammate that transcends hockey age classifications.

Learn more here:

Appreciate Talent, But Praise Effort

By Vito Chiaravalloti,, March 2017

Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
We overemphasize talent. We want to believe our superstars are superheroes, but they’re not. The reason we think that way is because it helps justify why we can’t do something or why we shouldn’t try. We say it’s because we don’t have the talent.

Not only are our superstars not superheroes, they became superstars because they had a relentless work ethic.

Learn more here:

Three Truths About Confidence

By Christina Shefchunas,, August 30, 2017

Watch the 2:14 video here:

What to Do When You Inherit a Team That Isn’t Working Hard Enough

By Joseph Grenny, Harvard Business Review, June 02, 2017

Paula is a new manager. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that she was handed a leaky bag. The branch she will now manage has some long-standing norms she sees as unproductive and possibly unethical. Staff members routinely spend working hours on personal projects. Employees neglect customers to take extended lunch breaks. In addition, Paula’s predecessor routinely rated everyone a “5” on a five-point scale, but she was struggling to find a single “5” in the entire group.

As the individual and group performance picture became clear to Paula, she began to pine for the simplicity of her life as an individual contributor.

What Great Managers Do

Exceptional managers find and capitalize on their employees' unique strengths. Learn how they do it with this 6 minute video slide deck. Download a customizable version in Subscriber Exclusives.

Most new managers quickly see things they’d like to change. New leaders are advised to take some time to listen and appreciate what is, rather than make their own mark at the risk of appearing self-centered or authoritarian. But what should you do when the need for change is profound and urgent? How can you minimize resistance while honoring your fundamental duty?

Learn more here:



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