Coach Connection Newsletter #42 - 10/20/17

Coach Connection Newsletter #42 - 10/20/17

 | Wednesday, October 25, 2017

1. USA Swimming Elevates Lindsay Mintenko to Oversee National Team, Restructures Technical Swimming Staff
2. 8 Tweaks You Can Make for the Ideal Concession Stand
3. October Swim-A-Thon(TM) Pumpkin Carving Contest
4. Coaching Excellence
5. USADA Update
6. Sportsmanship is Key, Even on Social Media
7. Talent
8. Today We PLAY
9. The Struggle Facing Boys Rejected By Academies
10. The 4 Most Important Words a Leader Can Ever Say

USA Swimming Elevates Lindsay Mintenko to Oversee National Team, Restructures Technical Swimming Staff

Olympic gold medalist is first female to head National Team Division

USA Swimming has named two-time Olympian Lindsay Mintenko as the first female senior executive to lead the organization’s National Team Division amid a restructuring of the organization’s technical swimming staff. She has been a member of the National Team staff since 2006.

“With Lindsay’s 10-plus years of experience at USA Swimming, her role as a two-time Olympic Team captain and time on deck as a coach, she is a tremendous fit for this position,” said USA Swimming President and CEO Tim Hinchey. “Lindsay is well respected by our athletes and coaches, and USA Swimming is looking forward to continued competitive success by the National Team under her direction.”

A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Mintenko replaces former National Team Director Frank Busch, who retired effective Oct. 1. She will retain the title of National Team Managing Director.

“I am honored to follow and build on a tremendous legacy set by Frank and his predecessors,” Mintenko said. “We have a great team in place in the National Team Division, and following a strong showing at last summer’s FINA World Championships, we’re already hard at work planning the road to the 2020 Olympic Games.”

In addition to Mintenko’s promotion, USA Swimming will add the position of National Team Technical Advisor to the National Team Division’s leadership team. This role is expected to be filled in the coming weeks.

The organizational restructuring will aggregate all technical swimming facets of USA Swimming, including the National Team Division, under one umbrella overseen by Chief Operating Officer Mike Unger, a 24-year veteran of USA Swimming.

“Mike’s passion is unparalleled within our sport, and his experience with USA Swimming is unmatched,” Hinchey added. “Our organization has thrived in large part to his contributions, and his leadership will be a key part of the National Team’s successes.”

In her new role as National Team Managing Director, Mintenko will oversee all aspects of USA Swimming’s National Team program with the ultimate goal of ensuring that USA Swimming maintains its unprecedented run of international success. Key areas of focus for Mintenko will be athlete and coach development and National Team division support.

With Mintenko playing a role on the USA Swimming National Team staff, Americans swimmers have combined for 95 medals across the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and another 177 podium appearances in the pool in the past five long-course FINA World Championships.

Prior to joining the USA Swimming staff, Mintenko served as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California, her alma mater. She ranks as one of the Trojans’ most decorated swimmers. Mintenko (formerly Lindsay Benko) was a 21-time All-American, claimed five NCAA individual titles – three in the 500-yard freestyle (1996-97-99) and two in the 200-yard backstroke (1996-97) – and helped lead the USC women to their only NCAA team championship in 1997.

On the international stage, Mintenko won gold medals as a U.S. team captain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in the 800-meter freestyle relay and added a silver in 2004 in the 400-meter freestyle relay. A 10-time U.S. national champion, three-time medalist at the FINA World Championships and a seven-time medalist at the Pan Pacific Championships, she set numerous USC, American and world records in her competitive career and held the short-course world record in the 400m free for nearly three years.

Mintenko graduated from the University of Southern California in 1999 with a B.A. in communications and minor in business and earned her master’s degree is sports administration from California University of Pennsylvania in 2015. She currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Mike, and their two children.


8 Tweaks You Can Make for the Ideal Concession Stand

By Jill Castle, MS, RDN, October 17, 2017

Ah, the concession stand. We love it, we need it, and we [sometimes] stress out over it.

We love the concession stand because it offers a variety of food options we couldn’t reasonably and affordably provide our swimmer.

We need it because it offers a security blanket. Nutrition whenever we need it. Nutrition if we forgot to pack water or snacks or a meal.

We stress out over it because the options aren’t always in line with the fuel a swimmer needs to perform. We worry because the unhealthy options are tempting and hard to police.

Learn more here:

October Swim-A-Thon(TM) Pumpkin Carving Contest

Get ready for Halloween by entering the Swim-a-ThonTM pumpkin carving contest for a chance to win the ultimate treat for your team: a GoPro HERO4 Session, provided by TeamUnify and the USA Swimming Foundation.

The winning individual will also win a swag bag full of goodies from the USA Swimming Foundation in addition to a GoPro HERO4 Session for their team!

For more information, please visit here:

Coaching Excellence

Found on, October 17, 2017

Several ideas I found on Coaches Toolbox to refer to throughout the season, as we work to improve ourselves as coaches every day. Even though it is basketball, I think there are many good thoughts.

What is a Coach of Excellence?

When Players Need You Most

Characteristics of a Coach of Excellence

USADA Update

REDUCE your risk and use the Red Flag Checklist to help you navigate risky characteristics of #supplements


Sportsmanship is Key, Even on Social Media

From, October 1, 2017

Sometimes it’s the little things: Helping an opponent up after a hard tackle, standing in line to shake hands at the end of the game, thanking the referees for their work.

But sometimes, sportsmanship extends far beyond the playing field.

Learn more here:


By Youtube channels

A good 2 minute video:

Today We PLAY

A Great “speech”

Yes, this is a commercial but a good watch:

The Struggle Facing Boys Rejected By Academies

By David Conn,, October 6, 2017

As more sports “academies” are developed, this article is an important read for all NGB’s and all coaches:

Learn more here:

The 4 Most Important Words a Leader Can Ever Say

I thought the most important words a boss could say were, 'Can you help me?' I was wrong.
By Jeff Haden, Contributing editor, Inc., October 10, 2017

If you're a good leader, you know you should praise your employees. If you're a good leader, you know you should provide useful, timely feedback. If you're a good leader you know, in general terms, what you should and should not say.

But if you want to be a great leader, and build a great team, you'll need to say these four words as often as necessary. While doing so will make you feel vulnerable... that's actually how you want to feel.

But what you may not know is how powerful an impact four simple words, spoken with the right intent, can have on others -- and on you and your business. Granted, they might make you feel a little vulnerable... but that's exactly how you should want to feel.

The following is from Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code (one of my all-time favorite books; I've given at least 50 copies to people over the years) and the upcoming The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups (Jan. 30, 2018). Daniel went inside incredibly successful organizations like Pixar, SEAL Team Six, and the San Antonio Spurs to uncover three key skills that explain how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind.

Learn more here:



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