Coach Connection Newsletter #9 - 3/2/18

Coach Connection Newsletter #9 - 3/2/18

 | Friday, March 2, 2018

Safe Sport Resources

Below are some useful tools and resources to use to talk about Safe Sport with your team and learn more about the program at USA Swimming

Club Resources:         
Activity Book:              
Program Timeline:       
Survivor Support:        
Safe Sport Authorization Act:

Do you have questions about Safe Sport? Write to us here

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Zone Select Camps

Deadline Monday March 5th

The application to become an assistant coach at this year’s Zone Select Camps has been extended until Monday, March 5th!

This is the last chance to apply for a position with these camps. Please apply to the camp for the zone that you reside.

Central Zone
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH
May 24-27, 2018 

Southern Zone
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
May 24-27, 2018

Western Zone
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
May 31-June 3, 2018

Eastern Zone
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
June 7-10, 2018

To Apply

Turns - Hot Hand Open Turn

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, February 28, 2018


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Watch more Brendan McHugh Breaststroke videos here. Every coach since the beginning of time has told their swimmers to "NOT GRAB THE WALL" on your breaststroke and butterfly turn. Here's how simple that is.

Why do it:
When you grab the wall with both hands, typically swimmers will pull in and up, making the turn too slow. This needs to be avoided.

How to do it:
1 - Whichever side you turn to, there will be a hand that barely makes contact with the wall... if you spin toward the left, that's the left hand.
2 - As you approach the wall with your eyes down (subtle reminder there), touch the wall with both hands.
3 - The HOT HAND is the one on the side you're going to spin to. We refer to HOT as if the wall is SO HOT in that spot, you HAVE to get your fingers off the wall as quickly as possible.
4 - DO NOT grab the wall with the HOT HAND, but imagine touching, and IMMEDIATELY sliding the hand off the wall into the spin as quickly as possible.

How to do it really well (the fine points):
Quick, quick, quick. The hot hand makes contact, but that's it. It touches the wall at the same time as the other hand, but only for an instant.
By getting the hot hand off the wall as quickly as possible, you also start to initiate the spin into the turn more quickly. Very simple, but very important.

How Youth Sports Can Lead to a Better Job Later in Life

By TrueSport

As parents, we all like to think we’re steering our children toward activities and opportunities that will help them lead happy, productive, and fulfilling lives. We encourage them to work hard, have integrity, take risks, show gratitude, be respectful, etc. But at some point, deep down, every parent realizes there are no guarantees. There’s no formula that ensures success, but there are definitely behaviors, activities, and opportunities that increase the chances your child will become a successful, ethical, and happy adult. According to recent research, participation in youth sports is one them.

A 2014 study by Kniffin, Wansink, and Shimizu examined how participation in high school sports correlated with a person’s behaviors and accomplishments later in life. 

Here are some of their findings:

How to On-board a Provider into Your Team, Coach Perspective

By Keenan Robinson, USA Swimming National Team Sports Medicine and Science Director, Mental Health Newsletter, February 2018

The purpose of these monthly newsletters is to provide coaches a view into the world of mental health from a coaches’ perspective as well as an athletes’ perspective. We have chosen topics each month that have been brought to our attention at Convention or direct inquiries to USA Swimming. We hope that in the future, coaches and/or athletes are willing to share similar success stories in the world of Mental Health. 

The coach and athlete representative, are Matt Kredich and Allison Schmitt respectively. Both agreed to serve on USA Swimming’s Mental Health Task force to answer the call for education and resources for members. This task force is comprised of sport psychologist, social workers, health care providers, National team staff members, coaches, and athletes. 

This month’s topic centers on “On-boarding a Provider for your team on Mental Health,” as starting from scratch can be a challenge. Coach Kredich explains how it is a multifaceted approach from the swim coaches perspective, whereas Allison talks about her personal experience as an athlete. 

For any coach who’s been in the profession long enough, the question “What skills do you need to have to be a really good swimming coach?” "It might make you laugh and think, “where do I begin?""

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The information below should be shared with your athletes and their parents. Please distribute it via email, a club newsletter, or link to the articles on your team webpage

Dietary Supplements: A Checklist for Reducing Your Risk 

Supplements can be very risky for athletes and consumers because they are regulated post-market, meaning that no regulatory body evaluates the contents or safety of supplements before they hit the shelves at major retailers. Despite the risk of contamination and mislabeled ingredients, some athletes still decide to use these products. 

While no supplements are guaranteed to be safe, there are steps athletes can take that may reduce the risks associated with using dietary supplements. 

Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to reduce your risk of testing positive or experiencing adverse health effects from supplements.

But remember, the only way to completely eliminate the risks associated with dietary supplements is to avoid dietary supplement use all together.

Adjusting Your Philosophy to Combat Sports Parents

By Scott Kugi,, February 24, 2018

Eight areas to focus your time to avoid conflict

The athletic director’s phone rings, sending a Pavlovian shiver down the spine. The scenario is familiar, as experience indicates the caller may be an aggrieved parent about to deliver conflict. Today’s athletic director needs the wisdom of King Solomon coupled with the patience of Gandhi. Unfortunately, in our “culture” and “system,” wisdom and patience are seldom enough to resolve conflict.

Learn More

Why Leaders Need to be Positive Thinkers

By Jon Gordon, Author, speaker,, August 2017

It takes a lot of work to create a world-class organization. It’s hard to develop a successful team. It’s not easy to build a great culture. It’s challenging to work toward a vision and create a positive future. It’s difficult to change the world.

As a leader, you will face all kinds of challenges, adversity, negativity, and tests. There will be times when it seems as if everything in the world is conspiring against you. There will be moments you’ll want to give up.

There will be days when your vision seems more like a fantasy than a reality. That’s why positive leadership is so essential.

Positive Thinkers

Taking My Shot

By James Leath, Unleash the Athlete, February 22, 2018

“I want the ball, coach.” 

“Are you sure?”

“Yes—right up the middle.”

The clock winds down on my last football game as a freshman in high school and our team is on the three-yard-line about to score. We are down five points, so to cross the goal line on this play allows us to finish the season with a win. 

I line up behind my quarterback. The offense gets set. The defense makes their adjustments and I try my best to mask the smirk on my face as they begin to favor the left side—I am going right.

“Down, set...”

Learn More

Don’t Just Lead Well, Follow Well

By Brett and Kate McKay, The Art of Manliness, February 19, 2018

Media and literature on leadership abound. Everywhere you look, there’s another book, podcast, or motivational speech on how to become a better leader.

People are clearly very interested in the topic, which isn’t at all surprising. Nearly everyone is a leader is some aspect of their lives — whether at home, at work, at church, or in clubs, sports teams, and other extracurricular and civic organizations.

It’s a funny thing though . . . given the fact there are so many people leading out there, there must subsequently exist even more folks who are following them. And yet, almost no material — no books, no podcasts, no lectures — exist on how to become a good follower. The topic is almost completely absent from education and our cultural conversation.

Lead Well, Follow Well



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