Coach Connection Newsletter #12 - 3/23/18

Coach Connection Newsletter #12 - 3/23/18

 | Monday, March 26, 2018

New Flex Membership

Hopefully you are aware that USA Swimming has an exciting opportunity with the new $20 Flex membership going into effect September 1, 2018. This is the most progressive new membership category in years and is designed to make entering the sport more attractive for today’s busy kids and families.

It gives kids the opportunity to try team swimming in a cost-effective way with possibly less commitment and allow them to stay involved in life’s other fun activities. Plus, clubs can use the membership for learn-to-swim, bridge programs, pre-team programs, summer leagues, home school programs, stroke clinics, day camps, triathlon training, fitness programs and more. That explains the name “Flex”!

While it provides a stepping stone, or a bridge, for kids to try team swimming, it also allows clubs the flexibility to secure insurance coverage at great prices, keep many of the benefits of being involved in USA Swimming and provide a product more competitive in the youth sports market. This will allow clubs the option of offering this new category rather than requiring teams to register their athletes as year-round members or seeking alternative options. Plus, it allows families to earn a credit toward a year-round team when they have a great experience in the sport! 
Flex Fact Sheet

Regional Coach Clinics 

The Regional Coaching Clinic program brings affordable clinics directly to teams in their own LSCs. These clinics are designed for the entire coaching staff from the novice coach to the senior level coach.

The clinic cost is $75 per coach or $200 for a coaching staff of 3 or more. Our clinics are priced to encourage participation by the entire coaching staff. 

To register, click the date you wish to attend in the table below.

Schedules will be posted when registration opens at the bottom of this page.

Denver, CO 

April 13-15

Sheraton Denver Tech Center Hotel

Wichita, KS

April 13-15

Hughes Metro Complex, Wichita State University

Long Island, NY 

April 20-22

Courtyard Long Island MacArthur Airport

Nashville, TN

August 17-19


Scottsdale, AZ

August 24-26

Marriott Scottsdale McDowell Mountains

Providence, RI

September 14-16


Milwaukee, WI

September 21-23

Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel

Clinics are open to all swimming coaches. We encourage all coaches, both USA Swimming members and non-members, to attend.

If you have any other questions, please contact Morgan Weinberg

How Youth Sport Parents Encourage Doping – Without Even Knowing It!

By TrueSport

The use of illegal performance enhancing substances (PEDs) by school-age athletes is on the rise, leading researchers to investigate how kids develop positive or negative attitudes about doping. While many media pundits place blame at the feet of elite and pro athletes who engage in doping behaviors, research indicates parents, coaches, peers, and personal motivations play more substantial roles. Even more troubling, recent research suggests parents may inadvertently encourage positive attitudes toward doping even when they are personally against PEDs.
Learn More

USADA Update

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.


Is your medication banned in sport? Search by product name or active ingredient on here to find out.

Thinking you need an IV infusion? Know the risks and how you could be in violation of the WADA Prohibited List.

You asked and our #antidoping scientists answered: Why does USADA collect a minimum of 90 mL?

Athletes have many rights and responsibilities when it comes to the sample collection process, including having a rep present when a doping control officer visits.


When it comes to dietary #supplements, the current laws do not protect you. Stay informed!

Supplement411 FAQ: How do I get my #supplement USADA-approved?

10 Ways to Recognize Your Leadership Blind Spots Before They Jeopardize Your Business

By Martin Zwilling, Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals@StartupPro,, March 19, 2018

We all have blind spots -- things you don't see despite your best intentions to observe the world changing around you. In business, these can quickly take you off the growth track, even as you work harder and harder.

In my role as startup and small business advisor, it's my job to help you see more clearly, and keep ahead of the curve. I've been there myself, so I have felt the pain.

The list of common blind spots is a long one
Learn More

Rules vs. Standards

By Justin Matthew Brandt,, March 20, 2018

I have been asked on multiple occasions on what my rules for my classroom or team are. My response is always the same, we do not have rules, we have standards. From reasoning to prescription practices, you will be able to decide for yourself which one is actually more beneficial after digesting the information provided.

There are major differences between the two terms, even in their simplest of forms, the definitions.
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The Passion to Thrive

By Jon Gordon, Author, Speaker, March 19, 2018

The strongest may survive but it is the passionate that will thrive.

Whether I’m speaking to an NFL team, school principals, or leaders of world class organizations such as Southwest Airlines, Dell, and Publix Supermarkets my core message is the same:

If you want to be successful today you must load your "Energy Bus" with passionate people... and most of all you must be passionate yourself.

In the past you could be lukewarm and mediocre and still be successful.

Not anymore.
Passion to Thrive

The Process of Leadership

By Dr. Cory Dobbs, The Academy for Sport Leadership,, March 13, 2018

Coaching Maxim: Leadership demands we make decisions that define who we are and how we interact with others.

We often talk about a leader having a “style” of leadership, a distinctive way of thinking, feeling, and acting. And it is true; coaches do have a style that shapes who they are and what they do. The relationship between style and leadership is expressed as a systematic process in how a coach gets things done and inspires his or her players to be their very best.

Over the past decade I have watched many coaches in action and have detected a distinct difference between two dominant leadership styles.

Why I Love the Managed Risk, and Rewards, of Nippers

By Damien Cave, New York Times, March 14, 2018 

Earlier this week, I found myself trying to explain Nippers to my editors in Hong Kong.

“It’s this Aussie beach surf lifesaving thing,” I said. “All the kids wear these colorful beanies and go down to the beach early on Sunday, and there’s swimming and running and then there are these boards and …”

My description was interrupted by laughter and questions. I could tell from our video conference call that my American editors were a bit confused. And honestly, I could relate.
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Your Captains Need To Do These 12 Things Today

By Jeff Janssen ,, March 17, 2018

Demonstrating leadership is simple if players know how

Athletes of all ages often wonder, “What can I do to be a better leader?”

While often subtle, leaders are afforded at least a dozen opportunities to demonstrate leadership every day. These leadership opportunities rarely are available in the form of dramatic, rousing, win-one-for-the-Gipper speeches, but more often present themselves in simple but significant interactions on a daily basis.

There’s a quote by Helen Keller we often use in our Leadership Academies that drives home the value of these seemingly trivial, yet critical leadership moments.

She said, “I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

Most emerging leaders erroneously view and define leadership as the mighty shoves reserved only for the heroic captains of the team. In actuality, it’s the tiny pushes of leadership that are much more plentiful and ultimately impactful over time.
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