Coach Connection Newsletter #19 - 5/11/18

Coach Connection Newsletter #19 - 5/11/18

 | Monday, May 14, 2018

Concussion Training Required to Attend Meets in California

Monday, May 7, 2018 

California has modified existing school concussion law to apply the concussion requirements to youth sports organizations in which athletes participate, including swimming.

These requirements apply to out of state coaches whose swimmers are attending any meets in California including Sectionals, Futures, Junior Nationals, Phillips 66 Nationals or TYR Pro Swim Series meets in California.

Click here to read details and fill out required paperwork!

Important Survey

By Keenan Robinson, USA Swimming National Team Sports Medicine and Science Director and the Sports Medicine Committee

Last summer, two of our athlete reps brought to USA Swimming’s attention that there is still a lack of understanding of age group swimming injuries. We created a task force to create a survey-based study better understand this topic. We have been given IRB approval, meaning, a review board has vetted our study design, intended statistical analysis, and publication value for preventative medicine. This is a similar process to the concussion study we started three years ago, which lead to two published papers and most importantly a return to swim guideline.

Dear Coach,

On behalf of the USA Swimming Sports Medicine Committee, I would like to thank you for considering participation in this short (it should take less than 7 minutes) anonymous survey aimed at collecting information to better understand injuries in the 18 and under swimming population. A small group comprised of leading physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists and chiropractors in the swimming community formulated this questionnaire with the primary goal of better understanding how injuries occur in the swimming community and how USA Swimming can better provide resources and services to educate and reduce the probability of swimming related injuries.

We have a goal of discussing the preliminary results in September of 2018 at the USAS Annual Convention in Jacksonville, FL. This presentation will then be made public on the USA Swimming website to help coaches, swimmers, and parents gain a better understanding of training volume, workout frequency, stroke specialization, dryland activities, and other factors that may impact the occurrence of injuries among swimmers.

We feel that feedback from the USA Swimming coaching community is critical, as you know best the issues related to injury and illness in competitive swimmers. We intend to use the information generated from this survey in a directed manner to help all our registered members. The results of this survey will also help inform the USA Swimming Sports Medicine Committee about future directions for educational programs and areas for further research.

Most importantly, we will publish our findings to better educate the health care providers who will have the opportunity to provide medical services to your swimmers in the future.

This will truly lead to some vast improvements in understanding swimming injuries at the youth level.

Take Survey

Freestyle - One Goggle Breath

By Genn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, May 3, 2018


If you're looking for more specific freestyle breathing videos... here are more than 100 to look through

Here's a compilation of clips that give an indication why it's so important to see only ONE google when the swimmers are breathing.

Why do it:

While it's not always the case, for developing swimmers, a standard for detecting a balanced body and proper positioning, is to look for one goggle showing during a breath.

How to do it:

This is an observation exercise. While coaching, walk around the pool and watch your swimmers. How many are actually showing only one goggle on every breath? Which ones are you barely able to detect a breath?

How to do it really well (the fine points):

The REAL reason behind a single goggle breath is about body balance. This great swimmer, Adam Ritter, lifts his torso just a bit to get his breath. Even after all we've seen from above, we can see a slight issue with his head lifting, and his lead hand pressing to maintain that elevated position.

The real question is, unless your swimmers look THIS good above water... What do they look like UNDER water?

Setting the Stage: 5 Pre-Game Activities to Boost Sportsmanship

By TrueSport

Although some pre-game traditions have come under scrutiny in recent years, there is still no better time to set the tone for good sportsmanship in youth sports than in the minutes before a kick off, tip off, or first pitch.

The challenge, however, is to make this activity more engaging than a half-hearted cheer. Making pre-game acts of sportsmanship mandatory often diminishes genuine actions to something done just to appease parents and officials.

Pre-game rituals should go beyond just looking good to the adults in the stands; they should actually mean something to the kids on the field. Americans long for youth sports to teach values like honesty, fair play, and respect. Inspiring better behavior during the game begins by changing what is done before it.

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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.


#DYK - IV infusions are prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List. Find out how here:

Wondering what is involved in applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption? Call USADA's Drug Reference Line: an expert is available to answer YOUR questions. 

Breaststroke - Underwater Pull Rate

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, May 9, 2018


Check out more breaststroke underwater pull videos 

Get your free membership to and get a new theme delivered to you every week

When we teach swimmers how to do a proper breaststroke underwater pull, it's not just about the sequence, it's about the timing.

Why do it:

This is a simple way to not just teach swimmers the underwater pull, but to teach them everything has a "system". The younger we can teach swimmers that greatness isn't luck, but rather a plan, the better chance they have.

How to do it:

1 - We've been showing it through the introduction. We're using a Tempo Trainer and starting the rate at 1:60. 

2 - The swimmer submerges, and pushes on the first beep.

3 - They initiate the dolphin kick on the 2nd beep.

4 - Pull the arms down on the 3rd beep.

5 - Recover the arms and legs on the 4th beep.

6 - Swim on the 5th beep.... all in the same rhythm

How to do it really well (the fine points):

Drop the time :05 on each attempt, until you find the rate that's just right for the race you're swimming. It will be different for a 50 than it will be for the 200. Many swimmers can't FEEL the right rate, so teach them to find it.

Some will be better than others, so find the one with the best overall appearance, and start to build again from there.

No Pain, No Brain Gain: Why Learning Demands (A Little) Discomfort

By Mary Slaughter and David Rock,, May 2018

Remember being in middle school and preparing for an exam? Chances are you spent your study time paging through your class notes or rereading the textbook. Maybe you highlighted important details as you went.

We now know this is a pretty terrible way to study. You might’ve felt like you were absorbing the information, but you probably forgot most of it a few weeks after the test. In cases like these, you’re falling for what psychologists call “fluency”–you have a grasp of the information while you’re looking at it on the page. It feels good, easy, and reassuring. But that fluency doesn’t translate to actually recalling what you learned later on, let alone any change in skills or behavior.
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Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths

By Whitney Johnson, Harvard Business Review, May 08, 2018

If you watched the Super Bowl a few months ago, you probably saw the coaches talking to each other over headsets during the game. What you didn’t know is that during the 2016 season, the NFL made major league-wide improvements to its radio frequency technology, both to prevent interference from media using the same frequency and to prevent tampering. This was a development led by John Cave, VP of football technology at the National Football League. It’s been incredibly helpful to the coaches. But it might never have been built, or at least Cave wouldn’t have built it, had it not been for his boss, Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL.

When McKenna-Doyle was hired, she observed that a number of her people were struggling, but not because they weren’t talented — because they weren’t in roles suited to their strengths.

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This Month's Leadership Contribution

By Dr. Cory Dobbs,, May 1, 2018

The Barrier to Learning: Question Your Assumptions 

Championship Values Leadership Tool 

The Little Big Things 

The Prevalence of Pseudoscientific Ideas and Neuromyths Among Sports Coaches

By Richard P. Bailey, Daniel J. Madigan, Ed Cope and Adam R. Nicholls from International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, Berlin, Germany, School of Sport, York St. John University, York, United Kingdom, School of Life Sciences, University of Hull, Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom

There has been an exponential growth in research examining the neurological basis of human cognition and learning. Little is known, however, about the extent to which sports coaches are aware of these advances. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of pseudoscientific ideas among British and Irish sports coaches. In total, 545 coaches from the United Kingdom and Ireland completed a measure that included questions about how evidence-based theories of the brain might enhance coaching and learning, how they were exposed to these different theories, and their awareness of neuromyths. Results revealed that the coaches believed that an enhanced understanding of the brain helped with their planning and delivery of sports sessions. Goal-setting was the most frequently used strategy. Interestingly, 41.6% of the coaches agreed with statements that promoted neuromyths. The most prevalent neuromyth was “individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, visual, or kinesthetic),” which 62% of coaches believed. It is apparent that a relatively large percentage of coaches base aspects of their coaching practice on neuromyths and other pseudoscientific ideas. Strategies for addressing this situation are briefly discussed and include changing the content of coach education programs.

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