Coach Connection Newsletter #23 - 6/8/18

Coach Connection Newsletter #23 - 6/8/18

 | Monday, June 11, 2018

Backstroke Start Teaching Protocol and Certification

Effective May 1, 2018

In 2018, the Operational Risk Committee’s recommendations for Backstroke Start Teaching Protocol and Certification were adopted. The recommendations took care to keep this process as streamlined as possible for coaches. This new certification is now combined with the Forward Start Certification adopted in 2009. The new requirement (Backstroke Start certification) became effective on May 1, 2018.

You can use your Team Unify site to keep track of both the forward racing start and the new backstroke start certification. 

Resources here

Dynamo Backstroke

By Glenn Mils, GoSwim Video of the Week, June 5, 2018



While visiting Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, we loved this exercise!

Why do it:

Varying how each hand connects makes the athlete more aware of what's going on. While completely engaging a powerful, shallow pull with one hand pulling on the lane line, and forcing the elbow and entire arm to engage with the other... the athlete MUST focus.

How to do it:

1 - Have the swimmers grab a whiffle ball and put it in the hand furthers from the lane line.

2 - Start swimming backstroke, but pull on the lane line with each stroke.

3 - When pulling with the arm with the ball, focus on using the elbow and upper arm to connect with the water.

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

When teaching backstroke pull, a great image for the swimmers to have in their head is "throw the ball to your feet". They already know how to throw a ball, and by putting one in their hands, this helps them understand the direct pull concept pretty quickly.

Pulling on the lane line also keeps the pull close to their body, and the hand moving in a straight line through the pull.

Ten Mental Health Strategies to Rebound from Injuries

By Dr. Alan Goldberg,, May 30, 2018 

In any sport, dealing with an injury is a realistic possibility. Regardless of how severe the physical part of an injury and rehab process may be, what is often over-looked is the mental “pain” that almost always accompanies these setbacks.

If you want to speed up your healing as much as possible and get yourself back in the pool, then you need to EXPECT certain feelings and behaviors to emerge as a result of your injury. These feelings and behaviors are absolutely NORMAL and a natural part of successfully coping with the disruptions that injuries can cause. These may include denial, (downplaying the severity of your injury by trying to “train through” it), feelings of anger, depression, (from the loss of your health and a blow to your self-esteem), “identity confusion,” (“If I can't swim, then who am I and what am I worth?”) and a crisis of confidence.

To rebound, follow these 10 strategies:

Summer Nutrition Tips for Youth and Teen Athletes

From TrueSport, June 1, 2018

Conventional wisdom would say summer is the time when kids eat the healthiest and have the lowest risk of gaining weight. After all, it’s sunny and warm outside, kids are playing or going to camps during the day, and all the best fruits and vegetables are in season and easy to get.

However, according to a 2016 study by The Obesity Society, obesity rates in young elementary students increased during summer breaks!

Although, youth athletes are at lower risk of gaining weight during summer break due to their high activity level, there are still some important nutritional tips to consider for a healthy and active summer break.

Learn More


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.


Must watch: The supplement industry is enormous and #supplements that appear to be safe can actually be #risky.


Coaches: You all know that you play an important role in an athlete's life. Check out our coaching brochure to see how you can help your elite athletes #competeclean and visit @TrueSport's for tips on coaching youth athletes.

“Make Failure Your Fuel”: How to Help Your Athletes Learn from Adversity

By John O'Sullivan, Changingthegameproject, May 30, 2018

In May 2018, retired US Women’s National Soccer team star Abby Wambach gave the commencement address to 600 women from Barnard College in New York City. Wambach, the all-time leading scorer for Team USA, an Olympic and World Cup champion, and an inspirational athlete known for playing with passion and giving her all every time she stepped on the field, gave an incredible talk to the graduates, sharing stories from her career, and lessons she learned. (You can read the amazing talk here, I think every young woman should read this, my 12-year-old daughter did!)

One of those lessons she learned over decades at the top of her sport:

Make Failure Your Fuel!

As Wambach stated to the attendees:

15 Keys on the Path of Mastery

From, May 2018

True masters of craft realize that their journey has no end. The best — be it athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, physicians, writers, or business professionals — have at least one thing in common: they are all constantly focused on getting better. That’s precisely what makes them the best. Their goal is their path and their path is their goal. They are every bit as concerned with being peak people as they are with being peak performers.

Some call this orientation mastery. Staying on its path is not easy. But it is rewarding. Immersing yourself deeply in the process of growth and development for growth and development’s sake is a wonderful way to enrich and enlarge your life.

Below are 15 key practices of mastery.
15 Key Practices 

2018 Age Group Swim Coach of the Year Award

Vote Now!

The nominees for the 2018 Age Group Swim Coach of the Year Award have been announced by Fitter and Faster and the American Swimming Coaches Association. 

A list of 54 awesome age group coaches, all placing one or more swimmers in the top 20 of USA Swimming’s national age group rankings for 9 &10’s and 11 & 12’s. Team score and the number of different individuals ranked were also considered in selecting our nominees.

You can vote for your choice!

Your vote helps to select the ten finalists (and winner) who will all be recognized at the ASCA World Clinic Awards Banquet in Anaheim, CA on September 6th, 2018.

Check out the list of nominees.

See if any coaches in your area or on your team are nominated... AND VOTE!

***Voting Ends July 31st***

Your Team is Bigger Than You Think

By Jon Gordon, June 4, 2018 Newsletter

When I think of a team, I envision a group of people on a bus together moving toward their destination with a shared vision and greater purpose. If a team isn't on the bus together, then you know they aren't moving powerfully in the same direction. It's essential that a team pause along the way and makes sure that everyone is on the bus.

When I say everyone, I'm referring to more people than just the people on your team. Everyone includes the people who directly influence the people on your team. For example, when Jack Del Rio and Mike Smith handed out Energy Bus books to their respective teams they also gave a copy to every person in the organization, including janitors, food service employees and office personnel. They wanted everyone who interacted with their players to be united and positive.

The coaches of the Jacksonville University Women's lacrosse program, Mindy and Paul McCord, believe that they are not just recruiting players to their program, they are recruiting families. They understand that the parents of athletes can greatly influence the culture of their team through the beliefs and words they share with their children so they make it part of their culture and process to involve the family in the program. While many coaches consider today's parents to be an overly involved intrusive adversary, the McCords see them as team members they must engage and love to make the team stronger.

The McCords engage the parents from the very beginning…

Learn More

Parenting and Coaching The Perfectionist Athlete

By Reed Maltbie,, May 8, 2018

We received a question that we get often, so we thought it would make a great blog:

“I was wondering if you could provide some advice. My son is 8 years old and plays on a travel baseball team. [He is ] blessed with athleticism. He’s fast and has great hand-eye coordination. The problem is, he struggles with the mental game. He is a perfectionist in almost everything he does. So, if he makes a mistake, he’s the kid who shuts down. For example, he missed a couple of balls at practice yesterday and just quit trying. He feels like a failure. I’m thankful that one of his coaches really supports him. I’m just wondering as a parent, what can I do to help? It’s so frustrating to see a child with such potential beat himself down.” – A Mom who just wants to help

Mom, we hear you. As a parent and coach, it can be frustrating, heartbreaking, and even at times a bit embarrassing watching your athlete struggle and act out after a mistake. Even worse, when you try and help in that emotional moment, the reaction from your kids can be to lash out even more. We want our athletes to compete, and to not accept less than their best effort and remain focused. The will to compete is great, but not when one loses sight of the process, and is only focused on outcomes.

This is the perfectionist athlete.


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