Coach Connection Newsletter #30 - 7/27/18

Coach Connection Newsletter #30 - 7/27/18

 | Monday, July 30, 2018

Registration for the Fall 2018 Regional Coach Clinics are now open! 

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. These clinics are priced to encourage participation by the entire coaching staff.

Location Dates Clinic Location

Nashville, TN August 17-19 Vanderbilt University

Scottsdale, AZ August 24-26 Marriott Scottsdale McDowell Mountains

Providence, RI September 14-16 Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel

Milwaukee, WI September 21-23 Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel

Registration & full information can be found here: 

The 2018 National Select Camp Assistant Coach Application Now open! 

Each fall, USA Swimming brings 96 of the top USA Swimming member athletes in the nation for a once-in-a-lifetime camp experience. During the camp, these swimmers will learn about post-race recovery, drug and supplement rules, psychological training skills, nutrition, race strategy and more.

We will be selecting assistant coaches for the Girls’ camp October 11-14 and the Boys’ camp October 25-28. The deadline to submit an application is August 10th.

For more information about the camp & to access the application click here.

KATY Aquatics Raised Over $100,000 at their Annual Swim-a-Thon… How Much Can Your Team Raise?

As your team kicks off the swim season, host a Swim-a-Thon® so your team has ample funds for training equipment, pool time, travel expenses, coaches’ salaries, starting blocks, and more!

In 2014, KATY Aquatics raised $61,548 their first year and have since boosted annual donations by 71%, pushing past the $100,000 mark for the first time in 2018. Try to beat their impressive total by hosting a Swim-a-Thon today!

Read more about KATY Aquatic’s Swim-a-Thon success here.

Click here to sign up to host a Swim-a-Thon. 

Alternatives to Exercise as Punishment in Youth Sports

By True Sport, July 18, 2018

For generations, using exercise as punishment in youth sports was the norm. The practice has even been romanticized, like in the movie Miracle where hockey players are forced to skate seemingly endless ‘suicide’ drills after a bad loss.

But in a time when people already have enough trouble getting exercise, it’s a disservice to use exercise as punishment, which paints it as something negative instead of something that should be enjoyed.

In fact, using exercise as a disciplinary tool is considered corporal punishment and thereby illegal in more than half of U.S. states, several of which also have laws against withholding exercise (e.g., keeping kids from recess). The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) has also made an official statement shunning the practice. 

At the end of the day, youth athletes are still kids. So, if taking more laps at the end of practice shouldn’t be used as punishment, what can be done to hold athletes accountable?

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

Supplements: Safety Issues

There are things that are natural, but not safe. Because anyone can produce #supplements, some manufacturers don't understand all the ingredients or how to use them safely.

Using dietary supplements can not only lead to a potential anti-doping rule violation, but they can also cause harmful health issues. Be aware of the risks:

Resources: Red Flags

What are SARMs? Why are they on the WADA Prohibited List? And are they a health risk to athletes? Find out:

Our Wallet Card can easily be kept in your gym bag and it gives some examples of prohibited and permitted substances in sport. Give it a look!

Fin Fast Hands Breaststroke- Step 1

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, July 16, 2018


This is step one in a four step progression for teaching fast hands and a solid line in breaststroke. If interested, you can watch the full series at this link.

Fin Fast Hands Breaststroke - Step 1

While we’ve all worked on “fast hands” in breaststroke, slow, non-directed hands are still a norm with most swimmers. Here’s a short progression that can help to get some direction back in your breaststroke.

First, put on some fins. Using fins takes the focus off the kick and moves all the attention to the front, the hands.

Start by taking very quick strokes of breaststroke with the head high. While this isn’t “head-up” breaststroke, the rhythm will require that you stay very close to the surface.

Do your best to reach FULL EXTENSION prior to the hands dipping under the surface. This is where you’re going to have to really move your attention to the ATTACK of the hands.

One detail that can help is making sure you WATCH the hands going forward. This will require your head being higher than normal. This will also impact the depth that you land in the water, causing you to stay very shallow... which also allows you to get into the next stroke right away.

A Tempo-Trainer is great in this drill as well. It helps you find out where you are now, and you can reduce the time between beeps over time to increase your stroke rate. Just be careful that you understand the focus of this specific part of the progression... YOU MUST REACH FULL EXTENSION!

Backstroke - Upside Down Fingertip Drag

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, July 25, 2018


Backstroke - Upside Down Fingertip Drag

More backstroke catch drills.

Get your free account and a new video everyday.

Working with young swimmers means you have to sometimes flip standard drills upside down.

Why do it:

Developing a bent arm backstroke pull can help young swimmers on their way to being a better swimmer.

How to do it:

1 - Just like fingertip drag drill on freestyle, the swimmer needs to make a connection with the SURFACE of the water during the stroke.

2 - The difference is that the fingertip drag occurs during the PULL phase rather than the recovery phase.

3 - Keep the fingers in touch or just breaking the surface of the water for the ENTIRE pull phase of the stroke (or as much as possible).

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

Don't overpower this. Try to match the speed of the pull with the speed of the body. Connect the hand with the surface, and keep the path straight, or linear, from the top of the pull to the bottom.

After a few lengths, lower the hand just a bit until it's completely under the water, and start swimming backstroke.

A Very Short Guide to the Most Creative Part of Your Brain

By Tara Swart,, July 23, 2018

As far as your brain is concerned, “creative problem-solving” is a contradiction in terms.

Want to have more “aha!” moments and free up your brain to think more creatively? Of course you do. The key is to tap into your brain’s built-in system for free-association and mind-wandering. But to do that, you need to know how that system operates.

So here’s a quick primer.

Children Busy with Active Sports Schedules Still Find Time to Play, Study Finds From The University of Toronto, July 13, 2018 

Are children's busy schedules depriving them of their childhood and the ability to play freely? Not really, says a U of T study.

Researchers at U of T's Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE) worked with colleagues at McMaster University on a study, published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, that found children with higher participation in organized sport and physical activity were engaging in greater free play, over time.

"Given the importance of free active play to development, it is reassuring to see that participation in organized sport and physical activity does not negatively affect discretionary active play," says John Cairney, a professor at KPE. "Our results show that although participation in active free play peaks at approximately age 12 and then declines to age 14, children who participate in organized sport and physical activity maintain a higher level of active free play relative to their peers who are not involved in these organized activities."

Learn More

Parents Behaving Badly: A Youth Sports Crisis Caught on Video

By Bill Pennington,, July 18, 2018

In one video, a fan at a youth soccer game bellows profanities and violently kicks a ball that slams into a teenage referee standing nearby. She disagreed with a penalty called.

Another captures parents at a youth basketball game charging the court to hurl punches at the referee. And yet another shows parents berating game officials as they walk to their cars after a soccer game. The players were 8-year-old's.

Read more: 



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