Coach Connection Newsletter #51 - 12/21/18

Coach Connection Newsletter #51 - 12/21/18

 | Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Club Excellence Results Announced

By USA Swimming, December 19, 2018

Nation’s Capital Swim Club Claims No. 1 Spot in USA Swimming Club Excellence Rankings for Fifth Straight Year

Gold, Silver, Bronze recognition awarded to 200 clubs for performance excellence

Washington, D.C.-area’s Nation’s Capital Swim Club has claimed the No. 1 spot in the USA Swimming Club Excellence program for the fifth consecutive year. On an annual basis, the Club Excellence program recognizes USA Swimming’s highest-performing clubs in the development of athletes ages 18 years and younger.

Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP), posted 72,975 points to outdistance runner-up SwimMAC Carolina by more than 13,000 points. NCAP’s top junior performers include National Team members Phoebe Bacon and Chase Travis, as well as National Junior Team members Cassidy Bayer and Brooke Travis.

SwimAtlanta, Irvine Novaquatics and Sandpipers of Nevada round out the top five for 2019.

“USA Swimming is fortunate to have tremendous athletes and coaches doing incredible work at the club level from coast to coast. The clubs who have earned Gold, Silver or Bronze honors represent the best of the best, and they are laying the groundwork for the future success of USA Swimming at the international level,” said USA Swimming Managing Director of Sport Development Joel Shinofield. “We are excited and honored to again distribute $400,000 in grants to the top 100-ranked clubs in 2019.”

Now in its 18th year, the Club Excellence program identifies clubs that execute strong, well-rounded programs to produce elite 18-and-under athletes. The top-20 clubs earn gold level ranking and those rated 21-100 are designated as silver honorees. The next 100 clubs are recognized at the bronze level.

Each team’s ranking score is based on the FINA Points Table, a power point rating system that assigns point values to individual swimming performances based on the Gold, Silver or Bronze time standard. Starting with the 2017 Club Excellence rankings, gold swims were multiplied by a factor of 2.0; points for silver-level swims were increased by a factor of 1.5. Open water swimmers are eligible to score points based on their finishes at the 2018 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships and Junior National Championships.

The following clubs achieved the Gold Medal ranking for 2019. Fifteen different USA Swimming Local Swimming Committees (LSC) are represented at the Gold Medal level.

Learn More

Regional Coaching CliniCs

Registration is live and here is the link to the page:

Charleston, SC: Feb. 8-10—St. Julian Devine Community Center (room block at the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Waterfront)

Albany, OR: April 12-14—Phoenix Inn Suites (room block at the Courtyard Corvallis)

Sioux Fall, SD: April 12-14—Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center

Rochester, NY: May 3-5—Rochester Marriott Airport

The 2019 USA Swimming Foundation Grant Application for Make a Splash Local Partners

Is Open until January 15 at 5pm EST.

In 2019, the USA Swimming Foundation will invest more than $600,000 in grants to help its Make a Splash Local Partners provide services to children who, otherwise, would not have the opportunity to participate in swim lessons. Grants will be awarded in two rounds, one in the Spring of 2019, and one in the Fall. We invite all eligible and interested USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partners to submit proposals.

Click here to download the 2019 Grant Guidelines and Instructions  

Additional info click here. 

Leadership Summit Assistant Coach Application

The assistant coach application is now open for the Leadership Summit which will be held April 24-28, 2019 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. This event is a four day educational workshop for athletes and coaches. In partnership with Forward Progress and hosted at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, athletes will receive training in key leadership skills (understanding different leadership styles, finding your own leadership style, values clarification), networking and communication tools, LSC governance, safe sport, clean sport, diversity & inclusion, and servant leadership. Athlete will leave equipped to engage as leaders in their LSCs.

To apply click here.

The deadline to apply is January 5th

Clean Sport

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


Reminder: If you're using a Xopenex or Brovana inhaler, you may need a TUE(Therapeutic Use Exemption). Contact USADA’s TUE department for information  

Coaches: Do you have a question on a medication or supplement your athlete may be considering? We’re here to help! Give our Drug Reference Line a call or shoot us an email! 


#Supplement411 has all the info you need to better understand the risks of taking dietary #supplements and ways to reduce these risks.  

Medications must list every ingredient on the Drug Facts label, and the FDA confirms them through quality control analysis. #Supplements, however, aren't subject to review before hitting shelves and the labels may be misleading.

Read more: 

Manager’s Trip List Application 

How about being involved with one of USA Swimming’s trips or camps! The application for the 2019 National Team & Sport Development Camp/Trip Manager positions is now open thru Jan. 4th: 

Apply Here

All Strokes - The Ins And Outs Of Sculling

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, December, 19, 2018


Article -

Here’s a video from way back in 2009. For those who just wanted to know more about sculling, here’s a good intro. For many more detailed videos on advanced sculling, follow this link:

Sculling is a back-and-forth movement of the hands and forearms that provides almost constant propulsion. It may not be a FAST way to get to the end of the pool, but if you keep at it, you will soon be faster when you try to swim to the other end. Sculling teaches your hands how to propel at every point in the pull cycle.

Sculling is one of the most important skills in swimming. It’s part of having that elusive “feel” for the water – the ability to hang on to the water at every stage of the pull.

To understand it, think of a propeller. A propeller — rather than moving backward or forward — cuts sideways through the water (or through the air, if it’s an airplane propeller). It’s the pitch of the propeller that causes the water (or wind) to be directed away from the surface, thus creating forward motion. The blade on your summer fan works in exactly the same way.

Another useful image is to think about what happens when you stick your hand out the car window at 60 miles per hour. You can feel how a slight change in the pitch of your hand has a dramatic effect on how the air travels around your hand and how much resistance is created.

The same thing happens in the water. A slight change in the pitch of your hand has a big effect on drag, lift, and propulsion. Sculling is nothing more than the constant changing of the pitch of the hands and forearms to create propulsion.

This video illustrates an easy sculling drill that can lead to a more efficient, propulsive stroke.

Start by treading water in the deep end, but without using your legs (or use them as little as possible). Sweep your hands back and forth, in and out, with very little movement in the upper arm (elbow to shoulder). Try to apply constant pressure on the water with your palms, and try to keep your back-and-forth movements rhythmic and steady – as if your hands and forearms were a windshield wiper.

As you continue this back-and-forth movement, start to focus on HOW you change the pitch of your hands. As you send the hands AWAY from the center, the palms will face slightly away from each other, but not directly away. As you bring them back to center, the palms face slightly toward each other, but not directly at each other.

The angle of pitch should be about 45 degrees. An easy way to remember this is “thumbs down out; thumbs up in.” As you sweep out, the thumbs are angled slightly down; as you sweep in, the thumbs are angled slightly up.

Focus on making your motions very even. If your outward push is stronger or faster than the inward push, it’s hard to create any lift. You should always apply a slight downward pressure on the water with some part of the palm.

Remember the image of the propeller. You’re trying to create LIFT with your hands, simply by sweeping them back and forth. The downward pressure on your palms, combined with the lift from the back-and-forth movement, keeps your body from sinking in the water, and allows you to breathe.

This eventually becomes very important. If you point your hands directly to the sides, you will lose your downward pressure. If your movements are uneven, you don’t create lift.

Continue to sweep the hands back and forth, monitoring your ability to hold your body still, and high enough in the water to continue to breathe without struggle. As you get better at this, start to experiment with rate, or how quickly you sweep your hands. The faster you sweep, or scull, the higher you’ll hold your body in the water. Of course, this takes much extra energy.

When you want to see how sculling can actually propel you down the pool, lie face down and flat on the surface of the water (you may want to use a pull buoy to support your legs). Keep your upper arms and elbows as still as possible, and begin to sweep, or scull, your forearms and hands back and forth, just as you did when treading water.

Your progress may be very slow at first, but you should begin to move forward. As you practice, make sure you’re not bobbing, or bouncing up and down in the water. Keep your entire body stable, except for the hands and forearms. This helps to ensure that you’re actually sculling and not pulling.

Learn More

Purpose is a Force Gives Life Meaning

By Harvey MacKay, Syndicated Columnist, December 19, 2018

The neighborhood kids had congregated in the front yard when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting on the front seat was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog’s duties.

“They use him to keep the crowds back when they go to a fire,” said a 5-year-old girl.

“No,” said another, “they carry him for good luck.”

The third, a boy about 6, brought the argument to an abrupt end when he said, “They use the dog to find the fire hydrant.”

Everyone has a purpose in life.

Learn More

ESPN’s 20 Most Dominant Athletes of 2018

Katie Ledecky was just named #5 on ESPN’s 20 Most Dominant Athletes of 2018, landing ahead of an impressive list of athletes.

1.      Simone Biles, USA, Gymnastics

2.      Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya, Marathon

3.      Daniel Cormier, USA, MMA

4.      Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand, Golf

5.      Katie Ledecky, USA, Swimming

6.      Chloe Kim, USA, Snowboarding

7.      Breanna Stewart, USA, Basketball

8.      Luka Modric, Croatia, Soccer

9.      Simona Halep, Romania, Tennis

10.     Novak Djokovic, Serbia, Tennis

11.     Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan, Figure Skating

12.     Lewis Hamilton, England, F1

13.     LeBron James, USA, Basketball

14.     Mookie Betts, USA, Baseball

15.     Drew Brees, USA, Football

16.     Justify, USA, Horse Racing

17.     Alex Ovechkin, Russia, Hockey

18.     Patrick Mahomes, USA, Football

19.     James Harden, USA, Basketball

20.     Mike Trout, USA, Baseball 

Understanding the 8 Types of Team Cultures

By Jeff Janssen,,, December 15, 2018

While every culture is unique and different, we can generally categorize a program’s culture into eight various kinds.

These eight cultures are largely defined by how much the leaders and team members of the culture value productivity in terms of achieving results and how much they value people and relationships. As you read through the descriptions of each of the eight cultures, think about which one best describes your current culture.

Learn More


    Show More

    This is used as a workaround to display Twitter feeds properly. Please do not modify or remove - Michael C