Coach Connection Newsletter #5 - 2/1/19

Coach Connection Newsletter #5 - 2/1/19

 | Monday, February 4, 2019

New Athlete Protection Training

Required Reading! 

Regular and frequent training reminds us about the impact that we have on our athletes and the kids in our sport. No matter your role in the organization, your work and connection with our athletes is incredibly important, and we are all responsible for ensuring their experience is safe, positive and free of abuse.

You will notice some changes this year to the USA Swimming required Athlete Protection Training (APT). The U.S. Center for SafeSport (“the Center”) is the separate, independent, organization that responds to reports of abuse in the Olympic and Paralympic movements. In addition to that responsibility, the Center also sets policies for national governing bodies (NGBs) such as USA Swimming to follow and provides educational tools and resources. As a policy, the Center is requiring every USA Swimming member or individual with authority over, or frequent contact with, athletes to annually compete its “Core Center for SafeSport Training” educational resource or its refresher course. Starting February 4, 2019, the Core training will be live on the USA Swimming LEARN platform.

This will be a change from how APT was completed in previous years both in substance and in the annual requirements. First, while each member’s current APT training expiration date will be honored, members will no longer have a two-year USA Swimming APT certification. In the first year following expiration or upon new registration, only the Center’s Core training course will be required to obtain APT certification. Thereafter, every year, every non-athlete member will be required to complete the Center’s refresher course and also to take a USA Swimming elective APT course in order to obtain the required number of points for APT certification.

If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact us here.

Thank you for your continued commitment to Safe Sport.

State of the Sport Report

Regional Coaching Clinics 2019

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 National Diversity Select Camp

The application process is now open! 

The camp will be held from May 2-5, 2019 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. The purpose of this camp is to instill a vision of success and inspire athletes from ethnically under-represented populations to become leaders in the sport of swimming. For more information and selection criteria click here.

Both the athlete & assistant coach applications will be open until February 8, 2019 and are available here

The Regional Build-a-Pool Conference 

The Regional Build-a-Pool Conference series offers comprehensive education in building, renovating and programming

both new and existing facilities. This information is cutting edge about the process of building and programming pools

to be community centerpieces for safety, health & wellness while still being financially sustainable.

Look into the future and see what dates work for you to attend USA Swimming’s

2019 Regional Build A Pool Conference


February 28th & March 1st, 2019 

Frisco, Texas at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel Convention Center

Dead Line to register: February 15th, 2019

Held in conjunction with the AOAP Conference – not required to attend the AOAP but the option is there

April 13th & 14th , 2019

New Orleans, Louisiana at the Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter

Dead Line to register: April 2nd, 2019

Held in conjunction with the NDPA Educational Conference – not required to attend the NDPA but the option is there.


September 15th & 16th, 2019

St. Louis, Missouri at the Renaissance St, Louis Airport Hotel

Dead Line to register: September 3, 2019


October 19th & 20th, 2019

Williamsburg, Virginia at the Williamsburg Lodge

Dead Line to register: October 8th, 2019

Held in conjunction with World Aquatic Health Conference – not required to attend the WAHC but the option is there.


November 8th & 9th, 2019

Denver, Colorado at the Marriott Denver Airport Gateway

Dead Line to register: October 29th, 2019 

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.


What are designer stimulants? Are they prohibited in sport? Click here to find out the answers to these questions and more.

WADA's Play True Quiz is an interactive computer game that tests your knowledge about anti-doping. The Quiz is currently available in 39 languages.   

Given that they are both used for health purposes, it would be easy to assume that medications and supplements are regulated the same way and produced to the same standards, but unfortunately this is not the case. Unlike medications, supplements are regulated post-market, which means that no regulatory body evaluates the contents or safety of supplements before they are sold to consumers. Take a look below to learn more about the many differences between medications and supplements, and how those differences make supplement use risky for athletes.

Learn more: 

Download the PDF chart here.

All Strokes - Tow Rope Core Stability

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, January 30, 2019



Find MANY more lessons teaching Core Stability here.

Teaching the importance of core stability at a young age can open up a new world of opportunities for your swimmers. Making it fun certainly helps.

Why do it:

A stable body line, and the awareness of what a stable body line is, means that the swimmers will create less resistance as they swim which allows the kick and pull to be more productive.

How to do it:

1 - Use a thin, lightweight piece of surgical tubing. Tie a loop at both ends of the tube.

2 - With safety in mind, instruct the swimmer to ALWAYS keep the cord underwater.

3 - Have them grab the cord, and in a streamline position, fall into a flat body line directly on the surface.

4 - Now, they just have to lay there and focus on achieving the most slippery line in the water

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

OK, this is where the coach gets a bit of a workout too. Again, with safety in mind. 

Notice how the coach holds the cord to the side and underwater while kicking back. When the swimmer releases the wall and starts to glide, the coach reels them in, keeping just enough tension on the cord until the swimmer reaches the wall.

If a swimmer or the coach drops the cord, as long as it’s underwater, it will lose all of its energy upon release and nobody gets hurt.

Notice how the coach holds the cord to the side and underwater while kicking back. When the swimmer releases the wall and starts to glide, the coach reels them in, keeping just enough tension on the cord until the swimmer reaches the wall.

The swimmer then releases the cord, and swims back, focusing on the body line they just created.

Watching swimmers adjust and search for the line is what you want to see. Also, be very aware of the use of the feet as stabilizers. Have them focus on pointing the toes so the stability comes solely from the body, and not from adjustments from the feet. 

Developing Leadership Capacity

The Context and Culture Make a Difference in Developing Your Team Leaders

By Cory Dobbs, Ed.D., The Academy for Sport Leadership

It didn’t dawn on me that there might be anxieties and risk involved in team learning until I put a few work teams at a Fortune 100 company under a microscope. To say the very least, what I observed was a wide-range of defensive and protective processes which ultimately closed off the team’s members from learning and instead created a variety of dysfunctions anchoring the team’s collective efforts in the harbor of mediocrity.

Learn More

The 4 Pillars of Team Leadership

By Courtney Culey,, January 22, 2019 

Motivation, communication, peer modeling and team cohesion develop strong captains

Winning isn’t everything — there are a number of other advantages people of all ages can gain from sports. One of those things is leadership, especially for high school students who have yet to reach their full potential.

At a Michigan High School Athletic Association clinic, sports psychologist Scott Pierce and former athletic director Scott Westfall, who works at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, shared the four pillars of leadership with the high school athletes in attendance. With a little motivation, good communication, a focus on positive peer modeling, and team cohesion, your athletes can become leaders on the court and in the classroom.

Learn More

Strategies to Coaching Your Sports Parents

By Shane Matzen,, June 2018

We all realize the need to coach our athletes, and I would be willing to bet that most of you have at least heard about coaching your coaches.

It’s imperative though to remember the third aspect of our high school athletic programs when we talk about coaching and training: parents.

I never really considered the idea of coaching parents until I started…

Learn More

The Professionalization of Youth Sports

By John O'Sullivan,, January 18, 2019

“The Fulham coaches distilled the threat, defined the tactics and dictated the tempo at which they expected their team to play. It was a tough European tournament, featuring Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Anderlecht and Feyenoord, but it was deemed to be winnable.”

So begins Chapter 2 of the great book No Hunger in Paradise: The Players. The Journey. The Dream by Michael Calvin about the English soccer youth academy system. It continues:

Their performance-planning was impeccable, their professionalism admirable. The missing ingredient, perspective, was supplied on the first night away in France during a routine bed check. Two of the players has a teddy bear on their pillow. A third slept in a nappy.”

“They were, after all, 9 years old!”

As I travel around the globe working with coaches, administrators, and talent identification and development experts, I like to read them this passage. Everyone usually chuckles – uncomfortably – because this is the adultified world of youth sports that many of us live and work in. It makes us uncomfortable because most people I meet can share their own story or example of this scenario.

This is an example of the professionalization of youth sports.

It is a race to the bottom, …

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