What It Means To Be A Coach, Goldfish Swim School


As part of #CoachesAre month, every Wednesday we will be having swim coaches write pieces on What It Means To Be A Coach. If you'd like to be featured, please send an email here.

Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Mich. currently coaches over 600 swimmers a week all between the ages of 5-12. Goldfish coaches take pride in knowing that they are teaching many life skills that their swimmers will have the rest of their lives. Swimming skills aside, their kids are learning the value of sportsmanship, competitiveness and team camaraderie. They strive to instill core values into each one of the swimmers, including integrity, compassion and trust, while also making sure to have extraordinary results.

A few of their coaches shared with USA Swimming on what it means to be a Goldfish swim coach.

Mark Sheppell:

#CoachesAre helping kids grow.

Coaching in essence encompasses a number of meanings. I firmly believe that coaches make or break the experience that swimmers have while on the team. I always make it a personal goal to have swimming be a positive learning experience for the kids vs. just performing another sport. I want them to grow and be better not only in the water but in life outside of swimming. They can obtain this by setting goals and learning the confidence needed to obtain said goals. In addition, using plenty of positive reinforcement and continuously praising is apparent from all our coaches — it’s a necessity when your program is ages 5-12. My fellow coaches and I truly treat coaching as a rewarding and gratifying privilege that we don’t take for granted.

Matt Watson:

#CoachesAre helping kids achieve their goals.

Coaching swimming is the greatest gift I have received in my life. It has allowed me to help individuals find themselves and their own successes. Athletes do not have to compete for playing time; they can compete to achieve THEIR goals. Swimming is the most "just" sport because the reward one receives is directly correlated to the amount of work one puts into practice and that makes swimming fun!

Jordan Moses:

#CoachesAre a positive influence.

The most rewarding part of coaching is watching the swimmers growth. They come in as young children who are still learning the fundamentals of swimming and they progress into swimming machines. As a swim coach at Goldfish Swim School I hope to have a positive influence on the swimmers in and out of the pool.

Alex Tyler:


#CoachesAre giving back to the swim community. 

I have been a competitive swimmer since I was 3 years old all the way through my college career. It has opened doors for me academically and allowed me to continue to follow my dreams in the business world as well. I am passionate about giving back to my swimmers what this sport has given me. 
You can learn more about Goldfish Swim School by following them on their Facebook and Twitter pages, www.facebook.com/goldfishswimschool and www.twitter.com/goldfishswim. 

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