Coach Connection Newsletter #12 - 3/22/19

Coach Connection Newsletter #12 - 3/22/19

 | Monday, March 25, 2019

Safe Sport Recognized Club Program Safe Sport Recognized Club Program 

The Safe Sport Recognized Club Program has already had over 700 teams start the process. Are you one of those teams doing everything to keep our sport safe?

This program allows clubs to demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe, healthy, and positive environment for all their members through the development and implementation of athlete protection policies, Safe Sport best practices, and Safe Sport education. Safe Sport Recognized Clubs will earn a badge to display on their website, and these clubs will be designated as Safe Sport Recognized in the USA Swimming's Find-a-Club online tool. Using an online assessment, clubs will detail procedures, upload policies, and verify educational efforts in order to achieve Safe Sport Recognized Club status.

This designation will expire and is eligible to be renewed every two years. 

More information can be found here

What Are You Doing about Your One Big Mental Hang-up?

By Olivier Poirier-Leroy, Contributor, March 18, 2019 

Bad habits. We all got them.

And usually when we think about them, it’s in terms of our technique or lifestyle.

We breathe to the same side when we are tired. Our streamline loosens when we are unfocused. We coast into the walls instead of finishing on a full and fast stroke with our heads down. We eat the same comfort foods when we are having a bad day. (Burritos with a side of pizza. Anyone else?)

Many of those habits operate in the background, kind of like the apps on your phone you thought you closed but are still chewing up battery power, humming away, doing stuff back there without you really thinking about them.

Bad habits populate our mindset, too.
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Club Recognition Program

April is a great time to start or advance a level

Have you ever wondered what "great" clubs do to be great? That question is at the heart of the Club Recognition Program (or CRP). This program offers our club members a working blueprint for developing strong, stable, financially sound and athletically productive organizations.

Learn more

How to Help Youth Athletes Rely on Food, Not Supplements

By TrueSport, March 14, 2019

Establishing a “food-first” mentality for young athletes is a key part of their athletic development, the same way it’s important to teach habits like regular practice, warming up, cooling down, and getting plenty of sleep.

Unfortunately, quick fixes marketed to adults often trickle down to young athletes, causing them to reach for protein shakes, performance-enhancing supplements, “cure-all” vitamins, and energy-boosting drinks. Young athletes are even more susceptible to the harmful effects of risky supplements and their growing bodies mean they are more reliant on the benefits of a healthy nutritional plan.

Here’s what you need to know about why a food-first mindset is so important, and how to help your athletes rely on food over supplements:

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Clean Sport

United States Anti- Doping Agency (USADA)

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.


Many athletes believe they need dietary supplements to perform at their best, but this trust in supplements is undeserved. Our Supplement Guide is designed to help you understand the risks of supplements & make smart choices about them.

Experiencing cold and flu symptoms? Here's how you can comply with #antidoping rules when using medications to treat them #cleansport


Do you know the ways to reduce your risk of testing positive from a contaminated supplement or experiencing negative health effects from one? If not, our Reduce Your Risk Checklist is a great place to start! #Supplement411 #cleansport

TrueSport Expert Series

The TrueSport Expert Series is an in-depth look at youth sports from experts, ranging from coaches, to doctors, to nutritionists, to sport psychologists, on topics examining the performance, values and health of youth athletes.

Celia Slater on Bringing Play Back in Sports

To help coaches shift the youth sport culture from a win-at-all-costs mentality, Celia Slater, founder of True North Sports, shares the importance of developing an authentic coaching strategy that focuses on values, regardless of results of a game, to have a positive impact on the young athletes on your roster.

Alicia Kendig on Trending Diets

Alicia Kendig, U.S. Olympic Committee sport dietitian, explains why young athletes should ditch the idea of trending diets and focus on the basics of eating whole foods as a life-long approach to developing healthy eating habits.

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

By Alicia Glass, USOC Senior Sport Dietitian, March 15, 2019 

Balancing hard days of training with school, class and life makes it difficult to plan snacks and meals when you’re on the go. Store-bought protein bars, shakes, and snack packs aren’t the only answer to the question of what to eat before or after practice. You can make and eat your own homemade cereal bars!

This recipe is a spin-off of the classic rice cereal and marshmallow treats, but made with much more nutrient-dense ingredients. Natural peanut butter is a healthy fat that not only helps to hold the bars together, but it’s also a great source of protein and flavor. Honey is an all-natural sweetener that can actually be health-promoting and can act as a natural antihistamine to help fight allergens in your local area. Choose a nutrient-dense, whole-grain cereal to bump up the nutritional value of the recipe even more. 


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Feedback is Overrated–This is What Employees Need Instead

By Stephanie Vozza,, March 20, 2019

While feedback can be useful for correcting harmful mistakes, it’s not the best method for helping an employee excel. This is what does work.

The annual review used to be the time to talk to employees about their performance. Lately, though, it’s not nearly enough. Studies show that employees (especially younger employees) want feedback—lots of it—so companies are delivering with all shapes and sizes. From upward to downward, peer to management, solicited, unsolicited, and anonymous, feedback has turned into an industry, but is it helping anyone excel?

No, say Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall…

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The Science of Being Better When You’re Nervous

From the Podcast, March 19, 2019

When the performance matters we’re going to feel some pressure, nerves, and stress. Whether it’s a big presentation, a test, or even a date – most people think the most effective way to prepare for these situations is to try and calm down. In this episode, we dig into research that shows why this is exactly the wrong approach and share some effective strategies to help anyone perform at their best when it matters. 

Listen to the 23 minute podcast here

Breaststroke - Medball Narrow Kick

By Glenn Mills, GoSwim Video of the Week, March 20, 2019


Article: For more videos focusing on breaststroke kick, follow this link. 

In developing a narrow breaststroke kick, we typically default to using the strap to keep the legs together. Here’s another option.

Why do it:

The biggest problem with breaststroke is the recovery of the kick. With the athlete’s desire to feel a big push, too often, they recover the feet too high, or too wide. A narrow and small kick creates less resistance in the setup and requires less propulsion to keep things moving forward.

How to do it:

1 - We use a very small, sand-filled Medball. The sand filled mudballs sink if dropped and require a very tight squeeze to keep between the legs.

2 - Understand that this drill is NOT about body position, but just the squeeze of the legs while kicking.

3 - Maximum distance should be a 25, IF THAT.

4 - After the swimmer has done a 25 or two, have them just take a couple of kicks, and the drop the Medball.

5 - After they release the Medball, the squeeze required to hold it between the legs should also help them feel the narrow kick.

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

First, this is NOT an easy drill. Have the swimmer push off easy, or the Medball may pop out right away. Also, NO LOTION! If the swimmer has lotion on, it’s just not going to happen (or very slim chance).

Per usual with breaststroke kick, if there is any knee pain, stop doing it. Also pay specific attention to the groin, as this will require a lot of work... which is an additional benefit for breaststrokers.



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