Coach Connection Newsletter #35 - 8/30/19

Coach Connection Newsletter #35 - 8/30/19

 | Tuesday, September 3, 2019

U.S. Center for SafeSport Youth Athlete Training Courses 

The U.S. Center for SafeSport Youth Athlete Training courses are now live! 

These resources include courses for children of preschool age, grades K‐2, grades 3‐5, middle school and high school.

These free online training sessions are designed as an introduction for minor athletes and their parents or other caregivers to understand the importance of positive and welcoming environments in sports, where misconduct like bullying or abuse is less likely to happen. The sessions will also discuss where to report abuse in sports, should it occur.

Each course is hosted on Parent/legal guardians will need to create an account to provide consent for the minor athlete to access the training. Once the account is created, a parent can choose a course for their child based on their actual or developmental age. Each course will take about 30 minutes to complete. An interactive PDF certificate is available at the conclusion of each training and parents are encouraged to write their child's name on the certificate.

Available courses:

2020 Club Excellence Program Announcement 

The 3,000-member clubs of USA Swimming are the foundation of USA Swimming’s continuing international success. We are proud to honor the dedication and commitment of these clubs as we introduce the 18th year of the USA Swimming Club Excellence Program.

The purpose of this notification is to formally announce the September 6th start of the 2020 program and provide directions to all clubs regarding the application process. For complete program information and the link to begin the application, please visit the Club Excellence page on the USA Swimming website under…

Resources / Browse More Categories / Recognition Programs / Club Excellence or by clicking here.

In order to apply for the 2020 program, clubs must:

1.      Complete the online application form available on the USA Swimming website.

2.      Submit the performance scoring information using the Online Meet Entry (OME) system on the USA Swimming website. Instructions for using OME are included in this packet.

3.      Submit both components - the online application and the performance scoring information (Online Meet Entry) - by the October 18, 2019 deadline.

Following is the complete timeline for the 2019 program:

  • Sept. 6, 2019 : Application period begins. Program announcement distributed to all USA Swimming clubs. Application form and info available on the USA Swimming website.
  • Oct. 18, 2019: Deadline for submitting applications and the Online Meet Entry from clubs to USA Swimming.
  • December 2019: Club rankings announced by USA Swimming. Grant applications sent to all qualifying clubs (Gold and Silver).
  • Feb. 14, 2020: Deadline for qualifying clubs to submit grant applications to USA Swimming.
  • April 2020: Grants are awarded by USA Swimming.

Also, please note that the application requirement again includes Club Recognition Program participation. All clubs applying for the 2020 Club Excellence program must successfully complete at least Level 1 of the Club Recognition Program. If you have previously completed Level 1, you don’t need to do it again.

As the entity that directly delivers services to athletes, swim clubs are vital to the ongoing growth and success of the sport. The Club Excellence program is one way in which USA Swimming recognizes our highest performing clubs and rewards them for a job well done.

What is Inclusive Language?

By definition, inclusive language is language that aims to avoid the use of certain expressions or words that might exclude particular groups of people.

Language is not always intended to be exclusive, but may unintentionally appear that way. By using inclusive language, we can prevent unnecessary exclusion and foster an environment for open communication with all people, regardless of their gender, language, culture, race, ability, and so on.

Replacing Common Phrases with More Inclusive Terminology

Excluding in Nature           Inclusive Alternates

Hey guys!                         Friends, folks, everyone, colleagues, team, you all

That’s crazy!                     Depending on the context: Awesome, wild, amazing, stern, ridiculous, bizarre, overwhelming

That’s so lame.                 Bad, awful, annoying, uncool, gross

The master schedule…     Final, primary, updated, control

The minority…                  Underrepresented, marginalized

Above you will find suggestions that replace common, excluding phrases with more inclusive terminology. One important thing to note with regards to inclusive language is that, when in doubt about correct usage, ask the individual or group of people about their preference.

Lastly, to promote an equitable and inclusive environment through language, it is best to avoid using words such as gay, ghetto, trashy, retarded, colored, and oriental, or anything of the like.

Top Nutrition Tips: Fishing for Protein

By Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, USA Swimming Contributer, August 19, 2019 

Protein is king (it literally means “of prime importance”) and swimmers are always looking for the “perfect” protein. Is it milk (or the dairy proteins whey or casein), beef, chicken, soy, pea, hemp? The truth is that all protein contributes the building blocks (amino acids) needed for muscle growth and repair after hard workouts. But, protein-rich foods deliver much more than amino acids, which is why you won’t be surprised to hear that nutritionists recommend food instead of protein-powders.

Many young people are experimenting with different dietary patterns…from Paleo to Vegan and even “Pegan,” a mash up of Paleo and Vegan. If you are searching for a nutrient-rich pattern with high quality protein yet want to eat less meat, consider a pescatarian diet. A pescatarian eats fish and seafood added to a vegetarian diet. Here are some of the many reasons that swimmers should consider eating more fish – after all, they have a lot in common… they spend most of their lives in water!

Learn more

Athlete Protection Training

In response to member feedback, beginning September 1, 2019, you may notice the next time you log in to LEARN that the three courses of the Athlete Protection Training have been streamlined into one. The training course continues to be produced by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and must be completed annually with a renewal date one year from the completion date. All adult athlete and all non-athlete members must complete this training. This includes coaches, officials, Junior Coaches and anyone authorized to have regular contact with or authority over a minor athlete. Please direct questions about the Athlete Protection Training to

USADA Coaching Advantage Tutorial

Starting September 1, all coach members will be required to complete an annual USADA Coaching Advantage Tutorial (CAT) course by January 1, 2020. This 20-minute video course (presented in four modules) was added following discussions with the Age Group Anti-Doping Task Force and will be available on the LEARN platform, covering WADA code, checking medications, the testing process and a coach’s role in the clean sport movement. The latter is an incredibly significant element of the training that is crucial at all age levels. Renewal date for this course will be one year from completion date. Please direct questions about the USADA Coaching Advantage Tutorial to 

Concussion Protocol Training

This requirement is new for all coaches and officials in 2020. Though several states have previously passed concussion education requirements, USA Swimming will now require all coaches and officials complete Concussion Protocol Training by January 1, 2020.

  • Courses from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), as well as individual states’ required courses will satisfy the USA Swimming requirement. (For example, if a coach lives/coaches in a state with a concussion education requirement, he/she must only complete this requirement and will not need to complete an additional course). Many high school coaches will have already completed the NFHS training.
  • For USA Swimming membership, coaches and officials must successfully complete concussion and head injury education at least once. Individual states may require annual or continuing education and coaches/officials must abide by the requirements of their home state or states in which they coach or officiate.
  • This requirement is necessary to avoid personal liability for concussion/head strike incidents, ensuring our insurers will continue to provide liability insurance protection to USA Swimming, coaches, officials and clubs.
Please direct questions about Concussion Protocol Training to George Ward

How to Help Your Athletes Fight the Culture of Comparison

By TrueSport, August 22, 2019

Athletes today struggle with a culture of comparison that spans far beyond comparing times or results with teammates or rival schools’ athletes. Now, thanks to social media, young athletes are constantly inundated with a newsfeed packed with top results, new PRs, high scores, and podium shots.

Comparison comes from a lack of self-esteem, but as a coach, you can help create an environment that builds self-esteem. Here, Frank L. Smoll, author of Self-esteem and Children’s Reactions to Youth Sport Coaching Behaviors: A field study of self-enhancement processes, breaks down how to create that culture within your team.

Visit our website

Summer Training Goals: Dryland Training Exercises

By Amy Padilla, USA Swimming Contributor, August 20, 2019 

Dryland training is an essential aspect of competitive swimming that helps build additional strength, flexibility, and prehab through specific exercises, which results in improved performance in the pool.

Although every team’s dryland training varies, the focus for these exercises is the same. The goal of dryland training is to develop the core, increase overall muscle tone, and progress in areas of weakness to help maintain a stronger and more defined stroke when swimming.

Mike Novell, Fort Collins Area Swim Team head coach said, “We build an athletic development progression that reflects the time of the swimming season and periodization of the swimming plan.”

Here are some excellent exercises FAST uses throughout the summer season to really support their long course training in the pool. Novell said none of this was invented by him, but stolen from many great coaches over time.

Learn more

Parents, Going to Every One of Your Kids' Games Matters More Than You Know

By Caitlin Gallagher,, July 26, 2019

When I was growing up, both of my parents had demanding jobs. We lived in the suburbs and they worked in the city — my mom a court reporter, my dad a lawyer. They would endure the usually long and annoying commute back and forth every day, and many nights they'd still have some work to do when they got home. But while I know that now, my sister and I almost never felt that when we were younger. All we knew was that they were there . . . for every single thing.

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