Coach Connection Newsletter #36 - 9/6/19

Coach Connection Newsletter #36 - 9/6/19

 | Monday, September 9, 2019

Regional Coach Clinics

The Regional Coach Clinic program brings affordable clinics directly to teams in their own LSCs. These clinics are designed for the entire coaching staff from the novice coach to the senior level coach.

The clinic cost is $89 per coach or $229 for a coaching staff of 3 or more. Our clinics are priced to encourage participation by the entire coaching staff. 

New Orleans, LA September 20-22 Courtyard by Marriott New Orleans Metairie

Des Moines, IA September 20-22 Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel

Albany, NY September 27-29 Courtyard Clifton Park

Clinics are open to all swimming coaches regardless of their USA Swimming membership. We encourage all coaches, both USA Swimming members and non-members, to attend.

If you have any other questions, please contact Sydney

2020 Club Excellence Application is Open!

The Club Excellence Program is a voluntary program that identifies and recognizes USA Swimming clubs for their commitment to performance excellence. Visit for more information about the program. In order to apply, clubs must complete the application process by October 18, 2019. There are two parts to the Club Excellence application:

  1. The Online Application for general information
  2. The Online Meet Entry (OME) system for performance scoring

Both parts of the application must be completed and submitted to USA Swimming. Complete information about the 2020 program and requirements can be found by clicking here.

2020 Program Timeline

  • September 6, 2019 - Program announcement distributed to all USA Swimming clubs
  • October 18, 2019 - Deadline for applications from clubs to USA Swimming.
  • December 2019 - Club rankings announced by USA Swimming & Grant applications sent to all Gold and Silver clubs.
  • February 14, 2020 - Deadline for grant applications to USA Swimming from Gold and Silver clubs.
  • April 2020 - Grant awards announced by USA Swimming.
Click Here to Start the 2020 Online Application

Focusing on Technique

By Emily Sampl, USA Swimming Contributor, September 3, 2019 

It’s the beginning of a new season. A fresh start, a blank page, a chance to be better than last season, to take your swimming to the next level. But, where to start?

Chances are, you’ve been out of the water for a few weeks and are somewhat out of shape—far from the taper and peak form you were enjoying not too long ago. So, what can you focus on at your early-season practices to gradually build back up, and ensure another successful season?

Visit our website

5 Practical Self-Care Tips for Youth Athletes

By TrueSport, August 29, 2019

From dealing with pressure on social media, to balancing academics, sports, and extracurricular activities, teenagers are under more stress than ever.

Amy Saltzman, MD, author of A Still Quiet Place for Athletes, believes that athletes who practice mindfulness develop a more balanced approach to self-care, which ultimately helps them achieve peak performance in sport and in life.

According to Saltzman, “Being mindful means simply being aware of what is happening here and now with kindness and curiosity, so that we can choose our behaviors.” She adds that young athletes who “bring kind and curious attention to all aspects of their health and well-being have an advantage in learning what works best for them during training, competition, and in life.”

Saltzman, a long-time athlete herself, explains that “in the long run, it’s up to young athletes to learn from coaches, parents, nutritionists, athletic trainers, sport-specific articles and books, and most importantly their own bodies, and develop and refine the self-care routines that create the opportunity to perform at their best.”

With that in mind, Saltzman shares five scientifically proven self-care habits athletes can practice to improve their physical health and maximize their ability to compete at their best.
Learn more

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.

3 Supplement Manufacturers Charged in Criminal Cases

Athletes should be aware that companies creating dietary supplements for sports performance may spike their products with ingredients they know are illegal, and then deceive regulators and consumers in order to sell their products. Due to the post-market regulation of dietary supplements, and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) limited ability to monitor all of the products on the market, many companies get away with such practices even though their products can damage athletes’ careers and health. 


Energy drinks can contain up to 10 times as much caffeine as soda.  If you're looking for ways to stay hydrated, Be Informed that energy drinks are not the best and healthiest choice for hydration.

Growth hormone is prohibited at all times in sport and its misuse can lead to health risks. Learn more 

TrueSport Expert Series

August 29, 2019

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. Click here to watch the videos.

Dr. David Conant-Norville on Bullying

Bullying is a form of victimization that takes many forms. Dr. David Conant-Norville, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatric physician, explains how bullying has evolved in recent years through the advent of the internet and social media.

Learn more about Dr. David Conant-Norville.

Alicia Kendig on Balanced Eating

Alicia Kendig, the USOPC’s Senior Sport Dietitian, recommends best approaches to balanced eating, including how to work with picky appetites for athletes of all ages and levels.

Learn more about Alicia Kendig.

Lori Hill on Developing Youth Athletes

Lori Hill, of the Landsharks Running Club, addresses how to shape young athletes’ perspectives on winning and success in order to develop healthier mindsets in sport and life.

Learn more about Lori Hill.


Swim-a-Thon™ is an effective fundraiser no matter the size of your swim club! Shadow Seals out of Seattle, WA uses their Swim-a-Thon to motivate their swimmers into action. They raised $11,684 in 2019 with only 15 participants! Follow Shadow Seals’ inspiring lead by signing up today. Visit our website

My Senior Athlete Wants To Quit

By James Leath, Unleash the Athlete, August 29, 2019

You pour into an athlete for years, and then in their last year, they want to quit…

If you coach long enough, this will happen to you. What do you do? 

Watch a short video about it here.

"Eddie Reese, Coaching Swimming, Teaching Life”:

An Interview with one of the Author’s, Chuck Warner

By Juan Caraveo

There are a few times in life we get to witness something great. Red Auerbach’s Celtics eight consecutive titles from 1959-1966, John Wooden’s UCLA teams from 1964-1975, the Edmonton Oilers of the 80’s, The Chicago Bulls of the 90’s…you get the picture. But how’s this for a stat: The University of Texas Men’s Swimming and Diving Team has been either first or second at the Men’s NCAA Swimming Championships 21 times since 1989. Twelve of those year’s they have won the championship. Not to mention the two championships in 1988, 1981 and the three second place finishes in 1984, 1982 and 1980.

I would guess any coach in any sport would like to have that record on their resume but after reading Chuck Warner and Dana Abbott’s book “Eddie Reese – Coaching Swimming, Teaching Life” I would step out on a limb and say the success in the pool may not be as important to the life Eddie Reese has live outside of the pool with his wife Elinor, their children, his good friend Kris Kubik and his swimmers. Eddie embodies the best qualities our sport has to offer: humility, honesty, perseverance and belief that the “magic” is in all of us. The following is an interview with Chuck Warner, one of the authors of the book.  

1. How is it that you arrived at the University of Texas in 1978 to work with Eddie?

a. In my opinion, every mentor has a mentor. One of my mentors was my older brother, Terry. He graduated from SMU in 1974. He knew Eddie and always spoke highly of him. I would go to United States Swimming Junior Nationals at the end of March and when I was done, I would go to the National Y Championships to visit coaching friends. I met Eddie at Y-Nationals and would talk swimming. He then called me and said he was moving to the University of Texas and wondered if I would be interested in joining him. I couldn’t believe. It took the second phone call for me to get the nerve up to ask, “why me?” He told me I was a positive person and that’s the type of person he wanted around his program.

2. Through the process of researching and writing this book, what did you learn about Eddie’s life/his career that surprised you?

a. The single biggest thrill was getting to know more about Elinor Reese. Dana and I had the opportunity to sit down with her and get to know about her work with the homeless. Hearing those stories helped us understand how her experiences helped Eddie become a more giving, forgiving coach. Another thing that struck me that we learned from Elinor was Eddie doesn’t talk about swimming at home. A rare time was after he had asked a professional swimmer to leave the team at home, he is all about family, stepping away from the sport, reading a book, hunting and fishing.

b. It helped us truly see Eddie at a deeper level. I believe he has patience in three groups- 1) The personal growth of his swimmers. Understanding his swimmers and the work he needs to put into them. You don’t inherit the end-product, there is still growth that takes place in all athletes. Giving his swimmers time to develop; giving time for the work to work. 2) The training of his swimmers. Eddie has a more gradual, progressive, thoughtful approach. He knows challenges are necessary but how reasonable the challenge is for where an athlete is, is extremely important. 3) Eddies patience with people in general.

3. What did you learn about Kris that surprised you or affirmed you?

a. I didn’t realize that Kris was such a good swimmer at such a young age. :15.6, 25 backstroke for an 8 year old! Given that talent that he had as a swimmer I think it gave him a unique perspective and instinct for fast swimming. His path through the sport was different from others and I also think that contributed to his success as a coach.

4. If you had to pick 3 sections of this book, and only three, that would have the greatest impact on coaches 1-5 years into their careers, what would they be and why?

a. Leadership is number one “It is what the teacher models.” How are developing todays athlete for their long-term growth and success in life?

b. Technique, the basics on how to coach each stroke well. Understanding good technique is soo important: “Stroke work is like yard work or housework. If you do not keep up with it, it just gets so bad” Eddie Reese.

c. Motivation - It’s important to motivate and be excited at practice, but there’s a higher level of achievement when the athlete takes ownership.

5.What question(s) have I not asked that I should have?

a. Coaches need to realize the academic learning that went into Eddie’s success. A Master’s degree in Physical Education, a lot of time in the physiology lab, etc. In grad school at Texas, I told Eddie I was going to stop pursuing the physiology of exercise classes because it gets to the cellular level…Eddie said, “isn’t that the level you need to get to make it work.” He is a constant learner with a gift for technique. He still studies exercise science and physiology to get the most out of his coaching.

6.There are some quotes and sayings from Eddie that I’d like to get your perspective on:

a. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

i. The culture you develop in the internal part of the team-what’s happening in the locker room, in the dorm when you’re not around, coach? It’s so powerful for the internal engine of the team when the athletes are the leaders of the team. In 1978 we were looking for captains and Eddie said “I want you to vote for someone that can help me help us. Not the popular guy, but the guy who can help us ALL get there.”

b. “Be careful your mouth doesn’t overload your pants”

i. This was Eddies mom to Eddie and Randy one morning at the breakfast table. Don’t let your mouth get you into a position you don’t want to be in. 

c. “This sport chooses you, you don’t choose it”

i. The sport reaches out to those who have the self-discipline for delayed gratification, can intellectualize going back and forth in a pool analyzing their effort with the times on the pace clock and that’s why I think we have so many academically inclined athletes that gravitate to our sport.

d. “All over the world people ask me what is the magic to our success? you, are the magic.”

i. The context is after the 2016 Olympics in the first team meeting before the start of the season. He’s trying to remind his athletes they have the greatness inside of them and trying to get them to bring it out. “It’s not me (Eddie), it’s you. I’m the facilitator, you’re the magic.”


Chuck Warner is one of the premier authors of American swimming history. His previous works include: “Four Champions, One Gold” and “…And Then They Won Gold.” I appreciate his professionalism, his candor and his time that made this interview possible. I would also like to thank the books second author, Dana Abbott. Dana was a role model for me as I was cutting my teeth as a young coach in Houston, Texas. Thank You both for writing this book. And of course, Thank You Eddie for being you.

Life Lessons Taken From the Pool to the Classroom

By Alexa Kutch, Swimming World College Intern, August 22, 2019

As the last swim season approaches for college seniors, they begin thinking about the next chapter of their lives. For most collegiate athletes, this means graduating and entering the work force. While it may be difficult to say farewell to a sport that has made such an impact on our lives, swimming will always be a part of who we are.

So what’s next after walking across the stage with your diploma? More school? Finding a job? Traveling? Although the future can seem uncertain, one thing is sure: the life lessons we learned from swimming will carry over to whatever comes next. They will make us a valuable asset to any job or team. Here are several life lessons I learned from swimming that l as a future educator will pass along to my students.

Learn more


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