Coach Connection Newsletter #38 - September 20, 2019

Coach Connection Newsletter #38 - September 20, 2019

 | Monday, September 23, 2019

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 

Application to Serve on a Committee

Deadline to apply: September 29, 2019

Unless otherwise specified in USA Swimming Rules and Regulations, the Board Chair shall appoint all standing committee members and chairs. 

Standing committees are: Athletes, Investment, Audit, Credentials/Elections, National Board of Review and Nominating. Operational committee members and chairs will be appointed by the President/CEO or his designee. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please complete the form below no later than Sunday, September 29, 2019. In order to be considered for an appointment to a committee, you must be a current member of USA Swimming.

Committee terms are staggered over four years with 1/4 of each committee rotating annually in most cases. Committee appointments made this year will be four years (ending in September 2023) unless otherwise noted. Please do not complete the form for those committees on which you are currently serving unless your term will expire at this convention. 

Committee chairs are annual appointments unless otherwise noted in the rulebook.

Apply here

Do You Swim Faster in Practice than in Meets?

By Dr. Alan Goldberg,, September 17, 2019 

One of the more frustrating and maddening performance problems that I regularly hear swimmers complaining about is, “How come I always go faster in training than I do when it counts, in my events? I just don't get it! My practice times are great, and I consistently hit the splits I need to in order to get my cuts. However, when I'm in a meet situation, I don't know what happens to me. I try to go fast and yet my times are so much slower than the ones I put up in training!”

So what causes a swimmer to go slower than they do in training?

Learn more

5 Ways to Foster a Positive Team Culture

By True Sport, September 9, 2019

Creating a positive team culture where athletes are excited to show up for practice and game day isn’t as simple as staying relentlessly positive when interacting with your athletes. Team cultures are built over time and can have a huge impact on your athletes, both in-season and moving forward in the sport.

As a registered psychologist practicing in Calgary, Alberta, Tasha Belix works with sports teams, coaches, athletes, parents, and her own daughters and Brownie troop to create positive cultures. Below, she shares five ways you can do the same with your team.

Learn more

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.


Looking for answers to some of your questions on USADA and #antidoping in general? We've got you covered. Check out our FAQ at the link.

Athlete and Coaches: looking for a quick summary of the doping control process, athlete rights and responsibilities, and more? USADA Pocket Guide is just that. Download it in English or Spanish here.

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. Click each image to play the videos.

Trevor Tierney on Team Building

Contributions from players come in many forms. Trevor Tierney, President and Co-Founder of LXTC Lacrosse Training Center, talks about how every player contributes to the team’s success, even when they don’t see active playing time.

Learn more about Trevor Tierney.

Noah Hoffman on Fair Play

The drive to be successful in sport sometimes leads to cheating. Noah Hoffman, two-time Olympian in cross-country skiing, discusses how to be both passionate about success and passionate about being an ethically responsible athlete.

Learn more about Noah Hoffman.

To watch the videos, click here

USA Swimming Elects Four New Members of The Board of Directors

By USA Swimming, September 14, 2019 

USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, announced the newly-elected members of its Board of Directors. The organization’s nearly 500 House of Delegates members elected four At-Large Directors at the annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

The four newly-elected voting members of the 15-member USA Swimming Board of Directors include:

Kathleen Prindle – 4-year term

Bill Schalz – 4-year term

Kenneth Chung – 3-year term

Jennifer Gibson – 3-year term

Visit our website

Dressel, Phelps Honored at United States Aquatic Sports Convention

By USA Swimming, September 16, 2019 

Olympic and world champion Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks/Florida) was named USA Swimming Athlete of the Year for the second time in the last three years Saturday at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention.

Established in 1981, this award is voted on by the USA Swimming House of Delegates and given to an individual with the most outstanding year of swimming performances.

Visit our website

USA Swimming 2019 Award Winners

By USA Swimming, September 16, 2019

Among additional honors awarded Friday was the Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award presented to Regan Smith (Lakeville, Minn./Riptide Swim Team) for her world record-setting swim in the 100m back at the 2019 FINA World Championships.

The full list of award winners included:

Safe Sport Impact Award: John Ingram

Open Water Achievement Award: Ron Aitken, Sandpipers of Nevada

Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year Award: Haley Anderson

Fran Crippen Memorial Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year Award: Jordan Wilimovsky

Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Dr. Danny Mistry

Disabled Swimming Service Award: Robin Heller, Head Coach of SeaStars

James (Jimi) Raymond Flowers Coach of the Year Award: will be announced at a later date

Trisha L. Zorn Award (Athlete of the Year): will be announced at a later date

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award: Chicago Park District

Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Melissa Hellervik-Bing

Developmental Coach of the Year Award: Ron Aitken, Sandpipers of Nevada

Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Travis Tygart

Athlete Distinguished Service Award: Claire Letendre

Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award: Regan Smith (Lakeville, Minn./Riptide Swim Team)

USA Swimming Athlete of the Year: Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks/Florida)

USA Swimming Award: Michael Phelps

Five Commitments of Great Teams

By Jon Gordon, Writer/speaker,, September 16, 2019

I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great teams in business, sports, schools and non-profits. As you know I’ve written a lot about what makes great teams great. But if I had to pick one word that defines a great team, it’s Commitment: Commitment to each other; Commitment to the team’s mission; Commitment to improving individually and collectively.

You can see when a team is committed or not. You can tell if they are all in or all out. You can feel whether they are fighting for or against each other. As someone who is passionate about developing positive, connected and committed teams, I want to share with you and your team 5 Commitments of Great Teams. My hope is that you will read these together as a team and make these commitments together.

1. Commit to Giving 100% - It’s hard to quantify 100% but we know when someone is giving their all to the team. We can tell who is working and who‘s slacking. To become a great team each team member, especially the leader, must commit to giving their all to the team. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a personal life or must work 24/7. It means your effort demonstrates you care. It means you don’t go through the motions or do just enough to get by. It means your team knows they can count on you to do what must be done and you’ll do it exceptionally well. It means you share the best within you to bring out the best in your team.

2. Commit to Getting Better - Great teams are always striving to get better. They are always looking for ways to continuously improve individually and collectively. They have positive discontent which means that even when they are succeeding they are identifying what they can do better. They don’t settle for average or good because they believe greatness is possible. As part of this process great teams are not afraid to have difficult conversations to discuss what they need to do to get better. As part of our positive team workshops and consulting myself or one of our consultants guide teams through this process and it’s amazing how it always makes the team better and leads to greater commitment in the future.

3. Commit to Staying Positive - I see too many teams give up because they get discouraged. Negativity creeps in, doubt grows, fear divides and the team falls apart. Great teams stay positive through the challenges and encourage each along the way. A few years ago I worked with the Miami Heat and they started the season with only 11 wins and 30 losses. They could have become energy vampires, blamers and complainers and given up, but instead they stayed positive and finished the season with 30 wins and 11 losses. A mirror image of the first half of the season. It may sound cliché but so often the key to accomplishing great things as team is to simply not allow negativity to sabotage your team. You stay positive together, you keep believing together, you keep working together and you succeed together. Check out this Positive Team Pledge and consider signing it as a team.

4. Commit to the Team’s Mission - Every great team not only has a shared vision and a greater purpose but also team members who are committed to the vision and purpose. On a lot of teams, people are committed to themselves and their own goals but on great teams, team members are also committed to the mission of the team. Think of a group of NASA scientists all working together to launch a rocket and astronauts into outer space. Think of a team of automotive designers working to create a new car or a group of musicians committed to a new album. Each person has their own individual goals and ambitions but they come together and sacrifice their time, talent and energy to serve the team’s mission. It’s amazing when it happens and the world is transformed by teams who are committed to their mission.

5. Commit to Each Other - I asked a business leader, a coach and a principal of a school when they realized their teams had become great. They all said when we served each other instead of ourselves. Great teams commit to each other by serving and sacrificing for each other. On days that a team member may not want to do the work or feel like getting better or even show up, they do so because they are committed to the other members of the team. Their connection leads to a greater commitment. It’s not about what “I” want that in that moment. It’s about what the “Team” needs. It’s not about me. It’s about WE. When team members commit to each other they find a collective strength and greatness they won’t find on their own. 

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