Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Swimming Coaches: Are They Letting You Down?

Swimming Coaches, I Don't Get it

This is not an accusation at Swimming Coaches but a question that is raised in my mind as I stand on the side of the pool watching.

I see a lot of swim squads and people training for squad and I often wonder. If a coach has a swimmer that has not got proper technique do they even care?

Is it about improving the swimmer or is it about the money?

As a swim teacher it is my job to pick faults in peoples basic technique and fix them and to be fair I tried coaching and didn't like it. So maybe I have a bit of a bias.

Image of back of swimmer looking at pool: Swimming Coaches: are they a let down?
Is Your Swimming Coach Letting You Down
I also need to say that I see a lot of good Swimming Coaches.

Even so, many seem to do nothing to fix faults in their swimmers basic technique. Or is it that they only care about their top competitors?

I have watched squad members doing lap after lap and drill after drill and no-one even attempts to fix glaring faults.

I don't get it!

I would have thought that the idea was to improve technique as much as endurance. I know all the drills are designed to improve different aspects of strokes and kicks but if the drill is not fixing it:
  • What is the point of all the laps and does the coach even notice?
  • Shouldn't the drill be specific to the swimmer?
  • Shouldn't there be somebody who is a spotter to pick these issues and the swimmer separated to spend time to make the correction?
  • Isn't that what parents are paying you for?
  • Isn't that what the swimmers are paying you for?
I'm sorry I don't buy the argument: "I have ##(x number) swimmers, I can't give individual attention". That is surly your job. If you can't do it yourself, shouldn't you employ a swim teacher? I've seen others do that.

Forgive me for being so blunt but if you aren't prepared to put in the extra time and effort: "Get Out!"

And if you identify a swimmer that is nearly ready for the next level, Don't just promote them! Make sure they get the training that will set them in good stead to do the next level. Unless you have someone at that next level who's job it is to fix the faults of the previous level; like swim teaching does, you are just being unfair on the other swimmers who are getting held up by the new arrival.

I realize that because of my knowledge of swimming I have a big advantage in picking these things, however I also have watched parents who bring their kids to training and sit by the pool watching. After a time such parents must, be able to see the difference in the children. As a parent I have and would be right in their, Talking to the Swimming Coaches asking why things are not changing.

I don't know, maybe I'm just not privy to some secret knowledge that means that their will be some magical improvement if the swimmers just do more drills and laps but from where I stand there are too many Swimming Coaches that are not doing what they are supposed to do.

Enjoy
   Richard

2 comments:

  1. It cant be about the money if it isnt about the swimmer. If it is about the money then you think they have to care about the swimmer because if the swimmer is not good then neither is the coach....

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  2. I'm sure they care about some swimmers but I'm not convinced that some coaches care about all their charges. As long as coaches are getting good results with some swimmers it seems to me that a lot of people are willing to go along blindly in many cases.

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