Building a Senior Program by Dick Jochums (2001)


You don’t make it unless you have good people underneath you.  I’ve named John Bitter my co-coach and that means he gets to do all the work and I get to take all the credit but I’m going to let him come up and also speak today and I hope that becomes your tradition.  You don’t get it done if you don’t have good assistants, John stand up and let everybody see you.  I will, I have some opening comments and we’ll let John have some opening comments, we can be done with this session in 20 minutes because Thursday’s speech was for me.  I got to say all the things I wanted to say and I said them and this one’s for you.


I have some general comments I’m going to make and we’re going to tell you the truth and then we’ll answer questions and as long as you have questions, I’ll stay.  I have two people who asked to speak to me about distance freestyle and I’ll be glad to meet with them afterwards, there is a young lady and there is a young man that wanted to speak to me and I’ll take as much time as you need and I’ll take as much time with any of you.  I’m here to help you; if there is something, I can help you with, so this is going to be your session.  For those of you that don’t know my history I’m a 1st NCAA to be fired for NCAA violations and I’ve already said this always wanting to be first at something that wasn’t it, but I was, I didn’t do anything all that bad except I pissed off the guy that now develops and runs the NCAA a guy named Sedrick Dempsey, he and I are still very close friends but I basically left coaching in December of 1988 and felt it was time I didn’t have any problem getting fired, I figured it was time for me to go out and find what the real world was like, I went and did construction by 1992 construction died in California and it is dying right as we’re speaking again Silicone Valley is going under it’ll be back.  It goes in waves.  Very simply after 1992 when construction died and then I had to go do something and the only people that will hire you when you turn 50 plus is insurance companies, so I sold insurance, in fact that speech on Thursday when I put on the tie I had a hard time not to start to give you the sales pitch for a variable life policy.  I decided I hated it, I learned a lot.  It took me one year to get a pay check, I’ve never not provided for my family and for one year I didn’t collect a paycheck and my wife went out and worked and it was not easy, especially if you have an ego the way I have one, it was very difficult.

My wife let me know because my wife’s a pretty strong person, she let me know who was earning the money, and let me tell you, I got my first pay check in late 1993 and sold lots of insurance, only one kind of policy, I only sell a variable, I found a way to make life insurance work for the living, not just for the death benefit and so I had a pretty good couple of years, but I knew it wasn’t for me so I started to look to get back into coaching.  The biggest problem that I had trying to get back into coaching is nobody wanted me back.  Man that was hard for me, I couldn’t understand a nice person like me gets along with everybody, has worked his entire life to be the most proper human being in the world and I couldn’t get a job and all of the sudden Long Beach wanted me back, I’ve been at Long Beach 10 years before I went to Arizona and Long Beach wanted me back and it was a hell of an offer, and then Santa Clara opened up and that’s where one of my hero’s coached George Haines and I got to go up and interview and I was thirty ranked third out of the three interviews, they offered the job to two other guys before they finally offered it to me, so of course I wanted the Santa Clara job since they really didn’t want me especially after the interview I came home and told my wife I did a hell of a job up there and then I found out I was third out of three, so we took the Santa Clara job, why?   Water, water, water.  I control that water. The nine months out of the year, I have it twenty-two hours a day if I so want it.  The other part of the time I have to give to the rec department, a total of 7 hours a day and the rest of it is my time as many hours as I want in it before 11:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.  That was really simple.  Now Santa Clara told me they had a quarter of a million dollars in the bank.  I knew better than that, I didn’t expect $100,000.00 in debt however, so I guess whom was fibbing to whom is open to debate, but we had no choice, we rebuilt the program we paid the back taxes, there was huge tax problems we had a bookkeeper that wasn’t collecting money, not billing and not paying the IRS and the IRS gets rather angry when you don’t pay, payroll taxes.


So it took us a year to get out of that and I wouldn’t have got out of it except for Mr. Bitter brought in an extra $80,000.00 and all kinds of things and then I brought in another $40,000.00 and then after it was all done they accused us of stealing and that is why we got into problems, so we’ve even had a police investigation which I will speak about a little bit here if that is what you would like to hear.  If it wasn’t for Skip Kenny and Don Gambril I wouldn’t have got the job, because after my interview I guess I didn’t do a very good job in the interview, at least I heard the truth from him.  They went out of their way to make recommendations.  I’ve known Skip since I went to Long Beach and if he hadn’t given us his swimmers for the five seasons we wouldn’t have made it.  If you have a personality like mine, you better win or they’re going to run you.  It is that simple.  I’m telling you all this because I know I’m supposed to be talking about building a senior program but I’m getting there and I think these are things you need to know, these are things that we all go through no matter who you are you are going to have some problems.


The first thing that happened to us after I took the job at Santa Clara is I walked in and they told me I had to keep all the old coaches, the only thing I did was I brought my own assistant with me who is John Bitter and I expect John to be the coach at Santa Clara after I leave and only one coach not two of them, he makes all the decisions now and I do what he tells me to do.  But, I didn’t like the staff to say it plainly, but I kept them all, I came in and I did the same thing, when I walked in at Long Beach Skip Kenny was the assistant, he stayed for a total of four weeks and I let him continue to coach until he left.  I let the old coaches continue to run their groups through August.  Very simply what we had when we walked in at Santa Clara is we had one Russian Olympian, we had one female qualifier who did not score as soon as she got to the University of Georgia and they taught her to swim appropriately she scored at NCAA’s Julie Varozza.


We had a relay team that couldn’t place, we had a one man Junior National team, who could not score at Junior Nationals and that is what we walked into.  We had a Masters program that was bigger than our program, some 300, plus masters, none of which pegged.  They had a board member position, you want trouble folks, Masters can be trouble, I’m sorry, they are their own age group parent they are dangerous human beings.   You have, we had a non-competitive swim group.  They had to give them water five days a week and they did not swim in meets.  We had about 60 age group swimmers.  I didn’t know how we were going to make payroll and in fact we didn’t ever make payroll we were $2,000.00 in debt and negative cash flow every month and if we didn’t run the meets and go out and collect the money and if the City of Santa Clara didn’t give us the amount of money they gave us, our deal with Santa Clara is we pay them $20,000.00 a year for the swimming pool and they pay us $40,000.00 to be there.  Good deal huh?  It was $25/25 when I first got there so we worked it up a little bit.  Very simply we had nothing, so when we put the program in the month of September, we just go straight stroke drills, senior or lower.  Age group, we put them all together, we go one hour a day, they are doing that as I’m speaking to you or they will be doing it this afternoon, that will be the first week, this is freestyle, tomorrow we are going to have backstrokers, Monday we will start backstroke and freestyle then we will add breaststroke the next and then we’ll add butterfly and then we will break into groups and go to work.  What we want to add into the honeymoon was beautiful, you always have a honeymoon your first go, they’ve hired you, they have spent some money on you they have to believe in you at that point, that is the way people think.


So they will go along with you and look at all these stroke drills this guy is doing isn’t this great.  We started October 1, that was Monday we started two a day, morning workout we had 27 kids come to the first workout, I’ll never forget that day as long as I live because we never had more than 12 come back after that day for the morning workout, their eyes got huge when we started running our stuff.  The first parent meetings in the parking lot took place, the signs of the revolution had started, and I had a five-year contract.  You want to know how to make it in these business, long-term contracts, renewable at the end of, so you have time to destroy the club if they mess with you.  Does that sound terrible?  Folks this is the only way to behave, you have to have time to get your program in and if you have time, if they give you the time and your strong enough, the people that will buy you will be the people in the water, not the parents, the parents haven’t bought me yet.  The parents are never going to buy me, but the kids buy me.  One of the greatest gripes at Santa Clara, and I’ve heard parents say this, I’ve heard them talking to other parents, “how the hell does my kid like that guy, we can’t stand him and my kid thinks he is neat” you know why, as a parent walks toward me, I go no!  What is the question?


I have a program and I believe in my program.  I sell my program, that is what I said in my speech to you on Thursday, I sell it to my kids and my kids make me look like I know what the hell I’m doing, but my kids like it because you know what they what, they know a parent can’t buy me.  You would be surprised how far that will go with youth, youth wants rocks, they want somebody that they can count on, because most parents, right now the way the relationship, now I’m seeing it starting to change, but, this group that we first went into at Santa Clara are people that are really trying hard to be their kids best friend and you can’t be a parent and your kids best friend, you just can’t do it, you got to say no and they’ll get you in trouble, I hate you, I won’t tell you how many times my four said that to me.  Too bad!  I’m boss and we’re going to do it my way.  You will be surprised, I’ve had almost every kid that swam for me come back some time, if it takes them 20 years, I had one just last week that came back and told me he still hated my guts, but your making sense to me.

Be fair, be just, you’ll make it; they will buy you as long as their parents can’t buy you.  I was going to tell you a little story about John, John will not go out to dinner, would do nothing social, I have to force him to do anything social with the parent group.  I go out to dinner with them, they can go over to their house, I’ll go over and drink their booze and eat their food, but I always give them the same speech, I’ll drink your booze and I’ll eat your food but it doesn’t change at all when we go back on the deck tomorrow morning I’m going to be the same guy and your kid gets no special treatment, I have no parents that I count as friends until they are still inviting me to dinner five years after their kids quit swimming for me, then I guess that they were my friend, and I like parents I don’t dislike parents, I just understand parents, I’m one myself.  I’m the guy that when they didn’t play my kid in the first football game, got the coach at the 50 yard line and started wanting to know why he didn’t play my kid, I’m the worst age group parent that has ever lived in the history of mankind so I understand them, don’t like them all the time but, I understand them.  They should care about their child, but they have to demand fairness and if your not being fair they have a right to come after you.  If you play favorites, they have a right to come after you.


There is one comment I want to make here, there was an article in Splash magazine that says what do you do all day, and that article disturbed me because it talked about marriage, and either I’m the dumbest guy that has ever lived because I’ve been married to the same woman for 34 years, we’ve been living together for 34 years under the bands of matrimony, we’ve done it the way your supposed to do it, you know the church and had the kids and the only person in this world, she is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a boss in my entire life and she is the only thing that I’m a little scared of and I shouldn’t say a little because she just terrorizes me, but very simply, marriage is not a 50/50 proposition folks and coaching, you can be married and coach, its no worse than any other profession, it’s just whether your soul mate is a high maintenance human being or not a high maintenance human being, mine is not a high maintenance human being, and if she was we wouldn’t have survived, of course I wouldn’t have married her in the first place.  We go to a party, Bingo, we go different ways we meet at the end, somebody warmed her up great, and I’m going home with her.  We have good times and we’ve had some god awful times, and I’ve caused almost every awful time, but we are still together, she says this is Karma she is living now so she never has to do it again, I told her we were soul mates we are going to come back and we are going to do it over, and over, and over again, we are perfect for each other, what scares me I think that maybe we really are.  In fact, we are starting to grow old together, we have four kids, it’s the cement that holds us together, that is the number one thing, we had rules and she never put herself in front of my job or in front of what we were doing and she does care about the kids that swim for me.  But, my dinner went on the table at a certain time, I better be home, saved me from having to talk to a lot of parents afterwards.  I just said sorry my dinner is sitting on the table; see ya.  Parents now come to talk to Mr. Bitter, they don’t come talk to me they are scared of me.


We made dates for certain things that we were going to accomplish with our kids, our kids always came first, our love, I have world records I’ve had Olympic gold medals, I’ve enjoyed everyone of those, but when my boy played football or my daughters all played volleyball I had to kick their mother off of my swim team, she was too bossy and she was causing us trouble, one day I said lady, your daughters don’t go where the coaches don’t want them to go, then you can’t be on this team and the next thing I know I looked up there was my wife and my three daughters they were leaving, they went the next day and played volley ball, that is a brave man that kicks his own kids and his wife off of the deck of a swim pool right; either that or stupid.  But anyhow those were the greatest thrills I’ve ever seen, my own kids playing, it beats the hell out of watching somebody else’s guy that swims for me win even a gold medal and I’ve had that happen and I’ve loved every second of it, but, but my own children were the most important things in my life and that is the way it’s supposed to be.


If you got married for something more than safe sex then God Dammit you owe to your family to put them first and marriage is 100 percent/ 100 percent thing, you grow together, you learn about things, there is a deeper love than the panting that starts if off, and it grows.  I can’t imagine my life without my wife, I don’t want that day to ever happen oh I want to beat her out and I probably will, but very simply we are even starting to look alike, we are growing old together and if you watch people as they grow old, they start looking alike it’s starting to scare me.


Now this doesn’t sound like I’m talking about the building of a senior program, but I am because if you don’t lay some foundations down and the way you are going to behave, I have a philosophical position that I live on each day, I tell people that when I get up and I shave this guy in the morning the one I look in the mirror in, and if I don’t like him I change him, most days I like him so I refuse to change, but if I really don’t like him or I’ve done something really stupid, which happens every once in a while then I’ll change.  That is my way of doing things, I have a five year contract that is being re-written as I’m speaking to you to take me through 2006, I’m going to need to get to 2006, I’ll be John’s assistant the last two of those years, but I need to get to 2006 with paychecks so that I can retire, maybe 2007, that sounds exciting John, are you getting real excited about that.  But we put first things first and one of the first things is that I need a contract that protects me, then I can get away with the murder that I get away with.


The last thing I want to tell you before we let John talk next is very simply phone calls.  I don’t like the telephone; absolutely hate it.  Especially when there is a parent on the other end of it.  But you know what I’ve learned to do, I take them roughly at work and with animosity if they call my house, they don’t call my house very often, but when they do, I listen to them, you know how many times that phone call is useless a waste of time, just a imposition on you having to listen to some flake talk to you, almost 99% of the time it is a waste of time, but every once in a while somebody will phone you with a piece of information that is important to you.  What I do with all telephone calls, whether they are a good one or a bad one, I say exactly the same thing, I say thanks for calling I’ll take care of it, it is starting tomorrow.  Most of the time either you say you dumb shit can you believe they wanted to talk to me about that, and every once and a while I got to act on that.  But, you know what I get as a result every time I do it that way, so I do it all the time now, thank you for taking care of it, whether I did nothing or I did something, they thanked me for making the change and jumping on it, because they just wanted to be heard, it doesn’t cost me anything but a little bit of time, frees me up to coach the swimmers the way I want to.  We stick our program in and we stick to our program.


The final thing I’m going to say, I am going to give it to you John, very simply, this University system that’s in our country, was put in before public education.  We had the first school in this country, was Harvard University.  I’m not going to say anything, relax, and they put in seven colleges before they put in the first secondary school.  Everybody was home schooled in those days.  They had a whole university system that went across this country before they had public education, you must, if you want to have a program put a senior program in, there is somebody in your program, 13/14 don’t do it before then, but you start a senior program, base everything on that.  At Santa Clara, if you go to high school, you are in the senior program, you maybe drowning out there, but you come in with the seniors and you train with the seniors and you will be surprised how much faster those kids get, we are getting recruited, we don’t have very many good swimmers, but in our older age groups we are coming.  We’re a year and a half away from being a really great program.  I can see it all now, I can see the 12’s I’m starting to see 13 and 14 year old boys, we are real close and we are going to be there for another year to a year and a half, but everybody moves up, everybody’s treated the same.  The age groups are designed to bring you up through it to the senior level.  You don’t have a roof on your house, I don’t care how good your foundation is, your just wasting time, your going to get gung ho on some ten and under and folks, 10 and under swimming doesn’t count, 12 and under doesn’t count, it is when you all have hair, it starts to count, not until.  You’ve got to put that roof on, you’ve got to have something that they can aim at, you can’t be aiming at anything less then being the best, to aim less, to aim lower is to cheat the person, the people in the program.  People think I’m nuts about talking about gold medals, well you know by talking about a gold medal we got a bronze.  With an average talent, Tom Wilkins is not a super talent, he is an average talent, but because we aim so high, we had one success.  I had a lot more than that, I had 22 kids go to trials they were all successful as far as I’m concerned.  But by aiming so high, nobody is going to come out of it with regrets, you know what I said about that Thursday.  John.


Hello my name is John Bitter and I have been with Jake now for five years at Santa Clara.  I actually swam for Dick at the University of Arizona so I’ve been kind of inundated with this program from day one.  My coaching career basically is after I finished swimming at the University of Arizona I worked for Dick for two years at the University of Arizona and when he was fired I stayed on through the end of that summer, and after that summer I went to Las Vegas worked for 1 year at LV then was at Las Vegas Gold for three years and then when Dick got the job at Santa Clara he invited me up.  He said I know I can trust you, I need someone who knows the program, I need someone who will basically work his butt off because I really don’t want to, and I said sure what the heck, I’ll do it.  So I ended living with him for a year and half before his wife decided, ah, he is actually going to stay in coaching for a while, I guess I’ll move up to Santa Clara too.  So not only was I the assistant coach I was also his roommate for a year and a half and we got in one fight because I threw lint behind the washer and dryer that he got really pissed off about.  I guess he had a cleanliness fetish about the laundry part of it, but I just didn’t want to put it in the…anyway.


Let me tell you that dinner on the table is a true thing, because every night when I came home dinner was on the table and if I wasn’t there my dinner was cold and I ate whatever was in front of me.  I learned a lot of things that year.  It was interesting.  Anyway, Santa Clara has been really unique for me, and has been special for me, because Dick does take a lot of the brunt as you well know, he is a large man with a big deep voice and he scares the hell out of most parents and most kids so it makes it easy for a guy like myself to work underneath and be able to basically put the program in that Dick wants and the same program that I believe in as a coach and our program basically consists of four elements, we have a senior program, we have an age group program, we have a learn to swim school and we have a masters program.  Dick is not a big lover of the masters program, but the masters program basically became my little baby and has become something that has grown where we’re actually satelliting out our masters program starting at the end of the month, we will have two 50 meter pools so we will be over about 500 masters here this year registered.  It is a lot of work that I put into it but then again I’m not married so I don’t have anyone to go home to at a certain time saying here is the dinner.  So the senior program, as Dick said, consists of basically boys who are 13 and older and also girls who are 13 and older we put them into the senior program if they are ready of that, they consist of all levels.  We bring college kids come home at summer, they swim with the 13 year old kid, it is all one big giant group, in the summer it will be up to 60 people in the water, during the school year it is anywhere from 45 to 50 kids, just depending upon how big that program is at that time.


Basically the program we break it down, Dick runs pretty much the distance kids, I run stroke IMer’s and then we have another assistant coach who is also on deck working with the senior program.  We basically have three people overlooking this group.  They all do the same warm-up which is an 800 everyday they do the same kick set which is 1000 in the morning and 1000 at night and then we break them into different sets, depending on what their specialty is, what we are trying to get for that kid on that given day.  After the main set in the evening we go to a pull set and then we finish up with a set after that, now we do this with like I said everyone from the kid who is just a high school level swimmer that is the best he’ll ever be, to the kid who’s aspirations and has the possibility of making nationals or has the possibility of making the Olympic team.  So basically what we are trying to do we are trying to create the same opportunity for everyone.  By doing that we allow the kids to become self aware, we allow them to take responsibility for themselves, we allow them all a chance and that is the biggest thing that we try to do with our senior program.  We don’t try to say O.K., your only going to be this good so you are going to go into a senior three, your only going to be this good and your going into a senior two, because we don’t know, you will be surprised a kid who you would look at right now is only maybe a high school state qualifier that gets excited, he has a little bit more talent then you realized at first, he has a better feel in the water, all of the sudden he rises up and he surprises you.  But, by giving him the opportunity from day one and he gets excited about the sport, because he was getting the training with the same people who are already at national levels, he is getting the opportunity to make himself the best that he can possibly can be, and I think that is kind of the trade mark you hear that a lot, you hear that a lot when you go to this clinic, you hear a lot of coaches say that but we really truly try to preach that in our program.  Underneath that we have an age group program, again that is not broken up into a whole bunch of different groups necessarily as far as this coach is responsible for those kids, this coach is responsible for those kids, we rotate them around, we do have one coach who basically stays with the 11 to 12 year olds, but the 9’s, 10’s and under we kind of rotate those coaches around.


We have 4 age group coaches underneath us, then we have a learn to swim school, which we put in, which Dick kind of hounded on me the first year to do, I had no desire to teach lessons again, I’ve done enough of that, so it kind of floundered along until we finally found a gentleman this past year who this is what he wants to do.


We got a grant from the United States Swimming, we went out and bought a bubble so now we bubble our small pool, so we have an indoor facility because in Santa Clara, we swim outdoors year round, the pool is heated, but it does get cold if anyone has been to Santa Clara, the wind comes through there all year round.  So we purchased a bubble, the City helped us, we put money into it and we got a grant from the United States swimming, we bubbled our small pool so now we have a indoor year round learn to swim school, which has been a tremendous boost to our team, because that again, that is your foundation, you catch them right away at day one and those kids will stay with the program throughout, cause they can see the goal, the parents that come in everyday can see what is going on, out with the day pool, they can see all of what is happen, because our senior program and age group program they see runs it at the same time about a half hour gap, senior program runs a half hour, begin the half hour before the age group program, but we run them at the same time, so the parents can see everything that is going on at the pool, plus it allows Dick and myself to also see what is going on at all times so we can see what is going on in the age group program if we are not happy.  On top of that we have our masters program and that, that is the adult fitness, that is a money making, basically that is what it is, we will provide you with service to the Silicone Valley executives who stress out all day behind their computer they need someplace to find a social life and find their mates so we give them a masters program, which is like I said it is growing in huge, it is over 325 we are going to pick up about another 200 just by acquiring this other pool, so we will be over 500 people in our masters program.  It’s a money maker, it is a headache if you allow the parents to take over, but if you put someone in charge who is strong, which I tend and they like me so they go by my rules and we have put in a program there, we have set the boundary’s and I think that is something you have to do with your program, no matter whether it’s the age groups, senior, masters, learn to swim, you have to set boundary’s and you have to stand by those boundaries, you have to be unwilling to move off those.  Because if you start moving and you start giving too much off of what you truly believe you are in trouble, because that is what Dick always tells me, don’t believe, once you start believing them they come like piranhas they’ll come at you and they’ll just tear you apart and after that your now looking for a job and that is not where you want to be, so you have to set that foundation in steal.  So I’ve been lucky, like I said I’ve been with Dick for geez, two, four, nine, ten years and we are married sometimes aren’t we.  We’ve been to a lot of things and he has given me enormous opportunities that a lot of assistant coaches would die for.  There is a book coming out in November, and I have some stuff that I’m supposed to hand out to you by the author he gave it to us.


Two years ago, Dick asked me about, we have a gentleman in our masters program that writes for a living.  He has written some articles for Sports Illustrated, he has done the English Channel and wrote that for Sports Illustrated, wrote about synchronized swimming, he actually participated in some practices, etc., he is a Dartmouth Grad and a good liberal, and Dick is not a good liberal so you can imagine that marriage.  But, Dick wanted someone to write a book about the experience in dealing with the experience, what’s it take, the dream and the pursuit and the process.  So I kind of put them together and from there a book has been developed and it is actually going through it’s final editing and all that stuff and it is going to be available come November 2001 it is called goal in the water.  It talks about some of the things that Dick talked about like the police investigation that Dick and I had to go through, during the Olympic trial year actually right up until the day that we left for Indianapolis we were being investigated, does wonders for your coaches, does wonders for your sleeping, especially when you already have 22 kids going to trials and you have enough on your mind.  But it talks about taking individuals, common people and the pursuit of a dream and that is what we are all trying to do, we’re trying to give kids, whether they have a chance or they don’t have a chance, we are trying to give them that opportunity, so it is a good book that I hope all of you will, I mean I’m making no money off of it, Dick is making no money off of it, but I still think it is an excellent book that you guys should all read as it gives you an insight on coaching and on the things that you will have to go through and the things that people go through as they are pursuing that Olympic dream, so I do have some handouts that I’ll have available at the end.


I really don’t have anything else to say except that I would like to open it up to questions, if there is any questions you have about our program, it is a very basic program, or anything else that we’ve gone through in the last five years in dealing with developing and re-building a program.  We started off with less than 100 kids when we walked in there in 95 somewhere in ‘95 and now we are somewhere over 175, this past summer our age group program was third at fall westerns, that is big, that is like a junior Olympic in our area, we were third at age group champs, where five years ago we were not even the top 25, we have been consistently placing top ten at nationals, now the last five years when they had junior nationals we were doing the same thing.  We got up to where we were taking sixteen kids to junior nationals from one person that first summer, so we’ve done, we have done a lot of good things that we are really proud of, and it has been the kids who’ve bought into us and believed in the program and have allowed us to work with them in partnership.


Before I take any questions let me explain one other thing to you, very simply that area, especially the South Bay, everybody has got a South Bay, but this is the South Bay part of San Francisco, South Bay, San Jose, Santa Clara, that whole area is famous for jumping, club jumping, and if you leave me you are never coming back, that is my rule and we are going to whip you, I take it personal and we do whip you; Ok, you have a question?  “I want to know if you put all of your 13/14 year old kids in the senior program or the ones that just qualify for that group?”  We have a lane that is just terrible, in another six months it won’t be terrible anymore, and you can’t take 13 year old boys and girls and stick them down with the 6 and under and have them stay in your program.


You remember I said something about dollar swimmers, folks if you don’t have enough bodies in the pool you don’t make any money, and if your not making any money then you have to hold a second job, that will be your primary job to make money I like coaching and I like the middle of the day off so we go ching, ching, ching and we laugh, but you know what we’ve gotten kids out of that up into the senior level.  Don’t give up on anybody, I didn’t start swimming until I was 14 and I made it.  Basically how we run our program is we don’t have any required workouts.  But, we try to sell them on doing all of the workouts, we run 11 workouts per week, during the summer we’ll go up to 12 we will do a double on Saturday, but we don’t say O.K. you have to make X amount of workouts in order to be in the senior program, but, son or little girls whatever you want to say, if you want to be the best you can possibly can be these are the things you need to do, now that is basically how we approach it, we say you know if they want to come four times a week then they are going to get.




Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sponsorship & Partnerships

Official Sponsors and Partners of the American Swimming Coaches Association

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe and get the latest Swimming Coach news