Advanced ASCA Schools: Breaststroke, Backstroke & Freestyle

John Leonard,

I recently just completed reading and submitted write-ups/tests for the Advanced Freestyle, Backstroke, and Breaststroke Schools. I just wanted to say that I think ASCA did a fantastic job of putting all this material together for coaches to read on the respective stroke they are trying to coach. These schools have not only increased my knowledge of Backstroke, Freestyle, and Breaststroke, but the schools have also given me a way to mentally picture how the stroke should look like when I try to explain to either a swimmer or a parent, given me ideas to try to create drills, and have a quick reference if I need to clarify something for the stroke.

Thank you again, and have a wonderful day.

Michael Kavanaugh Assistant Coach FCYST / Masters Coach Fox Cities YMCA


Education On Working With Parents

Why Won't You Let Joey Go for the Gold?

By Coach Deborah Swanson

I was awakened from blissful slumber at 10:30 PM on a Sunday evening with a phone call from a distressed Swim Mom. "Joey doesn't want to swim anymore... he said if he can't be moved up from the Bronze to the Silver team he will not swim anymore. So I need you to talk to him because Coach Brad said it was OK with him if it's OK with you."

I wish that I could tell you that my response was calm, controlled... "Due to the late hour, I don't think I am prepared to talk with Joey tonight. Why don't you and Joey and Coach Brad and I find a time early this week when we can discuss this?"

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Challenge of Fundraising in the 90’s

By Michael Cody, Mountain Lakes, NJ

Today's challenge is partly due to the fact that most swimmers are from dual income or single parent households. Due to time restraints, it is very difficult for these swim team parents to help fund-raise in addition to their swim team volunteer responsibilities. How many people actually do all the fundraising anyway?

Our team began using assessments as a fair and equitable way to fund-raise. Assessments are used by many swim teams as a way to fund-raise additional money. It seems to be less taxing in time on individual families. What we found is that with each swimmer paying an assessment of $40, fundraising becomes fair to everyone and produces the same amount if not more revenue than an actual fundraiser with a lot less work and time. (E.g. 200 swimmers x $40 = $8,000)

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Working Together Successfully: A Guide for Head & Assistant Coaches

What Does It Mean to Be Part Of A Team?

Written by: John Leonard

To become a part of a team is a privilege. Few people ever get the wonderful opportunity to experience the support of teammates and friends in the crucible of the competitive arena. A team lifts and elevates the performance of an individual to heights never before achieved. Each Individual must also recognize their responsibility to the team.

A team is a collection of individuals who have chosen to pursue one or more common goals. One of these goals, by tacit agreement of all concerned, is the improvement of each individual, which can result in improvement of the team performance. This is true in swimming. We compete individually, but preparation for competition is best accomplished in a team environment. No individual can create this environment for excellence on their own. It takes a team.

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Tips for the Speaker

  1. Tell 'em what you are gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, and tell 'em what you told 'em. (Repetition gets the message through.) Also known as preview, present and summarize.
  2. Check out the room before you speak and make sure everything you need is there, and you know where everything is that you will need in your presentation.
  3. Know the program schedule. Start and end on time. Allow time for more than one and less than 7 questions if you intend to answer questions.
  4. Don't distract the audience from your message. Don't look at your watch in a way anyone can detect, or they will look at their's. Be conscious of time, but try to make sure your audience is not. Avoid nervous repeat movements.
  5. Ask for a simple introduction. Avoid big buildups that may leave you disappointing the audience. The time for hype is when it will get the audience in the door. Once there, establish reasonable expectations of what they will gain from listening to you.
  6. Read More