From FINA President Julio Cesar Maglione

This content is for members only

Counsilman Memorial Lecture Contributors

Our thanks to the following individuals and organizations who have contributed to the financial success of the Doc Counsilman Memorial Lecture Fund. Additional contributions are sought and can be made payable to the Counsilman Memorial Lecture fund and sent to: Coach Bob Groseth, 2311 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL. 60208 . Credit card payments can be made by calling the ASCA office with the request at 800-356-2722.


Bob Groseth, Ron Heidary, Jim Tierney, George Block, Butch Jordan, John Leonard, Chuck Warner, Don Gingras, Alamo Area Aquatic Association, Jack Simon, Santa Clara Swim Club, Dick Jochums, Mecklenburg Aquatic Club, Tom Musch, Orinda Aquatics, Don King, Curl Burke Swim Club, Cork King, Peter Malone, Joanne Macher, Robert Strauss, USA Swimming, Peter Linn, Forbes Carlile, Vern Gambetta, Dennis Dale, Tim Murphy, Jiang Zhan, Frank Comfort

And the following individuals have donated by dedicating their speaking fees at the world clinic to the Counsilman Fund:

Mark Schubert


Ed Reese

David Marsh




Bob Gillett, Swimming Coach

Problem: In the United States we have a relative lack of 50 meter pool time compared to what is needed by the competitive swimming club system. This lack of quality 50 meter training pool time is primarily a result of two issues: capital cost and operational cost of 50 meter pools in relation to the massive amount of pool time needed for top level competitive swimmer development.

The capital cost of 50 meter pools has inflated to levels that now require massive affiliate associations to get community and institutional pools built. To make the projects look financial feasible on paper, these special interest groups combine their needs and desires and try to justify these large expenditures. Once the facilities are built the extra-ordinary need of pool time for a top level competitive swim program is not achieved because of the time requirements for all of the other special needs by the groups that combined in the association to get the pool built. Recreation swimming, swimming lessons, water therapy, water aerobics, adult lap swimming, water polo, diving, scuba, party rentals, fireman training, recreational swim teams, high school workouts and meet time and dozens of other “high priority needs” dilute what is needed for top level competitive swim training. This is why many swim teams around the country get the “left over” times, like 5:30 AM in the morning! Even then, after the quality times go to other activities, competitive swimming is usually left with shorter time periods than what is desirable.

In southern California, there are many 50 meters by 25 yard pools that are almost never used for long course training by swim teams. Because almost all of these pools are multi-purpose pools that are outside the controls of competitive swimming coaches, southern California has very few programs that have any significant time devoted to top level long course training. Many of these pools are NEVER used as long course competitive training facilities! This lack of long course training is one of the major reasons that the southern California club system is underachieving!

The Phoenix, AZ area, including surrounding cities, has over 16 long course pools. However, not one of these pools has a primary use as a long course training facility. Most of the time, swim teams are shut out of these facilities, and many are not even open on a year round bases because of the controlling agencies.

When it is available, pool time charges are often inappropriate for swim team use and the ability to generate supporting income. While pool fees may be at a feasible level for a “full pool of age group workouts,” they may be entirely non-feasible for a limited “top level training sessions,” that only involves 15 or so senior swimmers. For example, a $100 charge for a 2 hour age group program works, but not a long course session for 15 top senior swimmers. The old administrative response is, “Well that is just what it cost. Pools are expensive and operational costs are high.” Of course this response is true, but it provides no solution to our problem. We are being priced out of the pools!

A major problem with building dedicated competitive swimming pools is that of associated infrastructure;such as, parking lots and utility acquisition. This problem is best solved with a partnering with an existing facility, such as a private school, private club and a public institution that already has all necessary infrastructure in place.

Even then the problem with building dedicated competitive swimming pools is that of permanency for an associated partner in the project. Once the pool is built, it is there for a long time, with little future possible modification if the situation turns out to be unfavorable for the participating partners. This makes most situations that would benefit from such a partnership relationship never come to a realization. This problem is best solved for a partnering situation by developing a pool that can be moved and does not involve extensive permanent in ground construction. An above ground, module pool is a way to solve this problem for both parties.

Solution: The solution is to build low capital cost facilities that involve low operational costs. This can be done by designing a “special use” pool that is specifically designed for competitive swimming. The pools should be designed for “sweat equity” participation, because almost all swim clubs have access to this type of participation by the member families, friends and business associations. The pools should be able to be constructed with only the necessary characteristics for a safe, healthy and functional facility for “instruction and training for competitive swimming.” When all of requirements of a general, multi-purpose public pool are reduced to only what is need for a good competitive teaching and training “swim team” situation, the cost of development spikes downward.

Proposed Solution: I am purposing that we develop some flexible designs for smaller, low cost competitive pools. The pools need to be above ground and movable. We have designed a 37 foot by 50 meter (four, nine foot training lanes) competitive swimming pool. The pool is only designed for training at 3.5 feet deep. The side walls are integrated with the gutter system and return lines in a pre-cast concrete module system. Only two pre-cast forms are need, one for the straight wall sections of 30 feet (these lengths can be varied) and one for the corner section modules. Each module has under $500 worth of material cost. The pool would have only low side wall returns every 15 feet (a situation calling for a variance in most public multi-purpose pool codes). The pool would not need a surge tank because of the volume of the module wall/gutter system: one gallon per foot of surface area. The pool would need only one 7 ½horse power motor/pump, 4 – 6.9 filters, and 2 – 400,000 BTU pool heaters. Lighting would be provided by overhead fixtures. The pool surface would be a 20 ml vinyl pool liner (another situation calling for a variance in most public multi-purpose pool codes). Program flexibility involving short course training will be accomplished with a low cost movable bulkhead (under $6000) and the use of “flex-lane bulkheads” that have been used in many programs for over 20 years. This provides for eight, 25 meter or yard training lanes for younger swimmers or occasional senior sprint work. Minimum decking will be used, based upon local codes (example: 5 feet). We also have designed a small structure involving four restroom/change rooms, with outside showers and lavatories. The facility can be built for under $100,000. The annual operational cost for water, gas, chemicals and cleaning is under $50,000. If the pool needs to be covered, the cost is significantly lowered by the short width span needed for enclosure. Approximately 200 swimmers per month can be programmed into this competitive facility. Assuming a $100 per month income average per swimmer, the facility would provide a $240,000 gross revenue level. The competitive swim team program could be accomplished with one head site coach and two assistants. This pool is a potential “program module” for many situations across the United States. A 7000 meter workout in such a pool is worth the same as a 7000 meter workout in a multi-million dollar pool when it comes to performance on meet day!!

Future Steps in the Development Process:  We need additional work and help in the following areas:

  1. Engineering and calculations for wall structure and stability testing of wall structures for warping with a variety of installation formats: deck locking of side walls, non-deck locking of side walls (red heads into a poured sub-wall foundation), partial in ground installation; etc.
  2. Development of forms for pre-cast sections.
  3. Endorsement by NGB as an experimental design for local health departments.
  4. Assessments of probability of local health departments’ approval.
  5. Location of suitable partnering situations.
  6. Build a test/demonstration facility.

Participation and InquiryBob Gillett, Swimming Coach 700 Ocean Ave, Seal Beach, CA 90740 (714) 766-9767


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