Managing Growth and Development in Practice Writing by Dale Porter, Bolles School Sharks (2014)


Okay, we will go ahead and get started. Okay, our next speaker has had an extraordinary 20 year career as an Age Group Coach, coaching some of the fastest swimmers in the nation. He has spent 13 years with the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins. He came from the Spartan Aquatic Club and he is now with Sharks, Bolles Sharks in their Age Group Program. He has been an Age Group Coach of the year, currently the LSC Age Group Vice-Chair. He is considered not only a great coach and a great role model and I can tell you personally I have known him for about two hours. I just met him and my first impression was if I had a swimmer I would want him swimming for Dale Porter, so thanks Dale.

[Porter begins]
Well, that is humbling and I appreciate the kind remarks. It is one of those days, I was driving in I got a little emotional because I was sitting there thinking, “You know what? My mom took me at seven years old, dropped me off at a pool, she turned around and drove away and that was her style.” You know? She showed up when it was time for her to work, but at home I was her son. I was not a swimmer, I was not an athlete, but I was going to do something and I was going to swim. And I was driving and thinking, you know with mama sitting in the back, you know I would want that for her because I am thankful for a choice that she made that I did not know any, I just did whatever mom told me to do and was and fortunate to her being around some great, great minds and to learn from them is priceless, just priceless so I am very thankful for that.

I am going to start today on a soapbox. When I spoke at the ASCA Clinic in Las Vegas I finished on my soapbox, but today I am going to start on my soapbox. The thought started when we had another coach from Florida added to the band list and my curiosity in that moment, my desire in that moment was to go look at the list because of today’s media and everything being immediate. I – my perception was, that list is probably going to grow exponentially. And when I went to look at the list, shockingly it looked about the same size it had about three or four years ago the last time I had gone and looked at it. So, I was happy in that moment, but deep in my heart I know, I know with today’s media and today’s SafeSport push that that, that the names on those list are going to grow. And when I went to that list and they have recently updated it into a different format. What bothered me about that list?

We have six new names in 2014, six new names. Now granted thankfully that list is not too terribly long, but six names in one, see we are not even, we are nine months into it. I went through and looked just five names that I shared the pool deck with on this list, five names. Some I didn’t know. I just – we were just on the deck together as coaches of opposite teams. Some I knew and went to travel meets with. Some I consider a mentor-still today- and angry in that same breath because I value their wisdom that they shared with me. So, my point being let us, you and I, start each season reading that code of conduct because it’s something I do not often do. I do not often go to the front of my website and read my mission statement.

I could not tell you what it is right now. I say that because I am scolding myself, but when I read that code of conduct I realize how many soft walls I have got with relations within adults and athletes within my program. And you and I, we need to make those walls harder and stronger and taller so that, because I know I can sit here and say it is not going to happen to me, it is not going to happen to me. I know I can say that. It is not going to happen to me, but I also know me and I know I can justify a perceived unmet need in a heartbeat. I can justify a perceived unmet need quickly, I know me. So if you and I set those walls right now beginning of the season we read our code of conduct. I think that is going to help us make wise choices that will help us to do no harm, help us to do no harm. That is my soapbox I am going to move on.

On our team website,, if you are familiar with the TeamUnify site, it has got an event section and here for you is the ASCA World Clinic event. If you click on it- specific to this talk- I have shared with you anything that I have put onto to word processing. It is yours to grab, eliminate the content. There is part of me that I hope you eliminate the contact because you simply do not want to take my program and drop it into your pool. It will be a failure from the start because my program works from my simple brain, it is not complicated whatsoever, but it is something that I have adapted to. But it is a shell. It is something to start with and I believe you need to start with many of these things.

I believe that you need to start with the season plan and if nothing else eliminate all the content except for the dates. I have done all the busy work for you and you can fill in what you want each week to look like. You can identify how many weeks you have got until a major meet, you know it is quickly seen, it is a quick visual to know where you are at in writing your plan, okay. I have got down there, a practice writing resource page. It is in note form and it might be very confusing to you, but my challenge especially to the very young coaches, the new coaches: thank your staff for sending you by the way, to one of these clinics. It’s not cheap, so thank you for that investment; if it came out of your pocket, big credit to you, well amazing.

Start a resource page of stroke drills you are learning along the way. Ideas you are learning along the way. Lessons that you see that your athletes need and once you start compiling those lists you are going to – every season start to resort them until they are making sense for you and making it easy to transfer it right over to a practice. Coach before us fantastic detailed lesson plans, stroke practice plans per se, okay and that did not come just like that. That is years of involvement and that is really the subject of my talk today.

On there I have got an example of outlines that I have got for this season. A practice template that I use, I only use it when I need my – I will say it this way. I only use it when somebody has got to cover my back, when I cannot be at practice because my preference, what works best for me, as I can get my entire day in a little sheet of paper- that is how simple my brain works. But, I have developed to the point where I have just got to write an outline and I can see the practice counts because I know my season plan. I know what my week looks like. I know how far I want to take the athletes. I know how hard I want to push them, okay.

I can write an outline and the practice just explodes and I will explain how with today’s technology that our wealth of knowledge, our knowledge is going to grow and then we are going to get to the point where, how do I get it all in? How do I use all these tools? So, little bit of talk today, this is my preference. I am blessed with one assistant that can read this. And if she has got my back I will stick with it. But if not, then I have got a practice template listed out for you. On a practice template for me I can write my practice into a space, I can write behavioral notes, I can write other notes of things that are going on while I am on a deck that I need to attend to in the later days. I identify who has got a birthday today, so I remember who to celebrate or if I have made an appointment with an athlete to stay after practice. I have got a roster here for easy attendance for when someone is covering my back. They can just check it off instead of writing names. I will write names on to my sheet and then I have got their pace set to help the coach know what to expect from the athlete, to know if the athlete is really giving it exactly what they want.

I have got our stretching routine listed out here, so an athlete or a coach could go through the stretching routine if I was absent and a space down for Dryland and announcements. So, that template is there, you can steal it, trash it, change it up, it is there for you and then I have also got examples of an Eight and Under calendar plan because it is different. I coach 11 to 14’s and I start to work with energy systems. Our Eight and Under’s are really in our Hammerheads. I am blessed with two 20 year experienced coaches with my fast 10’s, developing 11 year olds and it is the type of setting where just like me they would not try to mold me. I trust them implicitly; I do not have to be in their space.

So when I – when I lead my coaching staff – I am just making sure they are on the same path and making sure they are feeding me properly with what I need and I am really coaching our brand new coaches down at our 10 and Under’s and then I am also blessed with a 25 year veteran with our Eight and Under’s. She has been 25 years, just Eight and Under’s, she loves it. And I hope you and your staff can find those individuals that love to work with those athletes because that is another person- 25 years, go- because she does wonderful, wonderful things with them.

So that is on and it will be showing on the front page for the next two days, so you can get home in the next two days and be able to download it and look or use or close it back up. It’s not the way my brain works and that’s fine as well. Then you will have to search it in past events after that. I will apologize upfront this topic for me is a little saturated in presenting it. So I was trying to find that new twist. What can I do that is different?

If you are looking for the way my brain sets up a season plan that can be found at USA Swimming under the Clinic Section, so it’s there. I haven’t really changed how I go about writing the season plan, so that is fresh for you there. I have done a few clinics where I have transferred a season plan into a written practice, but today I want to talk about how my outline has evolved. My brain is simple. It does not work as fast as yours. I consider my – I have to work harder than you- that is the way I approach life. I really have to work harder than you.

I need more time; I need more prep time. Pencil and paper at my desk, my colleagues around me can figure it out just like that and they are laughing at me as I am –, okay. So, my mentality is I just need to work harder and I have no problem with that. That was the way I was raised and no problem. My approach is simple. So, I need you to understand my background and understand why it is so simple.

I swam for Jerry Holtrey, he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, probably 2011. He had World Championship Open Water swimmer, Olympic gold medalist in Diana Munz, Olympic relay medalist in Melanie Valerio. Byron Davis went on to swim fantastic at UCLA. First, I think he was 20.01, it was one of the fastest before Joe Hudepohl broke the record in the early 80’s. Just – I was blessed to have him as my mentor. I started swimming for him at 12. I spent 14 years working side by side with him and slowly picking up all of his duties as he aged and looked forward to retirement. I was the guy that that was doing everything that he was doing for him, especially as we transitioned into the computer age, that was during my tenure of being with him. Whereas, he wanted nothing to do with the computer. So I had to pick up quite a few of those skills for him.

And this is for practices taken on one page. I know it is blurry and I did not put it up there for you to see the types of set. You can believe it is aerobic, I know it is aerobic. This is the same type of writing that I saw at 12 years old and this screen was captured last May. So, in terms of Jerry he knows what works for him and his adaptation has been to the athlete and their willingness to work for him that’s how he has adapted, but his style of writing a practice is the same. It has a warm up, a main set, a kick set, a stroke set, an ending challenge.

I never got bored in his program, I knew exactly what was going to happen throughout the day, but everyday felt different. I knew we were going to do some common sets throughout our season, but I never felt like we were just bored with the same old, same old; but he had – but that was part of his charisma. He was able to take this and turn it into something challenging. He wanted to please Jerry, that is just the way we were raised. I do not know that we were – that is the wrong phrase. That is how we felt; we would do anything for the guy. We still do.

Then I was blessed, I went that the backwards route. I started coaching the high schoolers that did not go to the school that Jerry coached at and then I worked my way down. I went to the Silver Group, I went to the Bronze Group; I had – I had – my wife and I started a family. I went down to the Eight and Under’s, the good eight and Under’s. We had two children. I went down to the brand new Eight and Under’s -the first level group, and when the youngest started walking Jerry, my wife made it very clear you are going to give me a season off, you are going to give me a season off. So, I went to a season where I did not coach, that was the only season I did not coach since 1987.

So, I was blessed in one of those schematics of being under Rick Stacy. Rick Stacy is at Hawken School, he has been Jerry’s assistant for years. A brilliant man, historian, bright mind and what is unique about Rick is he, last summer, he had eight 10 and Under’s Triple A times in his group. Eight triple A’s in his group, 10 and Under’s and his methodology has changed a little bit. This is a bit, this screen capture was captured in May. The way he has approached the first 30 minutes has changed. I do not recognize that. I saw it as something different and I have I still coach with the way he had it. The reason I coach that way is because of my job to prep an athlete to go to him and I am going to drop some names and the names do not mean anything, but I am hopeful that in your career you can say that same thing.

Oh my goodness, an athlete being able to go from Sheryl to Paul to Dale to Rick to Tim to Jerry. To you it means nothing. To me it is, “Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness, what a pathway for that child,” and I hope you have an opportunity to be within a program where you are just like “Wow,” every step along the way a dedicated focused coach that just does a fantastic job of preparing an athlete for the next level. Enhance them to the next coach willingly. That, that can be a challenge in itself in large teams, but for age group when I – because this is where I was starting to coach developing 10 year olds. This is really the 10 year olds that could not handle Rick yet. Under Jerry’s wisdom, Rick went to Jerry and said. “Listen, I have got a group of kids that I can push as hard as you want me to push them, but I am going to need somebody else because we use to have two groups together.” We called it Blue Bronze and in Jerry’s wisdom he put me there on Blue. So, I was able, that is where many of my instruction points came.

Rick’s was 30 minutes of aerobic drills in and out of drills. Every length a different drill and he covered free back, breast and fly in that sequence. That sheet right there probably does not have that sequence. I am guessing that the first block of the 700 yards is freestyle. I am guess that just by me looking at his handwriting over the years, which this is pretty good for Rick. Sometimes he is the only one that can read it and sometimes he cannot even read it, but then it is one hour of hard aerobic work.

In 90 minutes he can get a group of 10 and Under’s going 5000 and he is able to do that season after season after season and these kids love it. They love it and they move on to that middle school group, ready to work. I just called Tim this week asking him some opinions, I have had some young ones come up to my group that their times tell me they can train at this rate, but their behavior and practice says that they are not ready for it and I was calling Tim to say, you know, “What do you do with that athlete that should be in this training group, but for you know true grit reasons or their ability to handle the pain or discomfort, I will just call it discomfort, do you put him down or do you just keep encouraging him to stick it out, stick it out, stick it out?”; so I was calling him to ask his opinion and also wanted to ask him about some fly work and the demands that should be normal.

What are my normal demands that I can put on my flyers because my kids mentally handle a 25, they will go 24 X 25’s fast and they look great and I won’t hear anything about in the rest of the week. Okay, if you go 12 X 50’s and they are fussing at me the next day. If we go six 100’s and they are fussing at me three days. Okay, same amount of work, but I don’t – it’s that there is a mental part to it. I am sure there is a physical part to it. I am sure the stroke is breaking down. I am sure they are changing their stroke at some point within that 100, but I was – we had chatted about that development in terms of the middle school level, but this is my foundation. So, I needed you to show the history to the way I write practices and my practices look nothing like that. That’s what I started in 1987. Same thing as Jerry, that’s what I knew, I didn’t know any different. I never saw a different practice than that, it’s the only practice I remember.

Okay, Rick and Jerry the only two people that I have seen practice on a piece of paper. College, never saw the practice, never saw it. Just listened, obeyed, went hard; listened, obeyed, went hard; just listened, obeyed, went hard. I had no idea what the season plan was, what the coach was thinking, the thing I got out of it is I could do less yardage and still get faster. That’s what I got out of it and it helped me when I was responsible for my own age group program. About 1991 is when I started working under Rick and I started doing 30 minutes of drills, an hour of work, thirty minutes of drills and an hour of work.

In 2005 I had already transitioned into Florida, I was responsible for basically ten years old, fast ten years old all the way through graduating seniors- that was my goal. I wanted to, I knew I could coach age group, I wanted to see if I could coach Senior and what I found in the process is that I was pretty good at being an age group coach, which helped me decide to apply for Bolles and thank goodness Sergio left his plan of hiring West Virginia Swimmers because it’s the best professional development and opportunities I have ever had. And I love everybody that I worked with in Cleveland, but in terms of the opportunities presented to me at Bolles and the wisdom that I have an opportunity to gain on a daily basis is unlimited.

So, in 2005 I just had this deep need that I had to start teaching some skills because I was doing it within the drills, but in terms of the streamline, the breakout, the turn, the finish, I was not teaching any of that and I had been coaching enough meets where it was impressive for me that that something I need to start teaching. So, I guess my message is- as we develop as coaches, we see things that we want to try, but there is also things we know we need to do something different. We need to add something, okay. We evaluate it, we think about it, we do not just willy-nilly it, but we are determined. For me, I have to see it before I implement it, okay. I have to see it in my head before I implement it.

It drives my wife absolutely crazy. She has been asking me to fix a broken fence post in the backyard for a month now, but until I have removed every picket in my head, removed every supporting brace, figured out, “Okay, how much in my neighbor’s yard am I going to destroy digging out this cement thing?” I have done three of them already before, it’s going to be you know, I have to see it and once I have seen it I have gone and bought all the materials. Now I have all the materials around the porch, she is like, “When is it going to get done, when is it going to get done?” I have to see it before I take action on it.

2007, with Jerry we never did Dryland, if we did Dryland the heater was broken and I had enough help from parents, coaches and they were good by the way, it wasn’t a negative for me, it was a positive for me. Parent coaches that came from programs that offered the Dryland you got to do it, you got to do it, you got to do it, you got to do it, you got to do it; thinking where am I going to do it, how am I going to do it; you know I did not see it, so I put it in as one of the sets and I made sure that I was getting core work within the swimming program. Not necessarily 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after or 30 minutes with a parent, I got lucky a few seasons with that, but I still have it in my outline.

It was at about this time that my first growth challenge hit. With this outline I could not finish a practice in 90 minutes and it drive me absolutely crazy to decide, “What am I going to drop?” Absolutely insane, I could not figure it out. I hated it that there was something that I did not get to. Okay, so I would have to write it under the next day. Well, I did not get to it the next day. We are all, okay well, then I have got to start with it the next day after that. Well, then I am doubly not getting into something, I was trying everything and it was very difficult for my brain to handle this.

Then in about 2009 I thought, “I do not have to finish a practice.” I have an outline and whenever we finish it we are done. Tomorrow I am going to come back and I am going to start from that point in the outline. I know that I can warm up with drills, so drills came off the outline really. I think I probably still have them up here, but drills came off the outline and drills turned into warm up and then I started just wherever I left off I picked up. Then I no longer had to worry about that sequence of warm up, main set, kick, stroke blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah; okay.

So, in 2009 because of that because of that sequencing there would be days I did not get to an energy system set and that bothered me. So I added two aerobic sets. Now, I say energy systems because back then in 2009 I was only doing aerobic. I did not understand pace, I did not understand anaerobic; I was in default mode at this time in my career. Default mode meaning in the fall we did kicking and aerobic, in the winter we really hammered him, January we started to get a little bit faster and then we got ready to race fast, come championship season.

So I was very much in default mode. Why was I doing that? That is the way I felt, that is the way I remembered that I was trained all my years. That is the way I saw people training athletes around me. There was nobody talking in vocabulary, you know at first, at first I heard about it was people started talking about Australian Swimming, Australian Swimming and I had no idea what they were talking about, but I knew aerobic work and I knew it worked for our program.

My outlines look like this now. Every day I have that much information on a sheet of paper. I am over planned. There is absolutely no way I would get through an outline in one day as long as I can accept that I am good, I can go home happy. But, we are going to work for two hours every day. Every day we are going to work for two hours and I got to this even after I was Bolles, so this is what my outlines look like right now. I put parenthesis and look for it. I am a daydreamer. I get on the pool deck, I know what I have written a set for, it’s a purposeful set, I know what I am looking for within that set, but you have it too. You have got other responsibilities, what have I got to get to, tonight. You can’t forget to enter Johnny in the 500 free. I need to e-mail this over to this. Wow, Coach Sergio is going to do a “get out swim” later, I got this building in between, you know I want to see that race, you know? My mind wanders.

So what I have wrote in there is I have something that I am going to look for every practice. Be it kick, pull, body position, turns; I have got something specific to tell me when I catch myself daydreaming I know where to go to get myself back on track with the athlete. So that is me, (that’s for me, the athletes don’t get any of that). I have written in a talk, so that I am going to think of something to educate my athletes each day something that I can tell them and share with them a story we have been doing a very long series on qualities of an elite athlete and whatnot. That’s – I can’t seem to get off a bit, I am ready to go on to something different, but a lot of things about an elite athlete to talk about.

I have got three energy systems sets now, so every day I know I am going to meet my season plan. I still put in a kick set, a stroke set, a stroke set is progressive whereas it will be a fly, then a back, then a breast, then a fly and back transition, a back and breast transition, a breast free transition, then a full IM, and then a choice. So I will let them pick on a day and then I have added, recently, under waters- because Sergio has put in one of our season goals. He wants our team to be the best at under waters and so therefore it is up to me to start that now and deliver an athlete that is willing to be underwater and develop the skills to be uncomfortable and emerge in a good body position.

Where are we at? I still got dry-land written up there, but at Bolles we do dry-land three days a week in my middle school group. So the dry-land sets that I keep and I do, we do a shoulder routine that Terry Maul gave me from ATAC and it takes about three minutes and it is just a lot of this and this and this and this, you know if you do that for two minutes, okay. And Sergio wants us; ankle flexibility wants us to increase our flexibility in our ankles. So it was really the only two dry-land routines that when those come up in the outlines I hit it and if for some reason be it whether or whatnot I have also got core, aerobic, which is running for us, 4D Pro and upper body, those types there are, or legs. Okay, I just put those phrases in, it helps me write a set for them if I feel that they need it.

Race strategy, this came up, I mentioned at my first talk, I got so tired of athletes coming up to me, “How do you want me to swim this race, how do you want me to swim this race?” It took me a while to figure out that they are simple nervous for some of them and that is how they are opening a conversation with me because I can quickly say, “What details are you going to focus on?” and I learned that the hard way. I have to ask that, “What details are you going to focus on?” If I just used those words they just go through and they start focusing and depending on how – you know some of them are just cerebral and they start listing everything- “Stop, stop those first two things, great. Let’s just focus on those two things, okay?’

So when they come up to me and say, “How do you want me to swim this race?” I would just turn the question back to them; but in that race strategy set we are talking about pace. I am not very good, this is my weakness, I am not very good at talking about feel in the water and some athletes want to come up and talk prerace about how is this suppose to feel a coach. I cannot do good job with that, every athlete is going to hear that in a different way. I have been too far removed to really understand how it’s supposed to feel, but I know what the split should be. I know what the split should be for what’s coming up next.

So in terms of our race strategy set that’s where we get in to I tell them how fast, I give them a goal time and time is set trying to meet that goal. And usually everything there is at pace. Everything there in the race strategy is at pace, so a lot of rest for that particular set. So I am getting some aerobic work and when I get to race strategy I am always going to get in anaerobic even if the weekly plan is calling for aerobic work. I am still going to get in some anaerobic work within my outline.

Energy system three is just helping me stay on like season plan. Equipment and this has to do with overload. I spent too many seasons, did not use a pull boy enough, did not use the paddles enough, did not use the snorkels enough. I get parents yelling at me. “You made me buy this $40 snorkel and I have never seen you use it yet this season,” and so equipment simply I just map out across the line on my outlines. All the equipment we have available to us and it just reminds me, “Hey, if you haven’t written a set with this stuff in a while now is the time to do it.” If I don’t feel like I need to do that particular thing I just move on to the next thing in the outline. Again, over prepared I can adjust, I can skip it if I need to because the next thing is going to be something specific to the season plan, what they need to do within that week.

Meet notes is something I recently added in. You and I go to a meet, where explicit is done on a piece of paper, we also write notes down to ourselves to share with the athlete when they come back. Well we are not every athletes coming back to you and I. Some do religiously and others simply avoid us all together and you all have a different way of managing that. Me, I am kind of dry, I – my communication with people was short, I want a short concise, nothing but the facts let’s move on.

Next that’s just my nature, my character, so if they are not coming to me I have got all these notes. I am not doing anything with them. I am putting them in a folder, putting them in the drawer; I am not doing anything with it. So what I have been doing recently is I will write every note I have written on heat sheet from a meet. And then I will then transpose that into the outlines. I write six outlines at a time, so when you look at it across everything progresses and I tack it vertically. So, I am always into something different, but I am progressing as I go.

IKKOS, we have been introduced to IKKOS. I will be honest I haven’t used IKKOS yet this season and the only reason is because for the last four months it is in my words okay, my words. I feel like they have upgraded into a really nice package, but their supply is not meeting their demand and my parents are getting upset. So, until their supply can meet their demand I am not on IKKOS, but I love IKKOS. I need you to understand that, I love IKKOS, yes sir.

[inaudible question from audience]

[Porter]: IKKOS is neuroplasticity, big word, neuroplasticity training, okay? It’s that belief that the neuron has a myelin sheath around it and it’s — that’s that memory okay. So it’s and you are seeing an image of a correct technique at a very slow speed with sensory volumes or whatnot to help the brain feel like it’s done that before. So, it’s that type of a system. I don’t use the IKKOS within my training, but I allow an athlete to stay after practice and work with their IKKOS, okay. It’s not cost effective for us to have 40 glasses within our program. So, it’s up to them if they want to use that tool and I will stay after practice and work with them there, but the IKKOS is simply to remind me to tell them what we are working on that particular week.

Games, Gimmicks and Challenges, such a wealth of information there. I am a dry person, not as charismatic as our last speaker, I wish, I wish it was different, but I am happy with who I am and but such a wealth of information there that that’s not the way my brain works. So I enjoy seeing what you, I say you because it’s a compilation of swimming coaches work across the country in making swimming fun and also, it’s, there is some serious work in there as well. There is some fun work, there is some serious work. There is some serious work with turning it into fun for the kid. So I enjoy studying that and I try and adapt that into the training as well because I do want my athletes to walk away saying, “That was fun, we need to do that again.”

When you write a set that you know helps them move forward and they think they are having fun it’s win, win. So, I use that to help me meet their needs. So that is where I am at right now. This is information overload. There are – this is me saying, “I need this, I need this for my athletes,” it’s not me saying, “Oh I read about that I want to try it, I read about that I want to try it.” I keep that aside if I – if it interests me I am going to think about it like I said I got to see it before I put it in place.

There are some negatives that come up from this. There is so much information here that often times I don’t get back to a lesson focus nearly enough and that bothers me. I looked at my assistant coach this past week and I looked at her and I said, “Our under waters have taken a big hit.” She was like, “Yes they have,” and it’s something that she had been recognizing as well. We hadn’t been talking about it, I haven’t been holding in them accountable enough per se. The – I think I mentioned at my last talk the character of our athlete is just different than it was two years ago.

I do not have any answer for it, it is just different. I love them, they love to be with us; but we are having to approach things a little bit different and I have not put my finger on it and it might be that the staff needs to come together and get aligned, that we are on a common track and that is a note that I have in my book that I have got some alignment issues to work on within my program.

Well we are starting out, we have got some core knowledge it is based on experience. We have used different tools to advance our knowledge. We have got mentors, we read, we watch video and then we have got some innovative knowledge that is intriguing us as well and I think the expo says it all in terms of the opportunity to bring more information into your program. The opportunity to bring in more information into your program, more tools into your program that is going to add to the things you have got to manipulate, okay and it can become stressful in some way. Some people jump on it and are willing to substitute something within their practice to make that work and you and I have done that time and time again.

We have adjusted overtime, we are just not the same as we were last season and that’s okay. This is for me, this is how I get my information overload. I have got a wonderful staff at Bolles that I can talk swimming at any time. I can go knock on Sergio’s door and I can ask him a question anytime, okay. We – he has this setup that we have two meetings per week. We have logistics meeting on a Tuesday and we have got professional development on a Thursday. Each year he decides how we are going to handle professional development. Each year it’s been a little bit different, so it’s exciting for us because we have got to change our approach, you know writing these talks, giving these talks, time consuming and nerve wrecking all at the same time, but he is prepared to solve for that because we do this quite often within our own program at Bolles. So, I have got a tremendous resource there.

USA Swimming, I enjoy going and looking for articles there. I am that type of person that I am looking for a phrase, not necessarily a whole package, not necessarily whole article. I am looking for, I read between the lines, and I am looking for a phrase that is just going to help me to ponder a topic. So I enjoy USA Swimming and some of the information they have there, obviously American Swimming Coaches Association. I have more information to read than I can read, okay. I have stacks of newsletters that I have not gotten to yet, but it is there for me.

I am slowly working through Ernie Maglischo’s book. I know that he would probably prefer me to go to the last edition, but I really want to understand his beginning before I get to what he has changed because I have heard he has said, “You see this book? I am throwing it down, it’s just garbage.” You know he has learned, he has adapted, he has adjusted you know he is going different, but I really wanted to understand his foundation before I went in and read his updates, okay. You and I get Splash Magazine as members of USA Swimming, Swimming World Magazine; I personally choose to subscribe to that, so I am getting wonderful resources there.

It is interesting in both of these; I can always see what somebody else is doing. How they are training and I have got to be careful – sometimes I went through a phase and one of my outlines where I was – I had a coach give me his life’s work. Every practice he had ever written and I went through a phase where one of my outlines is I was going to run one of his workouts and that did not last too long because I cannot run somebody else’s workout. It is not fun, I do not like subbing. I do not like taking somebody else’s workout and implementing it. It did not come from my brain. I do not understand the purpose of it or what they want to get out of it.

So I appreciate that when I ask somebody to do that for me, but it was important to me to see how somebody else thinks and it is important to me to see that there are just lots of smart people out there and also to know that there is a lot of different ways we can approach this. These last two also offer immediate news items, immediate news items. I do not spend too much time on those sides, that is my personal choice. I have got people in the office that can look at that and remember everything about it for weeks on the end. I do not remember names, I do not remember teams, whatnot it’s – it does not help me do much times, I am horrible keeping the times in my head. I do not even know my son’s best times. I have to look on a sheet of paper and that is just the way I work. It has got to be on paper and I have got to do the math on the paper. I have got to physically put pencil to paper.

We talked about technological development and whatnot. I guess the purpose of my talk here was to identify that outlines can help you write quality practices, purposeful practices, okay. You decide what goes into the outline. I shared the way my brain works. Have a resource page, young coaches, start your resource page now. Know what other people are doing if you saw a stroke drill or something write it down. You might not understand it. If you see a stroke drill on my sheet that you don’t understand write to me, call me, okay. It’s easy to find me. Write or call me, I will explain it because it’s in note form for me. I haven’t written it out.

Again, season plan very important if you need help with that there is a – USA Swimming has got a clinic online. They have estimated you a clinic online and I can help you transfer an outline to a practice. I have got all my examples here from this season both in the forms that I have given to other coaches to cover and the way my brain works in being able to manipulate the athletes. My practice looks very much like your practice. My practice has national top 10 kids in it and it’s got developing swimmers that hate the sport. Literally hate it, okay in four lanes and we are, we just look like a normal group of kids practicing away.

After a while you probably find out who has got the national top 10 times, but it wouldn’t be that easy because there is three or four kids chasing them, you know I mean they are all types, they are all moving together. So, I am very simple, I don’t do anything; there is no big bells or whistles. I – what’s important to me now is that I am writing a purposeful set. I am writing a purposeful set and I have got an outline to tell me what I want to cover and I have chosen that this is important to share with my athlete.

You are welcome to mess all this up if you want. I have got no problem with it and I will sit here and stay and answer any questions regarding any topic. I thank you, travel safely and I look forward to seeing you in Cleveland next year and I am going to be the guy sitting about two or three rows back right over there at every one of the talks. All right thank you.

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