Introduction: (Mark Hesse) It’s my great honor and privilege today to introduce one of my personal heroes in coaching. Somebody who’s done it all, collegiate, club, international, I was trying to count up how many U.S.A. international staffs he’s been on and I think I lost count at 16.
So, I mean, just an amazing, successful career spanning every facet of our sport. And for the last 19 years, he’s been the head coach of one of the most storied programs in our sport, the Mission Viejo Nadadores. And we have an exciting opportunity today to hear from the CEO, the head man this morning about how it’s set up and his vision for the program. And then this afternoon, hear from his staff on how they implement that vision in the H Group program so, what an exciting opportunity.
Coach Bill Rose is a member of the ASCA Hall of Fame. He also has twice, in the last five years, been named the U.S.A. Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year. So, just a broad breadth of experience and a man who coaches with as much passion and compassion as anyone I’ve ever seen on the pool deck. Coach Bill Rose–.
Bill Rose: I can tell you this, just about a week ago when we really started working on this situation and saying, you know talking about operating a world-class 1000 members swim program, I just sat down and I said, “Oh my god, is that what we’re doing?” I really don’t know on a day-to-day basis that that’s what we’re doing and hopefully along the way, we could make it so that we don’t think in such large terms.
We can think in a day-to-day program and following along what we need to do to get to the next day and be better the very next day. You know, I’ve always enjoyed the clinics and the speakers and the people at the clinics and so on. This is a highlight really of my year, every year to come to this clinic. And the reason being is I go home truly excited and you’ve heard this before from other speakers, my swimmers are a little bit nervous every time I come home because I come home with so many new and exciting things that I want to try out and I want to make them that much better and sometimes their concern, the way I want to make them that much better but it’s just a great, great situation. You know; if you listen to what I’m saying, only take two or three things from it.
We have our little staff meetings after every talk and we sit down and I ask all of our coaches to just come back to that little staff meeting if you will and give two or three things that they garnered from that particular speaker because everybody is gonna have something to say. Hopefully, we all have something to say. But, a lot of what we say may not be exactly what works for you or works in your program or beneficial to you. But I think most of us will end up saying two or three things that you can take back with you. So, just pick those out.
A lot of things I say may not have anything to do with you but try to put it into your own context. And if you do that and you do that for every speaker, that’s what’s going to bring you back every time because you have that much more to go on plus all the other sessions that you have one-on-one with all your coaching friends. You know, we were established in 1968. And we’re established because Mission Viejo Company and the City of Mission Viejo now was just a company back then and it was one of the first great planned communities in California. And it’s a beautiful place. All the entire city is really built around children, families and activities.
And so, throughout Mission Viejo as it was built, that was the entire idea, bring the families here and bring them here for all the things that California in the dream has to offer. With that in mind, in 1972, they hired a young coach that turned out to be a godsend. Mark Schubert literally made Mission Viejo what it is today as far as Nadadores are concerned. There were the glory years during that time. And he fell into some great situations and made other great situations. And that’s what we all have to do. Sometimes we get lucky.
Sometimes, swimmers come to our organization and they’re already great and we have that ability or hopefully we had that ability to enhance what they came with. When we came on the scene, it turned out that not only did the city start producing people that were recreation in mind, etcetera and kind of just grew through that kind of philosophy, but there were a couple of teams in California that actually kind of disbanded at that particular time and the great ones showed up at Mission Viejo.
Again, Mark took them to great heights. The other thing about Mission Viejo in that day if you will, it was a company town. It was owned by the Mission Viejo Company. And that was the company that was building all those houses and ultimately 100,000 people worth of houses. During that time, they noticed again that the swim team was doing a great job. The better the swim team did the more reputation and so on that the city or the company was getting. They were building and selling more houses because of it.
In my mind, they were quite intelligent. “Do what you have to do, Mark Schubert, keep doing your magic and don’t worry a thing about treasuries or whether you have to write checks or anything like that. Just do your job and turn in the receipts type of thing, but don’t worry about asking for anything, do it.” Believe me, he did it.
Some of you people have been around since the ‘80s and ‘70s and so on, remember the armies that they marched in with. He marched in with the Swedish National Team one time at Nationals and they were Nadadores after a week and a half of being there at the training camp. I mean, back in the day that was legal and he did everything that was legal to emphasize the team.
God bless him for it, now we have a lot of Mission Viejo Nadadore rules. It’s the Nadadore rule type of thing now with foreign swimmers and so on. You can’t score and all that good stuff. And so, at least were famous in several directions at that point. But the bottom line is that he built that club and he did a great, great job of it. He also built a club internally. This is one thing we’ve got to realize too. All of us have that ability and that hope that we’re going to see someone that started with our club and will go through the club, then reach great heights.
Brian Goodell was really the very first Mission Viejo guy that started about 7 or 8 years old on the Nadadores and went through the entire program and became the great swimmer that he was. And indeed, thank you Mark Schubert, thanks to Mission Viejo Nadadores for allowing him to be able to get to that point. Lest we forget, swimming on the way hasn’t changed that much.
Bryan Dedeaux, 1976, I watched him. I just went crazy. 15:02, in the 1500, at the Olympic games in Montreal, 15:02. Let me see, 35 years ago, 35 years ago, just got through coming back from Nationals about three weeks ago, 15:02, 3rd place, one 2nd out of 1st place, 35 years later. Believe me, swimming is progressing but let’s not believe that there weren’t good times back then as well.
I ran into Debbie Meyer, I saw her this morning. She is the most, the hero of my life as far as any girl swimmer I’ve ever seen. I remember I was a very young coach at that time and I watched her up in San Francisco State breaking yet another American record etcetera, but this was a long time ago. This was 1968 I think, 70 something, whatever. It couldn’t have been that long ago.
Anyway, she was generations ahead of her time, generations ahead of her time. And this is what again, we have to look for along the way, come across those people, and covet those people, whether again they move into your program or they ran through your program.
We have a girl now named Chloe Sutton. She’s only been with our program now five years and it was kind of an interesting story how she came. It was a Mark Schubert thing. She was kind of what do you call it, a military brat – well, I don’t want to call her a brat. Her mom might be in the audience but the fact is that she had been bouncing around along the way and never really landed anywhere but really had ability along the way.
Well, she also had a reason for bouncing around along the way too because she couldn’t quite get a coach that would – I don’t want to talk bad about her because she’s a sweetheart. But I had to make sure that when somebody comes to your program, you’ve got to make sure that they come there and understand what your philosophy is and that you’re not going to bend for anybody coming into your program.
At this particular point and it’s a little bit erroneous but her mother had a great reputation. That reputation was, oh my God, you mean to tell me that your mother might be involved as well. So, at this point, I tried to desell the program. I simple said, I brought her mother in and I said, “Hmm, never met a girl that I couldn’t make cry. So, I’m going to make this mother cry.”
And so, indeed I said, you know, we’re really happy that actually Mark Schubert who was actually gone at that time said “You need to go to the Nadadores, this may be your last shot but you need to go to the Nadadores.” So I sat there and said, “You know, I don’t need your daughter. I hear she’s a real nice girl but I don’t necessarily hear that you’re a very nice parent.”
“At this particular point, isn’t it great that we’re in a position at the Mission Viejo Nadadores that we don’t have to have any particular swimmer? And so therefore, I don’t need your daughter.” So with that in mind, I’m going to set a few parameters here. One, the fact is that your reputation is one that you’re not much fun when you’re on the pool deck.
So, you will never set foot on my pool deck. This will be the first and last time that you will be in this particular area. If you do, your daughter is gone. If indeed I ever hear from you, whether it be by email or by phone or any other communication device, your daughter is gone. I said in that case, we’re gonna get along very, very well.”
The bottom line is, she cried. I couldn’t believe it. She cried. So I said – I love this statement too. I’ve seen it in the movies, “Spare your tears because I’m not going to react to your crying at this point but I’m hoping that we have a nice, long, lasting relationship. The meeting is over, goodbye.”
I swear to goodness, that particular time and I think Coach Bill was in on that, I’m not sure, one of my great coaches here. He looked at me and went, “Oh my God. What have you done?” Case and point, she’s never been on our pool deck, I’ve never heard from her and it’s been the greatest relationship I’ve ever had with a swimmer. I don’t know how I came up with that particular story but you’ll see her picture there. We’re very happy to have her and she’s part of a great program along the way.
You know I came there in 1992. One thing you should know along the way is that things change with all of our clubs. I talk to you about the blank check era, what a wonderful thing that he was involved with and it was so great for him. But when I came there, it was exactly almost within five days of the fact that Mission Viejo Company handed over the pool to now new City of Mission Viejo. And said, “It’s yours. We have nothing to do anymore. We’re built out and we’re leaving. Goodbye.”
So at that particular point, I have a club with no treasury because there was never a treasury needed. There is no money. And I had a club of 192 swimmers. The one thing to learn by the way when you are looking to go to a new club or being hired at a new club, never ever follow an icon. Mark Schubert left in 1985 and a great coach took over for him.
He has proven himself even greater than he was during the time he was with Mission Viejo but he had no chance in the world to succeed because you don’t follow an icon. Whatever he did for five years was not accepted and everything he did was a great decision but it wasn’t accepted. He could’ve been anybody. So along the way, things didn’t necessarily go uphill if you will for the Nanadores. And so when I came, we had 192 people which is a fairly large club nationally if you will but we also had a situation where with 192 people and a pool that we weren’t sure we were going to be able to keep and no treasury. I was dealt a hand of which, well, you might as well consider this a brand new club, and that we were going to have to build and we were gonna have to create some sort of business here.
The fact that I had been out of the sport for 10 years at that particular time, I came in 1992 and for the previous 10 years I was a stockbroker with Dean Witter, and so I had kind of kept my hand in it because my wife actually was along the way at different times, a coach with Mission Viejo back in the great day, etcetera. But other than that, when I came, I had been out for 10 years and I said, okay what I’m gonna try to do is create this as a business and build it as a business and at the same time work on the tradition of excellence that has been achieved through the years.
I didn’t have really any coaches. My coach was my wife, and there was a mass exodus of coaches when they changed direction. And there were a couple of coaches that were still hanging around but really on their way out that I talked back in to help us out over the period of this transition and certainly one was Tim Bauer who was with me for one year who is now with Woodlands in Texas and been there 18 years and he did me a favor. He said, “I’ll stay with you for a year.” I’ll just try to help you out but I’ll always be in awe of the fact that he took that chance. Ken Gray who is now also with Woodlands and he also indeed took that chance. I’ll always be able to meet my favorite people along the way, believe me.
Philosophy, it kind of brings to me the fact that, yes, I did coach before that 10-year hiatus and yes, I was able to have some very good swimmers along the way. And I grew up through the ‘60s and ‘70s. I grew up through that era that you went out and you hammered. And the more you hammered, the better they got and the better they got, the more you hammered. And they just kept getting better and better with a great, great decade in the ‘70s.
Again, I keep looking at Debbie Meyer with her great coaching. He was a crazy, crazy individual, Sherm Chavoor, if any of you remember him, but the fact is that we were all crazy during that time, and the only thing that we knew, we didn’t do a lot of technique, we didn’t know a lot of what is right and what is wrong. All we knew was the work ethic and I’ll be using that term from time to time during this talk, the work ethic. And so, that’s what we did. We worked the crap out of them, and they just kept getting better.
Then I left, I went on to be a stock broker in the early ‘80s, from ‘81 to ‘92 and during that time, things changed big time. Some of you might have been around long enough to understand what happened in the ‘80s. The great swimmers of the ‘70s were all – so many of them were distance swimmers. Again, the Debbie Meyers, the John Naber, in my case the Mike Bruners, etcetera, they were all distance swimmers and they were the heroes of the day.
But during the ‘80s, things started to change and people started to ask how much further can they go, where is the stopping point here? Isn’t there a better way than to just keep hammering them? And so there were some tests that were done, and the results of these tests or studies and so on came out with the thought, you know, all that stuff that they’re doing really is fluff and it’s really not worth that much and we can get just as much out of a lot less and we won’t have to put in as much and God bless the results.
Well it turned out unfortunately that people take things like that and overdo them. So, in my philosophy anyway, the ‘80s changed everybody’s minds as to what the work ethic was all about. The work ethic became what little can you do to get the most out of. Indeed now, I think there are two camps and I think that that’s filled around and I think that fortunately the camp of, wait a minute, work ethic does count.
So, when I first came on, I knew you either way. I left when I was a pounder, and I came back wanting to be a pounder. And the fact was, they looked at me and said, “I beg your pardon? This is the ‘90s. You haven’t even been in here. You don’t know all these new things. We can’t accept you.” We had an exodus at 192, the first six months as not 192 after six months. And here I was, there to build the club, not ruin the club.
But, along the way, the one thing that I have been able to do and the only brag I’ll give you all day is that I strive to stick to what works along the way and what has worked for me. I still believe in the work ethic, and I try if I am going to do anything with my staff, to make sure that they believe in the work ethic.
Now that doesn’t mean that we’re back to the ‘70s and pounding them day in and day out, or that we’re looking at our age group kids and pounding them day in and day out. Believe me, quite the opposite. But at the same time, what we’re trying to do along the way is create that image that we’re willing to work for what we get.
The fact is that I went the first two or three years and God bless my wife and our age group coaches because fortunately, what I was losing at the top end, they were getting at the bottom end. So ultimately, the pendulum turned a little bit and we started adding swimmers to the entire program so that we could actually pay our coaches. And after the first year and a half or so, that 192 went back to 140 then back up to 240 and then after I think two or three years, two years, we hit the 300 mark. The idea was grow from the base, because we have to pay our coaches and we have to pay the rent.
So, we continued to do that and actually continue to do that to this day. Now, our mission statement is something that you’re gonna see there. Don’t read it because it will take you all day. That’s the longest, most idiotic mission statement I have ever read. In fact, in doing this talk, I said, I am not going to read that. I can’t read that statement, it’s too long. So, I think there are 63 words in that sentence. And what I did, just playing with it this morning, I changed it, and I’ll go ahead and read what I did this morning because I got it down to 23 words, and I’m going to continue to try to get it down to 15 to 16 words.
But what I have here is, and I think this is very important, it’s not one of those a-ha moment so don’t write it down. The Mission Viejo program is dedicated to providing the opportunity to make a commitment to the pursuit of excellence with the goal to acquire life-lasting attributes. Bottom line is, that says it all, I don’t need all the adjectives and etcetera and the ands and the ors and the what, just say it, get it out there. When you have a mission statement, say what you want and move on, let people know.
That’s all I have to say about that mission statement, I’ll move on. Putting a staff together that creates great people. This is what it’s all about. I don’t care if you have a staff of one, or a staff of, in our case you’ll see here we have a staff of 25, but it’s more important that you create the good people on your staff than anything else you can possibly do.
Fran, God bless his soul, not only swam for us but I saw a good person. So I said, not only are you gonna swim for us, by golly you are going to coach our little kids. So we put him to work and he was one of the most amazing people I’ll ever know. But I had to have him on the staff. I had to have him share what he was all about. The coaches that I have now, they’re handpicked; they’re people that, without them we are nothing. Please understand and I’m gonna bring this up about five times because this is an a-ha moment right now.
Make sure you remember that. If you do nothing with your club, make sure that you have a staff of good people, caring people, passionate people, people who are willing to put the team first and to – I need junkies. I need swimming junkies out there. Unfortunately that’s not a good family term, is it? But it’s a fact that I need them to fall in love with our sport and what it represents and so on. God bless that whole situation, I’ve surrounded myself with junkies, and hopefully that they remain in that fashion along the way. I don’t know if that’s a nice thing I said or not.
And they indeed are people that put the team in front of themselves, because they’re not rich, by the way. They would like to be rich. Some of them asked me to be richer along the way, but the fact is that they’re not in it for the money because it’s not there. But at the same time, they’re good people, they’re passionate people and they want to be in the sport.
Also, your staff has got to care more about the constituents or the members than they do themselves. This is something you’ve got to understand. You can’t have coaches out for themselves, and if they are, they won’t last. There will be a stopping point and you will lose them and maybe they’ll go on to greater heights, etcetera. But from a team concept, you’ve got to have people that care more about the members than themselves and their own attributes and their own plots, etcetera.
You know, we work with the city of Mission Viejo. A lot of you work with maybe recreation departments, or school districts or whatever you work with, but we’re at the behest of our bosses, if you will, or the people that either hire us, fire us or give us the direction of our particular pools and so on. Well the city of Mission Viejo, they’re not my boss, but they control our facility. We rent or lease from the city of Mission Viejo. And if that goes, we’re in major guano, we’re in big trouble. So, I’m out to make sure on a daily basis that our reputation with the city is something that we work on all the time.
Quick story: when I got there, not only were there 192 swimmers and they lost their icon coach, etcetera, etcetera, and things were not going in the right direction. The mayor of the city at that particular time decided that the pool really was not used properly and therefore a skate park would be better and that they could probably make the pool into a skate park much easier than have to pay for the renting of the pool.
And so, that first year and a half was touch and go. Not a lot of people knew that, but we had to do everything we could to sell ourselves to the city, the tradition of excellence of the Nadadores and what they meant and so on and ultimately had to work with a long-term contract to make sure that we had the pool for a period of time.
Along the way, every year, every year, we find out what can we do to help the city, to make the city understand that we care about them. I think it’s next week or the following week that we have a citywide cleanup project, where we go out and there’s a certain area, it would be on the highway or any place like that.
A major portion of our club, our whole 13, 14 division, Adam Dusenberry’s division, gets out there and just goes 8 hours of picking up trash in certain areas of the city and making sure that they wore the Nadadores colors along the way. But they do it for nothing and they do it and make a fun time out of it but the city really notices that. Most cities and most areas have a Relay For Life type of thing for cancer; we make sure that every year, not only from a donation part but from a participation part, we make sure that we’re out there all night long with their 24-hour Relay For Life. And again, making sure that our colors are out there and that indeed we give and don’t expect to receive.
Let me say this now and I’ll say it again as the talk goes along. The most important thing that we can do and that you can do is to make sure that you give to people, to swimmers, to cities, to any particular entity, just give. Don’t give with a hope or expectation of receiving something back, because the best way to get it back is exactly that. Give with no expectations. You do that and ultimately it comes back. You could do that in all aspects of life, I can guarantee it.
Today, I was leaving and you know how the maids do your room and stuff like that? And all of a sudden I saw this little card saying, I am Antonina or something and I just cleaned your room, etcetera. I haven’t done this before but all of a sudden I said, Gees! Here’s a lady that probably works for basically nothing and working whatever number of hours a day. I’m going to leave 10 dollars, because I figured in this day and age, 2 beers. So I’m going to give up 2 beers for this lady and I was going to leave it there. And the fact is, I’m never going to see that lady, I’m not going to hear from that lady, whatever. But what is going to happen is she’s going to know that the Mission Viejo Nadadores gave her 10 dollars. She’s going to know that.
Will I ever see any results from that? Never. But maybe she’s going to tell somebody; maybe she’s going to have that feeling for somebody. It will come back, and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I missed out on two beers though; I’m a little upset about that.
I got to find out what time it is. You’re going to tell me when. I keep moving? Faster? Okay. Honestly, how long do I have?20 minutes? Okay, we’ll move on to the next here.
You know, when you have success, that’s a great thing, what a deal. But what we have to do along the way, when you have success, just move on, just move on. It’s a great thing. Happiness is, but moves on, because unless you do, you’re going to live off of that the rest of your life and maybe that’s not enough to keep you going. Just challenge yourself for more.
Create a culture. We heard the Ron and Don Show yesterday, great, great talks. Talk about character and all this good stuff. The best thing that we do at the Nadadores and the first thing that I saw and we have on all of our stationery, etcetera, is a tradition of excellence. Again, Mark Schubert earned that. The club earned that back in the day. My job is to take that and to enhance it to the best of my ability. My job is to make sure that our staff believes in that. My job is to make sure that my staff makes sure that the swimmers believe in that.
The swimmers need to take it to their parents to make sure they believe in that, and there’re so many ways to do it but one way is, everybody can do it. They talked about it yesterday. By golly, wear the uniform, wear the colors. Be proud of your position, be proud of your team. And anybody can do that. A brand new team could do that. It may not be noticed or accepted or whatever over the first year or the second year or the fifth year, but pretty soon, when we walk in at swim meets and hopefully you agree with me or some of you will, that’s the Mission Viejo Nadadores, that’s their colors. They are wearing their colors with pride. They’re proud of their positions.
Do it with your team. A-ha moment, that’s got to be one of them – it’s got to be one of them, everybody and some of you already do it. So, remind yourself, hey, we do this. I have so many friends here from England that come all the time and I make sure, and if I haven’t, please tell them I did anyway. I make sure that they’d leave with a T-shirt, that they’d leave with something that has Nadadores on it so when they go back to England, somehow they’re going to be selling the Nadadores, because they’re happy they were there, they had a good experience when they were there and they go home and in England they see the Nadadores along the way.
When people come and visit your program, give them something from your program. Put it in your budget. Give them something that they can take back to remember the club by and ultimately sell the club along the way. There are always these little things that can be done.
It says here we need to be better tomorrow than we are today. That’s self-explanatory. Everyday, you can do something great but it’s not great tomorrow. I’m not sure who it was. It might have been Eddie Reese, I’m not sure. I know it wasn’t Jack Bauerle because it wasn’t about the Phillies. But, just do something and understand that today was fine but tomorrow if you don’t do something better, today doesn’t matter. So, realize that along the way.
I hit Shift, is that a bad deal? By the way, I didn’t do this. Again, that’s about having good people and people that can actually live in the 2000s, that’s why I surround myself with these kinds of people. They can do that.
High road, everyday we have issues. I’m hoping that that’s the case out there because I’m hoping that we’re not the only club out here that everyday we have an issue. The one thing about having a club of 800 to a thousand people is that we have unfortunately lots of issues everyday. But everyday there are issues that we all have to deal with whether we have 80 on our team or 800.
How you handle those issues tells you everything. We can take the negative part and fight the issues or we can take the high road as we say and take those issues and say, all right, what can we learn from them? What can we learn from what went wrong today, and that way tomorrow, again, we’re going to be better.
Some of the issues mean that we’re going to lose swimmers. In our area, you can cross the street 4 different times and come across 4 different teams and they’re all good teams, all with different philosophies. Remember I lost half my team the first 6 months to – okay I’m going to say it, the Novas, the Irvine Novas, Dave Salo, one of the best coaches in the country, the world, but he was Dave Salo and selling his way. And it’s a great way but it’s not my way. And so, kids, many times would say, go there, you better click, I don’t have to go far, don’t have to–this work ethic thing and have to deal with his philosophy as we go through, good. I want to do that. And we lost a lot of people, and that was an issue.
But what can I learn from that? I learned that, hey, if I just stick with my philosophy and continue to stay with it and to sell it and believe it and work it, it will all work itself out and it has. They still have a great team. They have the great coach, etcetera, etcetera but so do we and we have it our way.
So, deal with the issues, take the high road and don’t worry about losing swimmers. My wife is the worst. She loses a swimmer and we have a funeral. I say, forget the funeral, move on to the wake, have a couple of beers and have a good time and then go on.
That’s a lot of coaches, a lot of coaches and a big program. But at the same time, realize, well, you have one coach or 25, it’s all about them. It’s so easy. This is the biggest joke in the world. I have been the developmental coach of the year, twice in the last four or five years, bologna, I mean I haven’t done anything. The people right in the front row here are the people who did the entire thing, development, I don’t develop anybody, I take the cream of the crop and I do what I can with them.
But all the developing is done by my coaches, and I get to plot it. I don’t know where that came from, but that’s a fact and it’s one thing you all have to realize. You are not as good as you think you are. Don’t be looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “God, I’m great.” I heard that some time today, we were supposed to do that, but believe me, do everything I can to get away from the mirror, my age. But the fact is, realize that it’s the people that you have around you that are going to make or break you along the way, and we have 25 great people to work with.
Feedback, we have meetings and we have to simply because we have so many. But we have a weekly meeting and during that meeting, it’s usually a business meeting. We have reports from the different divisions that we have. By the way our divisions are novice division, our swim school division, our eight and under division, 10 and under division, 11 and 12, 13, 14, senior, national and international division. All of those have directors, coaches, but directors we call them. And under those directors or working with those directors, we have a part-time staff that each of them have.
So really we have maybe 8 to 10 teams of about 100 people. So with that in mind, what we’re trying to do is indeed take those teams and give them the autonomy of being those teams and letting them be the best that they can be within that team or division and put it all together as the Mission Viejo Nadadores. So, we do have to have meetings to make sure that all of that is kind of working cohesively.
But I learned something this – I didn’t learn it, another a-ha moment for me. I love it when we sit after the different talks and sit and talk, and sit and just share and just listen to one another, and to listen to what they got out of it. I’ve learned a lot just by saying to the entire staff we’re going to sit there and every time we get together you’re going to come up with two things that you learned from whatever talk you went to, and you’re going to share it with us and we’re going to go from there, great meetings.
So, one of my favorite people said the best thing that she’s done in the last 6 months is come here for the meetings, not for the talks but for the meetings that we’ve been able to share together. So, wait a minute, why don’t we do that more often at home? Why do we need to have a weekly meeting going through the same old stuff, etcetera and giving the same reports, well, I mean we have to from time to time but let’s do it every two weeks and those off weeks, sit in a circle and talk, and just share about swimming. Sit with your peers, sit with your staff, enjoy one another and learn from each other.
The other thing is micromanage, holy moley I can’t micromanage. Can you imagine me trying to deal with all that and get any results? I can’t micromanage. I’ve got to give autonomy; I’ve got to trust in the people that I work with. I may try to guide as to the major philosophy of what we’re trying to do but believe me, we have all kinds of personalities on my staff, all kinds. And that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s a challenging thing. But it’s a good thing; they all have to believe in what they do and create their own position.
I don’t know if Kelly Kramer is here, but Kelly was one of the first coaches that I hired after getting through that first troublesome year, and he was with us for four years. And there is the epitome of someone, if I just gave him some rope, he indeed would climb to the highest area. After four years, it was obvious that he belonged in a college situation and he ended up going as an assistant coach to the University of Minnesota. And then, was there for six or seven years and then with Terry Neisner, became the head coach of the women, and just recently, has moved to be the head coach or program director of both men and women.
That’s one of the thrills of my lifetime, is to take a 22-year-old kid at the time, bring him into the fold and watch him develop and become what he is today. One of the greatest thrills of my coaching career, and this is what I’m hoping for, again, the staff along the way. I want them here 20, 30 years, that would be great. But if I lose them and I lose them to a situation where they’re moving on professionally and getting what they want out of the sport and out of the career, I’ve won, I’ve won. So, if we lose them we lose them. I’ll do everything I can to keep them but its okay if they move on to greater things.
We need to be proud. We need to walk the walk of the Mission Viejo Nadadores. We have a statement and its right above Fran Crippen’s memorial. Once a Nadadore, always a Nadadore. We’d live by that, and we were going to create that and move on with that and hope that every Nadadore that moves on through life believes in that: once a Nadadore always a Nadadore; we want to be proud.
We have a single site with 800 to a thousand people swimming every summer, May through August. Now, I heard about from Todd Schmitz, man, a couple of a-ha moments there for Sundays. Yeah, we actually have room in our pool on Sunday afternoons. We have some extra room on Saturdays. Why are we using it? Because we’re dying trying to get 800 people in and affording a half hour period, whether we have a good facility or not is a very difficult thing. But we need to learn to use the facility to the best of our ability along the way.
We also have to – again, back to the staff, how can we use the staff to the best of our ability? We have 13 full-time staff, 12 hourly staff and indeed that’s what I said at the beginning, God, we do? I don’t even realize it on a daily basis and that’s a credit to them because it runs itself. I left my team and this is another thing you’ve got to understand, you’ve got to be able to coach your kids and bring them to the point where they are able to live with you and live without you.
I left them and, effectively, I’ve got my whole staff here; who’s going to coach my kids? I said, “Well, here you go. Here are the workouts, here are your times. There’s going to be one staff member there, not for you but to make sure the facility is open and running and so on. You are going to do the workouts on your own.” They tell me that they’re doing them. They promised me that they’re doing them.
And here’s the communication thing, texting is a wonderful thing. I text each and every one of them after every workout and I learned how to do it because I think coach Brian here told me, you can text something, “How was your workout? Good, bad,” and then, instead of writing it all again, you just hit some button on your iPhone and you can text the same thing. It was great, I can’t believe I’m doing all that stuff.
So now they all get to say that I care enough to write them, I do care. So I’m getting all these answers back and so on but at least I’m communicating with them along the way, but the moment I’m trying to tell you here is, believe and work so that they can be independent and so that they can understand the program well enough to take these times and use them to their benefit.
The other thing too is – this is completely off a thing, in fact I had Chloe Sutton and Chad LaTourette and Christine Jennings and Ashley Twitchell all went to the World Championships this summer. I wasn’t on the staff, I don’t know what happened about that one by the way, but anyway I wasn’t on the staff. My philosophy is, if I’m not on the staff, I’m not on the staff, but I’m not going to be a spectator.
So I on purpose did not go to Shanghai because I’m not going to be out there because – being on the staffs that I’ve been on, the most important thing I think that swimmers need to do is to be able to work with anybody and be able to progress on through. They don’t need your coattails. So, for the very reason that I didn’t want to put the pressure on the swimmer and/or the staff of the United States, I didn’t go. If I’m not on the Olympics, I’m not going to go.
When Larsen Jensen, who I hope is going to be here the next talk, when he went to the Olympics in 2004, I didn’t go. Larsen, you can take care of yourself, you’ve got some great, great coaches on this staff, and do your own thing. Give me a call every once in a while, say hello, but I’m not going to be there for you. And I planned that way before he went. And so, that’s just my thought. Some coaches love to go there and see their kids. We have TV now. You can watch them on TV.
How am I doing? Five minutes, good. I’m going to just really roll along here. You can see the different programs that we deal with and they’re all major programs. Whether they’re a minor program for you, they are all programs. You’ve got to deal with them and deal with them fairly and equally. Now this program, I told you before, it’s probably the most important one we’ve got. It’s the most important one we’ve got. I’ve got to make sure that I deal with them to the best of my ability and I need to do a better job. It goes all the way through.
Our masters program, coach Mark, taking the programs with about 30 people, now he has over 210 or so, what a great deal, very important part of our program. And oh by the way, you people who don’t have a master’s program, they love to spend. They buy stuff and they also are great sponsors along the way. Be good to them. Don’t expect money back but be good to them.
We also need to take these things, set goals, challenge them and indeed have goals for ourselves along the way, just goals that we’d like to do. We’ve been able to put somebody on the Olympic team since 1976, every Olympic Games. I’m not sure how many clubs can say that but I’m very proud of that, and it was a difficult situation. And by golly we’re going to put some people on it this year as well and continue with that tradition of excellence. But along the way, we’re going to have goals for this year and then we’re going to take them and we’re going to do better next year, etcetera. Goals are very important.
And finally, with 4 minutes to go, thank you very much. If you please, ask a few questions that mean you actually were listening or care. If anybody cares, could you ask a question or two? I’ve got to go back one over there. If you tell me that I am not going back. Is that back enough? Okay, please ask a question, anybody, anybody, anybody? Question?
Male Speaker 1: if you’ve got you say a thousand people, so a thousand swimmers, how do you know from a thousand and keep increasing the revenue where it does not get included in that –
Bill Rose: Okay. We’re in that position now. The question is how do you go to a thousand and keep increasing the revenue, etcetera and to grow from there, do we grow from there? No. By golly it’s impossible for us to grow. We have no space. We either have to get satellites or different pools or whatever and that’s the decision that ultimately we’ll have to make. If you really want to know, I don’t want to grow anymore. I can hardly handle what we’re doing right now.
In fact, if I could really do it and have my way, I think I would probably get to the point where I can be a little more selective and indeed, even though we’re trying to be everything to everyone, ultimately realize that maybe that’s not what we can do at this juncture of our position, and maybe we’re going to have to probably specialize a little bit more, because how can we be everything to everyone and sometimes we just can’t; we’re trying, believe me.
By the way, Steve Marcelli in here. Steve I just want to say hello to you so, hi Steve thanks for coming. Steve Marcelli, the reason I think of him, and when I was doing this talk, I started thinking of him, you know, he did something one time and what a great thing and I wish I could do it in my contract but in his contract, he like a teacher or a professor in college, every once in a while you have those sabbaticals and he has worked it out in his particular contract with his club that he can have a sabbatical every x number of years for a period of time whether three or four months or whatever it was and what he does during that time is take that three or four months and just travels to different teams and just becomes a fly on the wall.
And he did that a couple years ago with us and I thought that was the greatest thing I ever saw, what a deal. If you can work that kind of thing out, man you’re going to be a better coach; you’re going to have more ideas, etcetera. Even though I say it, I’ve never done it. I think if I presented it to my wonderful, prestigious board that I love so much, I wouldn’t have a chance. But the fact that he’s got that done, Steve you’re way above me at this point. Yes?
Female Speaker 1: We have a team with about nine coaches and 375 kids and I’m the novice coach. So when we have tryouts, for me it’s very, very popular for our ocean town. So some years I have seen such an influx and I’m not quite ready to move all my kids up. My question is, when you have an influx of new – like, do you ever feel that one of your areas of – you know you have novice all the way to masters, becomes like –.
Bill Rose: Unmanageable?
Female Speaker 1: Yeah.
Bill Rose: The question is, from time to time you’re going to have an influx of swimmers, and it may be in that novice area, it could be in other areas and so on and then you’d become kind of overloaded in one area or another and how do you deal with that? The one thing we have to do is there’s always going to be change. My wife is the eight and under coach and she’s just very upset this year, because she doesn’t have the kind of numbers that she likes to have.
She’s upset with our novice program basically and the reason she’s upset is because we made a conscious decision that with novice program to keep them in the novice program longer so that they can learn more technique and learn more about the strokes before we handed them into the eight and under so that she would be able to get people that indeed were of that level.
So, why are you mad, sweetheart? Well it’s because there’re so many novices now and we don’t give them that movement. Now, what it becomes to that point, maybe we’re going to have to move them on and she’ll have her number of eight and unders and maybe you have to create different movements along the way based upon what you’re dealing with or drop a coach or reposition. But, it happens all the time. It happens in our club. There was one year where one of the local clubs disbanded and so a lot of them came to us, and all of a sudden, our groups are much larger than we anticipated and how are we going to deal with that? That’s one of the issues that we’re talking about.
Well what can we do? How can we make it right, add, subtract, change. I won’t give you the answer because there really is no great answer; you have to look at what your program calls for.
By the way, I can hardly stand, okay. Coach Schwartz?
Coach Schwartz: Do you have a target ratio of coach to swimmers you try to maintain?
Bill Rose: Yes, we do and please understand that – we’re very proud of this but it’s not easy. We try to get no more than 20 to one. We’re pretty successful at it, and that’s why we have so many coaches. We really work very, very hard at doing that. Bill Void, our age group program director has worked all these miracles along the way to be able to work out the staff/swimmer ratio. If there are more than 20, which we do have in some cases, we make sure that we have that extra coach on deck.
So, that’s kind of the key. Some of them, Coach Tyler and his boys have 16, but he doesn’t have an assistant but indeed, that’s a pretty nice situation. I have the very best. I have 10 or 12. I’m in heaven, you know, but that’s what we try to do. Debbie?
Debbie: You’re one to 20, how many per lane do you have on those?
Bill Rose: Thanks very much for bringing that up. It depends on the course. We try to have probably no less than five in a lane, no more than six or eight in a lane. It happens. It’s what we have to do. We have that facility type of thing. We all have our problems. Our problems are much less than most but we have to do that. One more, am I right? Okay this is the last one unfortunately, yes?
Male Speaker 2: One, you have an alumni and two, are either coaches [Inaudible] [01:08:23]
Bill Rose: The question is, do our coaches do more than coach? Do they have extra duties? Is that correct, is that what you’re asking?
Male Speaker 2: I’m specifically wondering if you have an office manager.
Bill Rose: Okay, yeah we do definitely have an office manager A full-time office manager and a part-time assistant there, and the office is open, I think its 9:00 to 6:00 everyday. We have our own store that is open three days a week. We have our own learn to swim program, Swim America type program indeed has its own office and indeed has its own complete staff and so on. So, yeah we do have the extras that I think we have to have at that point.
If I had 80 swimmers, which is the normal size group in the U.S. I guess, 80 to 100 swimmers, we’re not going to have an office manager, we’re going to do it through other means but we just, through necessity have to do that for proper communication.
Guys I do appreciate you coming. It’s kind of a difficult talk to give but I hope you have two or three good ideas.