I’ll tell you what – we will get started a little bit early if that is okay. Maybe we will get going to lunch a little bit early. We are going to start off here – Rob either finished early or didn’t ask enough questions – though I am not sure why, but I am holding more envelopes and we are going to start right off with a question and then we will get into the presentation. What team do you think this presentation is going to focus on the most? Curl-Burke – Curl-Burke – I wonder why – what does that tab say – what is the top of that say? It’s close, but not it. Curl-Burke Masters Swimming – they are different from the Curl-Burke Swim Club – that is a great point – not yet – not it – don’t count – I know. What team do you think we are going to focus on here the most? US?? – Oh who said that? Mike – Me – Mikey – I can’t tell you what is in there because it is from Rob – Oh yeah! Is there anything else? What is it? It is an American Express Corporate Card – Platinum – WOW – You check these while we get started. Okay – now I know why the USMS budget is on the increase.
Yeah, the full title of our presentation is really the Success Factors that sort of led to our team’s growth and development – sort of following along with Kerry though. What I really want to focus on and what we try focusing on is those success factors for lack of a better word – that I think might be applicable to your team – in other words – we have got some things that have made us successful that I think are so off the wall and unique. I am not going to spend too much time talking about those and we will focus on what – hopefully it might work for you as well. Alright – so that is the primary objective of our presentation is to identify the success factors. I think Rob and I are really honored when we talked about this presentation. Rob had actually said, boy you are a big Masters team – sort of grown up along side a historically renowned age group program. Do you want to talk about that? And I am like not very much so I put in a little – we will say a few words about that and would be happy to answer questions about that and Jim and I will try staying as positive as we can about them, okay? We are going to give you a little bit of a brief history. The history of our club and I really enjoy hearing the history of Kerry’s club which I have heard so much about. Two of our swimmers came back that had just been to a few of your workouts. They were raving about it – so much so that I finally said, “that’s enough – I don’t want to hear any more about Walnut Creek – get in the water and swim”. They loved it so the history was important for you and it was very important for us and I want to spend – you know – about the first 5 minutes going over that and then I want to talk about the success factors and I have grouped them into 4 different categories and I will talk about – in fact – here is where I will turn it over to Jim talk about our success factors associated with the competitive piece of our program. I think you are going to find it very compatible with what you heard in more detail just before us.
We will talk about our coaching. We will talk about strategic partnerships and finally – the broad category is team business operations and then there should be a little thought – we will say a few words about pairing a masters program or growing a masters program – maybe either from or along side an age group program. A lot of pitfalls there and in some things it might work well for you. I always like starting out with introductions. Unlike Kerry O’Brien – Jim and I may be a little newer to the scene for some of you. You know, you may not know who we are and what we have done. I actually have a fulltime job with a company that is focused on Marine Environmental Engineering with a sort of a specialty in Emergency Management so the neat think is, most of my work takes me to the waterfront. We get involved quite a bit in Marine casualties quite a bit in things that go down in the ocean and in the water and we have got to go and find them and get them back – like Challenger – like JFK Junior – those types of incidents. So that is my day job. On the swimming side – I didn’t start swimming until I was about 16 years old as an age grouper. Most of my swimming – it was my senior year – I really started swimming my senior year in Kentucky. I just found out my coach, Bill Peak – when I was with the Cobalt Swim Club in Kentucky – was a good friend of Eddie Reese and Eddie said some really nice things about Bill yesterday – having had some of his swimmers. I went on from there and I swam at Notre Dame for three years – who now has a big strong program and my 4th year – and during those 3 years – during summer times at home I started coaching age groupers. I coached a really good summer team in Northern Virginia called the Lakefield Chapel Wahoo’s and out of the 92 teams in that area we were perennial – you know – the first or second one in Division I and that was really fun – a big team – 225 kids and then my senior year – pre title 9 – I went to the Athletic Director at Notre Dame – who happened to be from the University of Virginia – Gene Corrigan – nobody thought it would happen – I went to Notre Dame – pre title 9 – when I first started school there – about an 8:1 ratio of 8 guys for every gal. If you ask the alumni – that was one too many in the ratio. They did not want the women there and the women trained – the men’s Varsity trained with women’s club team who was really good and they wanted to be a Varsity team too. I said hey – I am from Virginia – I heard Gene Corrigan bass fishes so we might have something in common – I am going to go and talk to him and I think this is important in my history because it sort of shaped some of this Masters business that we are involved with and dealing with a traditional program – I will call that an age group program. Everybody said no – can’t do it – ain’t going to happen. Our head coach said no – you can’t talk to them. There shouldn’t even be a women’s club team here.
I went and talked to Gene Corrigan. In fact – the first time I called his receptionist said – his executive assistant said – “you want to talk to Mr. Corrigan about swimming”? I said yeah – he goes – he will call you back and sure enough he not only called me back, he invited me to lunch and we started a women’s varsity team and the only problem was we didn’t have a coach and at this time I wasn’t on too good terms with my coach and I said – I will do it so I coached the women’s varsity – the first women’s varsity team my senior year and sort of never went back to age groupers if that makes sense. I went straight from there to Masters swimming in 1982 and have coached exclusively Masters since 1982 so that is my brief background, but I got a partner in crime here I want to introduce – Jim Halstead. Jim Halstead – always wrestling the bulls. I have been associated with Curl-Burke Masters since ’05 – no where near the lineage that Frank has coaching or you know – or Coach Kerry and I kind of came on the scene as a result of not being able to run anymore. When I started back in ’05 I really came to Masters as a health issue. I couldn’t run so as being a former high school swimmer – I said well, let me get back to the water and maybe I can lose some weight – drop my blood pressure – feel a little bit better – feel I handle stress a little bit more. At the time I was working at the White House so it was a little bit of stress going on there and not so hooked and excited about it I – as a former you know – early on age group coach – I said hey Frank – can I get on the deck? I kind of like the coaching thing – you know – would it be alright? ……………. Dried off a little bit and started coaching. The next thing I know – the team is moving forward and it has been pretty exciting – it has been a great ride – lots of fun. Yeah and Jim doesn’t like talking about his own swimming background, but he is – Jim is a very good swimmer as well. In fact, Jim got me back in the water.
Okay – we will give you a quick history here and I will go through this pretty quick because what I want to do is really turn it over to Jim and talk about our approach to competition and our approach to coaching. Our club started about 1986. We very quickly grew to 25 swimmers – the first week. We opened up a new pool – guess what – only Masters team in the area – outside of Fairfax County. They had nowhere else to go so we grew to 25 pretty quick. We eventually grew to 35 and then an interesting thing happened. Other clubs started springing up in the area. Lots of other clubs started springing up in the area and with Masters – a lot of it is about convenience – not all of it – but convenience counts so we had some disbursement of our team to other Fairfax County pools to other teams had started up in the area, but this last bullet here is probably the most significant thing that happened in our early history or second most significant till this character came along in where we are today. We had a group early on – from the initial 25 swimmers – we had a group – for lack of a better word – that were self-declared elite swimmers. They were mostly Division I. They swam from the day they got out of college. They didn’t take any time off. They were some of the early front-runners in the triathlon business. Some of them even scored a few points in Division I – they were fairly good swimmers and they thought the world of themselves and they were ………… We had 35 people – they were a third of the team. There was a group of 10-12 of them and I mean – the team was going to be structured around them and their workouts and their competition. The club was going to be structured around them. The coaching – if you brought snacks you would clear it through them to see if fit their diet and it really wasn’t a very fun team and to tell you how bad it got – before they left – ……….. start all of this is they came in one day and before they get in the water they said – you know what? And I use this line with all of my kids – you are lucky – I tell my kids a lot of times – they are lucky ………………. Especially when they need money, but they said – you are lucky to have us. You are so lucky to have us – we want our own private parking spots and not right next to the handicap spots at the entrance to the club – we want those spots.
Now at the time – it was still – the Aquatic Director of the club at the time was a guy named Pete Morgan – alright? Half of Curl-Burke – a few Olympians – he is a good coach. Pete parks up at the giant grocery store up above and walks down to make room for members and he is in his office hearing them talk to me and he goes ballistic. I mean – he throws stuff. He comes out screaming – he chased every one – luckily he didn’t catch of them. Nobody got hurt and he literally ran them out of the club and I looked at Pete and he looked at me and we said – this is not what our Masters Team is going to be. If it is not fun we are not going to do it and then I individually contacted all of the swimmers and my point is – do not be afraid to throw out somebody if they do not fit your chemistry of your team. I mean – work with them, but at some point – I called them up and I said, you know what – there are 7 new Masters teams in the area – I will recommend this one and that is where they went and since that day – that is a long story, but that really – I look at that day forward as starting Curl-Burke Masters as it exists today. So anyway – big gap in time here – we slowly built up a little bit. At our low point – by the way – we had 7 swimmers – recruit small – 7 swimmers at two sites – two different sites. So anyways – in 2004 we had 2 swimmers competing in a local regional meet – Colony Zones – do you guys have zones too? Nest year we had 5 – pretty good increase – we had 5 out of about 7 – most of the team. And then all of a sudden this new skinny guy – I say new skinny guy – this new guy shows up on deck. Doesn’t say anything for a year – shuts his mouth – works harder than anybody – good stroke and after about six months – starts helping other swimmers with stroke. I see him staying after and I said – this guy is going to be good for the team. Anyways – after about a year – the new skinny guy starts talking and he starts talking to the swimmers and I am all for it and he says – you know what – this little meet called zones – it was kind of fun. He goes – lets go after it. I look around – there is not many of us. I said – what do you mean – lets go after it? He goes – well – we are a small team – lets go after small teams – lets with the small teams. I am thinking this guy is crazy, but you know – we will give it a try and at the time we got most of the team to come out and the key word – Kerry used it over and over and over again – was participation. Now we said “lets win” and this new guy – his philosophy was winning is fun, but not winning is everything. Winning is fun.
Lets try it, but the key is participation. Lets get 75% of our team to go and do something and then we will do a party. So we did. We sent 25 swimmers to zones and we won the small team championship. Now you will notice my terminology – I call him the new skinny guy and now I use words like crazy, okay? So this crazy guy then comes back to the team and say – you know – good effort – small team zones – we ha 35 swimmers at the time – 25 went – we won. Lets go after large team and I am looking at this guy going – you do not know the way our LMSC is structured – you don’t know what you are talking about. We just so happen to have a team in our state – the perennial large team champion – that has won Nationals two or three years in a row – that is the rest of the state, outside of Potomac Valley. I said, we don’t want to do that and he wouldn’t go away and he wouldn’t shut up and he wouldn’t quit swimming hard. So, this crazy guy – he devises a strategy that if 75% of the team goes and we are getting a little bigger now because we are kind of starting to attract people. We had a lot of fun with 25 at zones. If 75% of the team goes we can win the large category. I am looking at him and I am going – I have been here a lot longer than you. I know what they swim – even if they all compete at their best – how are we going to do this? Mass relays. Those were the two words that came out of his mouth. Well mass relays in maximum events? You can’t swim everyone. I felt like an age grouper again when the coach would go you are going to swim everything you can and oh – by the way – you are going to swim 5 relays a day, okay? For two days and I go – they won’t hold up. We don’t train like that. We can’t do it. So, on his birthday – February 26 and 27 – this crazy goes out – single meet – look at his …………….. you guys know what this means – he didn’t swim – he raced. He went all out and he raced a 1650, a 1,000, a 500 and a 200 free – a 400 IM, a 200 fly, a 200 breaststroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 back and 50 free. I do not know why he didn’t do the 100 free – there are a couple of more events. And his point was – I am going to go out and prove that this can be done. Anyways, it is time to turn over to this guy – that hurt a lot – I barely made it.
I guess you guys know – Jim wouldn’t – I had to do that part of the presentation because he doesn’t like talking about himself. He didn’t want to talk about his swimming. I said – you know what? Your are co-presenting – I am going to do it alone on my half, but then I will turn it over to you. He’s the head coach. Yeah, I am not quite sure why I lived through that, but it really gets to the heart of our coaching philosophy. You have got to lead by example and it is about leadership and it is sometimes stepping out there – you know – Coach ………….. – he is still swimming and that makes a difference. Maybe it makes a difference in somebody that is my age, because it makes a difference in somebody that is 65 – I am not quite sure if it is going to make a difference from an Olympic Trials ……… 25-26 years old, but you never know. I have been calling him the new skinny guy, but no – no – I wasn’t referring to that – in this particular picture I will point out he spent so much time in the water that weekend he is a little bloated, but he was. So, now it is time to go after the large championships. I got near death threats from people when I proposed to long established Masters people and a former Curl-Burke alumni – Mark Osinsky here in the breaststroke – you are going to do what? Do What??? He was tough to talk him into it. I think swimming it helped a little bit – maybe not much but at least they understood that hey – this is something different. Lets all go forward so now emerges the “winning is fun” concept. Well – you know – competitive age group swimming – the Curl-Burke Masters Program – you know – they are swimming to make trials – to make the Olympics and obviously they have been successful with it. Our winning is really defined as a customer – the user – the member level.
When we have a new person come in we sit down with them – talk to them – maybe over a cup of coffee and say what do you want to do? What are your goals? What are your expectations? Maybe they want to lose 30 pounds. Maybe they want to get off their heart medicine – there are all kinds of things, but that becomes their definition of winning and really – it leads right into you know – fitness for life – swimming for life – the cradle to a greater concept. So – we go after that and we bring 85 to ’06 Zones and we swim 8,000 relays and the results? We won. That was a huge team accomplishment because the team that we beat was pretty much the “reining Big Dogs” – lets say on the East Coast and we turned some heads – made some new enemies, but that is okay. And I will point out that this picture was taken two days later because all of these people are smiling and this picture looked like he did after they swam 135 relays. We were smoking, but we were all smoked. It was good. It might be time for another envelope Jim – do you have a good question? Now we are thinking about moving from ’06 to ’07. We are going to focus a little bit on trying to go to the National level. Well – we were fairly successful with bringing 80 or so to the Regional Meet – Nationals was going to be even more difficult so what we decided to do was – if you want to go – we are going to go to have fun – if you want to put on a fancy swim suit that is fine too so got about 22 swimmers that went to Nationals and in addition to going and having a whole bunch of fun down there – we swam as well and then in ’09 we went after – we took a little hiatus in LA and then we came back in ’09 and we took 110 to zones which folks didn’t think – they thought 5 or 6 for that meet and then we brought 110 and the results – a lot of happy faces – less relays – had to swim 8,000 relays so they really got a chance to kick their events – 50 breaststroke, 50 fly, with our strategic partners I have been talking about in the ……… helped us out with the mile, the 1,000, the 500, the 4 IM’s – strategy now starts to kind of gel a little bit and the partnerships really pay off because now we have got folks that can concentrate on some of their shorter sprint stuff.
And just so that we do not miss the piece and it looks like an early focus on competition and there was, but really what Jim did with the team after he kind of sat back and watched it for a year – he picks something – he sort of – he did what the team hadn’t done yet – he kind of decided hey – this is going to be a good way to rally the team – an event – participation and now it is all driven by the team by the way. We don’t do and you can see the happy faces there. The example was in 2009 he signed me up for 200 backstroke so why? Because he figured I could get 3rd or 4th – score some points for the team. I just had knee surgery – all I could ever swim in my life was breaststroke – my breaststroke was as fast as my freestyle – I was one of those people – you guys all know them right? And he put me in not 50 back – I couldn’t score – not a hundred back – he put me in 200 back and the thought occurred to me on the 5th turn – on the 5th turn I came up sort of vertical and gasping for air – he should have started me in the 50 backstroke and then the hundred – over a period of years, but anyways – the competition – yeah – we had talked a lot about competition and it really is – we have kind of looked at it as a validation of your training program you know. It is also an opportunity for a great social event if you can get everybody rallied behind them. It is optional, but it is highly encouraged. Some people would say it is arm twisting, but I think once they get out of the water they realize – “I am so glad I did that”. Like – in many of your programs you may have somebody who has never been on the blocks before. That right there could be the definition of winning for that particular athlete. A 64 year old lady with massive back surgery – not walking too well – you know we work really hard to get her back into a position where she could – you know – swim a 50 backstroke. She was a backstroker. Obviously, they go off the blocks, but in Masters you do not have to and we took advantage of that opportunity and she got done with that and said that was one of the greatest accomplishments of her life and Rob has met Jennifer who started out as a Masters swimmer – working some technical stuff – losing some weight – fighting some chronic illness and then she works into a diagnosis of cancer. She never stopped swimming the whole time she went for chemo because it was really her personal feeling that “I needed to swim to keep up my energy” and it was the highlight of her day and boy – that right there was fantastic. That really is a success story for us. We have had people go fast and that is nice, but really – I look back on that – coupled with – Frank got an opportunity – swimming a relay with his college roommate at Notre Dame and their two sons. Now what a neat thing – as a parent – as a father – and I have got a son and I hope I get an opportunity when he is of age that we can swim on a relay together – that would be so much fun, right – just a good news story there. The team decides collectively what our team goals are – if any. You know – lately – we really didn’t push it – we didn’t really get a team event to go against and really you know – bring the troops to the table – which is okay. Although, I will say the team wanted to send a small contingent to Nationals and sort of try it out and see if the rest of the team might want to do that and that is the 22 people that went to Austin and tore the place up – literally – in the pool and outside the pool unfortunately. And – we got a lot of flack back from all levels of the athletes – competition – why do we have to – …………… once a year – once a year – team competition – you define what that is going to be and I think from the coaching perspective we needed to come up with a real answer – not just – hey – we want to go and do that but it is the validation of the training program.
Alright, I got a chance to see Kerry’s year long training cycle. You know – and he has got it already imbedded where they go and do different competitions, but we are kind of the same way – maybe not as organized and squared away as his, but we are definitely going to get there, but it really validates the training program. You know – we don’t want to be – people just swimming back and forth – let’s work for a goal. Oh, by the way – that goal is to find ……………. We just facilitate their success. Coaching – wait – I was going to say one thing about the competition – it really struck me – both watching people and getting comments like Kerry did – after the meet – the best thing I could equate competition to – this might apply – actually it might apply to a lot of you in the room – how many have had kids? How many have been through – okay – I count dads there too – somebody has to start them – I know you didn’t go through quite as much pain, but I equate competition – to me it is just so much like childbirth. First of all – the timing is never right. If you are going to wait until the timing is perfect to have – to race and somebody – til you feel like you got stuff off your schedule – you train hard – you are never going to get there – same thing with kids – it is never a good time to have them, right? You guys know and having said that – all the same feelings. There is fear – there is trepidation – there is self-sacrifice – there is discipline, but in the very end – when it is all over – there is euphoria – I don’t even know if I am saying that word right – right? And that is the feeling our swimmers had – many who didn’t have kids yet – gosh – I have seen that look before so it was really kind of neat that if – it is not something that you maybe wanted to do, but if you made it through – when it was all over – you are better off for it so. We have got several slides on the coaching piece:
This is Mark Wizenski and Mark swam at American University – Olympic Trials Swimmer. He has got fantastic technique in all four strokes. He stopped swimming for about two years. He was looking to get on a coaching staff at the collegiate level. I man – swimming has been his life since he was 5, a Curl-Burke swimmer – I say the better part of it and I did not know his history when I got a chance to kind of take over the American University site that we have so I am swimming – flags go on – why is that guy not swimming in our lanes? He is unbelievable so I approach him – try to do the recruiting thing – Hey – you are pretty fast – why don’t you come on over. After some wrestling he finally came over. Now, you have got to remember who has coached him – Division I – he has been to trials- Rick Curl coached him. At the time I didn’t know this so who am I – a little Masters coach to go to somebody with really spectacular credentials, but I did anyway – maybe I was wrestling with the bull again and Mark really is a success in two notes – not just as an athlete and the times that he has done as a Masters swimmer, but really the growth of a young man within the swimming world and I will start with that first. You know – it was really exciting to see him get back to the water and here is a guy that has got you know – 30,000 yards a day – you know – all that kind of heavy stuff so we sat down and I said look – what do you think about this – lets go no more than 3,000 – maybe 3200 yards every other day – you want to sprint – you define your success. You want to sprint again. Now, lets hit the weight room 5 or 6 times a week and lets see where it goes. One of our strategic partners offered up him train as a triathletes so now I have got a fat burn energy system going with him and he has run a pretty good distance – he is starting to bike safely – injury free – good things are starting to happen. He gets back in the water. We start doing some sprint sets and he is popping 47’s in the hundred free – off the blocks – 6.1’s – lots of rest in between and I know this guy can go a lot faster. At the time he has been 45.4 as a college athlete in the hundred free. Good swim – it is pretty decent. He gets in his first Masters meet and goes 44.7 or 44.8 and everybody is like wow – you just went your – unshaved – untapered – you just went faster that your shaved taper time 3 or 4 years ago – ding – ding – ding – lights start going off. What is going on? As coaches, we are looking at the scientific – what is going on with this kid’s body? What is really going here? So he gets the bug again. He is excited about it, but we clearly define success for him.
You are not going to go a bunch of yards. You are going to go high end quality which I think has influenced his Division I assistant coaching job that he has – really it is fulltime so you know he trained and now he said, okay – we are going to hit the National scene and Austin is where he popped some really good 50’s – pretty much right across the board he went 48 in the 100 IM which nobody had broken 50. I think at a Masters level. He went 44.2 in the 100 free. 24.4 in the 50 breast – just really great swims, but the success of this is the smile. I mean – he comes back and we go out and have a beer that night and he is like – you know – so glad that I did this and it is fun and I do not feel any pressure and that really – the light bulb goes on and you know – there we go – we have got success out of this guy and he has taken that back to his fulltime job of coaching and now we have got him hooked – what I think – hopefully for life as a Masters swimmer and he is a Masters coach with us now and you know – a really good ……….. so we have done two things. We have really developed a young man who is getting married next month and really – we got a great ally in our program and that is the future for us. I see Mark on deck as a 42 year old coaching and swimming – I am hopeful, but I think that we have done it right with him. He went fast too – that is really comforting – that is nice you know and it is. We are all competitive at some level and it is nice, but wow – did we validate a training program for him. He went 21.5 in the 50 fly and what is going on? So a really good piece about coaching and part of the other thing is that we – the head coach Frank – has really impressed upon us that we need to be professionals. You know – we travel the country in our normal jobs – our paying jobs I guess and we go into Masters programs if we are lucky – we go into the pool. We are not going to mention any names of programs, but I cant tell you how many times I have gotten into a Masters practice and they just scribble it up on the board and they go and sit under the umbrella. How motivating is that? I think you have got to be up on deck – you have got to be a leader – and you have got to know how to reach – you know – 499 individuals because everybody is different. We define winning as looking at the individual level and they define them. You have got to facilitate that – that takes a lot of work as you all know.
Can I tell you two really quick stories because it plays right on what Jim said – Jim sort of had a bad back and it sort of helped getting back in the water about three years ago and the neatest thing, I think for me, is wherever I go now and I can at least keep up with the slow lanes – I can jump into any Masters team and swim workouts and I am learning so much – not on deck, but swimming the workouts of those coaches, but the thing – even in my first year of doing that and traveling to quite a few places in the US particularly and a few overseas and I told Rob this morning the biggest impediment is four out of five coaches were like what I encountered in a certain small island nation in the Pacific where we have an office and they have got a good University team and they have great coaches – I really liked these coaches. I watched them coach their college workout – I watched the land training – I watched the men’s – I watched the womens – two guys – great. I mean – I said – boy these are great coaches – Masters shows up – beautiful 50 meter facility – two pools – they have got 110 on their Masters team. The first sign of problems – guess how many swimmers knew each other’s name? and the reason I know this is I jumped in a lane that I thought I might be able to keep up with and when I introduced myself I got this look of shock and they kind of jumped back and said, we don’t really use first names here and I am like oh – I am sorry – I got a long last name – I am Mr. Marcinkowski. It used to have an O in front of it because I was Irish, but I took the O off to shorten it – went through the whole thing and I get this blank stare – they said – we don’t know anybody’s name. I said oh – because the team is so big? No – we are just here to swim – just here to workout. The coach comes out on deck and brings out a white board – he put this workout on the board from top to bottom. I said – this guy knows his stuff. It was a great workout and everybody was kind of trying to look at it and figure it out and then what happens? Grabs a chair – sits down – turns his back to the Masters team and for the next hour and 45 minutes schedules 15 minute sessions one on one with his varsity swimmers. People didn’t understand the set. I mean, I pretty much knew everything he wrote – I am a coach and I could read his writing. There were new people – they didn’t know – and that is so – I do not want to offend anybody, but that is – if not 4 our of 5 – that is 3 out of 5 in the Masters team from this country – I go and swim with and work with. Now I am not saying our coaching is good – I am saying it is that bad.
Different situation – I am up in – this one I will tell you where I am at – I am up in Alaska – I have an office in Anchorage. I jumped in with the Masters. They are up at Alaska Pacific University. The coach runs out – who are you? Don’t even think about paying. What kind of pace can you go? Take this lane – I am going to keep an eye on you – by the way – it is a salt water pool – you will probably feel a little sick at the end of swimming. I did – I was feeling really sick and I thought it was altitude, but we are at sea level anyway and the workout and she is all over – six lanes – six different workouts – nothing posted – boom – boom – boom. It was a great workout. When it was done she goes – come on over here and I am like – what did I do wrong now? She was videotaping me – it was the first time in my life. As a coach, we do not get much stroke instruction – most of us. They either don’t say it or you don’t have time. She videotaped three of my four strokes. I am like – this is what it should be. This is the team I want to be like, but it is one out of five or two out of five. I will leave that with ………………
Question: I hate to interrupt your stuff – this is something that I have been dealing with at my location – is that I want to take that approach, but a lot of the Masters fight back. They do not want me to critique their stroke and I think with adults there needs to be some transparency like do you want my feedback and so I feel like to be able to be an effective coach I need to be able to speak with them, but a lot of them are very hostile to me when I say hey, why don’t you try this? Don’t talk to me – understand –
Answer: I have seen that and for those types of swimmers that just kind of want to go back and forth – that might be their specific definition of winning. My thought would be is to meet with – I am aggressive so I will go after the most hostile person and sit down with them over a cup of coffee and say hey – what do you want to do in swimming? Do you just want to go back and forth? Which is okay, I mean that might be just – the end user – if that is what they want – we will give it to them, but that as we go through I think it is our responsibility as coaches to lean forward and say hey – ………………………………….. have you found out one and one with that? I have talked to them. I am just entering my second year –
Awesome – but definitely something where I get an idea with a head coach and then you know – as a new coach I am like okay – that is their philosophy – go and in my second year I am starting to say okay – well where are the instructions and now that they – you know – I know all of their names. They know my name – lets work on figuring out what everybody wants. It has been an ongoing thing where there could be three different practices: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 6 AM. I think our place holds something like 20 different Masters parking spaces between our two sites and then nobody shifts so there could be one coach on Monday – another coach on Wednesday morning and another coach on Friday morning and that is inconvenient. It would be nice to be able to have some loyalty so the part-time coaches – it is a little bit harder – we want to make sure that the swimmers feel connected to their coach and that the coaches feel responsible for the individual swimmers as opposed to just responsible for the workout, but it has been interesting to see everybody has their own style and it has been interesting to figure out how each swimmer really – they – right now where their mind is like this and seeing if that mind is open to other possibilities or if really they …………… this way and you need to honor this.
Answer: Get the individual’s definition of success. I would probably meet with the other coaches – obviously a wealth of knowledge and you could also get sneaky and build technique – embed it into your workout. Yeah – we have to make it really low – I call it the drill from hell, but that freestyle drill we were breathing from the opposite arm with the arm down – but anyways – it is a killer – I am telling you. He is right, but the other thing is at some point I think and we went through this and it was my fault. It took 5 years too long to get rid of some folks. At some point they have got to become a team. If not, there is something called lap swimming and that is where they should be. Just don’t lose patience – take your time – we have got a lot of tricks. I am going to talk about that very problem this afternoon – talk about working with open water swimmers and triathletes in your practice, but it is a huge problem. ??who??? I would like to say one thing real quickly – as a young coach – coaching people that are sometimes twice your age if not more or my favorite comment remains – this one time about how old or not old I am – they said they had jeans older than me – the point is that one thing that I kind of worked on was getting respect from older athletes is that in figuring those that want that instruction – so I will give a set and I will say okay – this is the set – those that want to work on this other aspect – meet me in this pool during the next ten minutes – what the set is going to take and guess what – You might get 1/3 of the people to go over there and I am going to spend time with them and I have in my mind saying these 10 people want my instruction – those 20? No, but once those ten go back in the pool in that set – they kind of feel left out and guess what – the next time you have 20 over there and then over the last three years everyone stays 95% – and you quickly figure out who wants that and who doesn’t and even today – there are five people that don’t care – that is fine. I do not try to force it on them, but doing stuff like that really kind of gets those that want that instruction – you figure it out real quickly and those that don’t – fine. I am not there to force. ??who??
One of the things that works so well with Jim and I coaching together is we have similar styles. I am not quite as aggressive, but we both pick favorites and we can say things in masters you could never say in an age group program and both of us – our favorites are the athletes that come to learn and work the hardest every day. I don’t care how fast they are – my favorite swimmers – those are his favorite swimmers and like I said, you cant say that in age group – I pick favorites, but we do and it works. ??Just a real quick comment on the last thing on coaching – I am very excited and just salivating to hear results of Chris and Lori’s work on the ASCA Masters Certification process. Here we go with getting a validation of what has probably a core competency level that we can get as coaches. I can’t wait to see it. I think it is a step in the right direction and we have talked about it quite a bit at this conference about how we are going to facilitate that instruction and that program within our 8, 9, 10 or 15 coaches. It is going to be good – looking forward to it. And please don’t merit 100% after age group coaching or ASCA regular certifications. Moving quickly on that – these partnerships – nobody swims alone in a pool. Somehow you are interfacing with something. We realized that we probably need a reach out which is what we did – we reached out to some organizations. Surely under the umbrella of USMS and the Curl-Burke program we are a part of the Potomac Valley Masters – LMSC. American University – one of the sites that we got a chance to build – a head coach now swims.
The assistant coach now swims. The other assistant coach now swims and sits on our Board as our technical advisor. Really good idea to develop that partnership and that relationship and we will show a quick slide of what that can do and we are kind of highlighting the competition piece here, but as a success factor. The Open Water Swim Association – the president of that – the guy who started it, Dennis Pream is a former Masters Coach – is a former Masters Swimmer so we are happy to be affiliated with what he is doing – what he is trying to do – Fitness for All concept. I think we need to be careful and work along side USMS’S Masters Swimming programs and advancements in open water. We want to be all there on the same page. We just linked up with Montgomery County’s multi-sport club – pretty much ….. team which has been very successful. We have had our own Masters Swimmers join these and I haven’t seen any downside. Team Z – Ed Zerkel’s team – very large – very aggressive – triathletes training program. We are pretty much his technical advisor on swimming. His coaches swim with us. He swims with us of course. These partnerships – to me – they are very positive. He needs a new picture in advertising – I am sorry – he needs a new picture – which one? Team Z – yeah – it doesn’t come up real clear – and the elbows – Jim and I got ………….. on him – you ought to go to his website – his website is beautiful and his branding is almost unmatched, but this – yeah – this one got away from him. He needs a poster child for improvement and Ed himself is a former team captain from Virginia Tech – good grass coaching – good freestyler – you should know better. You see the pattern though – we don’t see any breaststrokers, but if Mel was in here – I could bring him a little bit. Just a real quick snapshot of what a partnership can do – the triathletes club. This is the result of 2009 Zones and we picked out the mile and 1st, 2nd, and there is not 3, 4, 5 swimmers in that particular event, but as a strategy at the zone level – they came in and helped us – it alleviated a lot of pressure from our what we call – traditional competitive swimmers. It took 38 – they took 35 of the 48 slots in the 1650 that were available. …………… Team D and these guys were organized.
They were ready a year ahead of time to sign up because it was the meet they were ever going to limit the 1650’s because they had done the same thing the year before and went way over schedule. In the 1000 they took like 45 of the 60 slots in the 1000. We still cannot get them to do the 4 X 200 free relays, men, women or mixed. We cannot get it into their mind that they can do that short of a distance. They won’t do it. They are afraid of the short distances. I think 70% of our ………. Has never swum in a competition before – ever, but I would tell you – that night at that party we had – they were pretty happy. They had a good time. With the collegiate program – obviously 18 – or really in here – 19 and over – working with these folks – you know you go 1-6 in one event – some of the times – you know are good – some of the times are – can be improved upon which is good, but it makes it easier for us at the strategic level. As we look forward to Nationals we have some work to do, but they all had a blast. They had a real good time. Many of these folks were you know – 24 year olds and had been out of the water for a bit and to get back into the water is success. If you get back in the water and swim some relays – the ladies got to swim relays as well – was fun. It was just a good time. It was real fun. We have got high school all Americans swimming all Americans at American University – one of our strategic partners – not swimming for American University – pre-med majors whatever – they just – for whatever reason – some of them work fulltime – they are great swimmers and they can go 3500 – maybe 4000 a day at max 4 times a week – 5 times a week – I mean – that is our target. How fast can we get somebody to swim in how little time in the water essentially. We are all in the same boat – we don’t have much time to train and we are trying to get fast so it is even in sync with what the coaches are trying to do and this is a great target audience for that is college swimming.
This is small – we are looking at it as – they are our customer and obviously ………… I would always say – you know – our people are our most important components. You know – 499 adults……… not with regard to swimming, but life experiences and maybe that might be through job references. It is our people that make the difference. We have got to make sure their plans are clear. We have struggled a little bit with our web site. I didn’t know the technique – I kind of helped start it and then we thank goodness – turned it over to somebody who knows what they are doing with the web. We are going to work with the new club assistant. We have gotten a little bit big. We need help with the books – collecting money and all that kind of stuff. ………. New patients – real important. Email distribution – we have talked about the facebook – twitter – all those kinds of things. How can we communicate with the 18 through – I think our oldest is 82 year olds. And probably the most significant business process that we have done is we have broken away from Curl-Burke Swim Club. We are a separate free-standing legal entity with a Board of 5 – soon to be hopefully – not for profit – we have applied. And any money that we have pretty much pulled in – after paying the operational expenses gets reinvested in the team – ……………, trips, subsidizing somebody who cannot pay monthly dues or maybe you have got an athlete that wants to go to Nationals, but they just don’t have the money – whatever we could do to make things go for them we try to do.
This third bullet – communication – somebody asked that question of Kerry this morning as well – I didn’t jump up because I knew we were going to talk about it a little bit – I cant tell you how important – you cannot spend too much time to get all of these things clear, concise, timely, accurate, minimal – it sounds contradictory – minimal communication. We offer it mostly by email. It is going to change when we go to club assistant – somewhat – the vehicle will change, but not the approach and we use a ……………… There is no reply to all. It is not so ……….., but when my team gets hit by an email which is about once a month – unless it is a pool closure – an emergency shut down – they know that email has everything of importance to the team. They can reply to me – the coaches – they can – we are not discouraging them talking to each other, but I can tell you – I swam last summer with a DC based team. It was only $135.00 a year because the D.C. Government paid their pool fees and I joined just to get the long course workout in and they have their entire team on an email distribution list and a really important email can come out – like the pool is going to be closed for one week because the heater broke – well yeah – I want to know that. I do not want to drive down to this location for nothing and so for the next week I cannot tell you how many emails I get at work – at my real job that was started by that one email because they have got no discipline – no protocol – it is copy all. It is a free for all and the next thing you know I am reading about some BBQ in St. Croix after the Open Water Swim on the same email string. It is devastating. I mean – the better you can communicate with your swimmers – minimize it – limit it. Be clear and concise. Copy the team and use your – we write all the business. When we have all heads meeting in our company it better apply to all hands or do not bring it up. The same when we offer our communications with our swimmers and it works great – without complaint – every other year.
Sir – you had a question? Yes – so does that act like basically a monthly newsletter? Do you disseminate information about meets and practice times and social gatherings and things along those lines – is it all encompassed there? Answer: I would say without the social piece – again – a critical announcement. You know – year-end Christmas party moved from Pete Morgan’s house to Jim Halstead’s house – yeah – we would announce that, but no – other than that it is not a social – it is – I want to say it is almost pure business. We have got 4 or 5 different sites – soon to be 6 and we have got to be careful on how we send the general information and we try to rely on the web site for site information. So you can click on the American University tab and get American University information. We also have you know – the main pages – you know – we took 6 or 7 folks down to St. Croix on an open water swim. It was fun. We had a barbecue. The hurricane was a big mess and you know – all that kind of stuff.
Question: So within that then you have separate tabs for each site for information? YES. It is all different. Where we train at the American University is totally a different time frame and quite frankly – for population. American University is fairly young where …… Practice Swim Club is a little bit older – 35+. I can tell – how many of you have multiple sites? WOW – a lot of you. Now, we could spend a whole presentation talking about multiple sites. One of the things that has worked and I think it comes into coaching – if not – well maybe more in a leader – team – team business model. One of the things that has worked so well for us is – I am the overall head coach of Curl-Burke Masters, but really I am the head coach at ……………………….. Swim Club site. I have got counterparts in American University – at the two Fairfax County pools. We have got a 50 meter summer outdoor pool – that is another coach. In my entire 20 something – well – since there has been email – I have NEVER corresponded with a swimmer at a site other than my own – ever – so what – all is I ask of our sites is – we want them all to buy into the plan – we are all focused on the same team events you know – we are in the same place on our energy systems where we are training. I want continuity between ………. And ……… – if I go to a workout – which we do a lot, but then when it comes to – I pour it out – team stuff to whoever is in charge of that site. In every case it is the head coach – that is the way we are set up – the coach runs the site and that coach then puts their endorsement on it – maybe doesn’t – wish they would have – you know – does whatever they do and they communicate with their swimmers and there is none of this – oh that is not how – this is Frank’s agenda or Jim’s agenda – no – it comes from their coach and the one thing with our sites that has worked really, really well is we have not lost the uniqueness in personality of our sites. Our …………….. site at Fairfax County – they keep team records. They are so hung up on team records. We just laugh. What is a team record? I don’t know. We don’t have them. We don’t track them. We don’t care, but that is so important to their team – to their site – why change it? But man – I ask them to rally for zones and their head coach stands up – trains his butt off with the seniors for a year – he is 43 years old – he goes lifetime bests as a 43 year old – I can’t ask for any more than that. I will let him keep team records for that. And anyways – that is some coordination between the sites where it works really well.
Club assistance can help us with that. We are too big now. It is getting too hard. I mean – real quick – we have got some of the unique – more unique features of our program. I will go over these quickly – maybe they will fly – maybe they won’t. They might set us a little bit different. We started to teach scholarships five years ago. We have given ten scholarships to a graduating high school male and female – again – I had a lot of bias before Title 9 – because of what went on at Notre Dame and the first sentence says, “There is going to be a women’s scholarship if they are giving men’s scholarships”, plus they had daughters, so we have done ten of them. We have given to the graduating – Jim sort of worked the criteria on that thing. The graduating high school senior swimmers within the Curl-Burke age group program that we think have the best leadership and sort of love the sport – to be quite honest with you – once we think you are going to be Masters swimmers and maybe Masters coaches – the ones that we think are going to stick with us for life – regardless of how fast they are. They know it. They write an essay – we judge them. It works really well. I would like to switch this over to American University, but that is another story. It can work well for you. I still think it is a good thing to do. JOB BANK: We are not very organized on this. I was looking at the numbers the other day and as best as I can tell – it is 11 so within our – keep in mind – these ideas started when we were small and now we are not too well organized at our site, but we have hired 7 graduating college seniors – age group alumni – swam in college. We have them in companies on our team and we have hired four of our own Masters and I even throw all the families in there so if you swim for Curl-Burke Masters and you got a kid that swims or not – that needs a job – we want their resume and it is really hard right now – the job situation is really bad, but that is 11 that might not have had jobs or good jobs and I can tell you – maybe I am biased – to the 11 of them – they have made great employees. These kids that swim and go through what they go through and usually do well in school – make great employees so I am actually kind of a believer in it too – I am not just helping out our team and helping out our swimmers. This is something that we have got to get that around – we can’t spend too much time on it. Our new web site called assistance is going to help us with that job bank, but we will talk a little bit about college swimming as a strategic partner – if you want to get a college kid’s attention on your Masters team – senior year in high school or junior year in high school and all of a sudden they haven’t had an internship and they are failing the study – you start talking jobs – let me tell you – do you have their attention. They will be beating down your doors to come to practice – just to see your smiling face and say – remember me? I need a job. If I could real quick – we had a young man – a ………… Alumni swimmer – Ethan Vacid – a very good breaststroker – since we haven’t had any of the breaststrokers – I am not sure what is going on with that, but approaching the trials – great thing – comes back in the water. We ask him you know – how fast in the water – we are going to go to this zones meet – can you help us out? Sure – so he starts training with Mark and I on the deck and Frank and he is working hard and I see Greg – you know just writing stuff – that is to score him as a human being. He is a phenomenal young man so I engage him in a conversation – hey, we didn’t your life – what is going on? What is your plan? Kind of like some of the age group coaches can do and he says aw ya know – I am bummed out. You know, I applied for Med School and didn’t get in and I said well I have a medical background – can I help you? So, we went out for a cup of coffee – a lot of stuff gets done over coffee and we talked about it – hey – look – let me see your ………… etc. He didn’t know that I was the Chief of Staff to the position to the President of the United States so I say to him – hey – we need to meet for lunch – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – so I bring him down to the White House and we have lunch – sitting with us is the position to the President. Tell him why you want to be a doc and boy – talk about making a difference in somebody’s life – it was phenomenal and then – unbeknownst to me – the physician to the president was so impressed with this young man – he wrote a letter on his White House letterhead to the University of and I won’t say where and Holy Cow – who got into Med School? ……………..
So you know – to me – that is a good story – is it – I don’t want to get into ethics, but you know – I had an opportunity to make a difference in a young man’s life and I got it. I mean – that is kind of what we do. We try to improve the quality of life and he is a Masters swimmer for life – it is good news. It is good stuff. Team building events – we do a lot of them – I really – listening to Kerry’s talk this morning – we can talk about those if folks have questions – we could go on and on about that probably, but a lot of them are socials – some of them are physical – we do a lot of climbing. There is a group of us trying to learn how to ride a bike and do some other stuff so they are really fun and again I already spoke about that – I jumped the gun on the individual site ………………….., but if you have got multiple sites – let them have their personalities – do not try imposing something that you are going to fight and you might find they support them when you need them too. Where do we go next? There is only two or three slides left and we want to leave a little bit of time for questions. You know – we need to think about our competition venues. We send a small group to Nationals – it was really fun. Nobody got arrested – almost. We want to maybe bring the whole somewhere sometime.
Actually, Jim and I sort of differ on this. I think it would be neat to show up at a small – I call it Mom and Pops – Warrenton, Virginia. They have got the new Warrenton Aquatic Recreation Plus Facility. They got a little Masters Team. They threw a meet. I think it would be neat to show up there with 300 people – registered the day before – Jim and I kind of think it will be long course Nationals in Puerto Rico next year. We are going to shoot for that as a team. Inner-squad meets with 500 swimmers now – we have got to you know – I am going to send something out for Burke Racquet Swim Club. I will probably get their management very mad at meet and I am going to tell the other 4 sites – oh – lets go – we are going to have an inner-squad meet – if 1 out of 5 show up we got a hundred people ………….. swimming each other – it is going to be a blast. We have been looking for a dual meet partner – we may have found one, okay? Five, six, seven years ago I challenged this team on a small remote Pacific Island and it is a big tourist destination and at the time they had a 125 swimmers – we had about 150. I said we want a dual meet against you guys every other year and we will come to this island in the winter time and every other year we will have you in Virginia – if you want to see the cherry blossoms we will even schedule it in May – after Nationals or something and they were like Oh God – we want to do that – that is going to be so – I knew it wasn’t going to work – they are not coached – they do not coach in any sort of fashion. They don’t know each others names – how are you going to – we swim 135 relays so we are looking for a team. If there is anybody out there – it could even be every other year – which means every 4th year – one team would travel to their location. We would love to find a good dual meet partner and go at it every year and have fun so.
QUESTION: How big are you looking for? Well I don’t know to tell you the truth – if you are in a nice location we might come if you only had 25. If you are a smaller size you know and I can bring 150 – put four or five teams together and kind of you know – do that. If you start beating us too bad – put a few on our side or we will call the events – you already know what is coming – breaststroke relays. Okay – STRATEGIC PARTNERS: We got a long way to go – who is teaming up with the American Riders Foundation out there? You know – in our area they do not have dry suits. They surf about three or four months a year and the rest of the year they are worried about staying in shape. These guys actually love to swim – not as much as surf, but they love to swim enough to keep them honed to surf and they have got a clean water initiative and we are already talking to them. There is a whole group out there that and they are going to become USSS – we are bringing them in – we might – we love to surf too – actually we might learn something. Where our team is clearly short or deficient – if you look at the profile of our team – it is that picture in the lower left hand corner there – we need more seniors – we really do. We have got some – we love them to death – we do not have that senior coach that we were talking about earlier and we want that. We want him or her, but we want – we can learn so much from these guys. Jim and I visited a couple of Green springs Farms – they are Erickson Property Retirement Homes. We were sort of positioned on a relay for Jones – we are really not – I mean we actually have almost all Curl-Burg swimmers swimming for – we looked at this and said – look – the other three wanted us to get a fourth – you know – the other three seniors couldn’t find a fourth. We went to a couple of local retirement homes and let me tell you – we ran into some swimmers in their 80’s and 90’s and I looked at one of them that was about 85 and I said – that is what I want my freestyle to look like. There were some great swimmers out there. They don’t know about Masters. They are afraid of Masters. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted yet, but there is a captive market out there of Seniors that everybody is forgetting about and we want a few of them on our team because there is a lot that we can learn from them, okay? We have got a long way to go to improve our business systems and operations.
Finally, we want to bring home some of our alumni – not swimmers on other teams – I am talking people at Craig-Aman – down there in Arkansas who is doing his workouts virtual reality with Michael Ross. Michael may have a team – Craig doesn’t. He wants somebody to swim with. He is a ??????????? Come to Nationals with us – I need you on a relay. I have got some really other fast people in that age group so we want to ????? You know, Curl-Burke and we will get into the age group piece of it – we have got 7,500 to 10,000 alumni – easily. They do not know who they are. They do not know what their addresses are. They gave us an email list and said contact these people – there were 3500 names on them – five came – five worked. They have lost all that – almost forever so we have brought a guy home from Australia and his name is Rick Curl – actually Rick came back on his own and we said Rick – we will put you on our Board, but darn it – you are going to be our alumni. He is the only guy that can do it – nobody else in that club has the charisma and the connection with all those senior swimmers – oh no – he is willing to do it – if they do – Rick has shown some potential – we have got to teach him the Masters business – I dread the task. There is a lot that we can learn from him and you know – that picture on the bottom – I am not telling the alumni they got a spot and to come home – I just thought – you know – kind of like a …………………………. – they gotta start coming back to their roots, although that sounds fun too.
MASTERS PAIRED ALONGSIDE AN AGE GROUP PROGRAM: Gosh – this could have been a whole presentation. I will just tell you and Jim will chime in here – in fact – the next slide is Jim’s – Brand recognition – Coaching Philosophy – Goal Setting – Practice Times and Assigning of Lanes – These are all reasons we stepped out on our own. These are the areas we were running into huge discrepancies – if not occasionally travesties – Practice times and assignment of lanes – If you are an age group program – sell everything you can – every last lane and when it is all over in the dark of the night saying gee – I wonder if I can get a couple of sleep deprived adults to come and take this slot. Oh – by the way – ………………………………….. Forget it – we are not going to do it anymore you know? We are paying for the kid’s stuff – most of us anyways. We are paying for our own stuff. We want to train hard. Some of us want to go fast – we are going to be in charge of your own destiny. We are going to step out – we are going to rent lanes – and we are going to support the kids at the same time so right now we have got a one-way street. We do not have much of a two-way street with the age group program. I hope it will change, but then you see – I can show you a picture of an age-grouper who is Curl-Burke age group label – was changed to protect the guilty and interchange of lanes of Masters coming in and then having to get out when their time was over. There is our relationship with our age group program.
I apologize for that – and that is not to say they all feel like that. It was Dr. Hooligan that learned at a young age, but we get that you know? Age group will decide it is a special night – you know – they have already been shoved back to 8 at night and they decide they are going to go till 8:30 and so it is a birthday party – no you are not – you know – here is ten bucks for your party – get the heck out of lanes and we get this and this is not his – this is not that age grouper – he didn’t learn to be a Hooligan from his playmates – he earned that from his parents, right? He learned that through observation of “leadership”. That is where our age groupers are getting this attitude – from their coaches and I am sick and tired of it and we are going to fix it within Curl-Burke Masters. It is not all like that. We do have some good – most of us were age group coaches. We do have some good ones that support us. I am really generalizing. I am going to get us in trouble probably.
OTHER REASONS – DEFINING SUCCESS – COACH AND SWIMMER RELATIONSHIPS – ACCOUNTABILITY IS HUGELY DIFFERENT FROM AGE GROUP PROGRAMS. If you try structuring it exactly the same – if you …………………. An age group program – oh boy – you will have a bad 5 years. Contact information – there it is – we are on the web site – yeah – please email or call with any questions, concerns, news – one of them – something that is ………………… Question/Answer: Pretty much all over. We do not have as much option as Kerry does at the Walnut Creek program, but pretty much morning and evening and then in the summer we try to work out a special morning lunchtime program because I run the lunchtime program and morning program. I am thinking about starting an afternoon – late afternoon program – after 7:30 – so I wasn’t sure if that 7:30+ if a lot of Masters would want to be coming out that late. (I was in one that was at 9 at night). They will but I can tell you if you get much past the 7 o’clock or 7:30 start – you are going to lose so many people and it is going to be so – certainly an 8 o’clock. If you get past an 8 o’clock start – (I know if you travel – some people actually prefer because the kids are in bed and 8 o’clock is better for them than 6:30.) Yeah, well I am talking 10 hour ……… here. Perhaps if you start too late they just don’t get to sleep you know? And it is hard for most of the team – past an 8 o’clock start, but yeah – you are right – it is going to vary a lot by your community and your local population and all of that.
Question: what time is your morning? At 6 or do you Answer: We have two morning – at American University we have a 5 and a 6:15 AM. We overlap by 15 minutes and then we have 6-7:30 because a lot of these folks they like coming into the city – as Jim said – they like driving in from the suburbs early and once they are in the city – it is easier to get to work and you got 6-7:30 – that is more popular than the 5-6:15. The traffic is horrendous.
Question: We – that is a planning factor for us – is traffic so yeah and we have got to customize our workouts for the customer around traffic – as best we can.
Another Question? Yeah – and you guys are making enough money to ? live on? Yeah, well this is a labor of love. Neither really – it is in between. If you had a fulltime coach that did not have a second job – could you make a living? Answer: Probably not – the way we are set up with our individual sites is we have some autonomy in those sites so we would have to take over central ownership per se from the head coaches at three of our five sites who right now they do all the dues collection. They pay themselves. They pay the pool rentals and they are so good and they are so loyal I would not do that. They are good coaches, but if we did – I mean – just on the two sites we got – I can tell you at the American University site which is our first Curl-Burke Masters Swimming, Inc. site that we are using Club Assistant to get organized with – I mentioned yesterday – when Jim took it over – the coaches were making $15. an hour – how long ago was that Jim? 3 years ago? 4 years ago? Yeah – about 3 or 4 years ago. And we are now paying them $40 an hour – we realize that for Exit – $35. an hour but they are underpaid – we are going to boost it up to $40. an hour and that site – after pool rental is making $1,000. a month on top of that so we can pay our coaches well and we are generating money. We are going to have to figure out how to spend it – it is not for profit – scholarships and stuff like that. We are putting everything we can – if there is anything – right back into the program – so far – yeah. And I would really encourage that – I heard it yesterday too – build for a while. Build and re-invest – even if you are going to do it for money – put something there – make it sustainable and then make a little money if you want to. Yeah – you make some along the way too, but I sure wouldn’t take the money out of there like you know – I would build that operating capital like a business. Question for Frank: What is the – you said you had 15 coaches – what is the max that a coach is working at – Answer: The max is probably at American University – where we have 21 coached hours a week and we have roughly two coaches doing that 21 hours and Mark Wizenski coaches a day a week, as Jim said, which we love so the max is about – would never be over 15 hours a week – more likely it is 10 to 12 is the max, yeah.
Question: And how did you get into American University? Answer: There was an existing Masters coach under the Curl-Burke Age Group program that was also an age group coach and it was – unfortunately – one of those things where hey – the 6 or 7 Masters that are here – here is your workout – I am going to coach the age groupers. We got word of that and things changed – somebody got fired and Frank and I saw a gold mine there – not from the money perspective, but an opportunity to grow, right? This is phenomenal. I will do it – At the time I lived on the South side – in Northern Virginia, D.D. AU was over here – it is like a 45 minute drive so 5 o’clock practice? I am up at 3 something. Yeah – not fun, but the sacrifice you had to make in order to get a strong foothold in that program – a couple of months later we are at 85 and now I think we are 125. We are pretty much busting at the seams there which is why on Monday we are opening up a new program at – Georgetown Prep – to give us a little bit of overflow or get the opportunity for Georgetown Prep to blossom and grow and we think it is going to. But everything, as Jim said, is immediately met there. I called the Aquatic Administrator who by the way happens to be the ??? Varsity Men and Womens Coach and this guy is creative – he is dynamic. He knows good coaching when he sees it and Jim established a relationship with him where the next thing you know – he is watching our team grow and grow – yeah – we got a contract for lane rentals with the Curl-Burke Swim Club which you guys are part of – I have got these unused hours on Saturday morning and Saturday evening and Sunday morning for like two hour blocks and in the evening and Curl Burke already pays for us and I mean – it is just – it is ……….. and oh, by the way, the previous summer Jim had taken some of his varsity women who – as you know – he can’t touch – he cant even look at hardly and put them in the Masters program with guys like Mark Wizenski in our fast lanes and they had fantastic – they went like time best their senior year and I am not saying we kept them in the water and then Mark did his thing – I am not claiming credit for that, but boy you want to endear yourself to the college coach, send his kids back as fast so they are in as good a shape as you got them – don’t charge them anything and then ask for a lane or two in the pool and he is going to give you the keys so – yeah – it was huge. Do you have any other questions? The fees are on the website – site by site so if you go to our website you click on Burke Racquet Swim Club and automatically you will see our fee structure there. Click on American University – click on Providence Recreational Center – Audrey Moore – Old Team Mill – you will a fee structure in every link, yeah – as well as the coach – point of contact – all that stuff.
Any other questions? Thank you to Rob, Chris, Kerry and Lori for allowing us to be here. It has been phenomenal – it is the best swimming thing I think I have ever been to and got a chance to meet Eddie Reese which was huge. He coached us a little bit yesterday. Yeah, he coached us a little bit – that was awesome. It is funny – you talk about relationships – a year ago when I was hired as Executive Director – I was looking for success models and I was looking for a variety of Masters models that had worked. I was looking for coaches that had enthusiasm and energy and had volunteer spirit and I got a phone call from one of your strategic partners – ………………………, man – she runs one of the dealers up there and she just wrote this really nice email and she said – by the way, you have to come and see Curl-Burke Masters. She was there doing …………………….. They have energy – they have enthusiasm – what you said was exactly right – they have a Bosco as well – someone that can do the Administration side – as well as …….. they can do the coaching side. She just was bragging about this guy …………. Partnership. So, I called Frank and introduced myself and I said, I am hearing these great things about you guys and he goes yeah – thanks. He goes do you want to come up and see us and I said, okay – lets do it. So I went to the Colony Zone Meet. It was a great time and for me – I shared a little bit earlier about the social I got to go afterwards at your house and to meet some of those Masters swimmers, but I am so excited to hear about stuff like this to be able to share back with this audience and with our group here too – it just brings more of a sense of what can be.
We all have our own challenges. We all have our own situations and nothing when you hear – whether it is Kerry or your Jim or your Frank or you hear anybody else – there are ways to overcome and hopefully this can serve as inspiration and resources for you when you go back to your local areas. Thank you – you guys. After lunch – has anybody looked at the agenda? Do we start back – is it 1 or 1:30. It is 1:30. Oh good – so we got about an hour and 10 minutes so after lunch and it will be a quicker presentation – it will be on – more detail on partnering with the triathletes and the open water swimmers and what you can do for them and what they can do for you. A lot of pictures – very few words.