Introduction by Lanny Landtroop: I would like to let you know that “Coaching Swimming Successfully” is one of the best books you can buy and especially for coaches that are new, but for veteran coaches, as well as new coaches, Dick Hannula’s “Coaching Swimming Successfully” which is what his talk is about today and they do have them right down in the ASCA booth – I just bought this one and so I think that you would be well served – it is the kind of thing that you will look at – you will want to read through and then you will look at repeatedly throughout your career – I will assure you of that. He is one of the great gentlemen in our sport and he has done so much for our sport and for swimmers, but a tremendous amount for coaches – just a tremendous amount – a very prolific writer and a true gentleman and I talked this morning about his legacy – this is an example of that legacy. He is always willing to give whatever he has and he does it with enthusiasm.
Coach Dick Hannula:
Well Lanny – thank you – I am not that upset about you plugging my book, but I will owe you and your wife a dinner and I think we will make good on it in a couple of weeks when you do our clinic up there in the Pacific Northwest. The title of this is Coaching Tips. The question mark is because you are the one to decide whether it was a coaching tip or was something short of that. Some of this is probably fairly specific and some of it is quite obscure and you are going to have to kind of look it over and dig down and maybe find out how it applies to your coaching, and repetition is necessary. If we have some repetition that is the greatest thing there is.
Originally, the talk actually had a different title – it was something about coaching based on the lifetime of observation. That got lost someplace on the way and I am not so sure that a half century of coaching or more really gives you that big an insight, although you should have some opinions after that period of time. Just a quick note too – Bob Steele was running that Councilman – Doc Councilman Motivational Contest – slogan contest and someone stopped me on an elevator – I think it was last night – a crowded elevator – and said how much they liked my motivational methods – giving away these t-shirts and stuff and I said – it is not mine – it is Bob Steele. Every year to start that thing out he writes a bunch of stuff and posts it on the board and signs my name on it and Marty was asking me this morning – he said – talking about that – and I said Marty – it is not mine. I saw Bob Steele this morning and basically I said to him – Bob does this and puts my name on it and I saw Bob out there – he was getting ready to leave for the airport and he says – I said, Bob – that middle paragraph was mine, but I never bought t-shirts and he said, yes – you did. I said, I never bought them – yes you did. He coached a bunch of my swimmers and they said – your swimmers said that – well – that is what he heard and once again I said, I never did that and he said, “Now you did” and if you know Bob – that is about the way things work. At one time I thought that maybe I had something to say and I would probably be able to give some caustic remarks and that kind of thing – and some real insight, but the closer this talk came – the less sure I was.
First of all, coaching tips are all around us. I have been coming to this thing since the first one in 1969, it was in Ft. Lauderdale, if I am wrong on that I apologize but I believe it was 1969. I went through the two at Montreal and everything in between. As I sit here now I am hearing the same thing, the same message, its being delivered in a different way, but things really haven’t changed that much.
First of all, there are books – there are articles – there are successful people – there are communicators. There are sources all around us. Most of the sources are not even connected to swimming. You have to recognize them and learn from them. You have got to walk the walk and you are a role model, whether you like it or not. Your punctuality, your organization, how you treat the officials in the sport, your character, your appearance, all of these things set you apart. Living by a set of values and morals you are a role model. A leader walks the walk. I think in many respects these values seem to be much closer to the high school coach because he is dealing with these kids on a daily basis in an educational situation.
You have to develop a coacher for your program, the shared attitudes, values, goals and practice sessions that characterize the team. One is the family environment; you care and support one another. I have heard it many times, but I don’t think the swimmers really care too much, but the long-term thing is how much you care. If you were at the banquet last night and you saw George McMillian’s support group, I could not believe that many people would come this far to see him inducted. I don’t know what there was up there, about 30 people that looked to be pretty close to George’s age. I am telling you, he cared and that is what people are really concerned about.
The expectations on, at and away from the pool, I think everybody on the team must know those. Shared learning, pride, training, racing, swim-offs. Pride is really important, and for me pride was how well you trained, how well you raced. Every time we had a swim-off was a great chance for a team pride. Everybody came out on the deck and everybody stayed if there was a swim-off coming. I don’t care if they were in the finals or not, they stayed. I used to tell the kids we never lost a swim-off and I kind of blocked out the ones we lost. So I wasn’t totally facetious. We hadn’t won every one of them, but we won basically every one. No one wanted to be the first one to lose the swim-off, and no one wanted to be the first one to lose a swim-off in front of his teammates.
Relays are great places to build pride too. A lot of great swimmers never swam as fast as they did in individual event when they swam a relay; some great swimmers couldn’t do that so a lot of swimmers could swim fantastic times on a relay, but they could never do it in an individual event and I always asked my kids that said never give less in a relay than you are willing to give for yourself and you got three other people on the block so there all kinds of little opportunities – even the finishes – we used to always make a big deal out of people – if they were close – they had to hold on to get their spot. I didn’t care whether it was 5th, 6th or whatever it was – if there was just one person to beat, but everybody on the team had to come out and come forward and see somebody was making a great effort and so it is very important just to do those things.
The work ethic each day in training and what makes a successful coach? One time I walked into a restaurant and Flip Darr was there with a swimmer. This was a lot of years ago, Flip was at the top of his game; he had Gary Hall, Sr. at one time and he had some great, great swimmers. He says “Coach, come here” and I said “yeah” And he says “the swimmer just asked me what makes a great coach” and he asked me what makes a great coach and geez – I had walked in to get something to eat – I had my team there – the last thing I even wanted to think about – what makes a great coach? What kind of silly question is this? So anyway – I don’t know what I said – I couldn’t come up with a decent answer. I probably stuttered and Flip said, what makes a great coach he says is a great swimmer and I thought about it and walked away – I think it makes you recognize – sometimes maybe – maybe not totally justifiable, but it doesn’t make a great coach. It maybe makes a recognized coach – so many great coaches that never get a chance to be recognized – I thought about that again last night. Man – I am in the Hall of Fame by the slimmest of margins and I thank my lucky stars that some things happened along the way that just made it possible and yet, there are so many coaches that are better that won’t get recognized. I think that we have to establish parameters to measure success. I will talk more on this later in the talk.
Prepare athletes for the next level. You don’t want to just prepare them for where you are. If you have an age grouper you want to prepare them for a step up. You got a high school kid that you know can swim at the top, prepare him for a step up. If you know they should be at Nationals, prepare him for that step. If you know they are going to have the ability to do it in college swimming you should be preparing them to move on. Work hard and have fun, a lot more will be said about that. Work hard and have fun.
Ability to teach technique and at the same time instill the love of the sport and it is both a science and an art. Many times coaches study and study to get the science down and the art – you muff the art and you have muffed everything. George Haines was a master at the art of coaching. He was the one – I thought he had just great rapport – great ability – it is the ability to teach and motivate and to know which buttons to push. Our great coaches can do that. They can challenge and push the right button to get the best out of an individual. I believe the science can be learned. I mean, usually the science is a little behind things anyway, but if he is getting ahead of us – it is out there – you can study that and – the art of applying the science is the secret.
You know I was over in Turkey doing a clinic in June and they have a college curriculum for coaching. They might have a college curriculum for coaching someplace in this country, but I wasn’t aware of it. But, if I had a college curriculum, I would have great things on organization and a lot on business practices and probably a lot on psychology. The most important thing I think I would have a student teacher or a student intern program where they had to spend at least three intern periods of whatever that might be, with top coaches. You learn more by just watching top coaches. Mark Schubert referred to that the other day, how important that is.
The cornerstones of the wooden pyramid: Two things, now this pyramid has a lot of building blocks you all know. I know that I was over in Turkey and somebody told me right to start. A young lady said to me, they already know all these strokes and stuff. They already know all this basic stuff. What they want to know is how to train them to swim these super fast times. In my club I always had Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier is the highest mountain in the continental United States and the mountain is on our t-shirts and it is our emblem and the idea is to climb to a height – to the peak of success. Well anyway, at the very top is success and all these building blocks are underneath. You can just throw in all the building blocks you want to have, mostly you have your own ideas, strength training, stroke technique, all this stuff.
In the John Wooden pyramid, I don’t think I need to explain who John Wooden is, maybe I do. He has the greatest books out on the psychology of coaching, handling people and contributing to people’s lives, and he was a fantastic coach. No one has won the number of national championships that he won when he was at UCLA. The corners of that program were enthusiasm and industriousness, hard work and enthusiasm. Hold one of those up and everything drops down. I know listening to Nort Thornton at different times is like a puzzle, you pull one piece of the puzzle out and you don’t have a complete program or a complete picture. You don’t want to pull a building block out of anyplace, but you pull the cornerstones out and it is hard to put it back together so every successful coach that I know has had enthusiasm and a love of the sport. They also had to be the hardest working coaches around. Do what you love and love what you do.
We have a Northwest swim clinic and I have referred to it a couple of times and Mark Schubert came out years ago, a lot of years ago now, maybe twenty, and one of the things that he said in that clinic is the coach has to be willing to work harder than the most committed swimmer on the team.
I will give you an idea of something that I have held on to and remembered. Nort Thornton was out one time and later a few years later he stated at one of our clinics that he never felt like he was getting up in the morning and going to a job. He always looked forward to another day and another challenge. For myself, it was a high school situation and life seemed to move too fast, the state high school championship meet seemed to come faster every year. We would all come marching out some way and I would look up and I would say my gosh, another year, another championship.
I never take more than two or three days after state championships to evaluate exactly what we did and what we had to have next year to repeat or do better than we did this year. Within a few days I would do that and it would all go down on paper, nothing great can be accomplished without enthusiasm. That was either in the building or on the wall or was on a kind of a portrait that was hanging on the third floor of the first school that I taught in, I only taught in two, both in Tacoma, Washington. But it was at the first one, Lincoln High School, and somebody had put that up when the school was built in 1915. It was great advice.
I think the best compliment I ever had was when one of our Olympians on our team said, just before he retired, he came to me and he said, “Coach, never lose your enthusiasm” and that is another thing that kind of stuck with me. I thought, boy that is a compliment, thanks. Enthusiasm is from the Greek language and it translates to being a God within. It is the God within you urging you to fulfill what you were meant to be or do.
Now, be a coach, not a critic. I read an article one time, it had nothing to do with coaching, but it was about – in a business magazine and I cut that out and I carried it with me and handed it out at clinics. “Be a Coach – Not a Critic”. You cannot remedy anything by condemning it. Coaching does not include criticism. Now, it includes honesty, it might be a fine line, but it includes honesty and at times you have to be honest with things. Honesty towards the act but not the individual.
Absolutes in coaching: fundamentals – the coach is a teacher and his subject is fundamentals. Teach first and train second. You know, it is a special ability to be able to be out there and to see what is being done, see what you are doing or just go in and see what is being done and then secondly see what needs to be done. How am I going to get better? You have to be able to see what needs to be done and then finally you have to take the steps necessary to make it happen.
The highest level of achievement is from the best conditioned athletes. I remember one year we went to a state championship and I had been coaching a number of years and it was a high school program. They talked seasons, short periods of time. I had pretty much convinced the people towards what would be basically a year around program. Some of the things weren’t being covered throughout the year that should be covered. I said to one of our parents, and he had been a pretty dang good football player, an All American, “You know, we were at the state championship meet – we are now here in the condition that we could have been and should have been on the first day of the season”. This is all baloney is basically what he said.
It is true and high school rules may inhibit that, but they don’t prohibit it. Some high school rules make that tougher and tougher to accomplish. Thank God throughout the time that I was coaching high school they were not as strict as they are locally at the present time. I tried to sell what I began to call the total athlete concept. It included a high level of physical fitness throughout the entire year and throughout the athlete’s entire career so that this business of whatever we were doing in the way of crunches and pushups and the gymnastic type of things – it was something that was part and parcel with the program and to be year around.
There are no absolute limits of personal achievement. Even the best athletes have higher levels that they can achieve. I know that I did clinics with Brian Goddell for a number of years and Brian said he never hit a goal. I forgot how many world records he broke, but he said he never hit a personal goal. He said I always had a goal higher than what I hit and I thought the most impressive thing, I liked the look in his eyes when he looked into my eyes and said that. He was retired then. He felt very comfortable with what he had done, but at the same time he said that.
I think that all of us have to realize that our best athletes can be better. I think every athlete has to recognize that there is a need for discipline. I think everybody wants some discipline in their lives. They all want to know that there are some boundaries, not unlimited and it brings order to a team. It brings order to a person, but it brings great order to a team.
Where did that come from? That is different – it copied – we will see how it goes. This is the first time, the first talk that I have given where I have used the power point. We put it together the other day; we took it all from my tapes or CD’s, put it onto this hard drive. I will let it go from here, and I will just talk about it.
A belief that there is no physical limits to individual achievement. Each individual may continue to achieve and improve and should contribute to team success. Maybe they did get it. Okay, now what can you do as the coach? First of all, be visible. My experience was that my high school coach, in the old days you talked somebody into coaching. You go back into the 40’s and things and just before the war. During the First World War it was unusual to find somebody that had any swimming experience to talk somebody into coaching. Our coach was a great guy and got me started and certainly a love of the sport. He used to let us in, open the door, give a workout to our manager and then he would leave the building.
My brother swam years after me, a few years after me and he said, well, we used to go down and play the pin ball machine at the service station down, about a half mile away from the pool. Drive down there and he would look at the time and fly back to be there when we got out and unless we had a swim meet or a time trial or something, basically he wasn’t on the deck. So what happened, you can imagine what happened. There were fist fights and everything. I got kicked off the team for three days when he caught me jumping off the balcony into the deep end. Unfortunately I just happened to be the end of the line of the guys going in.
My college coach, he had an office that was just off the pool deck and once he went into that office none of us could see him. He spent a lot of time in that office. Anyway that was one of the things that I didn’t want to have happen to the swimmers in my experience and Mark Schubert I think talked about it extensively too. He went around and talked about going and watching different coaches. I didn’t do it at the start of my career though I wish I had, but I did it within my career to go down and start watching different coaches and different workouts. I watched a great number of coaches on the Pacific Coast, at least. I took time off to do that.
Swimmers have got to feel that you are watching them. They have got to feel like you are evaluating their technical execution, their performance. Mike Troy one time told me that he thought and every other kid on the team thought, that Doc Councilman was watching them every moment, every stroke. He said Doc would be out there and he said, sure they saw him every time, every moment. Impossible, but you have to look like you are I guess and you have to watch from different angles – I never stayed at one spot. I would be at the end of the pool and I mean both ends of the pool, both sides of the pool and overhead views. I used to get on the 3 meter board if that was available and it went over the training pool. I would go up in the bleachers high enough so I could see down at different angles and I saw a lot more that way.
As I said this morning, I used to get on a ladder, we always had a 12 foot stepladder there, 12 or 15 feet, it was very high on the deck of the pool. They knew I used it and I would set it up every day and at certain times in the workout I would climb up there and perch myself at the top. Well, I never fell off or anything like that, nobody shook it or bothered me or got to me. But I could see and every kid thought I was watching them for sure and I could see – it forced me not only to hang on, but to see what was going on and when you start watching people you see what kind of touch they have, what kind of feel they have on their strokes. It was amazing the things that I could see from up there.
We didn’t have the underwater windows or anything in those days and my early coaching for a long time, I used to climb in the pool about one day a week with a face mask on. The kids would usually not know that I was in there until they spotted me lying on the bottom, but if I was standing on the end of a lane, you could hear things I could never hear before. They are talking to each other – they don’t know you are there and it is amazing the things you hear as well as what you see so it was kind of a great experience.
The other one is I talked this morning about is looking at the swimmers under your armpit. You think you look nuts out there, but I have done that for a lot of years. I have learned that from Howard Firby, a great stroke technician from Canada. He was an Olympic coach from Canada. Frankly, I think that is great. That is one thing if you watch the backstroke one this morning. I actually turned a video tape upside down and videotaped the backstrokers and that was the most entertaining part of it for the kids when they looked at the video tape. They really got glued to that, but the only thing wrong about that it turned everything upside down. When you look under your armpit all you are doing is getting the swimmer upside down. It works a lot better than video, don’t video tape them that way. It is for fun yeah, but the whole thing is upside down. The pool is up here and the kids are down here you know so it doesn’t work nearly as well.
Watching motivates. Recognizing personal best times and good training efforts during the sets and then walking away or being distracted during a kick or pull set just tells the swimmer that this set isn’t important and at the worst some bad habits can result. I think to assign drills, you know drills I think are fantastic to teach technique, but they are in critical need of coach evaluation. Too often I see coaches become occupied elsewhere when they are needed at poolside during drills. You can watch and remind swimmers with short correctional tips and this is a critical component of watching swimmers and I don’t think it is ever a time to take a short vacation.
Cell phones: I never had one. I never owned one yet, but I never had one when I coached. They were not invented. When they got around to being really popular, by that time I was too used to never using one, but I never had a cell phone on deck and parents, once this training session got started parents were not to ask questions or talk to me at that time and they were not to stand by me or be around. Sometimes I had it where they had to be outside the fence and all of that kind of stuff, but if they were in the pool and on the deck and on the bleachers or some place they could be there, but they could not be down next to me.
One of the coaches that took my place eventually I saw many, many times on the deck with one or two parents that were standing right next to him or would stand right behind him and right next to him during the workout. It only looks like one thing and that is that the only swimmer he is coaching is that person’s kid.
Assistant coaches. I think you communicate what is being done in the workout, let them know where they should be and what they’re doing, how best to direct their attention or you can ask them what they plan to do, but why have an assistant standing next to the coach talking to the coach. Except while you are training him or her? I don’t quite understand what happens. I think what happens here is two are doing less than one and I think it is a thing that you have to be very careful of. I don’t see why we should be socializing on the deck. OKAY?
Why coach. I flunked on why coach? One, you like people and you want to bring out the best in others. Two, you want to do something more fulfilling in your life and three, for personal and financial freedom. Man, Jim Montrella said it last night, but Peter did too, I was at one of those lectures of Peter’s. I thought Peter was crazy. I mean I had a job teaching. I had a job running the swim program, training life guards, training swimming instructors. Coaching was my hobby. It was my fun time. I never thought you could make that much money at it so Peter would give us a lecture about that saying don’t give it away and you are professionals. You have got to be paid and all that sort of thing not that he was making that much, but he was lecturing and I guess building up the base to help lift him a little higher – I am not sure, so I flunked that one, but there are not many people that thought like I did and probably should ever think that way.
You have people skills. You love competition so I had four out of five on that and I don’t know how you fit in, but competition man, I always loved competition. It was so much fun to win at pinochle or a game of horse or anything else. Okay, coaching draws out rather than puts in. It brings something out; it isn’t so much what you put in, and it is what you are able to draw out. It develops or reflects. It develops rather imposes and I don’t think that you can force the situation. You have to give the opportunity.
It reflects the reflection on what you are doing rather than directs. It is non-judgmental. This comes back I think to be a coach and not a critic. Non-judgmental, it helps people grow in a variety of areas. I think that high school coaches seem to fit into this and buy into this totally.
Qualities of a good coach; he listens, she listens, has communication skills. Doc Councilman probably gave his greatest contribution in the X-factor and the X-factor was all about communication skills. He wrote that book, “The Science of Swimming.” He made so many great contributions, but the one that I think that probably did the most, probably the most quoted and may have done the most direct good was his communication skills and that was the essence of the X-factor. That special thing you might have.
Rapport building, motivating and inspiring. Curiosity, flexibility, encourages and you have to recognize that everyone is different and has a different need. You have to have the flexibility to react to these differences. Encourage – a coach has to have a strong belief in yourself, a strong determination to do the best that he can for your athlete.
I had quite a bit, a fair amount of success at a high school level and I had a young lady that was coming along pretty dramatically. I had only had a couple of kids go to the national championship and the tug of war on good swimmers. This kid was a real good 11-12 year old, this young lady 13-14 year old she was growing and maturing and she had a fallback. One of the girls, her teammate went to Arden Hills, they moved down to Arden Hills from Tacoma. She was a member of the Tacoma YMCA and she was a teammate with this young lady that swam for me at about age 11 on. Her mother was trying to get my swimmer’s mother to get her down to Arden Hills. She never realized that I talked to her just the other day. She is a very successful teacher, housewife and all that sort of thing. She never realized that this was the case, but they were trying to draw her down there and she came to me and said Dick, now you know I don’t want to go away someplace, I can’t afford to do it. It just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do and I remember looking at her and saying something I probably had no right to say. I shouldn’t have, I wasn’t arrogant. I said I won’t let you down. Boy – that put a lot of pressure on me because from then on I never forgot that. Now, I don’t know how lucky I could get, but the gal goes on and gets two gold medals and a World Record in the 100 meter backstroke and one bronze medal at the Olympic Games so there are times that you really have to believe in yourself and hopefully make it work.
A belief that people are capable of obtaining goals that we set. We have talked about that. The ability to individualize, I don’t think that every workout can be the same for everybody on the team. God, I used to have a lot of workouts, when I tapered I had as many as eight different groups going, five I think was the least number I ever had and usually in the training schedule I had at least five training groups most of the season. At the start of the year not necessarily so.
Teachers and coaches, whatever you are, strive for clarity. I am moving along because I got some very important things to say that I am not getting to. I think they are important. Demonstrate – well you don’t have to demonstrate, but you need to get people to demonstrate, build one thing at a time. Lots of time people try to do too much all at one time. Gee whiz, if you try to develop a rotation in the backstroke? Work on rotation in the backstroke don’t try to work on everything else that might be involved in the stroke.
Allow for failure. I never called it failure. It was temporary non-success. So I have to just give a quick talk, but it was the kids, it got to be a little bit of a joke probably, but another temporary non-success. So, a bad swim is another temporary non-success. The gal I talked about that stayed and won the gold medal, she had 32 temporary non-successes. Her mom kept track. She had lost 32 times to Elaine Tanner of Canada, including the Pan-American games before she won her first race against her in Mexico City at the Olympic Games. So that happens and in 1988 I watched Mike Barrowman and Melvin Stewart who both were planning to win in Seoul, neither one of them got a medal. Both of them were 4th and they went right back to work, temporary non-success is important. It is probably more important than just straight success and they went right to work and within two years they both broke the world records and four years later they both picked up the gold medals.
I see an awful lot of people out there running, walking in the morning early, I am hoping they are all coaches. That includes the nutrition, sleep, exercise, if you are in it for the long haul you had better take care of yourself.
Ability to admit to mistakes: take responsibility. I used to have trouble sitting at pool-side and they used to have a long row of benches or seats or tables for the coaches, but not so much in a high school meet, in a dual meet you are usually off to the side of the pool and that kind of thing. But in the USA Swimming meets, where they are all just sitting there and you can sit down and people are criticizing their swimmers – “I told them this” and “I told them that”, “they are doing this” and “they are doing that”. Now I couldn’t sit there, I moved away. I would always move away. I didn’t want to sit and listen to people just sit there and criticize the swimmers. I think at times they want honesty, but to be a critic and not a coach, I always felt was a poor show.
I remember one kid one time, it’s in my book too I think, I had a young kid one time, he swam a race, he was a team captain, a great kid. Going on and doing some great things right now as a Pediatric Neurosurgeon. Anyway he finished a 200 freestyle race and he came and asked how was it? I said “it is not like you, it really stunk”. Basically he kind of looked like this and I said here is what you did – you let the swimmer get out in front of you right? To start with he controlled the race all the way and you took it out a little too slow. You got in a hole and you didn’t accelerate on the walls, you didn’t really build when you had a chance to get yourself back in the race. So, what happened? He comes around, he was a little disappointed, but I told him and two weeks later he swam the same race in another meet – he swam a beautiful race and he came back and said Coach, how was the race and he knew that he was going to get a favorable response and I said, “It was great – the race was great – you did everything terrific – you took it out the way you should – you really accelerated the walls – you hammered at the finish – you did all the things that I like to see you do”, but the thing that I told this story for was this – and he turned to me and he said “Coach, thanks for being honest when I talked to you two weeks ago”. I don’t know – I think everybody to some degree likes that.
The reason is that we care – that we are honest and not just tearing them apart, so successful coaches challenge swimmers, they raise the bar, they raise the standard for people. Another quick short story, whatever the team swimmers are in they are in a certain comfort zone when you walk in. Whenever you take any team and you are trying to raise that level. Dick Jochums once told me and Dick grew up, he went to the University of Washington Northwest, he swam there and I was a coach of course when he was swimming and then he coached at the University of Washington and he used to bring his freshmen team over and swim our team. But he told me once that Don Gambril at Long Beach, his greatest ability was his ability to talk to swimmers – convince them that they could attain great successes. He could talk directly to a swimmer about World Records, etc, beyond the high school level and just going to the State high school meet at the time. I listened and I hope I learned to become a better coach because you know, Dick Jochum was not any different then. Whatever he had to say he said it and he said it right to your face, but I didn’t feel hurt about it and I appreciated his openness and I thought he forgot about it. I never forgot and here at this clinic, we were talking and he says, you know Dick, I told you the same thing I just told you, he remembered telling me that! What a guy – great.
The 101 Coaching – that is just simply, you have got to be able to organize, observe and instruct every training session. Use the basics constantly and continuously. Now, attention versus effort: this is Nort Thornton, but Nort writes an article in the ASCA Newsletter that was in the newsletter I think in June. Published in June and I read that thing and I said, man – boy, Nort, you are really taking on something on this one because I had some idea about what he was talking about. I had – it was kind of heady stuff and there are a lot of great things for coaches in here.
The coach that can believe this – the coach has something special going for him. The coach becomes a connector, you will see what this means, but basically I had seen my wife and I had watched Wayne Dyer. Dr. Wayne Dyer on Public Television and I don’t know if any of you have seen that. He had a program, fascinating program on the power of intention. Did anybody see that? Oh, okay, fascinating program, it was entertaining, wasn’t it? At first I thought it was just about purpose, it was confusing. The whole idea about getting purpose and then I bought the book and my wife and I had a Maui vacation last February I guess. It was and that was one of the books that I read while I was over there and I made all kinds of notes in that book thinking, well maybe I could use that sometime, maybe I could use it in a talk here, but I wasn’t sure, then I kind of changed my mind until Nort wrote that article. I thought that if he can tackle that thing maybe it is worth using.
These are some quotations from Nort’s article: “Things rarely happen – things need to be intended to happen. You have to intend something to set up your mental focus of what you intend to have happen and this is what we are doing all the time in coaching”. It is not something that you do. It is a force that just exists within you. People driven by intention are described as having a strong will that will not permit anything from blocking their inner desire. Imagine that intention about something that you do or rather a force that exists in the universe as an invisible field of energy. Intention is a force that we all have within us. Nothing exclusive about the power of intention –every one of us have it. We just have to be receptive to it. You get what you intend by being in harmony with the power of intention. It is a little bit spiritual in some degree here, you transcend your ego when you become one with intention.
Alright, here are ways to connect. Stop being offended by actions of others. You know, you always tell your swimmers, what they say, what they do, when you are competing you are focusing on yourself. I know some kids when they move up in the age group from a team that they are comfortable with and they move up to the next group, especially girls have a lot of trouble being assimilated in the group and especially if they are swimming harder and faster than that group wants to swim or have been used to swimming. So, you have to stop being offended by others.
You let go of judgment, that is to be a coach, not a critic. Let go of your need to be right, to be superior or to have or accomplish more. Let go of your reputation, your reputation is strictly in the minds of others, it is not you. Stay on purpose. You catch from the outcome and take responsibility for what resides within you, your character. Beware of low energy resulting function and high energy. Every thought has an energy level and it will either strengthen you or weaken you. Every coach should be a connector. Connectors live their lives connected to the field of intention. They have made themselves available for success. Connectors keep their thoughts of what they intend to create. Connectors are highly inspired and inspiring people. Okay? Every coach should be a connector because, now my take on it is, at first I thought that power of intention was all about purpose and goals. When I read the book I thought it is great stuff, it is intended that we all live this way. Wonderful achieving, contributing lives and the power of intention is the power to expand and increase all aspects of your life and then I found out here I am finding that out now, you know? Why didn’t I know this 50 – 60 years ago? But, it can still be a factor and a happy finisher.
All right, how does it affect a swimming coach? Connect, cooperating with the power of intention through yourself and everyone you encounter can only expand on beneficial results. The first one is unlimited abundance. This was what Dick Jochums was talking to me about myself, most of us are taught in terms of limitations. There are no limits. We can’t put them on ourselves. There are no limits to our potential and receptivity. We are all waiting to be called into action, we only need to be willing to recognize the call and receive it.
I always thought about that seeing swimmers that are so cool cats sometimes, they never seem to get up for anything. You can’t get them excited about anything and I have always said that these teenage boys or these teenage girls but especially with boys, they don’t want to show anything. They are all waiting to be called into action. They all have down deep inside of them a really yearning to accomplish something with their lives. It is there – it is at the recognize and receive it. To banish out the power of intention, move from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
You know, I always told my kids that the championship teams are made of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and champions are just ordinary people who make an extraordinary commitment and effort. Ordinary is it cannot be done, extraordinary is it can and it will be done. Focus on the possible not the impossible. Coaches connected to the power of intention are unique individuals who have made themselves available to success. Connectors are highly inspired people and this is the thing I am trying I guess basically to get everybody thinking in terms of operating as a connector. Every coach operating as a connector.
One final book I want to get to – ah this is it. “Joy at Work” Dennis Backing. This guy, he was a graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. That is where the clinic will be Lanny and he had a book review. Apparently he was the CEO of a major corporation, I can’t even think of the name of the corporation right now, but it was like an Enron without the results of an Enron and his whole aspect and approach to running his business was “Joy at Work”. He was making it fun and that is the greatest challenge to the swim coaches, to be able to make this thing something everybody wants to come to every day and one of the greatest memories they ever had when they stopped swimming. Anyway, he gave this book review I think he was a former quarterback at the University of Puget Sound and not a very good one, by his own admission, he didn’t play a lot of games. He was an athlete there, but he ran his business under this “Joy at Work” umbrella so there are many methods and methods change often.
Principles are few and never change. I mean you have to have basic velocity, basic principles. I put those down and put them in writing when I started coaching. They never really changed. Now, the methods that we use change and might change often so we have to be flexible and recognize when we need to do it so you establish a philosophy, the principles you want to live by and work by. But a special work place a team has many ingredients. The feeling is to be a part of a team. A sense of community, the knowledge that what you do, what you are trying to do and what you are doing has a real purpose and that is how he was finding success in some of these boring jobs, so-called boring jobs within the framework of the business he was running and all these things make it fun.
The key to a great workplace is being wanted and important and the old thing about people who feel good about themselves perform and achieve good results. Shared implies that the members agree on the definition and importance of value. I had to always have my high school teams think that they were helping set the standard. People said you have too tough of rules and I said I never had a rule. We had standards, we had something to achieve. We didn’t have something that you couldn’t cross a line. It depended on how you looked at it so Sheraton implied that they had put something into it. I know that it gets more and more difficult to sell some of those things now, I mean this drinking, smoking, drugs, not necessarily the curfew but the hours you should rest, well, they called invisible training.
We had a lot of discussions on invisible training, how much sleep, how much rest, when should you be going to bed, what type of nutrition, how are you eating. These were one great big giant step above not smoking, not drinking, not using drugs, but people have to feel that they have a part of that. Failure teaches us humility and it is never failure, it is “temporary non-success”. It is nearly as important as anything else we do. Now burned-out, if swimming is not fulfilling and fun you have burn-out.
Special workplace team has many ingredients: it is a feeling of part of the team, knowledge that what you are has a purpose, a feeling of being wanted and important, everybody on your team has got to feel wanted and important. We made as big a fuss about the slowest kid on the team as anybody else. Failure teaches us humility.
Swimmers should have input. Verbal is okay, but written is also okay. I always ran questionnaires. I ran questionnaires every season and usually several times during the season. Usually that would kind of pick everybody up and make them think about something else and maybe spend a – have them come in a half hour early or something and go to a classroom and do these questionnaires and then we would have a parent’s meeting and sometimes I might have the parents give them a questionnaire. I never had the parents sign a questionnaire but I always knew who did it. The kids on the team sometimes would sign them and sometimes not. Sometimes I would say well, you can sign it if you like and sometimes I would say don’t sign it, but it was amazing too because I had a questionnaire where I asked the kids what is boring in the workout? And one of the team members the only guy on the team, he came and said nothing is boring because everything has a purpose. I thought WOW – this guy is great. He got it right and I ran that thing a few more times, but this past year it is not my team it is Jay Benner’s team, Tacoma Swim Club and I gave him a questionnaire. I don’t know why, I might have been running the team for a while or something, but I gave him the questionnaire a couple of times. They got used to doing it with me and one of the kids did the very same thing. He didn’t know the answer I had never talked about this but one of the kids on the team said the very same thing, 38 years apart! I thought – BOY – another one that has got it right, both very smart kids.
What was that? That means everybody else has a problem – Yeah – that didn’t mean they were wrong. They sometimes said those long warm-ups, those long kicking sets, those long pull sets. So I had to take a look at those too. Making decisions and taking responsibility are the major contributions to having fun in the workplace. Reward good performance. Each individual personal best is good. Recognize and encourage. I am going to just thumb through and see if I got anything here that you need to see.
Well, we will talk about a couple of other things. Aristotle, he is supposed to have said “we are what we repeatedly do – excellent is not an act, but a habit.” We are working primarily for love. Swimmers who love to train, swimmers who love to compete, swimmers who love being around friends, swimmers who love acceptance in a group with high standards.
Now, I am just going to say that purpose matters of course, but here is one thing I am going to leave with you. Peter Daland, who I admire greatly. He coached two of our sons, both of them served as team captains in the 1970’s for his USC, great USC swim teams. He always said, it wasn’t “we” and he wrote articles about that and spoke at clinics for that – it was “them” – the swimmers – they are the ones that did the swimming. It was never “we” and then John Leonard, more recently wrote in the ASCA Newsletter or journal, praising that concept and I bit my tongue at the time and didn’t say anything, but I am going to speak out now. I break ranks. It was always “we,” I was part of every team, emotionally it was “we.” We take responsibility for success and for failure. Not the credit, but responsibility. I use “we” and I never felt guilty or questioned using the word.
Excellence is less competition against others than an internal measure of quality. The link between fun and superior performance is very strong. It was fun for me – all 47 years as head coach and the other eight years – volunteer type coach – not every minute – not every second, but 99% of the time – 99.9% of the time so I leave you with one thought – make it fun – rewarding for your swimmers and yourself and good luck in your coaching.
Selected PowerPoint slides from Coach Hannula’s Presentation follow on the next page:
1. The cornerstones of the Wooden pyramid.
2. Absolutes in Coaching.
b. Highest level of athletic fitness
c. No absolute limits of personal
a. Draw out rather than puts in
b. Develops rather than imposes
c. Reflects rather than directs
d. Is non judgmental
e. Helps people grow in a variety of areas
6. Qualities of a Good Coach.
b. Communication skills
c. Rapport building
d. Motivating and inspiring
e. Curiosity, flexibility, and courage
f. A belief that people are capable of attaining goals set
g. Ability to individualize
a. Strive for clarity
c. Build one thing at a time
d. Allow for failure (temporary non success)
e. Care of self
f. Ability to admit mistakes, Take responsibility
8. Successful coaches challenge swimmers, raise the bar.
9. 101 Coaching.
a. Organize, observe, and instruct – each training session
b. Use basics constantly and continuously
10. Intention vs. effort. Nort Thornton.
a. Things need to be intended to happen
b. Not something you do, but a force that exists
c. A force that we all have within us
d. You get what you intend when intention harmony
e. You transcend ego when become one with intention
11. Ways to connect to the power of intention (Thornton).
a. Stop being offended by actions of others
b. Let go of judgment
c. Let go of the need to be right, to be superior, to have or accomplish more.
d. Let go of your reputation. In the minds of others
e. Stay on purpose
f. Be aware of low energy, resolve to stay in high energy level
12. Every coach should be a connector (Thornton).
a. Connectors live their lives connected to the field of intention. They have made themselves available for success.
b. Connectors keep their thoughts on what they intend to create. Connectors are highly inspired and inspiring people.
13. My take on the Power of Intention.
a. Beyond purpose and goals
b. Heady and heavy stuff?
c. Source: Wayne Dyer, “The Power of Intention”
13. My take on the Power of Intention.
d. Beneficial results
1. Unlimited abundance. Most of us taught in terms of limitations. There are no limits to our potential.
2. Receptivity. We are all waiting to be called into action. We only need to be willing to recognize the call and receive it.
3. Banish doubt. Visualize the power of intention
4. Move from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
a. Ordinary=It can’t be done, extraordinary-It can and will be done.
b. Focus on the possible, not the impossible.
5. The call to purpose.
a. Not so much of what you do, but how you feel.
b. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change
6. Coaches connected to the power of intention make themselves available to success.
14. Joy at Work – Dennis Bakke.
a. There are many methods, and methods change often.
b. Principles are few, and never change
c. Establish a philosophy, a set of principles that you want to live by.
d. Shared implies that the members of an organization/team agree on a definition and importance of values.
e. Make the process fun. If it stops being fun, change the way we are doing it or change professions.
f. A special workplace/team has many ingredients.
1. A feeling a part of the team
2. The knowledge that what you are doing has purpose.
3. A feeling of wanted and important
g. Failure teaches us humility (temporary non success)
1. Failure is necessary for great success
h. Team members should have input
1. Making decisions and taking responsibility are major contributions to fun in the workplace
i. Recognize and encourage
j. The more you try to control the less responsible and accountable they become
1. Most want to know how they performed
1. A leader’s goal is to create a community that encourages individuals to take the initiative, practice self discipline, make decisions, and assume responsibility for their actions
a. A leader’s character is far more important than his/her skills.
b. A leader communicates a vision, it isn’t managing people
l. Purpose matters
1. Part of something greater than self
2. Make a positive difference in the world
3. Selecting a mission is crucial
m. We or them
n. Excellence is less a competition against others, but an internal measure of quality