Ask a Coach!: Finding a Training Location, Team

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 9. THE Ask A Coach! series continues today as Tennessee associate coach of men's and women's swimming and diving Tyler Fenwick fields an emotion-filled question from a swimmer looking for a better training location.

After initial publication, the questioner requested to have his name redacted.

Hello Coach,
I'm [name redacted] from State University of New York at Plattsburgh. I'll make this brief and short.

First of all, I just came here to the United States for college. I've been swimming since I was 5 back home and participated in a lot of competitions and meets. I stopped swimming for a while for almost 2 years when I was in high school but I knew no matter how much I leave it, swimming will always be in me, I just can't leave the water.

Anyway, I came here for college and my passion for swimming only got bigger and bigger. They don't have a swim team here which makes it hard for me. I've been training on my own in the college's swimming pool since I started college. I asked everyone all over for a swim coach here or anything.

The only thing that I found here is an Aquatic Center for seniors (and only 2 days a week!) yet I joined it as a hope to receive anything just for now. I applied for a transfer to Baruch College –if you heard of it- to go swim there. What you suggest I do right now?

I'm asking you this because you Coach are basically my only one to ask about my confusion right here, I need a professional opinion. Also, I don't want time to pass, I want to start now because I feel like if I just have the right tools, I can be someone in swimming and I'm just positive if I keep delaying this I might wake up one day with absolutely no interest in swimming anymore.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

[name redacted]

Dear [name redacted],

Thanks for writing! Your passion for swimming is awesome! Never lose your positive attitude! It will not only help you find success in your own life, but will influence people around you!

If I was in your shoes I would find a local club team, email the head coach and see if they have a group that you could train with. Swimming on your own is great, but it's a lot more fun when you have teammates alongside of you! You will get technical advice, a concrete training plan and will have professionals to help guide you. It would also give you an opportunity to compete. Finding a Masters team that trains at a variety of times during the day might be another option that might work well with your school schedule.

USA Swimming ( and United States Masters Swimming ( have links to find local clubs. No matter where you travel in the U.S., there's almost always a team training nearby!

I looked up Plattsburgh, N.Y. on each website. The Lake Champlain Waves are a local club team centered in Plattsburgh. They train out of SUNY Plattsburgh on Broad Street. They're coached by Roy Brinker. Email them at or give them a call at (518) 569-8633. In terms of Masters teams, the Champlain Valley Champs train out of The Wellness Center at PARC on New York Road. They are coached by Kara Bordeau. Kara can be reached at At the very least, either coach should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Our resident expert coach currently is Tyler Fenwick, Tennessee's Associate Coach for the men's and women's swimming and diving program. Fenwick has coaching experience at both the collegiate and club swimming level. Before moving to Tennessee, he spent three years (2009-12) as the Head Men's National Team coach for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, a premier gold medal club in Mission Viejo, Calif.

In his time with the Nadadores, Fenwick's athletes posted 58 National Age Group top-10 swims, 24 top-three swims and seven #1 ranked swims. His swimmers broke 13 Nadadore club records, four Southern California records and one National Age Group record. This past year alone, two swimmers each made the U.S. National Team, Junior Pan Pacific Team and Junior World Championship Team. Two of his swimmers won gold and bronze medals at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships. To cap it all off, he coached the 5k National Champion at the Open Water National Championships.

If you would like to submit a question to Coach Fenwick, email us or leave a comment below! All swimming-related questions are welcome!

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