PHOENIX, Arizona, January 3. TONY Batis, the head coach of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, joins The Morning Swim Show to talk about the qualities that have helped his team be on the USA Swimming Club Excellence list.
He talks about his coaching philosophy, some of the top swimmers on his team and why he plans to stay with the team for a long time.Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Peter Busch: Welcome to the Morning Swim Show for Tuesday January 3, 2012. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to Tony Batis from Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics. The team just got on the list for the USA swimming club excellence honor. Coach Batis joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from Newark, California. Coach, welcome to the Morning Swim Show, how are you?
Tony Batis: Very good. Morning Peter, it's good to talk to you.
Peter Busch: Good morning to you. Congratulations on making that list.
Tony Batis: Thank you very much it's a great honor for our program.
Peter Busch: Tell us about your program, what's the training philosophy there?
Tony Batis: Well you know again our program is a conglomerate of about seven different sub-sites in the Palo Alto area, we came together in the fall of 2003 to form what is now Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics. Each program brings — each site brings its own flavor to the overall view of our program, and I think that has been one of our keys to our success. There is no one definitive training style or a pattern of growth. There's a bunch of people who bring a lot of great ideas to the table and a lot of coaches bring a lot of innovative ways to make kids better. So I think that's been one of the key things that help us be successful.
Peter Busch: Can that can be a double edged sword at time though with the coaching differences in philosophy and how a swimmer should best be prepared?
Tony Batis: No I don't think so because I think in general our staff is all been willing to sit down. We meet monthly, we talk about both the short term and long term development of our program. Are there gonna be differences and different views? Absolutely, but I think that would make us strong because we can talk about it and figure out what is the best approach. If I bring something at the table and the group in general thinks there's a better approach and they convinced me, then I'm better for sitting down and listening and learning maybe a different view or different opinion, the same goes in reverse. So I think it's just thoughts or discussion, I think it has puts us in a place where we can try to see if we can continue to evolve and be better.
Peter Busch: You have about 19 years now with Palo Alto?
Tony Batis: This is my 20th year. 20th year at what was originally the Palo Alto Swim Club and now Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics.
Peter Busch: Well you are obviously doing something right. Tell us about all the 20 years maybe your own philosophies have changed. What have you learned as a coach?
Tony Batis: It's a good question. I think, you know, it's more of a reflection of the period from which I came from to where we are now in swimming. I think when I came I swam for Peter Daland at USC in the mid 80's and then when I went back home to my old club program and help the age of cost there before I came up to Palo Alto and when I came to Palo Alto I think I was like many of people of my day, it looked that there are periods of real hard training, big volume, a lot of counting of yards and I don't want to say that there's anything wrong with that philosophy. But I think as I gone older, I've taken an approach that for me is conducive to how I wanna make my kids develop and that goes to the process of having very fit athletes who understand what they are trying to do in terms of movement through the water and then couple that with intensity in training and I think the intensity component is not different from some programs. What I think we just do a lot of it on a consistent basis. We really train at a high intensity level and maybe a moderate volume level and I think the results have shown where we have had some success with a lot of anywhere from sprinters to mid-distance. We don't typically have a lot of distance swimmers in our program. We do have some but I think we're probably more recognized for having kids who are able to perform at real high levels at that middle distance and sprint level.
Peter Busch: Alright. Let's talk about those couple of those kids. Because there are a few of national prominence right now starting with Jasmine Tosky. She's a senior there, she's going to USC, your alma mater. This is one of the best high school butterflyers, IMers in the country right now.
Tony Batis: She's a great kid, she's a kid who I've said this to a few people, if you walk by her on the street not knowing her you would mistake her for a world class athlete. But you put her in a pool with anyone and I do mean anyone, she doesn't take second to them she tries real hard. The kids is about 5'7", 5'8 but works like she is very big, really tough. You know, I think the future is very bright for her and anything can happen in the sport of swimming, and so I never wanna you know hedge my bet so to speak but I think from the standpoint of her having the opportunities to be great in the future, she has done all the work and I think she's grown both in and out of the pool to the point where I think she will have great opportunities in the future.
Peter Busch: Maddy Schaefer is a sensational sprinter, one of your former swimmers now at Stanford right there. I imagine the connection is pretty good with Stanford training there in Palo Alto and it's probably got the coaches I mean already there talking with the kids a lot.
Tony Batis: Well, yeah again the both programs – both the man and woman's programs speak for themselves. They have developed great traditions over the year and Lea does a fantastic job with her program. She has a great group of young ladies, and I was very pleased for Maddy to have that opportunity to continue with her career. At Stanford, she had some great options in front of her. But when she chose Stanford she seem to be very pleased with her decision and I think so far what I've seen this far just actually she's home for the holidays and we've been talking a little bit and she really enjoys the program, the team, and everything around her. From our standpoint they've been a very supportive group in terms of helping our program try to reach its strides and try to understand where it can go and they've been very helpful to helping PASA be the program that it is.
Peter Busch: Yeah. Can't keep them all there at Stanford, some go over the bridge like Adam Hinshaw at Cal, right?
Tony Batis: Yeah absolutely. One of Scott Shea's products and he actually Scott sent both Adam and Ben and Nick Trowbridge to Cal, and all three of them are prospering and doing very well there. It's a testament to both Scott Shea and his program in developing those kids on the right way and obviously the Cal program speaks for itself, both the men and the women and you know I think Dave and Teri have set things really well for their programs for the future both t not just obviously on recruiting but we what they do with the athletes once they get there. That's a testament to the two girls that I have their right now. Liv, Collen Fotsch and Camille Change. They love the environment up in Berkeley and I think will continue to prosper.
Peter Busch: Do you wanna stay there for a long time, would you like to get a college coaching?
Tony Batis: You know that's a good question Peter and I think when I first got out of college and I started coaching you always have that itch of going back and seeing if you can do that but I've developed and built a lifestyle of program, other businesses in the Palo Alto area. I'm very comfortable in our community. There's been a lot of good things that has happened in my life in this town and I'm at the stage now where I'm a firm believer that I've kind of had my calling now. I'll never say never but with what we've develop and what where continue to develop I'm pretty happy where I'm at.
Peter Busch: Yeah, maybe Skip Kenney asks you to be a successor, that's a tough job to pass up.
Tony Batis: I think that Ted's got that covered and will do an excellent job with that I think for me as long as I can continue to grow in the area I'll be fine.
Peter Busch: That's a good point Ted's done a nice job. Well congratulations again on this success you've had in you club team and the best of you in your family and your team in 2012.
Tony Batis: Thank you so much Peter. Best to you as well.
Peter Busch: Alright that's coach Tony Batis joining us in the FINIS monitor today from California and that is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down up to finish.
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