PHOENIX, Arizona, January 5. ALLISON Beebe, head coach of the First Colony Swim Team, joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to talk about her team's placement on the USA Swimming Club Excellence list.
She also discusses how she became a coach after a brief stint as a teacher, and who she'll be cheering for at tonight's football championship game. 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 Monday, January 9th, 2012. I'm your host, Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to Allison Beebe. She's the head coach at First Colony Swim Team in Sugar Land, Texas and for the first time they were just named a gold medal team in USA Swimming's Club Excellence Program. Coach Beebe joins us right now in the FINIS monitor to talk about it. Coach, welcome to The Morning Swim Show. How are you?
Allison Beebe: I'm great, thank you. How are you?
Peter Busch: Good, thank you. Where is Sugar Land?
Allison Beebe: Sugar Land is a little suburb outside of Houston, Texas.
Peter Busch: You guys have had a nice past two years, haven't you?
Allison Beebe: It's been fun, yes.
Peter Busch: Tell us about the history of the club.
Allison Beebe: Well, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. I think the last five years have been a really positive experience for the program. We had two kids make Trials in 2008 and we have six right now qualified for 2012 and we're hoping to build on that.
Peter Busch: Wow! When did you get there?
Allison Beebe: I'm in the middle of my 7th year.
Peter Busch: So you've seen what most coaches want to see – steady progress.
Allison Beebe: It's been fun, yes.
Peter Busch: How long have you been a swim coach? What's your history in swimming?
Allison Beebe: Well, I grew up a swimmer in Mobile, Alabama and I went on to Davidson College and swam all four years there. I got to swim with Rich DeSelm, my freshman year. Kim Brackin was my coach as well, so I got exposed to some great coaches at the time. I graduated with a History degree and went into teaching at a military boarding school down in Florida. I also coached at the same time and realized that I was lot more passionate about swimming than history so I returned to Mobile, Alabama and was the head age group coach there for a while. And then about six and a half years ago I decided I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and try a new LSC and so the First Colony opportunity came about and I moved to Sugar Land, Texas and I've been a part of girls' swimming since then.
Peter Busch: So you wanted to go outside your comfort zone which is admirable – a lot of people don't do that no matter what position they are in life. What kind of program would you say you run there?
Allison Beebe: We're definitely an aerobic IM based program. We really emphasize IMX Program with our 14 and unders; our seniors we do specialize a little bit but they still do a lot of IM work even though we've got some 15-year-olds with some speed that we're not trying to make milers but they still get in a good quality aerobic base and we just add a little bit of speed to it.
Peter Busch: Why do you believe in that philosophy? We've had a good coaching debate lately with different guests, some of whom believe it's better to go anaerobic, it doesn't matter how young, it's just the way to go and some say "No, you've got to build a nice aerobic base."
Allison Beebe: I think our position in our athlete's career is to provide them with a strong foundation so that when they go off to college and then hopefully beyond they've got that strong aerobic base and can just build upon it. I really agree with a lot of what Bob Bowman has been saying about capacity. It's worked here, the kids buy into it, they understand it. They know that we're giving them the tools to have a lot of options when they get older.
Peter Busch: USA Swimming is noticing, Club Excellence list – very impressive. And I understand you guys just had the thrill of going up to the Olympic Training Center.
Allison Beebe: Yes, we got back in late last night. It was a great trip.
Peter Busch: What did the kids get out of it and what they do when they go there?
Allison Beebe: Well, this was our fifth year and what I really love about it is obviously the environment is awesome but at the same time they are stuck in a gated community for nine or ten days with their teammates. They're not going to be late to practice because they were eating lunch with relatives in town, they're not going to miss practice to go shopping, they're forced to really get to know their team mates. Every year they come back a lot more energized, it's a really tight-knit group. It was a blast this year. We shared the pool deck with FAST. The coaches there were amazing with our athletes and our staff. Our distance boys got a lot hearing John and Alex say "You guys are doing some great things." The FAST athletes were incredible with their kids – Tyler Clary – and after ever practice the kids were in the hot tub with Tyler Clary, it was probably the highlight of their trip and Tyler was great with them. Just from the classroom opportunities, the environment, the training with altitude – it was just overall an outstanding experience.
Peter Busch: Very cool. What is the big meet for you guys in 2012? I know you've got a couple of kids with Olympic Trial cuts so it goes without saying ,but what will you guys gear up for mostly as a team now?
Allison Beebe: It really depends. We've got some seniors that didn't work in the fall just because of recruiting trips so coming down from altitude we are going to back off a little with a few of them to hopefully make their Trial cuts next week at the Austin Grand Prix. If they make it we're back to training full time until June. We've got a few more that will wait until Sectionals in March and try to make their cuts there and then we've got some who are going to go to NCSAs, so it's one of those situations just it depends on the athlete.
Peter Busch: Now I heard that you are kind of a big Alabama football fan.
Allison Beebe: Yes.
Peter Busch: And that you'll be at the big national title game against LSU.
Allison Beebe: I will be there with my family. It's going to be one of the most exciting nights. I'm excited.
Peter Busch: Will this be Professor Beebe or swim coach Beebe or the Beebe that nobody else knows?
Allison Beebe: This will be the Allison Beebe with her family. I'm excited to share – you know your team doesn't make it to the national title game very often and to be there with my family I think it's going to be a great game but I think it's going to be really something our family will always talk about.
Peter Busch: Well have fun with your family, don't get too crazy, and don't start any fights with the LSU fans.
Allison Beebe: That's going to be part of the entertainment too, it's just watching some of the Alabama and LSU fans go at it. Anywhere you look there will be excitement talking place.
Peter Busch: Well coach thanks again for joining us. Congratulations on a great past few years with the club and good luck in 2012.
Allison Beebe: Thank you so much.
Peter Busch: That's Allison Beebe joining us from First Colony Swim Team in Sugar Land, Texas. And that is it for today's show, I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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