PHOENIX, Arizona, October 19. DAVE and Jennifer Gibson join today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to talk about making the move to coach at Fort Lauderdale Aquatics.
The Gibsons discuss the reasons the team was attractive to them, including the administration of the team and the swimmers anxious to be their best. They also look back on developing Ricky Berens as a high school swimmer, and when they recognized the potential in him. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
Special Thanks to Finis for sponsoring the Morning Swim Show's interview segments in the Finis Monitor.
Download The FINIS Custom Suit Catalog
Download The FINIS 2012 Product Catalog
Visit Finis to learn more about their innovative products for aquatic athletes.
Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: Welcome to the Morning Swim Show for Wednesday, October 19th 2011. I'm your host, Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll take to Dave and Jennifer Gibson. They used to live right down the street from us here in Phoenix, but now they're coaching at Fort Lauderdale Aquatics and they're both joining us right now in the FINIS monitor from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hi guys, welcome back to the show. How are you?
Dave Gibson: We're good.
Jennifer Gibson: Good. Great.
Peter Busch: How's Florida treating you?
Dave Gibson: A little more tropical than the desert.
Peter Busch: Yes indeed. Watch out for that humidity.
Dave Gibson: We feel it.
Peter Busch: What do you think of the new coaching situation? Tell us about the team and tell us about how you got there.
Dave Gibson: The team's a great team. I think anybody that's ever been to the Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale knows what a great facility it is. They also have great staff, the community's great, it's just a wonderful place to be on back every day coaching and Jennifer can tell you more about it, I think.
Jennifer Gibson: What I'm really impressed is with the camaraderie of the staff and just how open, how accepting that they've been since we've been here. But just to observe them – from their swim school through their master's program, the lifeguarding staff – the camaraderie is amazing. And that's just been so exciting to walk in and feel like you're instantly accepted and to be a part of that, it's just very open, lots going on on the deck all the time, different things through the day. So that's just really inspiring to be here and just really makes me want to get in there and go after it and do whatever I can to help grow the program.
Peter Busch: Tell me about the club swimming situation there in Southern Florida. Are there are a lot of teams? Is it pretty competitive? I know you're just about a half hour north of Miami. Are there some good teams down there? Kind of describe who the main players are.
Dave Gibson: I think it's pretty competitive. There are a lot of good teams, a lot of good facilities. Fort Lauderdale Aquatics – we actually have a couple of other sites. We have a site that runs in Miami, one up in Boca, so we've got a couple of other sites that try to encompass the big area of the Fort Lauderdale and Metro area. But it's really competitive, there's some great swimmers and athletes down here just like it always has been. Southern Florida's always produced a lot of great swimmers.
Peter Busch: I know you've got a couple right there right now in the National Junior Team, Lauren Driscoll, Chelsea Britt. Tell me about them a little bit and tell the viewers today who kind of know to put the information with the names and faces.
Dave Gibson: Well Lauren's really lighting it up right now. Her training is really going well and it's high school season, I think her high school meets have gone well and they're kind of gearing up for their championship meets that are coming up pretty soon. There's a boy here, Ryan Rosenbaum, just swimming lights out right now, being heavily recruited. Lauren's already signed at Cal, but there's a lot of up and coming swimmers besides a couple of those seniors which is really exciting and they just want to take it to the next level. They're hungry for it and we're willing to help them get there.
Peter Busch: How do you guys break it up into groups? Do both of you coach the same group or different groups?
Dave Gibson: I'm coaching senior athletes; Jennifer's coaching age group athletes. They've got various typical groups that they run through the age group program and senior program.
Peter Busch: Jennifer, who's got the better end of that deal?
Jennifer Gibson: Oh, I don't know. I'm really excited. I'm kind of back with little bit – one of my group's a little bit younger so I'm really working with primarily 8 to 12 year-olds. The last two years kind of worked with the high school group there in Phoenix, with the high school team and then also with the senior group, so a little bit of change in focus on what I'm doing. But I think we're probably both happy in what we're doing. A little bit different for both of us.
Peter Busch: I know as coaches you take little things along the way in your journey. What's something that maybe you do the same as you did in Phoenix and something that you're doing differently?
Dave Gibson: I think organizationally it's pretty good. There are a few things Jennifer and I would like to help them with. Coaching kids is coaching kids – they want to be fast – I think we've got some things in our toolbox to help them go faster. This is a coach-run program, there's no parent board or anything like that, so there are certain things that are going along with that as far as volunteerism and the coaching staff. But after 36 or 37 years of doing this, working with ASCA, USA Swimming, different levels what I don't know at all, I think I've got a lot I can bring to the table and help these guys with.
Peter Busch: It must be nice being closer to Harrison too, right?
Dave Gibson: Yes. Sophomore up at University of Florida, five hours north – it's pretty sweet.
Peter Busch: I imagine that was one of the perks of the job, Jennifer?
Jennifer Gibson: Oh definitely. He is actually the one that was the advocator in helping us really be serious to look at this. He just couldn't believe that we wouldn't jump on it right away. Actually this weekend will be his first weekend as a college athlete to actually say "I'm going home to see my parents for the weekend" so I think that's pretty neat for both ends of the deal there.
Peter Busch: But Dave I also wanted to ask you about Ricky Berens, someone you coached way back in high school in Charlotte. Obviously he's had a great deal of success in college and now post-collegiate career. What did you see out of Ricky as he kind of grew at Texas and now even further than that?
Dave Gibson: I think some of the bigger items that he worked on, took care of himself a little bit better in the pool as far as his diet, probably warming up and warming down – those types of things when you go to high school. He's a racer, he loves to race, doesn't matter if it's practice or competition, so that wasn't something necessary I had to work on but I think that some of those X factor things that outside the pool it helped him get a little bit better at.
Peter Busch: Is he an example of like a swimmer that you just have to convince them you can't think you're just a one-race swimmer or two-race swimmer, because everybody thought he was a great 100 flyer coming out of high school and it turns out his 200 free is probably what he's best known for winning relay Olympic medals. So is that kind of a tale for younger kids – don't think that you just swim this one or two events, you never know where your career's going to take you?
Dave Gibson: When he was in high school we worked on everything – 50 free through 1000 free, both IMs, both backstrokes, of course 200 free and the fly's. His first Olympic Trials in 2004 he swam both the fly's and the 200 free and he's – like you said – known for a butterflyer but actually at that meet I specifically sought out USA Swimming. I think it was Larry Hearns at that time and asked them to pull up all the data you could give me for world class, world's best 200 freestylers, splits, stroke rates, tempos. Because I thought at that point that might be, and I told them you could ask them, that that might be his best shot at making the team in 2008 just from what I've seen in a couple of meets and practice daily. He did kind of do a lot of different events.
Peter Busch: And it also shows, not that he wasn't good in the 100 fly in college, but it shows that you can be good in one event in high school, great in fact, but it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be the best in college. As guys get older and stronger it takes more pure speed to really excel in the 100 and 50 and you can't get away with just kind of being the best guy in the pool – period. You've really got to be a specialist once you get to that higher level.
Dave Gibson: He likes to race that 200. He has a game plan for that that he likes to bring out on race day and has it on full because the 100 fly is maybe a little too fast.
Peter Busch: Well thanks again. Jennifer, you want to say something?
Jennifer Gibson: Yes, it's just kind of funny because I can remember we were at a meet in the facility north of Charlotte and very unexpecting really that time of year and he pulls a trial cut out in the 200 free. So it's just kind of those first maybe inklings when he was in high school that his 200 free was going to be another great event for him and he was in the midst of great training and nobody expected it. It's kind of funny, we were all kind of shocked. I just remember that first time he got that trial but in the 200 free.
Peter Busch: Well thanks for sharing these stories guys. Thanks again for joining us and best of luck.
Jennifer Gibson: Thank you.
Dave Gibson: Thanks a lot, Peter.
Peter Busch: All right, that's Dave and Jennifer Gibson joining us from Fort Lauderdale and that it is for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
To purchase this or previous episodes of The Morning Swim Show, to send comments or show suggestions, click here to send an email.
To purchase copies of our Ready Room interviews, click here.