Tyler Fenwick Talks About Mentors Who Have Shaped Him as a Coach

PHOENIX, Arizona, August 29. TYLER Fenwick has had some great mentors in his brief career as coach, and on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show he talks about the lessons he's learned from the coaches he has worked with over the years.

Richard Shoulberg, Matt Kredich and Bill Rose are the three coaches Fenwick has worked with, and he talked about the lessons learned from each of them, and how it has shaped his own coaching philosophy. He also talks about the swimmers he trains at Mission Viejo, some of whom are about to compete in their first Olympic Trials, and the type of set he gives them regularly. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)

Peter Busch: This is the Morning Swim Show for Monday, August 29th 2011. I'm your host, Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to Tyler Fenwick. He's an assistant coach for Mission Viejo Nadadores. Tyler joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from his vacation outside Philadelphia. Hey, Tyler, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

Tyler Fenwick: I'm doing great, Peter. Thanks for inviting me.

Peter Busch: Happy to have you on. So you're in Germantown, right? Where you used to coach?

Tyler Fenwick: I am. I went to Germantown Academy from 1990 through 1999. I graduated from here and then I coached here from 2004 to 2007 so I'm back in my old stomping grounds.

Peter Busch: Is that Dick Shoulberg's office?

Tyler Fenwick: It is.

Peter Busch: There's a lot of history in that room.

Tyler Fenwick: A whole lot – it's hanging up all over the place behind me.

Peter Busch: Very cool. It must be a cool feeling to go back there.

Tyler Fenwick: It's great. I love coming home.

Peter Busch: You've coached under some legends – with some legends. Shoulberg, and then you were at Tennessee for a while with Matt Kredich, now with Bill Rose, who's been around the block once or twice. You probably picked up little pieces here and there from each one.

Tyler Fenwick: Definitely – I remember talking to Josh Stern, Erik Vendt's coach years back and telling me that I'm a young coach. If I had to do it over again I would have worked with as many great coaches as I possibly could have and I would have just been a sponge. I kept that in the back of my head and that's something that I've tried to do over the years.

Peter Busch: Well how would you describe your coaching philosophy?

Tyler Fenwick: I think that I've taken a little bit from everywhere I've been. I think from Shoulberg I've learned the value of hard work, the value of discipline, and the value of caring about each athlete. From Matt Kredich I've learned a lot about coaching the athlete and not particularly coaching the group; knowing each athlete well enough that you know when they need a day off or you know when they need to do something that's a little different than the rest of the group. And I think what Coach Rose has taught me is I've watched him be able to handle the specific needs of a very large coaching staff, be able to handle the needs of over 700 athletes and so managing a major program is something that I've been able to learn from him.

Peter Busch: How many swimmers swim directly train with you?

Tyler Fenwick: I have 16 athletes in my group right now.

Peter Busch: Sixteen – and we're talking about teenagers mostly?

Tyler Fenwick: Yeah. It's just men – I coach the Men's National Team at Mission Viejo and so it's 16 men between the ages of 14 and 17 years old.

Peter Busch: That's pretty good that you have a relatively small group you can give some good attention to.

Tyler Fenwick: I'm very, very fortunate. It's a luxury. And I have athletes that are very hardworking and they're not just athletes, they're also great students which is fun for me as well.

Peter Busch: And we know at Mission Viejo you guys don't shy away from some long practices. What's a set maybe that exemplifies the kind of work you guys do there that you had recently maybe?

Tyler Fenwick: I think one set that I like to do is I like to go through 60 100s, and what I'll do is I'll cycle through the gears with my distance swimmers so we'll start out with 30 on 1:20 and I'd like them to go at their mile pace plus 2 then we'll go 20 on the 1:50 and that will be mile place plus 1 and then being able to get down to 10 on the 1:10 and being able to hit their mile pace. That's a set that I do somewhat frequently every few weeks and it gives me a great gauge of where my athletes are.

Peter Busch: Short course or long course?

Tyler Fenwick: That would be long course.

Peter Busch: Wow! On 1:10?

Tyler Fenwick: Yeah. I like 1:10 because it puts enough stress on the athlete that it replicates to a point what they would be feeling during their mile during a race.

Peter Busch: That's pretty intense.

Tyler Fenwick: Yeah, it is.

Peter Busch: Well, like we said, we know you guys do hard work there in Mission Viejo. What about your long term plans? Do you want to stay in Mission Viejo? Do you want to get into college coaching again? What do you think is the future for you?

Tyler Fenwick: I think that right now I really love where I'm at. I love coaching young athletes and helping them get from the regional or local level and helping them get to the national level or international level and that's my passion right now and I think Mission Viejo is the best place for me to be working. It's beyond the weather and being able to coach outside. I think having Coach Rose as a mentor and someone who's brain I can pick whenever I want — he'll advise me. And also the fact that the talent pool is very high in Southern California – it's attractive to coach there.

Peter Busch: Give me one or two guys that you're training that we might see pop up on the national level in a few years.

Tyler Fenwick: Sure. This summer David Heron, who's one of my young distance swimmers – he came on to the radar. He took fourth place in the 5K at Open Water Nationals and then at the US Nationals went at 15:35 and made the National Junior Team so he was top 6, 18 and under, in the mile. He started the year out at a 17:30 in the mile, so he had quite a year. Another athlete that's really coming on to the national scene is Janardan Burns. He had an awesome Junior Nationals. He was able to make the National Junior Team at Open Water Nationals in the 10K and then he won the mile at Junior Nationals going on 15.34. He was 3.57 in the 400 and 8.14 in the 800 and only 15 years. So I think David Heron and Janardan Burns are the two athletes to keep your eye on.

Peter Busch: That's good to know. America needs some young distance talents right now. It's definitely one of the weaker events. We saw some good young talent at nationals – Sean Ryan and guys like that – so it's good to know there are more guys in the pipeline.

Tyler Fenwick: Absolutely. And I think Evan Pinion just last week, 16-year-old, 15:11 in the mile – that was a really impressive swim.

Peter Busch: Well coach, thanks a lot for joining us. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Tyler Fenwick: Absolutely. Thank you.

Peter Busch: All right, that's Tyler Fenwick joining us in the FINIS monitor today. That's it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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