Olympic and Hall of Fame Coach Paul Bergen and Katie Hoff’s Coach Paul Yetter Talk About the Common Traits of a Champion

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 22, THROUGHOUT his coaching career, Paul Bergen has brought out the best in elite swimmers. Now working with Canadian Swimming in Montreal, Paul continues to work with top athletes and coaches in preparation for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. However, it was not too long ago when Paul was in the United States plowing his trade through the club and collegiate waters.

He is a four-time Olympic and World Championship coach who was once voted Canadian Swim Coach of the Year and twice the American Swim Coach of the Year.

Coach Bergen's teams have won a Women's Collegiate National Championship while at the University of Texas, a USA Swimming National Team Championship with the Nashville Aquatic Club and multiple national titles in Etobicoke, Canada. All of these accomplishments began in the late 70's.

He has coached multiple Olympians and record holders throughout his career going back to his early days with the Cincinnati Marlins where he coached Deena Deerdorf and Jenny Kemp. While in Nashville, Tennessee he coached the legendary and recent guest on Swimming World Radio – Tracy Caulkins. In Canada, he coached Allison Higson while at Etobicoke and most recently back in the states at Tualatin Hills he coached Inky Debruin. Collectively his swimmers have set 21 World Records, 24 American Records and 13 Canadian Records.

Coach Bergen stepped out of coaching in the 90's to work in the thoroughbred horse racing industry – a time that we want to talk a little bit about in our show today. During that period, Coach Bergen was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1998.

That resume can be pretty intimidating to follow. But Coach Paul Yetter, who now coaches the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Maryland, has already proven that he can step up to the big time. His swimmers have set 40 National Age Group Records, over 100 Maryland State Records, and his swimmers have been ranked #1 in the National Age Group rankings over 50 times.

Since 2003 Paul has been Katie Hoff's coach. For those who did not listen to our Swimming World Radio show earlier this week featuring Katie Hoff and Tracy Caulkins, Katie is a 2004 Olympic Finalist, a 3-time Gold Medalist from the 2005 World Championships, and a 3-time Gold and 2-time Silver Medalist from the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships. Katie has set and lowered the American Record in the 200 IM 3 times and has set 25 US National Age Group Records, most recently overtaking Tracy Caulkin's last Age Group Record in the books in the 400 IM.

In 2005 Coach Yetter served as an Assistant coach on the USA's Montreal World Championship Team, and in 2006 he served as an Assistant on the USA's Victoria Pan Pacific Championship Team. Five of his North Baltimore swimmers will represent the USA in 2007 at the World Championships, the World University Games, and the Pan American Games.

Listen in as Swimming World Radio, hosted by Brent Rutemiller, talks with Coaches Bergen and Yetter about coaching. Just click on the Swimming World Radio button to the right or download the MP3 version to listen to on your iPods or MP3. players.

Here are a few points that were discussed on the show:
* Common Traits of a Champion
* Establishing Goals
* Racing for Records vs Medals
* Breaking Performance Plateaus and Cycles of Regression
* The Coexistence of Water Polo
* Parental Support
* Discussion of Champions Being Born vs Developed
* Genetic Predisposition to Performance

To read Paul Bergen's talk to the University of Texas Swimmers upon learning that the 1980 Olympics were to be boycotted, Click Here

Comments about this story can be sent to Brent Rutemiller.