Swimming World Presents – Guttertalk: Who Was Your Inspiration In Starting A Career In Coaching? – Sponsored By Colorado Time Systems

SW February 2021 - Guttertalk - Steve Mellor
LSU's head coach Steve Mellor [PHOTO CREDIT: LSU ATHLETICS]

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Guttertalk: Who Was Your Inspiration In Starting A Career In Coaching?

By Andy Ross

 

Sponsored ByColorado Time Logo

 

SW February 2021 - Guttertalk - Steve Mellor headshot

 

 STEVE MELLOR
 Associate Head Coach, LSU
[PHOTO BY LSU ATHLETICS]

I came to help my team a couple of times in the weeks after my athletic career was done when I had shoulder surgery, so I would help with a stopwatch in my good hand and just incorporate feedback when I felt it was necessary. Athletes responded to me, they gave me a feeling in return of “buy in” and “excitement” from the insight I provided, so I would say that it was the swimmers themselves who inspired me to consider coaching.

Once I was in the profession, I looked back on my time in England under the guidance of Sean Kelly and the way he prioritized building a relationship with his athletes, knowing them in ways at times better than they knew themselves. This became my priority once I felt I had a couple of years of experience under my belt of experimenting with training methods that worked best, so I started to insist upon getting to know my athletes from their ambitions and weaknesses, to their favorite things in life and the things they fear most.

Sean was always a great example to me of what it meant to put an athlete’s experience first, and I want to believe I have been able to incorporate this influence of his within my coaching.

 

SW February 2021 - Guttertalk - Tracy Slusser headshotTRACY SLUSSER
Women’s Associate Head Coach, Stanford
[PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK]

I can’t think of any one coach in particular who inspired me to pursue a career in coaching. It was definitely a combination of all the coaches I have had in all different sports. I would say I was inspired to coach by the relationship and the impact that coaches can have on young people.

I grew up playing basketball, swimming and running track. My coaches had such a big impact on me during that time. They taught me about working hard, working together and how important believing in yourself is to all of it. I attribute so much of those foundational skills to the guidance and leadership of great coaches. That is where my inspiration comes from.

If we as coaches can use our platform of sport/swimming to foster these skills in our athletes, we have helped set them up for success far beyond their years in the pool!

 

david-marsh-DAVID MARSH
Head Coach, Team Elite (San Diego, Calif.)
[PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK]

Tim Shead was my coach in 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Tim finished at the University of Pennsylvania and came back to coach the Miami Dade Stingrays club team, and he was there every summer when I went back home. He was young, vibrant and having a good time and had creative ways of coaching. He was probably one of my main inspirations.

My mentor was Richard Quick…and still to this day even from heaven. I have been very fortunate to have a number of coaches. There hasn’t been one that has done everything for me. Pat Toner was my first high school coach and made a culture so fun that it made me want to be on the team for the fun element as much as the competitive element.

 

SYCAMORE INVITEJOSH CHRISTENSEN
Head Coach, Indiana State
[PHOTO BY INDIANA STATE ATHLETICS]

Mark Taylor (club), Brad Hering (club) and Pat O’Neil (high school) were three of several coaches who had a big impact on me as an athlete. The common factor among the three was the time and effort they put into the relationships with their athletes. That meant a lot to me, and it definitely influences who I am as a coach today.

Once I started coaching, Ryan Killackey and Steve Schaffer each taught me a tremendous amount and also gave me so many opportunities as a very young coach. I’m beyond thankful to have worked under each of them.



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SW February 2012 - Emma McKeon COVER[PHOTO BY DELLY CARR, SWIMMING AUSTRALIA]

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Swimming World Magazine February 2021 Issue

FEATURES

012 THE PRIDE OF GIRLS’ POLO IN THE GATEWAY CITY
by Michael Randazzo
When COVID-19 lockdowns last spring stopped polo, Rob Peglar and Abby VerMeer didn’t hesitate: they focused on getting girls water polo untracked in the Gateway City. The result: the St. Louis Lions, the city’s first all-girls team.

014 ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
by Dan D’Addona
The popular motto of The Musketeers, built on supporting each other as well as the group, is just one of many reasons why the University of Texas remains among the strongest in men’s college swimming and diving.

020 READY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
by Andy Ross
Melanie Margalis is an Olympic relay gold medalist and a three-time relay champion at Worlds, but a podium finish in an individual event has eluded her on the world’s biggest stage. After ranking No. 1 in the 400 IM and No. 3 in the shorter medley for 2020, her turn to win a medal for the United States could take place this year in Tokyo.

022 PERSEVERANCE AND HARD  WORK PAY OFF
by David Rieder
After not qualifying for Australia’s Olympic team in 2012, Emma McKeon was ready to quit…but over the next several months, she had a change of heart and understood what was necessary to compete at a higher level. Since then, she has become a significant international force, a consistent podium presence and one of the world’s most impactful relay swimmers.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: TARNISHED GOLD
by John Lohn
East Germany’s Kristin Otto will long be remembered as a highly decorated athlete, and for turning in one of the greatest Olympic outings in history, winning six gold medals at the 1988 Games. But because of the links to her and performance-enhancing drugs, what she accomplished—before and in Seoul—will always be tainted.

029 WHO “SHOT” THE SWIMMERS? (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
Shortly after the 1936 Olympics in a lab in Boston, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, an electrical engineering professor at MIT, began tinkering with equipment that would change the way science explains natural phenomena—and with it, the art of aquatic sports photography—forever.

032 NUTRITION: TO BE THE BEST, YOU NEED TO EAT THE BEST!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Each year really does build onto another—nutrition is an imperative part of the process, even at an early age.

COACHING

016 SELLING PROCESS TO SWIMMERS (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
In 1993, psychologist Anders Ericsson wrote that greatness wasn’t born, but grown. Fifteen years later, author Malcolm Gladwell suggested that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a skill or field. Known by the term, “process,” swim coaches use that learning curve to improve the performance of their swimmers.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE FOR SPRINT AND DISTANCE (Part 2)
by Rod Havriluk
Optimal freestyle technique for sprint and distance is identical with respect to the arm motion throughout the stroke cycle, but the arm coordination is different. While a swimmer can swim a wide range of velocities with opposition coordination, a swimmer will only achieve his/her fastest velocity with superposition coordination.

040 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING THE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE—THEN AND NOW
by Michael J. Stott
In his lengthy career, Gregg Troy has mentored athletes of all ages and abilities, which has given him a unique perspective of how to prepare post-college grads for excellence at the international level.

042 Q&A WITH COACH JOE PLANE
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ANDREW IVERSON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: TIME TO GET STRONG…AGAIN!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

038 GOLDMINDS: JUST GO WITH THE FLOW
by Wayne Goldsmith
How can you control—and even master—your emotions? The answer is by learning to become a more resilient swimmer. Here’s how…

046 UP & COMERS: RICHARD POPLAWSKI
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

010 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: 

ABOUT FREDERICK LANE?

047  GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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