Swimming World Presents: “Inspiring Swimmers…And Testing Limits”

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Inspiring Swimmers…And Testing Limits

In this two-part series, four veteran coaches share insights on how they motivate the athletes entrusted to their care.

This month: Gregg Troy and Jessica O’Donnell.

Inspiration and motivation to complete a task in swimming, indeed life, can come from many different sources. It can come from within, a family member, coach, teammates or some other external source.

Once swimmers are inspired to complete a difficult task, the resulting action often involves a test of one’s limits. Perhaps one of the most celebrated examples in swimming is Jason Lezak’s overhauling of Frenchman Alain Bernard in the men’s 4×100 meter free relay at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His motivation was obvious. He had teammates, a country’s national pride and gold medals at stake. Testing limits was surely in play, as his 46.06 relay split, the fastest in history, attests.

Gregg Troy (3x Olympic and former University of Florida coach)
“To inspire swimmers and test limits successfully, you have to create a group culture looking for certain goals. Those goals might differ from individual to individual, but the culture has to be goal and performance-oriented. If it is, then each individual can figure out his or her niche.

“At that point, it becomes an individual discussion with the athlete—i.e., where do you want to be and how can I help you get there? And that becomes the platform to decide, ‘OK, this is where you want to be and what kinds of things are we going to need to get there?’

Jessica O’Donnell (former head age group coach, Sun Devil Aquatics; family therapist)
“At meets before you can help pull that stellar performance out of a swimmer, it’s about knowing the swimmer as an individual. What motivates them? Does a loud public declaration of their goal in front of teammates ignite their fire? Or maybe a quiet whisper of, ‘You’ve got this.’

You’ve got to know your swimmers. But in order to be successful at meets, you first have to lay the foundation for stellar performances consistently in practice. Then, when you get to a meet, you can look the swimmer in the eye and say, ‘You’ve done A, B and C. This is just the icing on the cake.”

Next month: Coaches Richard Hunter and Catherine Vogt.

To learn more about how these coaches inspire their swimmers, check out the January 2019 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now.

Swimming World subscribers can download this issue in the Swimming World Vault

SW January 2019 Cover

[PHOTO BY DAN D’ADDONA]

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FEATURES

016 THE TOP 5 STORIES OF 2018
by David Rieder

020 2018 ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
by Taylor Brien, Erin Keaveny and Michael Randazzo
Diving: Ren Qian & Yang Jian
Synchro: Svetlana Kolesnichenko
Water Polo: Sabrina van der Sloot & Aleksandar Ivovic
Disabled: Carlotta Gilli & Ihar Boki

022 READY TO MAKE THEIR MOVE
by David Rieder
With the start of a new year, several rising stars are poised to take their talents to the next level, and could very well make their mark at this summer’s World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

026 LEAVING HER LEGACY
by Dan D’Addona
Siobhan Haughey’s teammates see the University of Michigan senior as a fierce competitor, an incredible leader who leads by example as well as someone who is kind and compassionate. She’s an inspiration not only to her Wolverine teammates, but also to her people back home in Hong Kong.

028 2018 WORLD & AMERICAN RECORD PROGRESSION
by Taylor Brien

030 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE SCIENCE OF SWIMMING
by Bruce Wigo
Just over 50 years ago, Benjamin Franklin was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his “contributions” to the sport. But this article is not about what Franklin did for swimming—it is about what swimming did for Franklin.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: HOBIE BILLINGSLEY
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART 5—BODY BASE OF SUPPORT FOR BUTTERFLY
by Rod Havriluk
During a typical butterfly stroke, the continuously changing angle of the torso seriously compromises the stability of the shoulder (the body base of support). An optimal technique model maintains a level torso with minimal vertical motion of the shoulder, so a swimmer can benefit from more propulsion, easier control of arm movements and faster swimming velocity.

025 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING FOR A NEW YEAR
by Michael J. Stott
While the new year promises new beginnings for swimmers, it also means continued training toward season-ending championships. This month, Swimming World takes a look at how Racer X Aquatics (Cheswick, Pa.) approaches its January training.

036 INSPIRING SWIMMERS…AND TESTING LIMITS (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
Inspiration and motivation to complete a task in swimming, indeed life, can come from many different sources. It can come from within, a family member, coach, teammates or some other external source.

043 Q&A WITH COACH TODD DESORBO
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN: RYAN BAKER AND LAINE REED
by Michael J. Stott

042 DRYSIDE TRAINING: HAPPY NEW “YOU”!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

034 GOLDMINDS: POSITIVE PARENT POINTERS (Part 1)
by Wayne Goldsmith

046 UP & COMERS: ELLA ZIEGERT
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT
013 BEYOND THE YARDS
019 OFFICIAL WORD
033 DID YOU KNOW?
047 GUTTER TALK
048 PARTING SHOT

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