Swimming World Presents – Selling Process To Swimmers (Part 2)

SW February 2021 - Selling Process To Swimmers (Part 2)

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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.

Last month, Swimming World detailed how age group and high school coaches use process to improve the performance of their charges. This month, three veteran college coaches share their thoughts on this crucial aspect of swim training.

ONE ON ONE
Since taking over as the head men’s and women’s coach at Denison University in the fall of 1987, Gregg Parini has garnered six NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving team titles, 16 runner-up finishes, and has been named CSCAA’s NCAA-III Coach of the Year 11 times. How he’s earned those accolades is a testament to his commitment to his athletes.
“When we talk about investing in the process, we’re really talking about investing in relationships: a relationship with the sport…the training…the coach…with teammates. If those relationships are going to be healthy and productive, it starts with a strong foundation of trust,” says Parini. “If your athletes don’t trust the people implementing and involved in the process—coaches, trainers, teammates—investment is marginalized.

“Think about it. Who will invest his or her total self into an untrustworthy relationship or process? Too often a lack of trust in the process is the root of underperformance. Developing trust demands the coach invest time and energy beyond simply applying the X’s and O’s of training and competition by spending time getting to know the athlete. What’s the athlete’s history with the sport…with coaches…with teammates? And how do these histories impact the athlete’s interaction with the sport…the team culture…the coach…and the teammate now?

“Peak performance,” he says, “demands that we establish a team culture deserving of our athletes’ trust—all of which begins with establishing healthy relationships with our athletes. Two examples…

#1. “I dismissed a sophomore swimmer from the team for violating team rules. It was a particularly difficult situation where the swimmer’s history impacted his swimming, academics and health. After a year away and having received professional help, he approached me about being reinstated. I told him that he would be allowed to return and could remain with the team under the following conditions:

“He meet and apologize to the coaching staff; he meet and apologize with the returning team; he agree to weekly check-ins with me to discuss both positives and negatives; he abide by all team rules/policies.
“He followed through and went on to become one of our most successful student-athletes in team history. Since graduation, he continues to thrive.

#2. “I also had a very talented freshman female swimmer who struggled to gain traction in practices and meets. Her body language and verbal cues suggested she wasn’t feeling comfortable. Everything seemed tight. I knew she had more in her, but despite my efforts in practice and meets, we simply couldn’t get her swimming at a level she was capable.
“At the suggestion of one of my mentors, I met her for coffee at one of the local coffee houses. My intention was to address the swimming issues. Instead of talking about swimming, we spent the next couple of hours talking about everything but.


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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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