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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Creating an environment of excellence

Excellence in Performance is created through excellence in practice everyday. This blog will explore practice strategies that I have found effective.

Many of the strategies are not new ideas of mine; they are a combination of my thoughts and realizations through trial and error -- mixed with the experience and wisdom of coaches who have achieved great success on the International level, who have taught me a great deal. The direction this blog takes, in any way that is helpful to others, is in large part thanks to my fellow coaches. Thanks to Bob Bowman and Murray Stephens -- my coaching mentors and who showed me practical strategic techniques in creating an environment of excellence, while allowing me the space to figure things out for myself. Thanks also to Jon Urbanchek, Jack Roach, and Paul Bergen -- who are three people I go to with questions, and who are three people who tend to make "coaching conundrums" easier on the mind.

As a coach, you have to ask questions. Sometimes you look to the new ideas for the answer. Sometimes you look to the past, and find answers there. One thing is certain, if you are not looking -- you won't find.


  1. Hello fellow coaches;
    I have had success in the past with posting extremely tough workouts around the pool or on my desk in the office. The kids see them and almost take them as a challenge. They like to see if they can do what the better swimmers of the past accomplished in practice.
    1 x 500 timed
    1 x 1000 neg split, 2nd 500 faster than first 500 of swim and the 1st 500 of set
    1 x 1500 broken :30 @ 500's, all 3 500's are faster than first 500 of set and descending
    1 x 2000 broken 2 min @ 1000, 2nd 1000 faster than 1st 1000

    Jay Smith
    Bettendorf/Pleasant Valley Aquatics of Iowa

  2. It's amazing to me how kids love to do challenges like this. Last season I gave the each person a choice of doing a 3000TT or a 2400 yard IM set, mixed with 150s, 100s, and 50s. 85% chose the 3000. That's a great idea to post these challenges around the pool IMO.