2013-2014 Season Recap

The 2013-2014 season at Rose-Hulman ended better than I ever could have imagined. After breaking more than 20 records in the 2012-2013 season, I never would have imagined breaking another 13. We sent two individuals to the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Both swam well and were able to earn All-American status by finishing in the top 8.

Challenges

This season was much easier than last year.

From my point of view, I had a very successful season. I worked to understand the ideology behind the training structure, I trained starts and turns exclusively toward the end of the season and even had a stroke of genius, helping a freshman finish in the top 8 in a new event after observing his awesome back start.

Aside from that, I found a new coach to mentor. I’m extremely flattered that he sees me as his mentor, and I hope he continues to work in the swimming community.

Results

  • 2 All-Americans (first since 2003; first female in program, second in school history)
  • 2 National Swimmers of the Week
  • Men’s 2nd place at CCIW, program best
  • 13 school records
  • 10 top-two finishers
  • 10 all-conference performances

A Farewell Letter

As many of you know, my time at Rose-Hulman was always limited. Sarah and I knew that match day would come and we would inevitably be told where we were going to live, not by our hearts, but by a computer system.

On Friday, March 21 we opened a letter, read the words and to saw we will be starting a new life in Northern Kentucky.

When I started coaching, I never envisioned leaving a program would be as hard as it is today. I’ve had the opportunity to coach a variety of swimmers ranging from 6-22. From people just happy to learn the strokes, to (now) NCAA All-Americans. Believe me when I say it’s just as hard to leave this team as it was a 6-year-old that held on to my leg at a swim meet.

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding in year one as I was trying to find my voice and for your attention as we all “adjusted” in year two.

I wish you all nothing but the best and hope to see as many as I can before I leave. Currently, there is no timeline when I will leave.

If anyone wants to stay in contact you can always find me on twitter.

Thank you and best of luck in everything you do.

Edit: As of May 30, 2014 I will no longer be working for Rose-Hulman.

Reaching Your Full Potential

People look towards family and close friends for support. How often do these requests get laughed at? Ignored? Supported? Or encouraged? No matter the outcome, these situations strengthen connections and can often help when reaching your full potential.

Find what you love.

I’ve come up with some fairly off-the-wall ideas from paintball, laser tag to a web design/development firm. All of them have come crashing down with love and support of our families. They knew we wouldn’t succeed, because we were capable of so much more and our hearts weren’t in it.

I recently talked with a Gen X’er about how Millennial’s (such as myself) often job hop. My question, why is this a bad thing? Sometimes you need to job hop! It’s the easiest way to stop doing something you do not enjoy.

Want to reach your full potential? Know what you do not want to do and what you are not capable of doing. In Jay Baer’s terms, “stop doing what you are not uniquely qualified to do.”

Succeed, no matter what!

Success is hard to come by, expect and embrace failure. Reaching your full potential is lined with success, but it will also be entangled by failure. Success is not determined by failure, but your reaction.

Failure is not intertwined with “I give up.” Instead, you should react with “okay, this method does not work. How can I improve it?” Your drive and determination contribute to your success.

Reaching your full potential.

In an earlier post, Reaffirming a Coaching Career, a former swimmer of mine shared why my belief in him proved beneficial. Find someone who inspires you to do great things.

Having someone believe and share in your success, is a great inspirational tool.

How have you helped someone reach their full potential? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Staying Motivated by Setting Goals

Everyone takes their eyes off the goal. Everyone. Who remembers Michael Phelps’ incident after the 2008 Olympics? What about Ryan Lochte, did you even know he was debating skipping the 2016 Olympics, but recently changed his mind?

See, even gold medal athletes get distracted.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
-Vince Lombardi

Staying Motivated

There are thousands of articles on how to stay motivated. The best way to stay motivated is:

  1. Have someone push you
  2. Set goals
  3. Have FUN

Most athletes take the fun out of working out. Yes, it’s a workout. No it’s not always fun. How many people are like me and workout alone? Are you more motivated to workout the next time? Probably not. I’m not.

Having fun while working out OR having fun with your workout group is an easy way to stay motivated.

Setting Goals

How great of a feeling is it to cross something off your “to-do list”? Create one with your workout! Keep yourself motivated by setting realistic and attainable workout goals. In the Patriot Mel Gipson tell’s his son “aim small, miss small.” While it’s slightly out of context, it still applies.

Set small attainable goals and keep yourself and others excited about what’s next!

Make Workouts Fun!

For me, I work harder on challenging sets. Not just because they are challenging, but because they are fun. Coaches can motivate their athletes by creating challenging sets that make an athlete think. Individuals should create challenging and fun workout environments by creating games, goals and competitions between workout partners.

Some of the best workouts I ever got as an athlete were on game days. From water polo to Ultimate Frisbee (or Ultimate Med-Ball for those up to a true challenge) choose a game where you are challenged mentally and physically.

What about you?

How do you stay motivated during your workouts? Or, how do you keep your athletes motivated? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Men's 100 Fly - 2013

Season Recap: 2012-13

With my first collegiate season under my belt, I am definitely looking forward to my second year (and more, if possible).

We wrapped up the season with 20 individual records (more with diving) and had two compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Challenges

Being a first-year (first-time collegiate) coach was intimidating. While I felt the need to approach the athletes different, I didn’t. They were responsive to my critiques and criticisms, inviting the views from a coach they didn’t know that well.

As the year progressed, I got worn down and contemplated quitting. Sarah kept me focused by reminding me of the previous two years and how excited I was to see the hard work pay off.

Results

  • Two National Qualifiers
  • 20 School Records
  • 13 Provisional Qualification times
  • 14 All-Conference Awards
  • Five event victories

Outside of the pool, our teams earned an All-Academic selection.

Goals for Next Year

I need to continue to push my boundaries and get more involved in finding out “what works” and “why.” This can only help me grow as a coach and an ambassador for our sport.

Coaches and Our Health

The other day, I finally decided to weigh myself. I weighed in at 194.4lbs. New goal, weigh in the 180′s before August 11.

The immediate question on my mind is not, “why don’t I take better care of myself.” Rather it’s “why is it coaches seem to take better care of their athletes than themselves.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I would love for others to chime in.

So I want to reach out to all gathering ideas on the subject and how we can change our actions to better portray the things we teach.

Edit: The “ideal body weight” for my height (6’0″) is 140 – 184lbs.

2011-2012 Season Recap

It’s simple, Coaches and athletes have to have goals. However, you have to make sure that the athletes and coaching staff buy into those goals and are all on the same page too. How do you do that? How does it work? What does it look like before/during/after? Well, this season was all about that.

This season was a different monster; it was something I wasn’t quite ready for. I was responsible for practice development, discipline and general team maintenance. It was new and I was afraid of it, but I know that it helped me grow further than I thought possible in 5 months.

Meeting Challenges with Open Arms

Ask anyone around me, I was nervous (looking back on it, I still am). However, I knew that with hard work, dedication, research and a little luck our season would be a success.

The very first challenge I had to overcome was the fear of practice development and drafting meet lineups. This wasn’t an easy task by any means. For me, practice development takes a very long time. I’ve taken some advice from Glenn Mills from GoSwim.TV and GoSwimTV.com in regards to “write practices you would want to swim” and integrated that into my practice writing. My goal was to create challenging sets mentally and physically – mix it up and make them think about what they were swimming, instead of just doing it.

Gaining Respect and Faith in Leadership

While I say that practice development was the biggest challenge, I also knew that gaining respect would be difficult. Luckily, I worked with most of these athletes in the previous year. Consistency in a coaching staff created a very solid foundation with the athletes in our program. (It also helps to come from the former head coaches “tree”)

For some, it took weeks to buy into the program direction. However by mid December, after the Marion County Championship Meet, it seemed like people had bought in. This was clear by the success we had at conference and sectionals, but we had some great times at a variety of other meets along the path.

Respect is earned and cannot be expected nor forced. It’s hard gaining respect and I believe that a person’s character can lead to the success or failure of gaining that respect.

Finally….

The season ended with a bang. The girls finished strong. We had many athletes finish within the top 16 at sectionals and we ended up finishing 4th overall, what impressed me more was the poise at which they swam. We didn’t have nearly as much fear as we have in the past. The girls were confident and calm; they swam like it too.

The boys finished the season strong as well, including having at least one swimmer in every event. The meet started and finished the strongest, with our 200 medley and 400 free relay setting new school records.

I’m extremely proud I was a part of these teams and look forward to continuing my coaching career.

Law of the Lid

Recently I was given a copy of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and decided that I will partake in applying these laws to my life online.

My hope is that I can also urge you, my readers and friends, to also partake and keep me accountable for my goals, dreams and ambitions as I also help you.

Major Goals

List your major goals. No more than ten; no less than five.

  1. Become a Head Coach of a HS or Club Program
  2. Achieve Level 3 ASCA Certification or Higher
  3. Prove my self as knowledgeable in Leadership/Coaching
  4. Become a speaker on leadership and motivation for athletes/workers
  5. Get involved with post-college athletic groups, such as Master’s Swimming programs

Leadership Abilities

Assess your leadership ability.

  • Strengths – Legacy, Growth, Buy-In, The Picture, Empowerment, Inner Circle, Magnetism, Intuition, Respect, Solid Ground, and Addition. From what I gather, it goes along the same lines of other analysis that I have done. I’m attracted to people and people are generally attracted to me. Essentially, I am a people person. I like to network and talk, and can seemingly gain their trust through example.
  • Needs Work – Timing, Sacrifice, Priorities, Momentum, Victory, Navigation, Influence, the Lid. What this is telling me is that I have to do a better job of increasing my effectiveness as a leader and rate on a better scale. Not only that, but I also need the willingness to sacrifice my personal time and set better priorities for myself and my teams that I work with.
  • Weaknesses – Process. Upon the first completion of the analysis this is the only area that is a true weakness. The process at which I grow needs work. I’d like some help in how to develop a prices of personal growth that I can engage in and would like some classes, articles or books to help improve myself in this category.

Peer Rating

Finally, ask others to rate your leadership ability.

John Wooden on Character

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

This quote really resonates with me. As I was tweeting back and forth with a few friends, there was a sense of humility.

The reason this quote speaks to me so much is just that, you should have humility. Let other people tell you that you do a good job. Ask for that recommendation letter or LinkedIn recommendation.

Swim Coach and Online Marketer