Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tom Jager

We are at the Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic this weekend. There have been several stimulating and energizing sessions. The lead off coach/speaker was Tom Jager. In addition to being one of the fastest sprinters of all time and a pioneer in the world of professional swimming he clearly learned the value of swimming in the greater sense that it prepares us for life. Tom is currently the Women’s Swim Coach at Washington State University. We really liked his philosophy.

Here are some of the highlights of his presentation.

  • We need to promote our sport. We are so much more than “just a swim coach”.
  • Expectations – we need to be great at more than just one thing…cannot be great just at swimming…find something in school that interests you and be great at that too.
  • Leadership succeeds in all areas and in all economic conditions.
  • The US Navy Seals have discovered that polo players and swimmers have a higher success rate than any other sport’s athletes.
  • College swimming is a game of attrition and attrition is the path to greatness. College swimming is not a participation sport. Club swimming is but once you hit college if you cannot or will not contribute you are done.
  • The recession is great for swimmers because swimmers know about attrition. Swimmers know the value of hard work. Swimming sets you up for success because it is brutally honest in the evaluation process…you are either “in” or you are not.
  • Straightforward honesty is always best.
  • And finally, when you drop the lower performing athletes from a team the upper end always gets faster…always.

We found this to be compelling information presented with an extremely positive outlook from a very dynamic guy. We will add his university to our list of places high school swimmers would be well advised to consider.

Thanks Tom. It was a pleasure to learn from you!


Unknown said...

I was there as well and had the same thoughts when I heard Tom talk. I walked away feeling both validated and inspired!

Anonymous said...

Not all "great" swimmers can become 'great' coaches. University of Idaho achieved better results after his departure. Washington State University was better before his arrival. Coaching is a profession that requires more then a name.

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