We went to the ASCA World Clinic in Jacksonville and came home with many notes jotted hurriedly at the moment of inspiration. Some of these notes make more sense now after 5 plus weeks of reading and re-reading…some make less sense. Fortunately in both cases verification or clarification can be had at a rather reasonable price from the ASCA web site.
Our apologies to the sources if we misspeak; it is unintended…
Gregg Troy: there are very few things in life where if you put in less time you get improved results. We work in a delayed gratification sport, in a short term gratification world. Girls between the ages of 12 and 14 – give them everything they can handle. THE learning moment; tell them the truth at the biggest moment of disappointment – meaning at the meet. If you don’t repeat a specific workout, how can you possibly evaluate if it was good or not? Getting ready for a meet: rest either 3 days or 3 weeks – in between that, nothing good happens.
Kirk Grand: we didn’t hear the entire presentation, came in late. We will buy this talk; it may be the most important one given…”Limits to Superior Performance” – about the brain, how it functions, how it processes information. Keep the brain quiet in big spots (races). The “Last Chance” meet vs. the First Chance meet. This guy is really smart, imo.
Paul Yetter: value of hard work; praise and value attitudes over statistics; find ways to coach everyone well; what you say matters…might be better to hold your tongue.
David Marsh: win something every day, even if it is only the warmup. Use vertical kicking for rest period – i.e. 100’s on the 1:20 do vertical kicking during the rest phase. Not my “best time” (which is my “old time”) rather what’s my “next time” (goal time).
Steve Bultman from Texas A&M: when a swimmer takes their training to the next level their times will follow; it is just a matter of when.
Bill Wadley: our job is to lift them up, get them to believe they can do something they haven’t done before; ask them, “how many of you are more confident today than say 2 years ago?” We forget how far we have come. If at first you don’t succeed, try something harder.
Dave Durden: his program is senior driven – each senior has a role. Training – win the day, as in “win the travel day” - win whatever day it is. Debrief from last year. Take a fall break of 4 days…plan it, calendar it, tell everyone…plus take “4 hour vacations” now and then. Help freshman learn how to practice and how to manage a season…have patience with them.
Dave Krotiak: allow kids to grow “into” their sport. Get the athlete to understand what we want from them. Make sure your body is always moving forward in the water. Be conscious of the exhale. Start with the goal and work backward to today to figure out what needs to be done. A set of 25’s at 200 pace with specific stroke counts…Cordes was 14 high to 15.0 with two strokes after the pull through…amazing to watch.
Mike Bottom: change is critical. When we teach a life lesson under stress, the lesson tends to stick. Make decisions based on principle vs. on convenience, rules or circumstance. Honor your traditions – and we – coaches – build them; don’t let the swimmers build the traditions. Take club kids to local college meets, this helps build enthusiasm for the club programs. Need to make motivation synonymous with volition.
Bill Boomer: the 20th century swimmers were surface warriors; in the 21st century they are/will be sub-surface warriors.
Matt Kredich: inhaling is about survival in the moment, exhaling is about survival in the future.
George Kennedy: 90% of teams underperform. Sleep is huge – if you have 2 days with 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep you need 5 days to recover…so a really good cycle might be 2 days on and 1 day off – would take some real courage to see if that is true!
Also, some of the more valuable information got exchanged in the hallways, at lunch or dinner, ok – at the bar…our favorite was…source unnamed, “why do we seem to ask questions that we think we already know the answers to?”
Thanks to John Leonard, Guy Edson and the whole staff of ASCA for keeping this stimulating exchange moving forward. We love that our sport is so open when it comes to sharing information.