Wednesday, May 24, 2023

 "Buying your kids the best will never replace giving your kids your best."

What does this statement mean to you? 

To me I want to give my athletes my best every day on the pool deck, they deserve my time and effort each day. Being honest with them about their efforts, and attitudes are an important factor in a coach. 

When I was a younger coach, I would sugarcoat everything I said to them, I didn't want them to not like me. Well, that was not giving them my best to them. I needed to find ways to communicate what I felt they needed to change in order to keep them on their success path.

So, when speaking to an athlete, my goal is to give them my best every, be honest, and be respectful.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023



Over the past 30-plus years of coaching athletes, the ones that get the most out of the sport develop a Champions Mindset. I came across this book in 2015 and it stuck with me as I hope these B.E.S.T words will stick with you and your athlete.

Dr. Jim Afremow has written an incredible book on how we as athletes, leaders, teachers, and parents can develop a "Champion's Mindset," emphasizing that before we can perform like a champion, we must remove self-doubt and think like one.  

Preparing your mind to be the best starts with B.E.S.T.  

B. Belief. When you believe you can become a champion, your training is champion-like.  What Afremow suggests to the athletes he trains is to believe they finished second in the last event--fuel the belief with needing to raise your level ever so slightly.  

E. Enjoyment. We gain more enjoyment when we enjoy the process and look forward to working. Embrace the work. Love it, and with enjoyment comes progress.  

S. Self Talk. We hate having ants in our homes — and we should never have ants on our minds. ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) create doubt, they create uncertainty and the quicker we remove them, the better we prepare.  

T. Toughness. Being mentally tough means moving on from a mistake while remaining positive and proactive.  

Having great athletic talent is a wonderful skill, but without a champion's mindset, it can never reach its full potential.

Link to Book

Thursday, February 9, 2023


The Swimming Triangle
The triangle is a good representation of the connection between an 
athlete, parent, and coach. Each leg of the triangle has the same value as the other. If all of the legs of the triangle supported one another then you would have a fulfilled athlete.

As a swim coach, I believe the triangle is the foundation of success for our athletes. Each leg of the triangle represents the three parties: the athlete, the parent, and the coach. We couldn’t survive without one another. The key to the strength of the triangle is to understand each of our roles:

Note: These are traditional roles, as the athlete accomplishes higher levels the function can change, but always athlete-focused.

The Swimmer:
1) Be responsible by being on time and prepared for your workout.
2) During practice give great effort and energy while displaying a positive attitude.
3) Make your teammates better because of your presence and support.
4) Be coachable and respectful.
5) Have attainable goals and let everyone know about what they are.
6) Most importantly, be grateful to your parents, coaches, and teammates for their role.

The Parent:
1) Be positive and supportive, regardless of the outcome of each swim.
2) Don’t coach your kids as this can be disruptive for the swimmers and coaches, and will likely confuse your swimmer.
3) Get involved; find a volunteer position you feel comfortable with and help out.
4) Try to have your swimmer at practice 15 minutes before start time, as this is a good habit for young swimmers to learn.
5) Acknowledge that the coaches have numerous triangles to maintain and each one is different from the others.
6) Don’t compare your swimmer to other swimmers. They all come from different backgrounds with different talents and growth progressions. It’s best to let the coaches guide his/her progression and focus on your swimmer only.
7) Most importantly, be grateful to your swimmer and coaches for the sacrifices they make during this journey.

The Coach:
1) Have the best interests of the swimmers.
2) Maintain a state of balance between what may be ideal for the individual (your swimmer) and the needs of the group (the team).
3) Communicate openly and honestly.
4) Provide your athlete a range of growth opportunities; some satisfying and fulfilling, others challenging and perhaps frustrating; as this will help develop his/her ability and overall character as a person.
5) Most importantly, be grateful to the parents and the swimmers for the sacrifices they make during this journey.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


When I was younger I used to set New Year's Resolutions and guess what happened? Correct, nothing. I was good for maybe a month or so, but I eventually failed.

So about 10-15 years ago, I read in an article from Tim Elmore about choosing ONE Word each year, that will keep you moving forward in a positive direction. So I'm going to share my word with you.


Why did I choose patience? 

When I was a younger coach, I had no patience, I needed to control everything and I tried to control everybody. Well, I wasn't a really happy coach and felt let down by everyone and every situation. I would write a season plan and never keep to it. I'd start home projects and never finish, I just couldn't stay focused on any task. When swimmers couldn't do what I wanted especially in races, it was not good.

It might be age or coaching for nearly 40 years, but over the last 15 years, I have come to my senses. I can't or do not want to control anything, except myself.

So this year anytime a situation comes up that I cannot control, I repeat the word patience to myself and remind myself I'm moving forward in the right direction at the right speed.

Coach Ian

Wednesday, November 30, 2022



What is a podium swim? 

During the last few years, I've come to realize that when our athlete's race, they need to do just that - RACE. Remember when they first started summer league as a 10 & under. When they touched the wall what did they want to know? Their time? No. It was "Did I win or what place did I get."

As an athlete gets older, they place more emphasis on the time they swam and less on what place they got.

Why is that?

We know the older and faster an athlete gets the more pressure there is to perform faster times than before. Pressure from within and from the outside occurs. I am guilty as much as anyone of thinking they should go faster every time they race. Realistically, that's not the way anything works in life, otherwise, we would all be perfect.

So as we go into our first Championship competition, I am reminding my athletes to RACE and no matter what heat you are in, make it a "PODIUM SWIM" - Top 3 in your heat.

If that occurs, they'll probably get the best time too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Do you follow the Calendar or the Compass?

It took me a while to learn to follow my compass and not so much the calendar. 

"The compass matters more than the calendar. Your direction is more important than the speed you are getting there."

The compass makes you think about where you are going and needs your attention every morning you wake up. It would be best if you took the time to pause and reflect each day. The calendar comes with a to-do list and a list of deadlines and if I'm honest it will wear me out. 

The compass asks you what I need to do today to get to where I want to be.

If you just follow a calendar you feel you've accomplished something today, but the more you follow the compass, the more you can make choices that get you where you want to go.