Coaches and Communication

This is a guest post courtesy of Pat Windschitl of Ellis Aquatics. Pat is one of the founding coaches of the program and has had much success coaching swimmers of all ages. He has coached athletes to top finishes at Junior Olympics and to nation top-10 time performances.

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A few years back I had a parent ask one of my age group coaches (a former swimmer of ours that was in college) if their swimmer was tapering for this weekend’s age group meet. His response, “What meet?” …

So we failed there. The meet had been on our schedule, posted online and in the pool office. Despite this one of our coaches wasn’t aware that his group of swimmers was going to a meet that weekend.

It’s hard to keep everyone on the same page. Coach Jacob has classes on Tuesday, Jason on Mondays, I’m out Wednesdays, and Coach Clay’s wife has bunko on Friday’s so he’s got all his kids. We had to find a better way to communicate.

We tried a number of things. Group emails didn’t work for us. Coaches weren’t sure which emails were for the team and which was for them. But what did end up working was setting up a group text. New meet is open? Mass text all the coaches. Coach Jason has an emergency? Everyone knows and we can work together to get his group covered.

In the context of workouts, another way we have improved communication across coaches is by using Commit Swimming. Our Senior group is co-coached by Clay Basepayne and myself. We’ve loved using Commit, as we can check what the other coach is doing on a given night if we are out for class, see who is attending, and view notes on what is working and what could be improved. We are ecstatic to see the athlete beta version of Commit roll-out and have been loving the feedback from our swimmers so far.

The most important thing is that you make the time to try something new. Find something that works for you and your club. Find something you can stick to.

With communication, the most important thing is that you make the time to try something new. Find something that works for you and your club. Find something you can stick to. Find what works for you.

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