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A Starting Point

Fundamental Assumptions

  • Everybody counts or nobody counts.

  • Swimmers swim races.  Coaches watch races.  Every aspect of the performance process should be oriented with this reality in mind.

  • Coaches don't have any of the answers.  They'd better have all of the questions.

  • Effective coaching is enabling one to learn to believe in themselves.

  • Skilled swimming starts and ends with rhythm, as no technical element exists in isolation.

  • Reducing drag is at least as important as increasing propulsion, and much more difficult to achieve.

  • Technical excellence cannot exist without physical readiness; physical readiness can not be developed without technical excellence.

  • Individual application of biomechanical principles supersedes the application of technical models.

  • Optimal learning contexts require the least instruction.

  • Performing is not synonymous with learning.

  • Errors are the most important part of learning.

  • Coaching is about facilitating learning, not teaching.

  • It's not what you see, it's what you don't see.

  • You cannot un-instruct.  Think twice, speak once.

  • Present problems, not solutions.

  • Training is about the relationships between elements, not the elements themselves.

  • Training is to add, not to replace.

  • The primary objective of training is to enhance race specific endurance.  ALL training must support this objective, directly or indirectly.

  • Problems develop when swimmers consistently abdicate control, eventually.

  • Expectations determine outcomes, eventually.

  • Motivation and engagement emerge, or not, through appropriately designed cultures and environments.

  • Establishing belief in one's abilities is the fundamental consequence of an effective training process.

  • The ability to retain contextually appropriate focus is the critical psychological skill; all training tasks should reinforce the development of this ability.  

  • Context is as important as content.

  • Nothing happens without engagement.

  • There are no rules, just results.

  • At a fundamental level, all swimmers participate for one reason only- to feel good about themselves.


Everyone is listening to what you say, and how you say it.  More importantly, everyone is watching what you do, and how you do it.  Always.

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