How to Survive HS Practice

Stole this concept from Bryan Dedeaux who coaches at Mission Viejo Nadadores as an Age Group Coach

  1. ACT like a ChampionBe on time. If you are late, hurry up, explain yourself, then quickly get in the water.  When you are punctual, you are telling the coach that you respect his time and the time it took to prepare the workout.
  2. Be prepared.  It is the 3rd week of practice and you still don’t have your paddles?  Having everything ready to go before you get in the car to come to the pool shows you are responsible for your things and you take pride in being ready for anything.  This would include a water bottle and any inhaler you may have.
  3. Be honest.  Sometimes you make a mistake…and believe it or not, kids – Parents and coaches talk. We talk about you. And we listen to each other. The truth always comes out. It’s always better if it comes from you first.
  4. Respond to your coach.  NOTHING makes the coaching staff more insanely frustrated than when I ask a swimmer to do something, like keep your head still, and they just stare at me…Then they keep going.  Did you hear me?  Were you just thinking about it for a while?  Am I invisible?  Did you just take a long vacation to LaLa Land?  What just happened?   Nod your head.  Say, “OK coach” or “I didn’t hear you coach”.  Give me a thumbs up.  Even a smile would work.  Just respond so we know you heard me, then move on. And when we are talking to you directly, eye contact is a great sign that we know you are listening.
  5. Keep moving.  Swim between the walls, always.  If you stop and we see you stop you better have a wonderful reason for getting in your teammates way and blocking traffic.  And for all of you who think coaches can’t see 25 yards.  We can see you – Hanging low on the wall – Getting a little break at the other side of the pool – Trying to catch your coach sleeping.  Keep MOVING!  The pool is crowded.  Either swim or go home.
  6. Give 100% effort 100% of the time.  Effort comes in different forms.  Sometimes it is just plain old HARD WORK.  The kind that makes your stomach hurt and your eyeballs hit the insides of your goggles.  Sometimes it is FOCUS.  Paying close attention to the details and doing your drills properly.  Best efforts are often seen by the coach as good discipline and a willingness to jump out of their comfort zone when necessary.  A kid who knows when to push and knows when to hold back based on the guidelines of each set will get the most out of every practice and lead the way for others. And by the way, Race Pace means Race Pace in tempo, speed, and intensity.
  7. Listen when you are on the wall.  When your coach talks, you listen.  Listen with your EYEBALLS.  When you make eye contact with your coach you are quietly telling him that you are engaged in what is being said.  If your buddy is talking to you when the coach is talking and you are looking directly at the coach, you won’t get in trouble for being a part of a secondary conversation. When confused, go back to Number 4.
  8. Know when to leave.  This one is slowly killing all of us.  If I say leave on the top, don’t wait for the guy in the other lane to leave on the top.  Did you need confirmation that the top actually meant the 00.  You already knew that, didn’t you.   Show some assertiveness and be brave.  Leave when YOU think you should.  Chances are if you are paying attention you are going to get it right.  If the person in front of you doesn’t leave at the correct send off time, does that mean you get to wait 5 seconds after he leaves?  NO!  He left late…Leave when YOU are supposed to leave.  And while we are at it, unless there is a designated time slot allocated for rest, there is no rest between sets or rounds of the sets.
  9. Don’t ask a question that answers itself. Coach:   Ok, guys!  We are doing 8×25 free on a minute.  Descend 1-4 two times.  4 dolphin kicks off each wall.  Does anyone have any questions?Swimmer raises his hand:  Ummm….So, are we doing 8×25 free on a minute, descending 1-4 twice with 4 dolphin kicks off each wall?Coach:  Dude!  You just answered your own question.  Swimmer smiling:  Oh.  Huh?
  10. Own your mistakes.  If you do something wrong, major or minor, own up to it and accept the consequences. Every mistake you make in life helps you grow…unless you refuse to acknowledge that you made a mistake in the first place. We as coaches also will own up to our mistakes.
  11. Come with a smile.  Attitude is everything! A good attitude is the greatest gift you can give your coach.Bad attitudes need to stay outside the pool. View practice as a fresh start of the new part of the day.
  12. Say, thank you when the workout is over.  What a way to finish off a hard workout — When a swimmer says thank you.  Just makes our day!

About kbedalov

Husband, Father, Coach, Friend. Just living life the way it was suppose to be: honorably, respectfully, and passionately.
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