Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Back From Pan Pac Trials

I'm back from a long week in Montreal and coaching at the Pan Pacific Trials.

It was my first coaching experience at a Nationals/National Team Trials meet. The experience gave me a new appreciation of what goes on in the minds of coaches at that level. To date this blog is not public so I can say a few things that I learned this week.

Firstly, I learned that it's time for Toronto Swim Club to go in a different direction. Head coach John Grootveld has built this club for over 10 years and this was the last Nationals that he will serve as Head Coach. I wish John all the best as he takes on a new role outside of the swimming world but yet still very much attached to Canadian amature sport.

Secondly, I learned of who is under consideration for the head job at TSC, which is an interesting post and I'm definitely a fan of the men under consideration for the job.

I hope with a new Head Coach that I will be retained at TSC. I enjoy my group and I'm forging a decent reputation within the club and I see downstream opportunity for me with the team, if only for the purpose of developing a reputation around the Canadian swimming community.

Aside from the changes at TSC I did get to spend quite a bit of time talking with Toronto Academy of Swimming coach John Rogers. JR is the Center coach in Toronto and comes originally from Australia and brings an unbelievable wealth of knowledge when it comes to swimming. Throughout the week I figuratively just planted myself a position right next to JR to just observe how he coaches and what advice he gives out so I can learn.

Quite often I would turn to JR and just ask "what do you see?"... For any young/new coach I recommend asking this question a lot because it just unveils a lot of information that you may not be aware enough to even start to ask about... If JR ever reads this, which I doubt, he should know that I am greatful for the opportunty to learn from him.

Throughout the week I was also able to watch other coaches operate and see what teams are struggling and what teams obviously have a system together that has the momentum arrow pointing up. I was very impressed with how swimmers from Island Swimming performed as well as most of the swimmers from the Universite de Laval. From where I was watching it seemed that their elite swimmers where ready to swim fast and handled the pressures of a Trials meet quite well.

I will cut off this post at this point but I am putting together another post regarding the disturbing fact that there were zero Canadian records set over the weekend and how that instantly brings us back to the shiny suits situation.