Coaches View (Head Coach)



Level 3 Award Coaching Swimming Qualification

Level 1 Certificate for Teaching Aquatics Qualification



First of all, my thoughts in three sentences as to how I view a coach.

‘A coach can be many different things to different people. A coach can be a mentor, a teacher, a role model and sometimes a friend. Most of all coaches have a positive mental attitude at all times.



As a coach I would like to see all swimmers perform well, but I understand the need to educate them first. This means being able to swim the stroke effectively, and to have the right attitude in the water. Rather than thinking about myself, I always put the interest of my swimmers first in all instances. I have no aspirations to become a national coach and I know the limitations of my experience. My total focus is on the swimmers and what is best for them.



My programmes are progressive and work on a 3 month cycle, which is the best way for the club. I encourage continuous learning, which in turn should see improvements for the swimmers. I would like to think that I inspire the swimmers to perform well. It has never been my style of coaching to intimidate, shame or threaten any swimmer or to get them to improve by fear. I develop appropriate relationships based on respect, care and character.



I place a great deal of importance on speaking to swimmers before any race in which they are competing. This not only gives me the opportunity to get them to focus, but also to know and see how they are feeling. It is just as important to see the reaction of the swimmer after the race, however they have performed. I see both victories and defeats as a coaching moment to build self confidence and positive character building. My biggest desire is to see all my swimmers performing well and enjoying themselves. This does not mean necessarily winning all the time, but by performing well and showing improvement.



My coaching sessions are carefully thought out to fit in with the race programme of the club and for the swimmers individually. At no stage do I set a session merely to kill time, each part is for a reason. Each and every session is comprised and based on the capability of the group concerned. I continually watch and read for anything that may help me improve the performance of my swimmers, but ensure that anything new is appropriate. I try to ensure that the swimmers understand the set and the reason behind it, and if necessary justify what I have set for them. There are occasions when my coaching philosophy will not fit in with some swimmers. I understand that I cannot change the swimmer, but will alter my approach to assist them. A majority of my sessions are whole-part-whole instruction. I start with a set of full stroke and identify any parts in which the swimmers are not executing properly, I then use part instruction (drills etc) to remedy faults and then revert to full stroke and monitor to see if any further improvements can be made.



Coaching is much more than session setting and having an effective programme. I am in constant contact with young people and get to know their strengths and weaknesses, which are applicable not just to swimming but in all aspects of their lives. As a coach and role model, I try and raise the standards of my swimmers as individuals and those around them. Although I do like my swimmers to win races I place a great deal of importance on team spirit. I am committed to using all my knowledge, abilities and resources to make every swimmer in my squad successful.


My sincere hope is that my coaching philosophy built around care, respect and character is a good foundation for my swimmers, and that this will help them get the most out of their swimming experience.