Category Archives: ASCA

Explore The World Clinic Exhibit Hall – Swimming’s Largest Trade Show

The Exhibit Hall at the ASCA World Clinic is the world’s largest swimming-specific trade show. With approximately 80 companies on hand, attendees can examine the latest swimming-related technology, equipment and services.   Discover new products that can decrease expenses and increase revenues.  Do some comparison shopping, talk directly to your providers to get answers to questions, and meet others who are using or considering a product or service you are researching.  No matter what you seek, the Exhibit Hall is the place to get immediate answers and solutions to issues within your organization.

At this year’s Aquatics Exhibition, take some time to visit with your team dealer or renew your club contract with one of the brands.  Check out new inventions – in the form of training and technical tools – presented by professional swimming entrepreneurs.  Meet firsthand with the makers of supplements and ask the necessary questions to determine what’s right for your team.  Discuss with vendors the various technologies available to assist you in day-to-day management and administrative tasks.  Plan for your next team-hosted swim meet by making arrangements for apparel and awards.  Explore the various options for team training trips and see who can help you with travel logistics.  Need new timing equipment, lanelines, non-skid flooring, a water filtration system or better air quality in your facility?  Need a new facility?  Talk to some of the experts in the field, explore the various options available, and head back home with the knowledge and solutions you need to make a difference in your program.

The Exhibit Hall Grand Opening takes place on Wednesday evening, with the Welcome Party sponsored by Colorado Timing Systems.  The Exhibit Hall will remain open from 9am-5pm on Thursday and Friday, and 9am-3pm on Saturday.  A free box lunch will be served to all coaches in the Exhibit Hall on Saturday at noon.

Check out the 2011 Exhibitors

View a map of the Exhibit Hall

See the schedule of vendor presentations

Remember, the generous support of exhibitors helps make ASCA’s World Clinic the premier event for professional swimming coaches.  While on site this year, please step into the Exhibit Hall and take advantage of this opportunity to expand your professional network.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Experience At The 2011 ASCA World Clinic

Whether it’s learning the basics of coaching eight and unders, or a high level discussion on race analysis of world-ranked athletes, every coach who attends the World Clinic will find something new to add to their swimming toolbox.  And the coaching instruction is just the beginning – the four day program is filled with a myriad of opportunities to mix with some of the most prominent names on the swimming landscape, to challenge yourself with differing philosophies and coaching perspectives, to gain insight into the business side and governance aspects of American swimming, and to see first-hand the products, services and tools available to take your coaching and your program to the next level.

The ASCA World Clinic is the most important event of the year for swim coaching professionals.  And to help you get the most out of the event, we’ve created this guide to prepare you for the adventure ahead.

Make a schedule.

Take a look at this year’s schedule and identify the talks, events and features you want to experience at the World Clinic.  Draft up a quick plan.  You don’t have to stick with it, but having someplace to start will make all the difference.  Plus, in the process of making your schedule, you may discover things you would not have come across otherwise. With so many presentations taking place simultaneously, it’s a good idea to determine ahead of time the speakers and topics that are most relevant to your coaching education and professional development.

 Find a friend.

Seek out fellow attendees/speakers who have some experience with the event to give you advice, guide you and even show you around. You’ll come away with a new connection or two. Sure, it’s easy to attend the same talks as the other coaches on your staff, but don’t be afraid to go at it alone and chat up coaches from other parts of the country.  While it may be easier to talk to only those people you know, make sure to make new contacts, too.  Approach small groups of people who don’t seem to be in intimate conversations.  Introduce yourself.  Ask questions.  Some of the greatest learning experiences you can have at the World Clinic come not from the actual presentations, but rather, the conversations you have in the halls, over lunch or during evening gatherings.  Use the World Clinic as a networking opportunity.  Listen to your colleagues. You’ll learn new ways to solve problems and do your job.

Study the map.

This is very important.  The Town and Country Hotel is a very large venue, and once you get here, you’ll want to hit the ground running.  Take a few moments and familiarize yourself with the facility prior to arrival.   Map of key locations.

Pack for every occasion. 

The World Clinic and Trade Show is more than just a conference.  You’ll be attending sessions, meeting new colleagues, networking at social events and perusing the Exhibit Hall.  Expect average weather temperatures in the mid-seventies, and bring a jacket or a hoodie for chilly classrooms and evening socializing.   Take at least one selection of business attire — meaning slacks, dress shirt, tie for guys; a skirt and blouse or tailored dress for ladies.  You certainly don’t want to disappoint Coach Peter Daland by showing up at the Awards Banquet with shorts and flip flops.  In general, you’ll want to look and feel your best, and present an image that you are a professional.  That means clothing you feel confident and comfortable in.  Remember comfortable shoes, so you can manage a lot of walking.  And, don’t forget to throw in a swimsuit – whether for hitting the hotel pool, the local beaches, or trying out the new Endless Pool Elite, featured in the exhibit hall.  You’ll also need some writing materials to take notes and a fresh stack of your business cards to hand out to new colleagues and exhibit hall vendors.

Pace yourself.

You will have the urge to hit the ground running and try to cram as much into your first day as possible. Resist it!  You will only be overwhelmed and disappointed with yourself that you don’t have the energy to go to that great evening event you had your heart set on. You may have to make some tough choices, but you’ll be glad you took your first day slowly.

Read the printed materials.

When you get your materials take a moment to look through them. Pay particular attention to the program book, timeline and exhibit hall map. These sets of information will be your lifeline at the World Clinic.  Review your plan, highlight the presentations most applicable to you, and pencil in time to explore the Exhibit Hall or catch a vendor presentation.

Take time to actually listen.

Attending the World Clinic – with four full days of talks and roundtables and featured presentations by the experts in our field – can give you so many new ideas and perspectives that your head will spin.  Don’t become so intent on taking verbatim notes that you actually forget to listen to what the speakers have to say.  Have a pen and notepad handy and write down key ideas or general observations.  Too much writing, and you won’t be able to think about the things you are hearing.  If you want each and every presentation transcript, order the World Clinic Yearbook, or download audio versions of specific talks via the ASCA website.

Attend the Awards Banquet.

The annual ASCA Awards Banquet, a Friday night event where the biggest names in American swim coaching gather to celebrate their successes, includes recognition for Coach of the Year, Age Group Coaches of the Year and Hall of Fame inductees. In addition, the Doc Councilman Creative Coaches Award is given to those who submit poster presentations detailing innovative coaching ideas.  The top three submissions receive cash awards.  ASCA’s Awards Banquet, a formal affair, celebrates the work we do within the professional coaching community.  Don’t miss out on this evening of celebration – reserve your seats today.  Get tickets (available for no additional charge with your World Clinic registration) by emailing Dianne Sgrignoli (dsgrignoli@swimmingcoach.org). Space is limited to the first 400 coaches.

Join Us In San Diego For The 2011 SwimAmerica Leadership Conference

2011 ASCA World Clinic & Trade Show

It’s almost time for 2011 ASCA World Clinic & Trade Show.  This year marks the 53rd time that more than 1,000 coaches will come together for professional education purposes.  Attending the ASCA World Clinic is one of the very few fast tracks to success.  Getting out and comparing notes with your peers, listening to keynotes and topic specific presentations, chatting up some of the world’s greatest coaches, and taking time to explore the technologies and services represented in the Exhibit Hall – all this can give you quite an advantage over the stay-at-home staff from across town.

So, what are you waiting for?  Register today!

ASCA World Clinic 2011
September 6-11, 2011  •  San Diego, CA
schedule  •  register

General schedule

Certification Schools:     Mon. 9/5, Tue. 9/6, Thu. 9/8, Fri. 9/9 and Sun. 9/11

World Clinic:      September 7-10  (Wednesday 1:00 p.m. – Saturday)

Exhibit Hall:   Wednesday Evening through Saturday
Check out the 2011 Exhibitors
View a map of the Exhibit Hall
See the schedule of vendor presentations

Hotel information
Town and Country Resort Hotel
500 North Hotel Circle
San Diego, CA  92108
tel:  (619) 291-7131
room rate:  $132 per night
online room reservations available here

The Purpose and Measurement of a Swim Meet

The Swim Meet Coach – Part II.

“Purpose and Measurement of a Swim Meet

by John Leonard

In the first part of this series, we identified that there are specific skills to develop in coaching at a swim meet as opposed to “practice coaching”. In this article, we’ll begin to explore those skills. We’ll begin with thinking about the swim meet experience conceptually.

Lets first answer the question, “What Do You Think The Purpose Of A Swim Meet Is?”

 To begin, lets make an assumption, and that is, that we are purpose driven human beings attempting to teach purpose to young people. If that is the case, then there are several possible purposes of packing up the family and going to a swim meet.

It is an opportunity to test the quality and durability of what you have learned in practice. Why practice if not to compete and test it? This is a universal, regardless of summer league meet, USA Swimming meet, or high school/collegiate competition.

It is an opportunity to enjoy racing with other swimmers. In most meets, athletes are grouped according to relative abilities, so you’ll be competing with people relatively similar to yourself in ability. While this is likely true in highly organized competition like YMCA, USA-S age group meets, the grouping of athletes is likely to be less homogeneous in high school or summer league competition. You may be in over your head, or you may not have sufficient competitive challenge in your event.

It is a quality opportunity to see if you are a better swimmer today than you were the last time you competed. Universally true. Test yourself. Don’t depend on the competition. Test Yourself.

It is an opportunity to grow to a new level in our sport. If you are an age grouper, a chance to get a new B time, new A time, new AAA time. If a senior swimmer, a chance for a new Sectional cut, Junior or Senior National cut, or, if a high school swimmer, advance to your district or state meet.

It is FUN! Go enjoy it. Make the experience exciting, positive and fun. Learn and appreciate.

The point here is, every swim meet, every swim at every swim meet, should have one or more of the above purposes in mind. The athlete needs coach leadership to understand and put in context, the purpose of the meet and the swim. Don’t let athletes get into the “same old, same old” rut. Set appropriate purposes for each swim in front of each swimmer.

Sometimes its as simple as scoring points for your team in a dual meet. Sometimes it can be pretty complicated. But Purpose is everything!

And the backside of purpose of course, is evaluation. Once the purpose is set, then the coach and athlete need to work together to analyze the result and prepare for the next race, next meet, next season. The good coach becomes skilled at evaluation.

Evaluation may come in various time frames. First, is when the athlete walks back from the blocks. There is an art to good communication with the athlete immediately following the swim, and in this series of articles, we’ll explore the nature and content of those communications.

Second, is more in-depth post meet evaluation to look carefully at the entire meet and performances in context. Third, is the sort of end of season analysis that looking back at each meet in the season can provide.

Good evaluation comes from data. Facts. “Feelings” and “opinions’ are certainly to be respected, and considered. But over time, most coaches have come to the conclusion that facts help form solid opinions and therefore, facts are important to assemble in as much depth as possible.

So, how do you measure results at a swim meet? Here are some ways.

  • Did you have a lifetime best time?
  • Did  you have a seasonal best time?
  • Did you swim the race with the effort pattern that  you had planned?
  • Did you swim the race with the technical elements that you had planned? (Stroke, turn, start, etc.)
  • Did you get the competitive result you sought? (Placing)

And of course, you can add others!

While certainly it is important to select ONE of the above as a primary objective of each swim, the fact is that sometimes swimmers, regardless of experience level, play “mix and match” (“I want to swim a best time and win the race.”) This makes it significantly more difficult to evaluate the race competently.

Now, as the coach, what do you measure?

Here are some ideas:

Measure percent of best times. (lifetime or seasonal)  “We swam 100 races this weekend. We had 42 best times. Our best time percentage for the weekend is 42%.”

Measure the number of new B, A, AA, etc. times on the team. “We had 14 new B times, 3 new A times and 2 new AAAA times, great job!”

Measure the  number of new  Sectional, JR, Sr. National qualifying times. Celebrate those!

Measure the percentage of best times in prelims. In finals. Track these. Compare over time.

Measure the total number of seconds improved by the entire team added together. This is a great “team incentive” that everyone can contribute to.

Measure the percent of best times by stroke. (“We had 22% best season times in backstroke.”)

Measure the percent of best times by distance. (“We had 46% best times in events 400 and longer, and 58% best times in teh 100’s”)

Measure best times by age group. (“the 10 and under girls swam 75% best ever times this past weekend! Congratulations!”)

Measure best times by gender. Then Gender and age group.

The more you measure, the more you have to think about. And you are thinking about FACTS. (Having facts also help in discussion with parents, who typically begin a conversation with “I think…” or “I feel…”  You have the facts.)

Having the facts allows  you to have intelligent post meet conversations with athletes.

“How do you think you did?”

“What was good? What was not so good? What can you improve on?”

“Why?”

“What can we do about it? What do you think we should work on in practice with you?” What can you do to get better?”

Facts also allow you to have intelligent conversations with the team as a whole. “Here is how we did. These are the facts. What do you think? What common traits do you see? What do we need to concentrate on? What simple things can we do as a group in practice to improve?”

Facts allow you to discuss performances with your coaches from a common ground. (if you have a staff.)

Facts allow you to give real information on athlete performance and improvement to your Athletic Director and Principal (whether he wants them or not!) and to your Board of Directors.

Having facts, means that you can be evaluated with facts. Most of us prefer this. (Though, sadly, not all….some want to get by on their charm and good looks…if you are not so blessed, facts can help.)

Summary: think about and have a PURPOSE. Develop and have FACTS!

 

 

Thought for the day

Unique Level 2 Stroke School Presentation for 2011 ASCA World Clinic

One of ASCA’s goals is to provide unusual “looks” at the concepts involved in teaching the ASCA Level 2 Stroke School.  On Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011 in San Diego, we’ll have such an unusual opportunity.

We’ll have co-instructors for the course. Coach Ira Klein will join Coach Terry Laughlin to teach the course.  These lifelong friends have two completely diverse views of teaching swimming to different populations.

Terry is the founder of  TOTAL IMMERSION SWIMMING, the leading methodology in the world to teach new swimmers, masters swimmers and triathletes to become better swimmers.  Terry focuses on balance in the water, reducing resistance and creating great swimming shapes, to move easer in the water and turn “strugglers” into beautiful aquatic athletes.  Before he started Total Immersion Swimming, Terry was an age group swimming coach of renown, and still continues to coach local swimmers near his home base in New York.  Terry will provide a very unique perspective on both the teaching process and the sequence of teaching skills in the water.

Ira Klein has coached in every USA-Swimming Zone.  He’s produced national level swimming in all of them, as well as serving several stints with National YMCA winning teams.  Ira coaches all ages of young swimmers and in addition to a short stint at USA-Swimming offices, he’s coached at Auburn University as well as club teams such as Las Vegas Gold, Santa Barbara Swim Club,  Joliet Y Jets, and  Sarasota Y.

Currently, Ira owns his own team in Sarasota, Florida and is one of the leading club coaches in the USA, with daily coaching/teaching experience in his own SwimAmerica Learn to Swim Program.

The chemistry between these two friends is magical and their teaching of the ASCA Level 2 Stroke School should be a special experience for attending coaches.

Join us for the 2011 World Clinic in San Diego, CA

Click on the link below for more information

https://www.swimmingcoach.org/worldclinic/asca2011/default.asp

Don’t miss out on the Central States Clinic!

ASCA Schools at the Central States Clinic

There is still time to sign up for ASCA Schools!   AND…There are still spots available for COACHES and SWIMMERS at the CENTRAL STATES SWIM CLINIC!

Don’t delay – REGISTRATIONS can still be mailed at the pre-registration rate until May 6!!! Door registrations will be accepted on site.

Additionally, the hotel has extended the special clinic rate until Friday as well. Rooms are still available, but they are going quickly. Be sure to call soon to guarantee yours – rooms can be booked as available until Friday May 6 at the special clinic rate by calling (630) 573-8555.

The Central States Swim Clinic on May 14-15, 2011 will be held at the Oak Brook Marriott, in Oak Brook, IL.

If you wish to register for these additional courses, please note in the appropriate space on the clinic registration form and include payment payable to Central States Swim Clinic. These courses may be attended separately or in conjunction with the clinic.

Click below to register

http://www.swimclinic.com/central_registration-form.html

Listed below is a list of ASCA Schools

*Age Group Sports Psychology
(May 12th: 1-5pm) $50.00

This course is designed to give coaches a clear and concise approach to developing their own mental training program for age group athletes. Areas covered are: organizing a program for your team and teaching methods; developing peak performance skills (relaxation, mental rehearsal, concentration) and how to practice these skills; and the teaching of life skills. (15 education credits)

*Working Successfully with Swimming Parents
(May 12th: 6-9pm) $50.00

This course is designed to provide you with “instant experience” and successful options in working with parents. Offers over 20 actual case studies and seven chapters of immediately useful, practical suggestions on how to be effective with your swim team parents. (15 education credits)

*The Physiology School
(May 13th: 9am-5pm) $60.00

The course is designed to give coaches a broad understanding of physiological principles and a working knowledge of season and workout design. Presented is the physiological basis for performance of the cardiovascular system, energy metabolism, swimming economy, type of training, fatigue mechanisms, and nutrition. Specific applications are presented including periodization of work and rest, workout design, taper, over training, strength and flexibility training. The school is conducted in simple, coach-oriented language that concentrates on conceptual understanding of the processes that lead to faster swimming and more effective training. (20 education credits)

*Creating Team Leadership
(May 13th: 6-8pm) $65.00/person

Previously ASCA has taught a class for just athletes. This course is for both coaches and athletes. Concepts to be covered will be what leadership is all about, how it applies in swimming, teaching the tools of being a leader & when to apply those tools. We will both teach the coach and teach the swimmer about leadership. This course is applicable to both real life and a swim team. It is designed so the coach & athlete can go home and educate their team about the skills of leadership.

Main Program

The 2011 Clinic proudly offers the following prestigious line-up of speakers and Olympians:

  • Dave Salo: ’08, ’04 & ‘00 Olympic Coach, Author, Head Coach USC Men & Women
  • Brett Hawke: 2 time Olympian, Head Coach Auburn Men & Women, Coach of Cielo
  • Rick DeMont: Assistant Coach to the South African Men’s Swim Team at three recent Olympic Games
  • Dave Durden: ‘04 Olympic & ’03 Pan Pac Coach, Head Coach UC Berkeley men
  • Jackie Berning Ph.D: Nutrition Consultant, Author and Educator
  • Brendan Hansen: Olympic Gold Medalist ’04, Bronze Medalist ’00 & World Recordholder
  • Kristy Kowal: Olympic Silver Medalist ’00, 8 time American Record holder & 1 World Recordholder
  • Lindsay Mintenko: 2 time Olympian, American Recordholder & USA Swimming National Team Managing Director

Our clinic offers you a special opportunity to be with top age group & university coaches as well as ASCA, USA Swimming Facilities Planning and USA Swimming club certification courses.

You can find more information about the clinic, here: http://www.swimclinic.com/central_details.html

Registration forms are available here: http://www.swimclinic.com/central_registration-form.html

Advice to Assistant Coaches on Selling Ideas to Your Head Coach (and Advice to the Head Coach on Selling Ideas to your Board)

Advice to Assistant Coaches on Selling Ideas to Your Head Coach (and Advice to the Head Coach on Selling Ideas to your Board)

by John Leonard

Let me state up front that none of this is “original thinking”. The sales literature in the world is so extensive that literally every idea comes from “someone else”. So with apologies and thanks to the “originators” of these ideas, here goes.

First, when you are selling to the “CEO”, you need to understand first what THEIR concerns are:

1)    Staying “profitable”. The CEO has to make sure the paychecks get written and the bills get paid. They have to do this FIRST, or the organization goes out of business and you don’t have a job. So if you whine “but its always about the money!”, grow up and recognize that you are correct. It IS always about the money. Unless you’re planning on donating your salary to the club this month?

2)    Keeping the majority HAPPY. The CEO has a lot of “constituencies” that they have to please. Make enough people unhappy and you’re looking for a new job. Bringing “correct” but wildly unpopular ideas to the boss is not going to win you a new friend. And it will, if repeated enough times, label you as “difficult”. After you read that, see the last sentence of number one again.

3)    Value. How important is the idea to the success of the organization? CEO’s need to spend their time on the key issues.

4)    Agility. How easy/how fast/how simple is your idea? CEO’s want clarity and simplicity. If you can’t explain it in about one sentence, your idea needs “refinement” before presentation.

So, now you have thought of those things. Lets work on describing your idea in a sentence. (or two, if you have a patient CEO.)

Ask yourself:

1)    Current issues in our business….does my idea impact something that is important to my boss NOW? In the immediate future? Or is it something with a longer timeframe that should wait till a “planning session”?

2)    Does your idea have a direct effect on the CUSTOMER you serve, the swimming family? Or is this idea away from the customer? Most CEO’s will be most amenable to something that positively impacts swimmers and/or parents on the team.

3)    Impact – does the idea provide a lot of “bang for the buck?” if so, you’re in business!

4)    ROI – What is the “Return on Investment” that the CEO will get if they invest money and time in your idea? Conversely, what is the negative ROI “risk on investment”. If return is high and risk is low, you’re in business. If return is low and risk is high, better think twice before presenting it. If they are about even, rethink. How can return go up and risk go down?

Now, you’ve analyzed your idea. Time for action. Recognize that your idea needs great presentation.

Make it fast. Literally try to explain your thought in one or two sentences. CEO’s time is valuable. Clarity is valuable.

  1. Review the financial impact first. Does it bring in money? Cost money?
  2. Review the return. Why should they “buy” this idea? This is the CONCLUSION you have drawn from your thinking.
  3. If the CEO is interested in the CONCLUSION, then they will ask you for the story itself.
  4. Be prepared to provide the story in either full oral or written fashion.
  5. In either oral or written, give FACTS that support your conclusion, not “feelings”. Decisions based on data are much more powerful than your intuition.

What else many enter into the decision?

First, your reputation. Do you traditionally bring the CEO good ideas? Is this the first idea you have ever brought to the CEO? Or, on the negative side, have ideas you have brought before been not exactly raging successes? If so, see number 6 above. You’re fighting an uphill battle, be VERY PREPARED with facts.

Second, the reality in life is that the CEO often likes to be the person with the good ideas. This is a about a little thing called ego. Sometimes, it has to become the idea of the CEO before it gets accepted. This outrages some people. In the real world, if you want to see your idea implemented, you forget that it’s “yours” as soon as possible and it becomes “ours”.

The nice thing about this progression is that over time, as you learn how to prepare your ideas by thinking like a CEO, you are preparing yourself to become one. And at some point, someone else will have their ego in play on your idea, and you will decide “gee, I can do this myself” and find a way to become the CEO yourself.

Then you’ll get to make all those cool decisions and live with the consequences of your ideas and the ideas of others.  Congratulations!

Coaches: Sign up for ASCA’s Swim Parent Newsletter Today

Coaches — Add another tool to your arsenal today with an annual subscription to the Swim Parent Newsletter!

The Swim Parent Newsletter is a weekly publication coaches can use as a parent education tool.  Each week we publish a topic we think will be valuable to your swim team parents.

Recent titles include:

“Do We Really Want our Children Drinking Energy Drinks?”

“Guidelines For Going On The Road,”

“2 a Day Workouts for 12 and Unders?”

“Resolving Conflicts with the Coach”

“The Praise Craze”

“The Nature of Stroke Work”

“Enough Already With Kid Gloves”

ASCA’s Swim Parent Newsletter is emailed to 44,000 families each week by the coaches who subscribe to this highly relevant parent education resource. What do other coaches have to say about Swim Parent Newsletter?

  • “Wow! Good one! Thanks!”
  • “This is what I needed to send to one of my parents who pushes his daughter too hard,”
  • “The Swim Parent Newsletter is amazing. My team loves it! It’s so great that it can actually be applied to any sport!”

Subscribe at the ASCA online store or call us at 800.356.2722.  An annual subscription is only $25.  Click here for a advanced copy of the next issue. What are you waiting for?  Sign up today!