Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Update

Dear Athletes

Hope you all had a fab long weekend - great weather on Sunday...shame about Monday?! I am sure summer is now just around the corner...

In this newsletter: 1) Coaches Training Day Report; 2) Open Water Sessions starting this week; 3) please confirm your attendance.


So, over the Long Weekend we had our inaugural Coaches Training Day at the Claremont Pool. The focus of this session was to provide an open "forum" for discussion of theory and practical issues surrounding the coaching of The TEAM CORE's various weekly sessions. As you know, the squad has grown tremendously in the last 6 months and in order to keep the focus on the quality of the coaching you receive, we wanted to bring the new coaches up to speed with our practices to ensure continuity in delivery. This was a real success and everyone really enjoyed and benefitted from the open communication that was generated during the day. We focused on the following issues in the session that ran from 9am to 3pm:

1. Discussion about what makes a good coach, e.g. empathy, experience, listening skills, technical skills, motivational etc.

2. How to develop the 3 key areas of an athletes preparation - 1) stroke technique development; 2) fitness development; 3) open water skills transfer.

3. The coach-athlete communication "pathway" and how this can be improved.

4. Video analysis and stroke correction of two of the coaches (Shelley Taylor-Smith and Bruce Allender) - very useful for peer review.

5. A full 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction session of Claremont Aussie Master's President, Gary Bradley.

6. Summary & Close including the structuring and allocation of each of the coaches to the various weekly sessions (this is still in progress - update to follow).

All up, 9 of us attended, including myself (running the course) and Adam Young (who you now all know and love!); Adam Mullens (former Australian swim team member); Nikki Rogers (1990 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist); Shelley-Taylor Smith (7-time world marathon swimming champion); Ceinwen Williams (5h30 Rottnest Solo swimmer 2009); Bruce Allender (from Melbourne and Victoria's Master's Swimming Coaching Director); Sandy Burt (Hale rowing coach and 2009 Australian Half Ironman Series winner); Nicola Holmes (uber-swimmer from lane 3 and Sports Nutritionist who has delivered several seminars on this topic for the team in the past). As you can see there really was a massive wealth of experience within the group and we are very proud to have this group who will be getting involved within the various sessions over the next 12 months. The session was sponsored by The Team Core and the various coaches will be attending 6 to 10 sessions each over the next 3 months in a work-shadowing capacity in order for you all to get to know and work with them.

It's an exciting time, especially going into summer!


Just a reminder that the new Thursday 6am and Saturday 8am open water swim sessions start this week (1st and 3rd October respectively). Both will be at Cottesloe Beach meeting on the grassy area to the north of the Indianna Tea Rooms and immediately opposite the pylon. We have a large number of you down to attend these sessions which should make them a lot of fun. The Thursday session will focus on the essentials of open water proficiency including sighting, drafting, turning and building your confidence in this unusual environment. Wetsuits are allowed but not compulsory. Charge is one tick off your PAYG card. The Saturday session will be a long continuous swim which I will join you for. We'll aim for 2 to 3km this week. There will be no charge for this swim as it will be essentially "uncoached". It might be a little cold for the next couple of weeks, but do pop along and give it a try!


Please take a brief moment to confirm your attendance at the following sessions:

I only need to hear from you if your are NOT planning on attending any of the sessions that you have put yourself down for. Please remember that this is still a very flexible system and I am not in anyway asking you to commit to every single session that you put your name down for - just trying to manage the numbers effectively without having to resort to a monthly or quarterly fee which means you then lose out on sessions which you do not attend. We don't want to do this and it appears that the majority of you really like the flexible Pay As You Go system. However, we have been averaging 18 to 21 swimmers for most sessions (~28 / 32 for the 4-lane swims on a Tuesday and Friday at 6.30am) of a suggested capacity of 24 swimmers (including 6 people on each "buffer" list). Both the Monday 7am and Wednesday 5.30am sessions have been a little quiet in their first couple of weeks despite appearing "full" on the list.

I have been reluctantly turning away a few of the swimmers who are down on the reserve lists for fear of being too busy. I know many of these guys and girls are "chomping at the bit" to attend, so please, please, please just let me know if you are down on a certain list incorrectly or if the slot just isn't working for you due to other commitments and if I can offer your spot to someone else instead. We just want to make the sessions run as best as possible for everyone, so please help us help you and keep this a fair and flexible system over the summer months.

Thanks in advance!


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