Teddington Swimming Club
DREAM BELIEVE ACHIEVE
Teddington Swimming Club
DREAM BELIEVE ACHIEVE

Thoughts on training

Contrary to many people's beliefs, my training philosophy is not "American".  It may be different to what you all are used to but most teams in the US would also be wondering why I do certain things that I do in practice. Here's why: almost every swim coach in the US follows the same plan. Start as a summer league coach, move to an age group position, work your way up to a Senior level position and possibly university coaching after years of experience. Along the way, the novice coaches are expected to bide their time and only do what everyone else does until 3 - 5 years (or more) have passed and they can move into their own club.

My path was different, to say the least. I coached one year as an age group coach, then the Head Coach was fired and all of a sudden I was in charge of a Top 10 nationally ranked swim club.  Sink or swim, no pun intended.  In my first year, a highly ranked swimmer joined my team and had a goal of making the US World Championship Team.  She had tried all of the other programs from Florida to California and was burned out.  We tried crazy, unheard of stuff everyday.  And the rest of my team went along for the ride.  Every single coach I met laughed and waited for it to blow up in my face.  

End result:  She made the team, got a Silver Medal in the 25 K Open Water Swim and my team finished 5th at Nationals even without her as she was at the World Champs. Due to this, I never have had to follow a cookie cutter approach to training philosophy and could do whatever I felt would allow the swimmers to have fun and swim fast.  Due to Martha's Silver Medal, I was put on the US National Coaching Team and was able to pick the brains of a Who's Who of Hall of Fame coaches before I was 25. 

Over the last 30 years, I've retained things I learned from them, discarded others that didn't work and mostly kept trying new, crazy stuff.  Of all the things I'm proud of in my coaching career, I'm most proud of having every one of my teams over those years show massive improvement.  Especially the swimmers (and parents) that were willing to put everything they thought they knew about swimming aside, try something new and trust the system.  That's what I plan for TSC.  We'll do new things (to you), try new things (to the swimmers AND me, when I get a good idea) and have fun while swimming really fast! Be patient, as I have tremendous confidence in my approach, and good things will happen pretty soon.

Coach Mark

4 April 2019