John’s Philosophy:
I love the sport of swimming and all that it has to offer. The fact that it is one of the most demanding sports only strengthens my love for it and plays a significant role in my philosophy in leading the young swimmers of the world.
TEAM – First and foremost, ever since I began my coaching career, I have believed that swimming is not an individual sport at all. In order to succeed to one’s potential; they must believe in the TEAM approach and learn to be supportive of their teammates. From that point I believe in leading in a way in which swimmers learn to take ownership of their swimming. Coaches are there to guide them, support athletes in their quest for growth, but the athletes must decide what they want from their pursuit. That is as much in swimming as it is in life. In my opinion there are two major things that swimmers should get out of this sport.
1.Life long Memories – The experience that is gathered from the sport will often times lead to the strongest friendships and best memories. The memories come from the process, the day-today experiences that lead to those memories. Swimming is too tough a sport to not focus on making it fun as well.
2. Life Lessons – This is what the sport comes down to in the end. When the workouts are all over and the racing suits hung up, what the swimmer’s have left are the life lessons learned through this sport. Those lessons will take them far in whatever their pursuits are in life.
a.Work ethic – There is no way around it, swimming is a demanding sport. The attempt here is to teach swimmers to enjoy the process of hard work and the rewarding feeling when they accomplish something that they didn’t think they could.
b.Confidence – Once these swimmers have learned to push themselves to new levels, they will also build confidence that they can accomplish anything. Self-confidence will be a crucial component in succeeding.
c.Commitment – Swimming demands a level of commitment far beyond most sports. The great thing about commitment isn’t just learning to make sacrifices, but rather believing in your commitments enough to not feel that you are making sacrifices.
d.Goal Orientation – You don’t achieve great things without knowing what it is you want to achieve. Swimming teaches each individual the value of setting goals and learning how to then set the path needed to be taken in order to achieve those goals.
e.Time management – Only when athletes are challenged by their schedules will they learn to manage their time well. All too often people will waste time when they have time to waste. Swimming forces these athletes to be sure they manage expectations of school and swimming, and then fit their social lives in as well.
f.Adaptability – Learning how to take instruction and then change something that has become habit is needed to excel in swimming. This same approach is good for us all to remember as we grow and advance in our careers. Improvement and progress within our focused efforts is what keeps a drive within us. Developing young adults will be the main focus of my coaching.
Teaching them good sportsmanship will enable them to learn to work as a team moving forward in their lives. The key then is the consistency in which these athletes are able to learn each of these values. The more a swimmer can foster these values within themselves, the process of learning the sport of swimming becomes the easy part.
With all of that in mind, then comes the drive to succeed. I am led by a sense of competition as strong as any other, but I believe that things can be both fun and competitive.
You can have a fantastic TEAM environment surrounding a very competitive environment. While it takes focus and commitment from the leadership, I will strive to take these athletes to the highest competitive level and have fun in the process.