February 10, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, Mr. Rick Bishop from USA Swimming met with the coaches, swimmers and parents of the Greenwood Memorial Swim Club (GMSC). Mr. Bishop had the opportunity to visit The Greenwood Memorial Bath House and Pool, as well as the pool at Mount Wachusett Community College where he was able to watch the GMSC Pre National and National group practice.
Mr. Bishop, who grew up in MA, attended the University of Massachusetts on a swimming scholarship while pursuing a degree in Physiology. Now living in Colorado and working for USA Swimming as a Sport Performance Consultant, Mr. Bishop has over 20 years of coaching experience. He has coached at both the national and international level, including coaching swim teams from Brazil and Curacao at the Pan American Games, World Championships as well as the Olympics.
The Greenwood Memorial Swim Club was chosen for a visit by USA Swimming because of the team’s national acclaim for continually producing swimmers of the highest caliber. With over 2000 swim clubs registered with USA Swimming, GMSC is one of the smallest teams with approximately 100 swimmers. Yet, GMSC consistently has the highest ratio of Jr. National, National and Olympic Trials qualifiers to swim club member size. Mr. Bishop and USA Swimming recognized this prestigious mark of distinction and decided to visit with the local team and coaches to discuss why GMSC continually produces some of the best swimmers in the country.
After having the opportunity to speak with GMSC coaches and observe some of the team’s swimmers, Mr. Bishop spoke for two hours with team members and their families. He stated he was on a “fact finding mission” to find out why the GMSC team is so successful. Mr. Bishop hopes to bring back to USA Swimming a roadmap to success and a way to apply the ideas to other swim programs across the country. What Mr. Bishop felt he had found out about the swim team was that there is no special formula for success. What he saw was that through continually raising the bar to perform better and better while showing discipline and dedication to their sport the swimmers at GMSC continue to achieve success.
After discussing his own credentials and swimming career, Mr. Bishop fielded questions from his captive audience regarding nutrition, recovery, time management and practice design. While the Pre National and National swimmers had many good questions younger swimmers were also encouraged to ask questions. Coach Don Lemieux emphasized the importance of strength training and conditioning through dry land and weight training. As Mr. Bishop returns to Colorado he will bring with him some ideas for a formula for a successful swimming program and the Greenwood Memorial Swim Club will continue to be recognized as one of the best swim clubs in the country.