April 9, 2013
Donnie was invited to give two talks at the Swim Ireland Coaches Clinic in Dublin. There were 110 coaches in attendance with 20 coming from outside of the country. Donnie spoke on developing a character-based culture, and age-group program development. The two other speakers were John Leonard, head of the American Swimming Coaches Association, and Matt Kredich from University of Tennessee.
Comments from Swim Ireland:
Education Swim Ireland Coaches Clinic April 2013
“Coaches are the key to everything we achieve in the swimming pool” that was the message coming from the Swim Ireland National Performance Director – Peter Banks, the Director of Education – Charlotte Parker and John Leonard (Executive Director of the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA) and the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) - that attended the very successful coaching clinic at the weekend.
Swim Ireland played host to the American Swimming Coaches Association and over 100 coaches from Europe and ireland attended the Coaches Clinic daily. This clinic the first ever of its kind saw leading US and Irish Coaches delivered inspiring presentations to Irish and European Coaches at the event on Friday 5th April to Sunday 7th April in Dublin. The clinic was kindly sponsored by Finis and Assistant Director for the Company Tim Ells was also in attendance at the event and spoke to support and congratulate every coach for attending and being a part of an exciting and innovative weekend where World class speakers were accessible to coaches here in Ireland.
John Leonard Executive Director of WSCA and ASCA kick started the event with a Leadership School at the Carlton Hotel, Tyrrelstown on Friday. John is a World Class leader of American Coaches and has developed Olympians and built a range of World Class swimming club programmes, his talk and discussions was aspirational for people privileged to be in a coaching role and he was described by many coaches as “truly amazing and inspiring and just so passionate about doing great things for coaches in swimming”. He described the need for coaches to be “leaders and drivers” for sending the great message about coaching and swimming and what values and achievements swimming can bring to the club based community. He also talked about the need for all Irish coaches to support their National programme and be one team as we walk towards RIO.
All American Coaches Don Heidary and Matt Kredich lead daily workshops for coaches across the weekend at the main conference event held at Westmanstown Sports and Conference Centre, topics covered included a practical and theory session lead by Coach Kredich about World Class Turns and training the Nueromuscular system in the swimming pool. These workshops covered the importance of training the neuromuscular system every day and having World Class turns being trained daily in your programme. A range of coaching tips was delivered to coaches at the Swim Ireland Dublin Performance Centre based at the National Aquatic Centre Dublin. Coach Kredich used performance swimmers including London Olympian - Barry Murphy during this practical session which was applauded by all coaches in attendance. Don Heidary took the lead in delivering topical content around the need for coaches to build character into athletes, as well as training them to perform in the swimming pool. Swimming is one of the only sports that can truly develop a holistic athlete and coaches must ensure that they lead in delivering athletes with impeccable character, especially in todays modern world that challenges tradition.
All speakers are active coaches and board members of ASCA and have delivered to the highest levels, including the development of medal winning Olympian and been Coaches of the Year and delivered consistent winning success in major American swimming leagues. At the end of the clinic they congratulated the Swim ireland team for delivering such a professional event and congratulated coaches for being in attendance.
“We are delighted with the response from the Coaching Clinic” said the SI National Performance Director and Director of Education. “We couldn’t have ever imagined the enthusiasm that was created for coaches and by coaches and we just hope that Swim Ireland can continue to keep offering these type of events for coaches in the future”. We really believe that coaches are the people that can unlock the potential and make things happen, especially here in Ireland. We need Irish coaches to keep challenging, to be strong leaders, supporters and innovative masters of their trade and to take as many lessons and learning’s as they can from the greatest swimming Nation in the world at the most recent Olympic Games.