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Coaches Roles and Responsibilities


Coach’s Responsibilities

The coach's job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. The Killer Whale Swim Club coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program for athletes of all ages and abilities that will enable them to reach their maximum potential.  Active commitment is required to do so. Therefore, the coaches are the helm in all matters affecting training and competition.


The Killer Whale Swim Club uses a "progressive" age group program designed to develop the child physically, mentally and emotionally in a systematic fashion. A well-defined, long-term approach of gradually increasing degrees of commitment is essential to reach peak performance levels during a swimmer's physiological prime. The emphasis in the early stages of participation must be placed on developing technical skills and a love for the sport. In the later years, a more demanding physical and psychological challenge must be introduced to the training program.


At each level, the goals and objectives are specific and directed toward meeting the needs of the swimmer. The long-term goal of total excellence is always in mind. As each child is different, he/she will progress at his/her own rate. The coaching staff recognizes this fact by making recommendations based on a swimmer's physical, mental, and emotional level of development.


  • The coaches are responsible for placing swimmers in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each individual. When it is in the best interest of a swimmer, he/ she will be placed in a more challenging training group by the coach.
  • Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the Killer Whale Swim Club coaching staff. Practices are based on sound scientific principles and are geared to the specific goals of that group.
  • The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets Killer Whale Swim Club swimmers may attend. The coaching staff also makes the final decision concerning which events a swimmer is entered into.
  • At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, the coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmers performance. (It is the parent's job to offer love and understanding, regardless of their youngster's performance.)
  • The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to constantly be aware of the swimmers’ safety and wellbeing.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to be a positive role model for the swimmers.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to be a technical expert on the sport of swimming.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to help construct the vision for the athlete of what is possible in the sport of swimming and the path each swimmer will need to follow to achieve that goal.



1. Each coach is a professional and has a right to be treated with respect by all swimmers, parents, and other coaches.

2. Each coach has a right to expect the full support of all parents in the Ketchikan Killer Whales swimming program.

3. Each coach has a right to establish training programs which are safe and which will meet the needs and goals of the swimmers, head coach, and Killer Whales Swimmers.

4. Each coach has a right to be free from unnecessary interruption from parents during training sessions or meets.

5. Each coach has a right to be compensated fairly for his or her services considering the financial abilities of the Ketchikan Killer Whales Swim Club.


One of the traditional swim team communication gaps is that some parents seem to feel more comfortable in discussing their disagreements over coaching philosophy with other parents rather than taking them directly to the coach. Not only is the problem never resolved that way, but in fact this approach often results in new problems being created. Listed below are some guidelines for a parent raising some difficult issues with a coach:

  • Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart. If you trust that the coach's goals match yours, even though his/her approach may be different, you are more likely to enjoy good rapport and a constructive dialogue.
  • Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group that can range in size from 10-90 members. On occasion, an individual child's interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short term inconvenience.
  • If your child swims for an assistant coach, always discuss the matter first with that coach, following the same guidelines and preconceptions noted above.  If the assistant coach cannot satisfactorily resolve your concern, then ask that the head coach to join the dialogue as a third party.
  • If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach's performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach. He/she is the only one who can resolve the problem.