Florida Swimming
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Excellence 200

Swim Utopia: Meet T2 Aquatic's Paul Yetter


Meet T2 Aquatic's Paul Yetter

by Josh Huger


Created September 15th, 2010



T2 Aquatics coach Paul Yetter has had a very successful coaching career thus far, including coaching elite athletes such as Katie Hoff, Elizabeth Pelton, Courtney Kalisz, Felicia Lee, and Daniel Madwed. Since 2004, Coach Yetter has had swimmers reach the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan Pacific Games, World University Games, and Pan American Games.

These accomplishments have provided Coach Yetter with the opportunity to represent the USA as an assistant coach during the 2005 World Championships, 2006 Pan Pac Championships, 2007 Japan Open, and the 2008 Olympic Games.

In this SwimUtopia interview, Coach Yetter shares with us what caused him to pursue a career in coaching and what he considers his greatest accomplishments.

Let’s get started!

What team do you currently coach for?  
Currently I am the Head Coach of T2 Aquatics, located in Naples Florida.

What made you choose to take the head coaching position? 
The opportunity to lead a “coach-owned” team, plus the ability to program a beautiful pool in a beautiful location like Naples seemed like my ideal coaching job.  I feel like I’ve put myself in a great position to grow as a coach in a few ways: first, to build a team that is proud to teach athletes and families from the youngest ages up; and second, to offer a comprehensive “post-graduate” option for athletes looking to extend their careers after college graduation.  In Naples, the possibilities are endless on both fronts – our age group program is growing each week from a culture, as well as a numbers standpoint, and as far as post-graduate options go we offer a tropical climate with an amazing amount of career opportunities for athletes to pursue while they are training to go fast.

What are your goals for T2 Aquatics this upcoming season? 
We have a few specific goals that are between me, our athletes, and our staff – but as far as the “wet” side goes, we’re looking to improve in every possible area of competitive swimming. We want to begin to establish ourselves as a top team in Florida on an age group level, raise our level of performance into the National levels with our Senior swimmers, and eventually shape ourselves as a team with an International Meet focus for a portion of our athletes.  I think we can make progress in all three areas from now through the summer of 2011.

How many swimmers do you currently have on the team?  
We are approaching the 180 active members number as of September 10th.

What other teams or schools have you coached at before T2 Aquatics?
I started coaching in the summers at Waugh Chapel Swim Team, where I grew up – in Gambrills MD.  As I finished my degree at the University of Wisconsin I coached as an Age Group Coach and Senior Assistant of the Badger Aquatics Club in Madison, as well as the Verona High School.  After four years coaching in Wisconsin I spent a year at the Bel Air Aquatic Club in Bel Air MD, after which I moved on the NBAC (where I trained and raced as a High School athlete).  I assisted Bob Bowman from spring2001-spring2002 while coaching the age groupers and a large Senior group that complemented the highest level NBAC group.  After a year of learning from Coach Bowman I took over an NBAC satellite site in Harford County Maryland and coached there through the Athens Olympics in 2004.  In the fall of 2004 I moved from the Harford satellite squad back to the main NBAC site in Baltimore, where I worked as the High Performance coach until the fall of 2009 when I took a job as an Assistant Coach at Auburn University.  I was there through May of 2010, and have been in Naples at T2 ever since.

What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been in coaching?  
My biggest accomplishment as a professional coach has been my biggest honor – serving on the 2008 Olympic Team Staff.

Is there any particular moment that stands out in your mind from coaching?
I’ll never forget watching Katie Hoff make her first Olympic Team in 2004, celebrating with our NBAC swimmers after Liz Pelton made the World Championship Team in 2009, and watching Katie Hoff break her 2nd World Record in the 400IM at our 2008 Olympic Trials.

What motivates you as a coach? 
The athletes.  Going to meets with athletes who are taking it to another level is a great experience.  I like to see the athletes achieve best times and beat people they’ve never beaten before.

What do you do to motivate your swimmers? 
I try to work hard and prepare. I think my athletes are motivated by the fact that they have a working plan in place that is geared toward their individual success as an athlete.  As far as one-on-one motivation, that depends on the athlete and what they are all about – certainly helping each athlete view themselves as capable and ready for high-level performance is a huge part of my intention as a coach.

Do you have any personal routines before the start of a swim meet? 
No, I just do my job everyday and try to make sure my athletes have everything they need to compete well in the meet.

What caused you to go into coaching?  
I’d planned to be a coach since I was 16.  When I was 18 or so I worked at NBAC’s pool “Meadowbrook” as a lifeguard – and found the time to coach breaststroke to 3 of my peers (NBAC teammates)  twice a week during the day.  As each of them improved their strokes, I became more confident in my ability to help swimmers go fast.  Each successive year since then I’ve gone further into the coaching world until I got my college degree and could coach full-time.


This article can be found here: SwimUtopia.com