BNSC Approach to Swim Coaching

The Bloomington Normal Swim Club is a USA Swimming year-round competitive swim team offering high quality professional coaching and technique instruction for all ages and abilities. The goal of the Bloomington Normal Swim Club is to provide every member an opportunity to improve swimming skills and achieve success at his or her level of ability, from the novice to the international competitor.

Our coaching staff defines success as improvement in four areas:



Skill Mastery

Time Improvement

We believe that there are no good or bad swimmers, rather children who are at different levels of development. We strive to provide a successful developmental experience for all who enter our program.

Our training groups are structured for younger groups to be low-key and developmental; whereas older groups are more competitive. We want our swimmers at the peak of their careers in high school and college, where national trips and scholarships can be earned. The program is designed to allow more free time for other activities early in a swimmer’s career. Swimmers and their families in the older groups are asked for more dedication to the sport, as this is necessary to compete at a national level.

Each new swimmer will be placed in a training group best suited for him or her.  This is important so that each swimmer can enjoy some degree of success quickly. Swimming is an individual sport and each child will perform differently.  They will get as much out of the sport as he or she puts into it.

Your head coach, as a member of the American Swim Coaches Association, has access to the most comprehensive training and certification program for youth coaches of any sport in the United States. Therefore, parents are assured that the time children spend in swimming will be quality time.

Your coach stresses a positive, drug- and alcohol-free atmosphere.  We teach the swimmers to have the self-reliance and self-respect to say NO to their peers when asked to participate in something unhealthy. We help them develop a positive self-image through a program of controlled progress within a framework of discipline, fairness and good sportsmanship. We are proud to make our young people better citizens as well as better swimmers.

Although at first glance swimming may seem to be an expensive activity, it is really quite reasonable compared to the amount of time available to each swimmer for instruction, exercise and competition. The Bloomington Normal Swim Club provides a high-quality, positive, developmental and instructional program for less than the cost of baby-sitting!

We are constantly growing and training young swimmers to maintain a well-rounded competitive swim team. Thank you for joining us. We are looking forward to meeting you. Please feel free to ask another member or a coach any question you may have.

The Bloomington Normal Swim Club and You:

People are sometimes reluctant to join USA programs because of a belief that such programs are only for the elite athletes and require many hours of grueling workouts. For young children, nothing could be further from the truth. We consider child development, positive experiences and personal growth to be our primary mission with young people. At the entry level, that may involve as little as one or two hours of weekly instruction and exercise.

We encourage our younger swimmers to participate in such other sports and activities they find rewarding, in addition to swimming, and as they mature, to find for themselves the level of involvement that best meets their needs. As our more advanced swimmers increase their commitment to swimming, we insist that they maintain good academic standing.

As each child is different and individual, he/she progresses at his/her own rate. We recognize this fact by promoting our swimmers based on their level of development rather than age.

Benefits of Swimming:

America’s Children: Fat or Fit?

Health authorities fear that a diet of too much TV and junk food and too little activity is turning America’s children into a generation of couch potatoes. Sedentary lifestyles during the growth years when children need to be active leave youngsters weak, uncoordinated and poorly conditioned. The 10 leading causes of premature death in this country all have at least a partial link to lifestyle and that link can be seen in today’s child. Forty percent of all 8th graders in the U.S. already display at least one risk factor for heart disease.

But with parents busier than ever, it can be difficult to ensure that a child gets all the exercise he or she needs. One of the best means of helping children get fit today is in an organized youth sports program. Some 30 million children are playing youth sports today. Surveys have shown that 60% of all young athletes retain better health habits into their adult years.

What to Look for in Youth Sports

When choosing a sport for their child, smart parents sift through the wealth of available choices to find those that provide the greatest benefits. How can you evaluate what your child’s needs are as they’re growing? Here are some hints:

The most important of all is aerobic fitness for increased work capacity and a slower heart rate.

Children also need to safely build strength for the ability to easily meet all of life’s physical challenges.

Flexibility for easy movement of all the major joints and limbs. Children are born with natural suppleness but begin to lose it in adolescence.

Sports should teach coordination, the basis for skillful, graceful movement.

Through sports, children should begin to develop an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle.

The most important key to a child’s having good experiences in youth sports is the qualifications and experience of the coach.

Why is Swimming a Winner?

With all the sports and activities that children have to choose from today, why select swimming?

First of all, the USS age group swimming program is America’s largest program of guided fitness activity for children. Age group swimming builds a strong foundation for a lifetime of good health by teaching healthy fitness habits.

Secondly, many pediatricians recommend swimming as the VERY BEST developmental activity for children. Why do doctors like it so much?

Swimming develops high quality aerobic endurance; the most important key to physical fitness. In other sports, an hour of practice may yield as little as 10 minutes of meaningful exercise. Age group swimming teams use every precious minute of practice time developing fitness and teaching skills.

Swimming does a better job in proportional muscular development by using all the body’s major muscle groups. No other sport does this as well.

Swimming enhances children’s natural flexibility (at a time when they ordinarily begin to lose it) by exercising all their major joints through a full range of motion.

Swimming helps develop superior coordination because it requires combinations of complex movements of all parts of the body, enhancing harmonious muscle function, grace and fluidity of movement.

Swimming is the most injury-free of all children’s sports.

Swimming is a sport that will bring children fitness and enjoyment for life. Participants in Master’s Swimming programs are still training and racing well into their 80’s.

Learning To Learn Through Swimming

In addition to physical development, children can develop greater intellectual competence by participating in a guided program of physical activity. Learning and using swimming skills engages the thinking process. As they learn new techniques, children must develop and plan movement sequences. They improve by exploring new ideas. They learn that greater progress results from using their creative talents. Self-expression can be just as much physical as intellectual. Finally, their accomplishments in learning and using new skills contribute to a stronger self-image.

Age group swimmers also learn:

to link quality of effort with quality of results

to work cooperatively and unselfishly with others

the value if Persistence – “If at first you don’t succeed…”

how to set goals and enjoy their achievement

how to make intelligent choices and decisions.

Coaching Excellence: The Difference Between Stress and Success

As stated earlier, nothing has a greater influence on the quality of children’s sports than the excellence of the coach. Unfortunately, well qualified and knowledgeable youth coaches are hard to find, but not in age group swimming.  As a member of the American Swim Coaches Association, coaches have access to the most comprehensive training and certification program for youth coaches of any sport in the United States. Certified coaches in U.S. Swimming programs possess training and experience in the physiology and psychology of adolescent development.

BNSC coaches hold Red Cross certifications in First Aid, CPR and Safety Training for Coaches. They provide assurances that the time children spend in swimming will be quality time.