Adapted from Inside Out Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives– Joe Ehrmann- Simon & Schuster (2011)- pg. 150


Phases of Athlete Development in an Age Group Program

By Pat Hogan, Mecklenburg Aquatic Club, North Carolina


The Mecklenburg Aquatic Club program has been structured on the premise that there are four basic phases of athlete development in age group swimming. At each level of the program, we continually try to evaluate and adapt to the multitude of factors, both scientific and sociological, that impact the growth and development of young athletes. Experience has taught us that the perfect age group program is a moving target that changes as the population we serve changes and as we learn more and more about the development of young people.



The following is an outline description of the four phases of development and the basic premises that currently guide our thinking at each of these levels. The DCY SWIM program mirrors this age group rationale.


The Importance of "Self Confidence" in Achieving Your Swimming Goals

The following article by Wayne Goldsmith has been extracted from the website of the American Swimming Coaches Association:

Read the whole article here.

The Team Culture Aspect of Success





By Jim Taylor Ph.D.

It is a widely held belief in the sports world that the team culture can have a big impact on how a team functions and performs. How team members, think, feel, behave, and perform are all influenced by the environment in which they practice and compete.

For example, have you ever been on a “downer” team? I’m talking about one that is permeated with negativity, unhealthy competition, and conflict? It sure doesn’t feel good and it can definitely interfere with your performing your best. As an athlete, it’s difficult to do much about it; all you can do is accept it or find another team. But, as a coach, you can have a big impact on how your team functions.  Continue reading...

Do's and Don'ts for Sports Parents

Read them here.

Smothered in Praise



She’s so advanced!” beams the proud parent. “He’s just so smart!” boasts the doting grandmother.

So goes another day in the Lake Wobegon land of a pediatric office, where all the children are above average.

Not to disparage anyone, for who would contest the prerogative of kin to exult their beloved child? Would that all children be so adored.

Yet what happens when a child, since before she could talk, constantly hears that she’s smart? Does self-­awareness of one’s smartness translate into fearless confidence later on? Or does it instill fearful hesitance to try new things, fearing failure?  Continue reading...