After a long hiatus, I come to you from the hot, stinky streets of NOLA at the American Swim Coaches Conference. Although I have been here since Sunday (getting ready to write my Certified Pool Operator's exam - which I passed... thankyouverymuch), the conference does not technically begin until Tomorrow. I registered today and picked up some good reading material and productive stuff to bring back to other coaches in Canada.
I have been reading one pamphlet over and over again - submitted by Guy Edson of the American Swim Coaches Association - entitled HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SALARY. Basically, the paper asserts that there are 3 limiting factors that determine the money available to pay coaches.
1.) The willingness to pay you - coaches are viewed as second class workers because we (coaches) do not look or always behave professionally, we do a lot of work out of the eye of our employers and that we are willing to do far too much for no money. Of course, many times, we do what we do out of necessity, but it is having an impact on our perception.
2.) Generating revenue - although swimming is a business, it is not seen as such and the incoming money doesn't head where it should go.
Now look at #3:
YES!!! Exactly!! I would like to go on record by saying that there is no open book exam for Canadian coaches... there is not even an exam... however, just being around for a long time shouldn't entitle coaches to make a lot of money. Coaches that want to "just coach" have missed the point here. There are a ton of learning and professional development opportunities for Canadian coaches who are not using them... and many of them are offered by me...
If our country was surging and more than just 1 coach had swimmers medal at World Championships last month, I might be okay with the status quo... but we're in a bind & coaching in Canada needs to change. I really like that this is the first thing that I picked up and read at this conference. I have a feeling that I will have a lot of things to share with you when I return from New Orleans... I just don't have a scanner here with me. I'll make sure that I make all of this available to you when I return.
I was happy to finally get some Canadian coaches here today so I wasn't spending all of my time alone. We were able to take a walk down bourbon street, which was nice. More to come this week. Stay tuned.