Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top OAK Age Group Times of All Time

Explanation of Data: This is a listing of the Oakville Aquatic Club's top performances of all time, broken down by age group. The intention of this report is to measure depth of the club.

A Few Notes:

  • Someone's name can only appear once in the listings (ie: Evan White's name cannot appear 5 times in the top 5 times in any event, only once).
  • Only times that were swam while an athlete was representing OAK will appear (recent transfers will not appear in these lists until the times done were while representing OAK).
  • This info is pulled from the SNC database and can only be as accurate as the database is (ie: times posted in 1971 probably do not exist in the database), but is accurate enough for depth measuring purposes.
  • Where do you stand? I challenge you to make the top 10 in 3 events before your career is over. Already have 3? See how many you can rack up and how high you can be. Competition is what makes this sport great!
  • The Oakville Aquatic Club has a lot of FAST performances in club history and a lot of very big names in the listings. In many cases, a few of these names dominate the top 5 and/or are very current times; suggesting that the Oakville Aquatic Club is the deepest it has ever been and is getting even better. Be proud of your heritage and what you are a part of!
  • If anyone spots any broken links or bugs, please email me (mikethompson17@hotmail.com) and I will fix it right away. A lot of work went into this - I want to make sure it operates properly. 

Boys 11-12

Girls 11-12

Boys 13-14

Girls 13-14

Boys 15-17

Girls 15-17

Men Open

Women Open

Monday, September 9, 2013

Changing It Up

Hi everyone. I hope that you have all enjoyed the over 460 posts on this site over the past few years. I am astounded and humbled that so many people enjoy my writing and check on such a regular basis. I hope that you all continue to enjoy my writing... you just won't be able to enjoy it at this address any longer.

Effective immediately, you can find me at my new home, over at Sportcafe.caSportCafé is the first Canadian media that solely covers Olympic and Paralympic sports. We have built an innovative platform that combines:

The latest news 
The athletes’ personal stories
Up to the minute results
Articles by Canada’s biggest name in Sport
SportCafé gives you the opportunity to consume high-quality content, on demand, from the comfort of your home or on the go with your mobile device.
Our Vision
SportCafé was founded by two Canadian national team athletes – Etienne Morneau and Antoine Meunier – who were tired that the amateur, Olympic and Paralympic sports coverage in Canada was so insufficient in between the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
After much imagining of what could be, they set out to create:
A network for readers whose favourite sports and athletes were routinely under-covered by national wire services and mainstream news corporations.
A sports community for fans who want to know the stories behind the results and be able to follow the journeys of Canadian elite athletes.
An interactive calendar that includes all Sporting Events in Canada and around the World featuring Canadian athletes.
An outlet for athletes whose unique voices were routinely misquoted.
Our mission
We, at SportCafé, are dedicated to provide our users with the best Canadian sport content, covering Canada’s best athletes.
I am extremely excited to join the writing staff over at Sportcafe.ca and you can continue to look for the same types of posts from me. My personal page over there is www.sportcafe.ca/coachmikeswim so book mark it and check it out regularly. Thank you all for visiting my blog on a regular basis and continuing to support my unique voice in sport. 

Film Review: Negative Split

There are many skills from my schooling that go unused on a daily basis; my film degree is amongst them. When ASCA had announced that they were screening this film at the conference, I was very excited and sat in. Here is my review.

Director: Douglas Follmer
Executive Producers: Charlie Dobal and Rick DeMont
Director of Photography: Brian Griffith
Film Editor: Morgan Schenk
Music by Katie Quinlin
Narration by Wes Whatley

Negative Split is the story of American Swimmer, Rick DeMont who, battled chronic asthma and became Olympic champion in the 400FR at the Munich Olympics in 1972. The story, however, does not stop there. DeMont's story is a very interesting one and one definitely worthy of telling by film. 

The story begins with Rick's family telling stories about Rick's early years and flips through his life via interviews with family, friends and coaches. Asthma is a theme mentioned quite a bit and Rick's dealings with it as a young athlete were a prevalent theme. Another theme that I picked up on were how lightly important aspects of sports, sports medicine were taken in those days. An example of this laxed professionalism is the story of Rick being chosen for a tour team as a youngster and the coach of that team not allowing him to swim, telling him that he was too slow and had no future in the sport. When he returned home, his father asked how he did and Rick said that he didn't get to swim. His father laughed while telling the story.  3 things here are very telling of the time and foreshadowing of issues to come. First, would a coach be allowed to keep their job if they kept an athlete off of a tour team today? Second, How many parents DON'T know how their kids did at a swim meet (granted, communication is much easier these days), but thirdly, Rick's father did nothing about it. He didn't write an angry letter, confront the coach or complain to USA Swimming... he just accepted it and moved on. 

Rick's brother & coach tell the story of how Rick made the Olympic team in 1972. Video of the event is shown which elicited chuckles at first (during the starts of 1972) and then applause at the finish. Immediately, we were taking to the 1972 Olympics, where ABC footage is shown of the 400FR, which Rick won. The crowd was, again, very exited with the finish. DeMont's story, then takes a sharp turn.

Rick had tested positive for a banned substance in his asthma medication, which he declared upon arrival in Munich in 1972. However, the medical staff mishandled his information and somehow (not explained exactly what happened) Rick was disqualified from the 1500FR the next day (Rick was the World Record holder in the 1500FR). He was also stripped of his 400FR gold medal. Rick, as a 16 year old, was interrogated by the IOC in meetings and denied counsel of any type. It was an awful experience for Rick and was big news in the world (until Black September took Israli Hostages a few days later). The film contains footage of Howard Cosell interviewing Team USA's doctor and coach about the mishap.

As was reflected earlier in the film, the attitude to this type of mishap was pretty relaxed. Rick's parents did not seem to push their way into the situation, the USA doctors pointed fingers at each other and the coaches seemed pretty powerless. Everyone seemed disappointed, but no one seemed able to do anything. In the Q&A session after the screening, Rick said that the USA staff, in those days, were there to party and didn't take their job's seriously. This would have been a great quote to have in the film; however everyone seemed to have to accept it and move on, especially as the Munich Massacre became a much more serious and prevalent issue a few days later.

Immediately, we are taken to Belgrade the following year during the World Championships. Rick is back and refocused and wins the 400FR in a time of 3:58.18 (becoming the first man in the world under 4min & breaking the World Record). The film them wraps up with more interviews with Rick and his family and coaches.

My impression is that the film rushed through some of the best parts of this story and tried to cover too wide of  a base too quickly, lacking focus. For instance, some of the biggest news stories of 1972 came out of the Olympics: 
  • Mark Spitz winning 7 gold medals & 7 World Records (not mentioned in this film).
  • Two American 400 m runners, Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett, acted casually on the medal stand, twirled their medals (gold and silver, respectively), joked with one another and did not face the American flag as "The Star-Spangled Banner" was being played during the award ceremony. They were banned from the Olympics for life (not mentioned in this film).
  • In the final of the men's basketball, the United States lost to the USSR, in what USA Basketball calls "the most controversial game in international basketball history" (not mentioned in this film).
  • Palestinian terrorists, Black September, took 9 Israeli athletes hostage and executed them. This was briefly mentioned in the film (although it took place after Rick's positive test).
I think that given the chaos and excitement of Rick's experience at the 1972 games, these stories could have added a few layers to the viewers experience and frame it in history better for younger viewers (like myself) who were not alive to watch those games. I hope that the director did not get locked in the trap of forgetting that films live forever, especially documentaries. The opportunity to engage an outside audience was lost here.

I also feel that there was a missed opportunity to show more of Rick's personality between the 1972 Olympics and the World Championships in 1973. How does someone come back after being dealt such a crappy hand? What motivated Rick to want to win the 1973 World Championships? What was his attitude? When did he start training again? I know these questions are all important because they were asked by members of the audience directly to Rick during the Q&A session after the film screening. If I were to tell this story, the 1972 Olympics would be my set up and the 1973 World Championships would have been my climax. I would have definitely focused on Rick's personality and coping ability going into World Championships.

There was also no report on the outcome of the drug scandal and the actual mishandling was a bit unclear. I would have been interesting to know what the UOC did to make sure that this could not have happened in the future. Rick kind of shrugged it off in questioning saying that he deserved the medal but not because of it's value, because of what it represented. He also noted that Australian, Stephen Holland, "made his whole life around that gold medal [that was given to him after it was stripped from DeMont]" and gave the distinct impression that DeMont still felt it belonged to him. I think that it would have added more to the story to add that, In 2001 the US Olympic Committee admitted that it had mishandled DeMont's medical information at the 1972 Olympics and appealed to the IOC to reinstate the medal. The IOC refused to offer any official acknowledgment of DeMont's innocence and achievement. This fact was never included in the film. 

Overall, I feel that it is a competent retelling of the facts. The Rick DeMont story is beautiful and left many in the crowd with a tear or two. I would recommend it for anyone who knows the story and loves sports nostalgia and for anyone who is not aware of the story. I enjoyed the story but was left cold by the rushed ending and lack of a real climax... however, I am from a drama filled, Disney generation. Life doesn't really have a climax. This all happened to Rick when he was 16-17 years old. Rick is now 57 and has done a lot of living since this all happened, and maybe that is the  point; if it was though, it was a little too implicit for me.

ABC still owns the rights to the Olympic race footage and the interview with Howard Cosell. As such, this film is not allowed to be posted on Youtube or Netflix or releasable on DVD. Please visit the film's website and contact the film's distribution team for more information on where you can see it. As was mentioned in the Q&A session, the more interest that is there, the more feasible it is to purchase the rights from ABC and make this film widely available.

Friday, September 6, 2013

ASCA Friday Morning - Dave Marsh

I you have never seen Dave Marsh talk, you really need to! If you are an OSCC member or are a coach in Ontario or live just outside of Ontario and have the means to come to the +Swim Ontario AGM & Conference in September, do it! Dave Marsh was an engaging speaker but did not speak much at all about the "technical" aspects of coaching; Dave spoke mostly about what it takes to build success. He addressed the reason that he decided to speak this way at the beginning of his talk - if he were to give 3 technical sets to do that he believes make everyone great, the delivery of those sets would be different at all different clubs so there would be 1500 different results. He chose to talk and tech everyone how he has build a successful structure at SwimMAC Carolina and everywhere else that he has been (these are the types of speeches that I love - and the self awareness that Dave brought to the topic gave it a much more intimate feel than the other talks of the weekend. Here are some of the notes that I took from his talk:

  •  There is growing opportunity in swimming (water zoomba, high school, more events at the Olympics & World Championships). More information available (Dave mentioned his love of podcasts... wonder if he's heard mine). Increasing technology makes our sport more interesting and more safe. What kind of opportunities to get (and keep) athletes in the water are coaches & clubs taking?

  • What do we do with all this new stuff? Creating inspirational moments and building culture that bring people to our sport and let them experience something positive and life changing. 

  • Dave had is write down the name of a coach that had a profound impact on our lives and write down 3 things that you liked about them. He then asked some people to read out the name and the words. The noticeable thing was that no one said anything about how fast that coach made them swim or anything about how they did the job (Logistics, travel, etc); everyone basically how that coach was challenging and made them a better person. I found this interesting. Not 1 person in the room said anything along the lines of x's & o's or the technical aspects of coaching. "Not the logistical stuff, it's the relationships."
  •  Winning cultures are based on relationships. Build your structure (Who are your Models Leaders Supporters & Collaborators?).
  •   Figure out where "True North" is. When Dave was at Auburn, his "True North" was beat 'Bama, because this was a difficult thing to do and would measure how the club was performing. An interesting point, competitive nature between teams is often downplayed in Canada and I'm not sure why. Maybe something to examine here. 
  • Dave had to change the culture of showing up late at Auburn. He once left for a major meet at LSU with only 12 athletes because they were the only ones who showed up on time. Sometimes changing a culture can lead to initial discomfort.
  •  Club governance is key in creating success. Dave pointed us to the Carver modal. Very interesting stuff! 
  • 4 things that Dave is directly accountable to (a way to measure his performance): 1.)support children entering sport 2.) support athletes collegiate levels: 3.) training athlete to elite levels 4.) develop elite swimming today world embraced structure 
  •  94% of coaches do other stuff. (the extras of coaching). Check out this slide.   
  • 4 keys to winning cultures. 1.) language that shapes your culture (including body tone). "I" and "My" (no good - we is a better culture word).  2.) core values (try talking about the core values)   3.) beliefs: beliefs establish culture. You cannot out perform your self identity. Belief that Team USA wins medals. 
  • What is swimming and what are our clubs doing to interest youngsters to stay involved and like it. How do we keep them engaged?  Dave referenced this Tennis commercial (Tennis makes smaller court with a smooshier ball so it is easier for younger athletes to stay involved).  How do we make swimming better and more fun to hold on to more kids? This is one of the reasons I joined the Oakville Aquatic Club this season to work with their new Sprint group. Sean Baker is thinking outside the box and trying to keep more athletes around longer. I am attracted to new ideas!OAK
I'm sure that I missed some notes in there somewhere, but the talk was phenomenal in my opinion (however, many have disagreed with my opinions this week... but thats whats is great about social interaction). Even if you're not involved in swimming, come to Toronto in September and see Dave Marsh talk. He is very good and it would be a shame to miss that opportunity.

Another ASCA Handout Gem

Another good Handout. Hopefully you can read this... And understand it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday PM ASCA

This afternoon was a little bit weaker than the morning (in my humble opinion). Matt Kredich spoke about World Class Walls and Elements of Elite Turns, which I found a little ho hum. The thing that Matt did very well was approach it very informally and non-commitally, which is to say that he said "why not try addressing it this way" rather than "this is the way that it needs to be done".  While I do like that approach, I was surprised how many coaches were furiously taking notes on elements that I have been teaching for years and are staples of my program. The troubling part of this: why aren't my swimmers faster if I'm already doing this stuff..?

Next, I dive bombed a private conversation between Brantford's +Tom Langridge and Bolles School's Sergio Lopez (a personal hero of mine). Sergio is a very nice guy and seems to have very pure intentions to what he is doing (he told us all about the foundation he has set up to teach children of under privileged families how to swim & water safety and Jax50, a meet that he holds to support that foundation). Possibly the best part of that conversation was Sergio speaking quite candidly and frankly about the problems & worries that he has as a coach. There is comfort in knowing that even some of the best experience the same problems that I am familiar with. 

I skipped that last speech and decided to chat philosophically with Tom for a couple of hours. I realize that we could have done this at home, but I feel like being isolated in a city allowed for us to talk more. We were joined by Niko from +ProSwimWorkouts | Professional Swimming Workouts and discussed his situation. If you have not checked out the ProSwimWorkouts site, I encourage you to check it out. I feel like the personal conversations and connections you make at conferences are usually the best part. It is certainly what I enjoyed most about this afternoon.

I fly home tomorrow afternoon so my Friday wrap up will be a little late. I'll try to get my thoughts written down while I'm in the air but I might prefer to sleep... we'll see.

Thursday Morning @ ASCA - Mixed Bag

Although a few talks sparked my interest this morning, few were as interesting to me as John Davis last night (who, by talking to many coaches who disagreed with my write up and assessment, was met by mixed reviews).

This morning started with a talk from Graham Hill, coach of Olympic Gold Medalist in the 200FLY, Chad Le Clos. I found Graham very sincere and a good speaker, but talks like this always leave me with little to take away... mostly, Graham's message centred around the concept that Chad is a very talented athlete and an anomaly and he cannot treat his other athletes the way he is able to treat Chad. This is the interesting part, because Graham had offered a couple of Chad's main sets to the room; what percentage of the audience missed the message that Chad is an anomaly and/or that chad is not an age group swimmer? How many coaches are going to kill their athletes while not understanding what that set is designed for or understand why Graham designed it the way he did and when he uses it?
Amongst the notes I took from his talk were as follows:
  • Is it awkward to talk about beating USA's (and swimming's) hero to a bunch of American coaches? How do you not come off as arrogant or patronizing? Graham did a good job at handling it.
  • Goal setting as the Head Olympic Coach was important to Graham. His goals were to establish RSA as a top swimming force in the world & to try to make swimming a number 1 Olympic sport in RSA. Where do Canada and USA's goals line up with this internally? I honestly do not know the answer to this question - I do know, though, that many of Canada's (and Ontario's goals) are focused on world performance; I don't hear much talk about what happens here at home.
  • Chad trained for 400IM until he hurt his groin and changed his goal after seeing Michael Phelps win 8 golds in 2008 to "beat Phelps in the 200FLY"
  • Chad was not allowed a cell phone except from 11am Saturday morning until 7pm Sunday night. Graham said that Chad was too distracted and spent too much time messing around on social media and watching videos and not enough time resting & sleeping. How many athletes are willing to make that sacrifice?
  • Graham enjoyed working with Chad because Chad did not take things personally. Many other athletes think that coaches are picking on them and do not understand a coach/swimmer relationship properly.  Do you're athletes know that when you criticism them that you are not criticism them as a person?
The next talk I visited was Matt Kredich talking about awakening your energy systems. Matt asserted that your nervous system is in control of all energy systems and the limited factor was your brain protecting you from catastrophty. I do not disagree with this and subscribe to his philosophy. Sadly,when that happens, I do not take many notes. I did however note that Matt's thoughts on teaching and preparing the nervous system to act more easily and readily towards body positions was right in line with mine. Once I realized that I was basically watching one of my practices in his presentation, I took a washroom break.

Shortly after I ran into +Glenn Mills and ducked into his setup for his talk about Maximizing Pool Time Through Visualization and Evaluation. I also met Jeff Commings from The Morning Swim Show and chatted about news and media. Then, I sat down to listen to Glenn. Glenn has always been on the cutting edge of providing great visual aid products to coaches and swimmers and his newest product (yet to be launched, I believe) is the best yet. Glenn is launching a new service to prepare athletes ahead of time, You can schedule and plan your workouts and have the athletes watch everything ahead of time and come prepared. This product also has a mobile version which works with phones so feedback is also available at the pool and "sendable" (is that a word..?) to selected athletes in your group to view and review in the privacy of their own home; all from the click of a button. Very cool!

I wanted to purge all of my thoughts on the morning quickly during lunch and get back to it. More later...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ASCA Guest Speaker John Davis

I was very touched by tonight's speaker and probably not for the reasons that many of you may think.

John Davis is a therapist who works with troubled boys & men. He was a former swimmer who, during the 1991 NCAA Championships, suffered a ruptured hernia before finals and needed emergency surgery. His swimming career ended on that note. John did not speak about missing his goals or even lamenting the crappy hand that was dealt to him that day; John focused on what type of person swimming made him and, furthermore, what type of person his coaches created.

John began his talk by talking about how much he loved Superman. The reference point here was the "Phonebooth" or the inspiration that allowed the transformation from being normal into something spectacular or "super. John's thesis was that connection and inspiration is the most important thing in achievement.

John spoke about being frustrated working in traditional therapy & being restricted by traditional ethics (cannot challenge a patient physically, cannot engage a patient emotionally) and decided to start his own practice. Another interesting driving force behind this decision was the statistic that over 40% of patents do not return to therapy after 3 sessions due to a lack of connection or feeling that it was helping. The foundation that he started was to focus more on interaction, inspiration & connection with patients. In his own words, he wanted to add "some magic into the therapist/patient relationship. His foundation, which is pretty cool and fosters some very interesting storylines can be read about here on his website. It is worth a read.

So why was a therapist (not a coach) asked to speak at the American Swim Coach's Association Conference? He was challenging us to think about the influence we can (and do) have on our athletes; The positivity that we sometimes lack because we are struggling or are stuck in other aspects of our lives and thinking about how that influences others (divorce, addiction, depression, lack of confidence, being unhappy in your job or marriage). Some of the better points of his talk were as follows:

  • Everyone gets stuck on negative thoughts. We need to identify those negative thoughts and figure out a way around them. Leave them outside. We need to be more positive with athletes and focus on what they will become, not necessarily what they will achieve and not rush them to achieve something to pad your resume.
  • Identify that we are presented with many opportunities to do great things, but that all opportunities have expirey dates. What is keeping us from taking those opportunities within the "best before" date?
  • Every individual, coaches, athletes & parents, need to discover what is exceptional about them. That will help you discover your strengths and direction to do great things. This is far more difficult that it seems... more on that later.
  • Goal Setting: simple acronym - A.S.K.  1.) Accept your goal honestly   2.) Surrender to that goal and all that it entails   3.) Keep at it.
  • John was once asked "how do you measure the impact of a man on another man's son?" He admits that he was a bit baffled by the question at the time but, today, was very honest in saying that it takes a very long time. The impact cannot simply be measured by the achievement of that man's son, but by his character down the road; in who he becomes.
  • John played a movie clip (not entirely sure what film to credit because I missed the name of it) but a great quote that he pointed to in that film from a coach to a player: "Good decisions don't make life easy; they make it easier."
  • Do your athletes know that you like them and that you genuinely care about them and believe in them? How do they know? This can have a profound influence on their performance, confidence and life outcomes. Do you take the time to ask them how they are? Everyone needs a guide in life; coaches play a very important role here.
  • Don't worry as much about how fast they are going to swim; only 1% will make an Olympic Team and even less will win an Olympic Medal. Worry more about who they are going to become and your role in the development to that person.
Although the many stories he told about the troubled men he works with were very inspirational and interesting, that is not what I loved this talk so much. All of this speech got me thinking about myself and the people that supported me and believed in me along the way to where I am. All of the issues that I face in my career and how I try to influence athletes in the best way possible. This really reaffirmed my love of what I do and why I do it. I was very close to leaving the profession last year and remembering this stuff is an important reason that I decided not to retire. 

John's most resinating comment from that talk was to have someone that you convene with and that affirms your positive quality. This is very tough to do as a coach... who would that person be? A mentor? A spouse? A co-worker? A friend? This is something that I believe is missing from much of the coaching community (at least where I am from). I'm not talking about a yes man that just tells you what you want to hear or pats you on the back for nothing, but rather someone who honestly helps you reaffirm your positive qualities. Coaches are hit with quite a bit of negativity and chaos, but who do they turn to when their passion, hobby and source of income makes them question themselves? More work needs to be done here.

I have a great deal of thanks to give to Alan Swanston (NEW) who believed in me and played a major role in who I have become and the moral code that I possess. I also need to thank Dean Boles (Swim Ontario, Formerly ROW) in my development, both personal and professional as well as all of the other coaches I have had throughout my career (Dan Stratton, Nancy Jackshaw, Gretchien Frenzel & Lara Doherty are the ones that I can remember the best). 

Wow, what an impact that talk had on me! I had no idea it was going to go in that direction and have me thinking so deeply about what I do, but I'm glad that it did. I think that examining this type of stuff this time of year (pre-season) is important.

If anyone wants to learn more about John Davis, check out his website here.
I was able to get some audio from his talk which you may download here from my dropbox account. 2 warnings with the download -  1.) Its from my cellphone so the audio isn't fantastic    2.) its a .3ga file so iTunes won't know what to do with it. Just change the file name to .mp4 and it'll work fine. 
Although the audio isn't top quality, it is still worth a listen.

Back with more tomorrow. 

Another ASCA Gem...

Yet another hand out from ASCA. I couldn't wait to get home and scan this, so I just took a picture with my phone. This should be readable on your computers and phones by zooming. This one is geared at Swim Parents and is published by The American Club Swimming Association. Good read and only a small time committment. 

Basis - Working young athletes "hard" is necessary - sometimes working them hard can be fun for the athletes... even more important, we need to identify those athletes that find it fun... and even more important to THAT is finding out who responds well to being pushed and can apply it to other aspects of their life.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ASCA - New Orleans

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.