During the 2003-2008 time period I studied Coach Yetter's style. Seeing him speak at clinics I admired not only how he handled the "X's & O's" of our sport but especially how he treated his athletes as human beings. I once heard him say, "we need to treat our athletes more like missiles, not cattle." He taught me at the beginning of my career how to construct our workouts so that we could give feedback to each and every swimmer, and thus get something great out of ALL of our athletes each and every day. This is precisely what we do at FAST, each and every day. In August of 2013 I contacted Paul and asked if I could visit his team at Naples and learn from him in person, and so I went down there for a week. When I left that trip I had hoped to eventually have the opportunity to not only return but give the chance for our swimmers at FAST to visit there as well. Fast forward to April, 2014...
|Coach Yetter giving tips to FAST's Sarabeth Hewa|
At FAST we have provided our swimmers chances to train all over the world, literally! In the last 20 years we have taken our athletes to Europe 3 times, Australia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, University of Southern California with Olympic Coach Dave Salo, to name a few.
This time our travels took us to the beautiful Naples, Florida. At T2 they have a wonderful 8 lane-50 meter x 22 lane-25 yard facility. Coach Marci, Coach Ryan and 12 FAST athletes spent a week long trip there during the April break. Coach Yetter, a two-time USA Olympic Coaching Staff member, spent time educating our coaching staff as well as our entire team. We did 10 total swim workouts, 4 of which were long course meters. Coach Yetter did a mental training session with the T2 and FAST swimmers, teaching us all a better way to focus and relax at competitions. A few of the training opportunities allowed us to coach and train with his post graduate group, which includes several Olympic hopefuls for the 2016 team. We also got to do some dryland medicine ball core training on the deck of their pool in gorgeous, sunny 80 degree weather. Our friends at T2 were great to us all.
In between all of the hard work we took multiple trips to the beach and went to a nice restaurant for a team dinner. The trip strengthened existing friendships but also gave some of the teammates the chance to create new ones with some on the trip who they may not have know as well prior. Team bonding.
Over time Coach Yetter has taken the quote that this post started with and evolved to "Excellence is a Habit of Champions". Our team got to experience this on the trip and much more! Our next trip is in the works...we'll keep you posted.
Success = Learning + Effort + Courage + FUN!