Gaby Fuentes is 18 years old. She has been swimming for 13 years. She was on the St. Joseph's Academy Swim Team for four years. She will be starting her second year at LSU this fall. She has been a coach and swim instructor for about 2 years now. She says she's so excited for the upcoming season!
Raymond Odom is 19 years old and will be attending college this fall. Not only is he our assistant coach, but he is also the manager at Tara, for the second year in a row. You may hear him referred to as "Noodle" by members and returning swimmers. He has swum on Tara's summer league team for 11 years, and coached for 4. Upon entering his 5th year as a coach, he cannot wait for the season to start and looks forward to seeing all returning and new members!
Reid has been swimming for 10 years now. He has swam for Crawfish Aquatics and now currently swims for Catholic High School. Reid will be a sophomore at Catholic High this fall. He is super excited to get to know all the swimmers this year.
Tara Coach Expectations
Coaches Roles and Responsibilities:
- Attend all coaches meetings, swim meets, and events.
- Responsibly Handle Disciplinary actions in a timely and effective manner
- Provide a fun and rewarding experience for the swimmers
- Maintain a clean work environment
- Follow rules and regulations of the Tara Club and Sela Aquatics
- Create a safe practice environment
- Continued education - never assume you know the best way to teach something. Ask questions, watch other coaches instruct, read articles, and watch videos. There are always new approaches you can learn and use!
As Tara swim coaches, we have the responsibility to do our best to provide each swimmer with a fun learning environment that promotes water safety and proper swimming technique. To be an effective coach, we will keep in mind these standards:
1) Adapt to Swimmer's Needs - Everyone learns differently. If a swimmer does not seem to “get it”, then they probably need to be told again but in a different way. Never give up on a kid and believe everyone has potential. It takes the right environment and consistent reinforcement of a skill to get better. Pull swimmers out on deck to practice a skill, use swimmer demonstrations, you demonstrate, use an analogy a child can understand, crouch down and make eye contact with your swimmers.
2) Teach Them Why - Why are streamlines important? Why do we breath to both sides? Help them understand why they are doing what they are doing. Engage their minds. Ask questions.
3) Teach the Application of Drills - Always follow drills with the actual stroke work and explain (or ask the kids to explain) how what they practiced will help them.
It is Easier to Teach Than Unteach - Teach them what to do, not what not to do. Say “Reach your arms as far as you can above your head!” instead of “Don’t put your hand in by your ear!”. Make sure you are using positive reinforcement. Use the positive-negative-positive model.
4) Be Enthusiastic - smile, make them laugh, be involved.
5) Non-Verbal Communication - How do you stand on deck? How do you interact with your kids by your facial expressions? Be careful with how you communicate things.
Professional Behavior - Look professional in appearance. Limit deck talk among coaches. Conversations on deck should be about swimmers or swim team related issues. No talking/texting on cell phones during practice.
6) Set Them up for Success! - Nurture, don’t baby, your swimmers. Show that you care and encourage them to push themselves and try new things.
7) Talk to Your Swimmers - Greet them and engage them. Talk to EACH swimmer EACH day.
8) Talk to The Parents - Engage with the parents at the approrpiate time (before or after practice, unless an issue requires immediate attention). Communicate positive aspects about their swimmers as well as things that can be improved on. If there are behavioral issues, make sure you talk to the parents about problems.
Teach Practice Behaviors - You set the standard - how do they enter the water? What is the lane order or lane assignments? Teach them lane etiquette. Routines will maximize your productivity.
9) Practice Goals - Give the swimmer’s goals. Tell Suzy to kick as hard as she can for a 25 and then high five her afterwards. Tell John to go first and try to keep the lead for the whole practice. Set group goals as well and if everyone makes the goal then reward them with a 25 fun swim or a jump off the diving board.
10) Set the Example - You are a motivator, a teacher, and a role model. You have the opportunity to affect each child in a positive way.