You and me and Leslie (callirhoe) wrote in synchro_swim,
You and me and Leslie

Being a coach/swimmer?

Hi all! It was such a happy surprise to find that a LJ community for my favorite sport of all time actually existed... :-)

And I do have a question for you all. I'm a student at the University of Iowa who is attempting to restart the synchro program, which has been dead for several years. I'm running into two interconnected problems: 1) we can't find anyone in the area to coach/manage the club, and 2) even if we could find a coach, we wouldn't be able to pay him/her.

My solution to those two problems would be to volunteer to coach myself for the next couple of years. I have almost 10 years' experience with the sport, and I have a lot of contacts from my old synchro team back home that I can call on for help. However, I'm wondering if it's even possible to be a swimmer and a coach at the same time. My idea was that I could schedule practice times where I'm out of the water and some where I can actually swim, but balancing all that on top of a full classload and a part-time job, plus my other activities... very very difficult.

I'd really appreciate any advice or thoughts on my problematic situation that you all might have.

Thanks very much!
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
The year after I graduated, I was the assistant coach at my school. Our head coach was preggers, and then some :). She actually gave birth during our last water show (!!) and I had to run the entire thing.

I worked 60 hours a week waiting tables, was in the pool 20-30 hours, plus I coached part of that and another 5 hours out of the water.

I both swam and coached. I think I got paid $200 for the entire year - which basically covered my travel costs to and from home to school.

It was a killer year, but awesome and then some.

But with classes? That's rough. Plus, friends...

Have you talked to the other girls who are interested? See if anyone else is interested in sharing duties with you? That way you'd have someone who could watch and critique you...

Okay, that's all I've got for now. :) Good luck!
I worked 60 hours a week waiting tables, was in the pool 20-30 hours, plus I coached part of that and another 5 hours out of the water.

...And you still managed to eat and sleep? I'm impressed. :-)

I'm having a meeting with a few other girls who are involved with the fledgling club this week, so the sharing of coaching duties would be a good thing to bring up... *adds to list* I know that would really help me. Thanks for the tip.

If you have any advice for coaching and swimming while maintaining sanity, I'd love to know it, since you've been through that. Thanks very much! I hope it will be an awesome year. :D
I worked at a restaurant, so I tended to eat there (free food!). *grin*

I didn't really have a social life that year. My friends were friends from work, friends from the team, and my best friend (whom I saw irregularly, even though she lived just a few miles from me). It was a sacrifice I chose to make - as I wanted desperately for the team to succeed and move it up a notch, y'know?

One thing to ask is that everyone have fun, but to take practises seriously. I worked with a lot of girls that had been my classmates before I graduated, but I was known as a campus leader and people knew who I was (and looked up to me, I'll admit, scary though the idea is), so it wasn't hard for people to let me take the reigns.

Oh, and if you've got people helping you out, don't be afraid to DELEGATE!! Delegate to those whom you can trust. I wrote or co-wrote five out of the nine routines the year I coached, but was always willing to take suggestions on things to suggest. I also pushed my girls harder than they thought they could go. I had precollege girls who could barely swim the pool who were doing Eiffel Towers by the end of the year. Don't underestimate what determined people can do!!

Don't be afraid to rely on your friends, either. :) If you've got a good support network, use them!

Also, depending on how big your school is, you might want to go to the Alum office and ask about some of the major donors for the sports programmes... don't be afraid to go and try to drum up support with the alum population! If you can get even one donor to give $1000 to the synchro club, then you've covered swimsuits, gelatin, make-up, decorations, and on-campus advertisement. If you've got the guts for it, get your school newspaper and even the local newspaper to drum up interest - they always love go-to girls who want to fight to keep something about which they are passionate.

Mostly - remember that when you take on something like this, that sacrifices do occur. You might have to give up another activity to focus on synchro. Your social life might suffer (but think of all the new friends you'll make, too). Don't let anything impact your classwork or grades, though.

And if you get stressed out or need someone to talk to, don't be afraid to give me a poke here. I'll be glad to talk you through stuff, as someone who's been there. :)
Thanks so much for your advice. It's really helpful, and I hope to make this year the best it can be. I'll probably take you up on your offer to talk sometime, since I'm so brand new to all this coaching stuff. :-)
I'm not nearly as experienced with synchro as you and I'm a bit young to understand.

My coach this year is a university student. She coached my team, a team at her university, and she swam a duet and team.

This just kinda shows that it is possible. She also had another job outside of the school.

I hope everything works out for your schools team. :)

And good luck if you decide to coach.
Thank you! It's good to know other people have managed it... it gives me more hope for myself. :-)
ha no prob. im glad that was encouraging :)
anyways, could i add you as a friend? its nice having people who enjoy the same sport as me. i dont meet many ha
Yes, I'd love that! The more synchro people the better, right? :-D

*adds you*
this past year i coached a team and swam a duet. I also had a job other than coaching and went to university.
it is possible, just find one or a few people to share duties with. If you were to try to do everything alone you would probably just get frustrated and it would be impossible.
Good luck with everything!!
Thank you for the advice! I'll definitely try to spread out the duties and managerial stuff so it's not so overwhelming.

If you have any tips and tricks for coaching as well, I'd love to have them, since I've never coached before... :-)