Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Coaching On Deck?

So my friend, Brett, offered to meet me and a couple of my athletes at the pool today to watch our strokes and help us tweek them to make ourselves more efficient. Brett is a huge proponent of technique in swimming. He calls good technique "free speed". He's been giving me tips for the last several weeks in the morning while we swim together and I am working on what he tells me. I feel like it's starting to come together for me and it's feeling more natural (change can be hard, you know).

Anyway, I invited two of my athletes to the pool to meet us today and they were psyched! Before we got in, Brett gave the three of us a little mini lesson on deck and then we hopped in to warm up. I brought a video camera so Brett could tape us and we could see what he was talking about...

So imagine our surprise when we finished warming up and heard Brett tell us that he was not allowed to give us any help on stroke technique. What?? You can hear a bit of his conversation with the lifeguard in this first short video* he was shooting... (this is me and Jennifer warming up)



The gist of it is that they do not allow any coaching on deck during lap swimming hours. The only time instruction can be given to swimmers is during swim team practice hours, which means that unless you are on the age group swim team (no masters at this pool), you can't have anyone actually help you with your stroke. I'm sorry, but that is NUTS.

Ok, I can see how they don't want people running a business on their public pool deck... I get that. But we weren't paying Brett. He was doing it once, as a friend, helping us out. But nope, not allowed.

I spoke with the pool manager after we got out about their rule. Apparently they have had some problems with parents coming on deck and coaching their kids during lap swim hours... still not sure I see the issue with that. It's PUBLIC lap swim. I can't believe they really got in anyone's way. And you know what? If Moana becomes a swimmer someday and wants me to come help her with her stroke technique on our own time, it sure seems like I should be able to help her with that, no?

Anyway, Brett was allowed to continue taping us, he just wasn't allowed to talk to us. Lol. Ridiculous. BUT, we did get some decent videos with his commentary, and he did say he was going to write up his thoughts for us and send them via email, so in the end we still got pretty much what we wanted. It just would have been nice if he could have given us corrections there on deck so we could have tried to implement the change immediately, instead of wasting that time and opportunity.


*You like our beautiful long course pool with no lane lines? It might qualify as the slowest pool in the country, with currents strong enough to almost push you backwards that come from jets blasting out of the walls... but this is where I've been training 3-4 days/week for the last 6 years. It feels like home.

12 comments:

MaineSport said...

Without lanelines, I'm surprised you don't wear helmets in case of collision. As for the coaching, I wonder if the lifeguard realized how dumb the policy is. I bet enough pressure witht he right people would get the policy modified.

Running and living said...

Brett can always come to my pool, you know, coaching on deck allowed and all:)
About the rule, I agree, silly when taken to extreme. But, I can tell you that so many times I go swim and we are 4 in a lane (different speeds) because a parent and his child are in one lane, the parent teaching his child to swim. I don't think that is fair, either. Also, a few times I shared a lane with kids being coached from parents on the deck, and they went the wrong way,even bumped into me several times. V stressful. I am all for kids learning to swim and being coached, but there has to be some regulation about that.

Beth said...

Oh my gosh - that is nuts! Especially since there is no masters team. I guess you're going to have to start a masters program now. ;)

Swimming in that pool all the time - no wonder you are so awesome at open water swimming! It's more like a lake than a pool! :)

Kim said...

Absolutely ridiculous. Not sure if my YMCA is the same way, but I asked the manager once if my swim coach could come in for free one morning to coach me from the deck. He said yes but to be sneaky bc they don't allow non-YMCA swim coaches to instruct. So weird. And annoying.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I've experienced the same thing. When I took lessons from a coach, he had to be all sneaky about instructing me b/c it wasn't allowed on deck. It seemed so dumb to me...I don't get it!

Velma said...

I have had this same problem. My friend was called out for helping me. Now we just swim together and chat about technique during rest periods. Grrr.

cherelli said...

Wow, I can't believe the lifeguards would be so particular - especially when you are talking a bunch of grown adults. I'm glad you got some video though - great way to actually see what your stroke looks like.

Lizzie said...

Seriously? It's a huge PUBLIC pool (10 x the size of the one I use) and it doesn't look like you guys are taking up that much room. PC'ness gone wild!! :)

Megan said...

That is totally ridiculous.

Rebecca DeWire said...

I assumed that people would be a bit more laid back considering it is Hawaii! That seriously is the stupidest rule. So annoying

Regina said...

That's crazy talk!! Although the pools here have crazy rules and each pool has it's own set of the weird and ridiculous things you can't do.

No lock, no pool. No bags on deck, if you have your suit on under your clothes, you can't take off your clothes except in the locker room. No fins longer than zoomers, etc. etc. insane. Like pool nazis.

I am about to hit up a friend to take a look at my stroke (he is a pilot so I never know when he is in town), hope we don't get in trouble!!

N.D. said...

thats absurd!