My Coach


My Coach

Posted by Kevin Doak on Friday at: 2:12am (April 25th, 2008)

I swam late last night. I was running late and only had 45 minutes to swim before they turned off the lights at 9pm in the natatorium. I really wanted to get in 3,000 meters which I normally take over an hour to swim. I decided to do 6 x 500's on the 7.5 minute backstroke. I don't normally do distances that long during a set, but wanted to reach my 3,000 meter mark to stay on track with my training. They only reason I'm writing this is because it was during this set that I realized I have the ideal coach for my situation.

I value and respect coaches, they offer experience that most swimmers don't have, teach stroke techniques and keep swimmers on task during practice. I've had some great coaching in my life, my high school coach Sean Hickman taught me what working hard in a practice and completing every yard really meant. Without him, I would have never swam in college and wouldn't be where I am today. In college, my coach Peter Linn introduced me to a great collegiate swim program, I believe he's one of the greatest minds in swimming. His understanding of stroke technique and training continues to impress me. I've learned a lot from both of these great coaches. I think it's their guidance through the years that's allowed me to train myself during this time. I feel like I've learned so much from them that I can now apply all that knowledge to training that fits both my work schedule and my physical needs. I've gotten more in tune with what my body requires to perform, which might be the biggest change. All of it couldn't have been done without Coach Linn and Coach Hickman.

During my set last night I was dolphin kicking off each wall. After the first 500m I decided it would benefit me to kick at least 7 kicks off each wall. I did it correctly at the 50m wall, but after that I let myself do 6 kicks, then one wall with 5 kicks. After a few walls I realized that I was getting lazy with it. I told myself that if I didn't do 7 kicks off every wall during the remainder of practice that I would send myself home! It's that type of self coaching that has brought me success in training. During the next few sets I did 7 kicks off each wall, I thought of my commitment to myself each time I did a flip turn. I was mindful of how this training would help my races. The point of this story is that I don't know of any other coach that could be this close to my training. This sounds weird to say but I actually had a coach underwater with me, making sure I did 7 kicks, along with a commitment to send myself home if I didn't do it correctly. It's a silly story, but it's something that made me laugh during practice and also realize I might be developing an imaginary friend/coach. I love swimming even though my coach might be a little wacky.