Professional, Online Coaching From Sean Baker
Sometime in 1979, I recall my parents asking me if I had any desire to swim on the Kenora Aquatics Swim Club. At the time, I didn't really know what I was agreeing to but I have to say that my answer that day changed my life forever. That one decision has steered my education, my friendships, my life experiences as well as my exposure to the world! It lead me to my beautiful wife and allowed me to start a family. The sport has given me so much that I think I need to give a little back.
Nearly 40 years later, I find myself reaching into new territory with this Blog. It is my hope that this site will be a helpful, interesting and provocative medium for everyone who loves the sport of Competitive Swimming.
Why is it that so many people love the sport of competitive swimming? It is my belief that the sport helps to instill the old fashioned values that are quickly fading away in today's "I want it now" society. Values like Pride, Discipline, Loyalty, Commitment, Delayed Gratification, Time Management, Work Ethic, Goal Setting & having to work hard over a period of time to even have a chance to reach it.
It is my opinion these qualities and characteristics that good programs teach are what give our kids the toolbox & ammunition to be competitive in the real world. In short, this process leads to them being successful outside the pool, usually more than in it.
In so many areas of life, we have taken away challenge & failure; we have created a mentality of "we are all winners" and "well you did your best" when its simply not often not the case. The workforce will quickly slam that notion into a brick wall & if kids are not resilient, that will have a hard time dealing with that reality.
I am talking about simple things like taking down Monkey bars, or disallowing kids to climb trees, actually FAILING a test or a grade if they don't actually pass or getting kids to understand that true fairness IS NOT equality.
I think a great swimming program allows the opportunity for each individual to reach their maximum potential through the daily process of working on those "Old Fashioned Values."
The understated word here is opportunity. We all have the equal right to become unequal, but with great teams & clubs, usually there are great coaches who educate, challenge, reward, motivate and create a love for the sport. These kind of Coaches have lasting impacts with kids. The kind that carries over into school, into University, into the workforce & life! Just recently after my AGM, I had a parent come over to me and thank me for my speech. She quickly attributed her success to her old coach. She said definitively, if it wasn't for Mark, I would never have become a Cancer Surgeon. WOW, there is a testament. Here is the thing, she was never a superstar but she made the top group because she constantly displayed the things he wanted within his group. Never (rarely) missed, worked hard every day, had a great attitude towards challenge, made her teammates better and made a contribution to the daily training environment.
I did the same thing in my first cycle when I went to Hamilton in 2001. The entire top 2-3 groups could "try-out" for the Senior group. I told them up front that there would be 24 spots available and it was going to be based on ATTITUDE-COMMITMENT-WORK ETHIC. That's it. Because as many of you know, the hardest part of getting a great team is to get a top group that shares common goals & characteristics. They have to be like-minded in purpose.
Once you have that, you get positive peer pressure and it makes it a lot easier to get things rolling.
A phenomenal program has the organizational framework to allow coaches to really coach & bring the best out of kids. These programs have clearly outlined roles & responsibilities between the "wet side & the dry side" A clear business model that empowers the staff to run the day to day operations of the club, while the Board of Directors oversee policy & procedure while supporting the staff. But that's another Blog for another day
Bare with me as I get up to speed and learn how to connect with people using this tool.
I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a BLOG and will join me for my next one within a week.
Coach Sean Baker
Coach Sean Baker is one of Canada's most successful swimming coaches. Coach Baker has earned such distinctions as Coach of the Year, 3 National Championships (2013/2015/2017) as well as been the Head coach of Canada's best medal performing Junior Pan Pacific Games team. Hawaii 2016