Becoming a Better Coach: More Resources


In the July blog I talked about several opportunities for Coach Education including professional organizations, clinics and on-line courses. This month we’re going to highlight some other great resources for continuing education for coaches.

Social Media Communities

If you are on Facebook, you know that there is a lot of information out there, some good, some bad. What you may not know is that there are a few great swimming communities on Facebook that are worth being part of.

Swim Coaches Idea Exchange Group ( – This is a very active group for swim coaches of all types. Lots of discussions on technique, team management, training ideas and much more. It is a private group, so you will need to request to be added.

NISCA High School Swim Coaches Exchange Group ( – This is similar to the Swim Coaches Exchange Group, but it focuses more on the unique aspects of coaching high school teams and teenage athletes. It is also a closed group. When you request, you will need to answer the question “What high school do you coach at?”

Swim Coach Equipment Hacks ( – this group is less active but has some great ideas for do-it-yourself equipment solutions. This is also a private group.


There are tons of resources for instructional videos on technique out there, some free some paid for.

YouTube: YouTube is a great source for swimming technique videos. You can pull up videos Michael Phelps butterfly and view it from multiple angles. Watch races from Olympics or PanPacs past. You can also find great dryland instructional videos. Search “Yoga for Swimmers” to find great videos with everything from recovery to improving your butterfly. This site is a treasure trove of technique videos and blogs. There is a free version and a paid for version.

DVD’s: Looking for something a little more old school? Championship Productions has a library of swimming technique DVD’s and books. They are constantly producing new content with acclaimed coaches.

Diving DVD’s: Want to see what great diving looks like? NISCA produces a DVD every year of the top divers on the All America list. Its a great way to see what the top high school divers are doing.

Books about Swimming:

There are a lot of great books out there for coaching and swimming technique. Here is a list of a few of the most popular.

NISCA Coaches Manual – Available at, you must be a NISCA member to download the entire book. The NISCA Coaches Manual covers everything you need to know about administering a high school team, from ordering suits and getting busing to training the athletes.

Sprinting II (Sam Freas) – Available at From Google: His practical approach explores techniques and methods for starts, turns, finishes, dryland, weights, reaction drills, season planning, pool workouts and more. Decades of success have given him a unique perspective, which he shares through personal insight and experience. Swimmers, coaches, and parents will find Sam’s practical approach and his illustrations, shared through his characteristic storytelling flair and easy writing style, both interesting and beneficial.

Coaching Swimming Successfully (Dick Hannula) – Available at From Google:  Veteran and beginning coaches will learn how to motivate swimmers, become better communicators, and be prepared for the challenges of competitive meets. Hannula reveals his personal coaching philosophy and helps coaches develop their own code of ethics as they build a winning swimming program in and out of the pool. Detailed advice on how to evaluate swimmers’ performances in practice and in competition, as well as the entire swim program, makes this the complete guide to coaching the sport.

Other Useful Books:

The Culture Code (Daniel Coyle) Available on Amazon :
From Amazon: In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change.

The Talent Code (Daniel Coyle) Available on Amazon
From Amazon:  Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds—from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York—Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.

These are just a few options for other places to find great information. Strive for learning something new each season and keep your skills sharp!

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