8 Swim Coaches and Their Philosophies


My philosophy can be broken down like this: teach the students/athletes life lessons about hard work, dedication, dealing honorably with success and failure because you will probably experience both at some point. Success is always going to be different for each individual. The common thread in TEAM effort is doing it together, supporting each other and giving your best to create a positive work environment. I believe in finishing things through and completion of goals you have set and then learning to understand, appreciate and eventually love the process so you can apply these principles into everything you do in life. Always give it your best, set goals to achieve, yet take it one day at a time.

— David Estes, OK


[Coaching] is beyond a worthwhile outlet for making a difference by teaching life lessons. If I can get one swimmer to look back and say, “wow – swimming taught me so much about LIFE and made me who I am today”, my job is fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong – being a champion in the pool is and should always be a goal, but most importantly, it’s about the person we become along the way outside of the pool by challenging ourselves in ways we did not think possible!

— Kellene Coulombe, NJ


Here are my beliefs/philosophies when coaching: Don’t take yourself too seriously…always have fun and project that fun into your program. Teach perspective for life and swimming. Teach respect and love for teammates. Life lessons are born from these. Swimming FUNdamentals must be taught, conditioned and honed. If all these things come together then a swimmer/child will succeed anywhere.

— Dawn Rosier MacAfee, AL


  •  You rarely stay on the path you thought you would take. Does not mean your destination changes, just how you get there.

  • Time is time. Time does not care how you feel or if you have a bad day. It waits for nobody. That being said train and race for your goal race/pace times as how you feel will change, time does not.

  • The greatest athletes in the world use internal motivation far more than external. It’s the athletes sport so they better want it more than I do or its “Houston, we have a problem!” With internal motivated athletes I find they take responsibility more for their preparation. As it should be.

— Rick Walker, IL


My big quote (outside of Coach Taylor quotes from Friday Night Lights) is “If you can’t expect yourself to finish a set in practice, how can you trust yourself to do something later on in life.” Always look to finish strong.

— Chris Passamano, CT


Whether you’re coaching an elite swimmer or a just beginner, the fundamentals remain the same. My three pillars to helping athletes achieve swimming success are: Technique, Intensity, and Growth.
Master Technique – Water is nearly 800x more dense than air, so it’s essential to continuously work to improve body position and stroke efficiency.

Intensity – Swim every workout, set, and stroke with purpose.

Growth – I like to challenge my athletes by engaging their mind just as much as their body in training.

Fares Ksebati, DE


Swimming is a pretty full time thing and if you can learn to pull your weight as a swim team member you can do so at anything else. Second thing to think about re swimming: what we do; Count repeats, strokes, splits, rates, times and kicks. All make the brain develop in a certain way which enables all athletes who can be reasonably successful in the sport to develop high brain function. It is similar to music in some ways and I have been part of the development of many individuals who have had mental challenges who became high functioning adults as a result of their swim experience. I believe in the character first philosophy for all.

— Rod Barratt, Canada


I’ve always believed that a swimmer-coach relationship is an equal partnership. So my coaching philosophy is to encourage my swimmers to work with me, as opposed to for me. I think that a partnership will ensure that we both reach the best possible versions of ourselves as swimmers, coaches and people. I also put a very heavy emphasis on being competitive in whatever we do. I think there’s a lot of value in applying the will to win and the will to succeed in everything they do in their lives. Because if you are internally motivated to win each and every day and you are constantly striving to be the best possible version of yourself, then you’re going to be successful in whatever you do. And last but absolutely not least I want our swimmers to ENJOY the sport of swimming.

Chris Dart, RI

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Mark King
5 years ago

Dave Estes…great coach. Thanks for everything you’ve done for our daughter!

Carmel Swim Parent
5 years ago

Thank you to all the talented Coaches
who spend so much time with our children! Appreciate all of your passion
and the QUALITY of the entire TEAM!
You are all AMAZING !!!

Dave Bott
5 years ago

Chris Dart…that’s why I consider you one of the best coaches I’ve ever shared the deck with!

About Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo Shortly after Bryana Cielo’s birth, she developed her love of water at her family beach house–and hasn’t stopped since. At the conclusion of her swim lessons at age 7, it was recommended that she try out for the local summer swim team. After her first season, she won the …

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