Beyond the Pancakes: How to Build a Gold Medal Club Team

In Practice + Pancakes, SwimSwam takes you across the country and through a practice day in the life of swimming’s best athletes. It breaks down training sessions, sub sets, and what every team is doing to be at their best. But why are they doing things that way? In Beyond the Pancakes, we dive inside the minds of coaches and athletes, getting a first hand look at why they do the things they do, and where their minds are pointed on the compass of evolution as a swimmer.

When SwimSwam visited the TAC Titans in Cary, North Carolina, we also sat down with head coach Bruce Marchionda to ask him how he had built TAC into a gold medal team after only 3 years with the program.

Bruce mentions 2 key points in terms of changing the culture of the team once he became head coach. The first was that the coaches have to be on the same page with what they’re coaching and what their goals are. Bruce provides this with numerous staff meetings and coaching get togethers, where communication is required and everyone can hear the team philosophy.

The second thing was getting swimmers to believe that they can swim fast in practice. Once they bought into that mentality, and started doing it, that led to fast swimming in meets.

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Mike Anderson

Great Job, Bruce!


He seems like a really good coach for his swimmers and his staff. TAC has been pretty incredible


Good stuff right here. Its amazing what can happen when kids buy into the process. Love what you are doing Bruce!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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