A MESSAGE TO ALL CLUB COACHES AND HIGH SCHOOL COACHES:
We know it can be tough as a club coach to share your swimmer. You’ve been coaching Jim (let’s call your swimmer Jim for the purposes of this article) for years, and you know what’s best for him. However, today, you received an email from Jim saying, “I’m going to have to miss practice today because I have a high school meet.” But that’s not the same workout as your practice would have been. They never are.
As the high school coach, you need your star club swimmer as often as possible. Jim sets the example for the rest of the team. Jim swims those clutch races that score your team’s big points. He motivates the team to keep going. But this week, your best swimmer can’t swim because he’s tapering for a big club meet. No fair. You think to yourself. He made a commitment to this team. But he is also committed to his club team.
So what’s the best way to even it out?
Keep in mind that Jim is trying his best to accommodate both teams. He’s not slacking or trying to cause problems. He’s doing his best.
The easiest way to solve this problem once and for all is cooperation. Try shooting the other coach a quick email saying something like, “Hey, how can we cooperate so that Jim can have a successful season?” If you work out a pre-set schedule for your swimmer, all he has to do is follow it. Let the other coach know in advance what meets/practices your swimmer will have to miss. Settle disputes before they arise.
No more angry e-mails, guilt trips, or worries about a compromised taper. After all, Jim can’t be in two places at once.