Developing Olympians: Nashville Aquatic Club’s Doug Wharam on Coaching the Walsh Sisters

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman Hodges and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Doug Wharam is the associate head coach and senior coordinator for the Nashville Aquatic Club in Nashville, Tennessee. This means that Wharam met Alex Walsh and Gretchen Walsh when they were 13 and 11 years old and coached them through high school. Wharam shares heart-warming anecdotes about how different the two were as sisters and how they developed in the pool.

  • 0:00 Doug Wharam Introduction
  • 1:22 Walsh Sisters Making 2024 Olympic Team
  • 4:55 First Time Coaching Walsh Sisters
  • 6:18 FIrst Memories of Alex & Gretchen
  • 9:27 Alex’s Consistency
  • 11:31 Gretchen’s Physical/Mental Advantages
  • 12:46 Alex’s Versatility
  • 15:56 Who Wins, Alex or Gretchen, in a 200 IM SCM?
  • 17:55 Alex’s String of 4th Places at World Cup
  • 20:56 Lessons Learned as a Coach of Alex
  • 23:24 Lessons Learned as a Coach of Gretchen
  • 25:26 Walsh Parents
  • 28:44 Training Alone
  • 30:51 Relationship Now
  • 34:24 Celebrating Small Successes

 

Music: Otis McDonald
www.otismacmusic.com

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the entire swim community
7 days ago

respect to the coach what an amazing story, as a swimmer with all due respect would’ve folded bein there

Aragon Son of Arathorne
7 days ago

You can tell in his interview that he is highly capable in his role. Wish I had a coach like that growing up.

HOO love
8 days ago

you can see why so many NAC swimmers are committing to UVA

Swimmin in the South
Reply to  HOO love
7 days ago

And DW is alum.

Aragon Son of Arathorne
8 days ago

Alex would have beat Emma if she focused on the 4IM.

Douglass Wharrram Fan Club
8 days ago

Applications are open to joining the fan club, please check in with John Morse at the door.

VA Steve
Reply to  Douglass Wharrram Fan Club
8 days ago

“dumpster fire” hilarious.

Thomas The Tank Engine
8 days ago

Are the Walsh sisters the most accomplished swimmer siblings?

Viking Steve
8 days ago

I’m impressed big time

Ranger Coach
8 days ago

The guy has produced some amazing athletes. The Walsh sisters, Nelson, Raab, Nicholas, and Schumann have all come out of that club.

Pau Hana
Reply to  Ranger Coach
8 days ago

Don’t forget Chas Morton! (Probably before his time)

Summer Swim Fan
Reply to  Pau Hana
8 days ago

what happened to Chas Morton – or where did he end up? Wow, he was big time when I was swimming age group…

Admin
Reply to  Summer Swim Fan
8 days ago

Made 3 US National Teams, was a team captain in Stanford, 10 All-America awards. He’s now an attorney in Tennessee.

People paint his career like he was a total bust, but IDK people have had worse careers than that lol.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 days ago

This is way off topic, but Chas is definitely one of the best age group swimmers of all time. I wonder if there were a Top 10 Age Group swimmers of all time list, where he’d rank. I’d rank it based upon total NAG records and if there was success on the international level as an age grouper. I would assume Michael Andrew would be on it as well and of course Phelps. I wonder who the other 7 males would be, though.

Doe
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
8 days ago

Thomas Heilman?

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Doe
8 days ago

I thought of him too. He’s obviously a current age group swimmer. I’m just wondering who else I’m forgetting.

David
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
8 days ago

This person won’t make it but Kiki Vandeweghe NBA player and brother of Olympian Tauna was insane in all strokes and if he did not play basketball would challenge for an Olympic spot.

Summer Swim Fan
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 days ago

Cool – I certainly wasn’t implying he was a bust – just wondering where he ended up.

The old-school way one could see the NAG rankings and records was in Swimming World magazine. His name was at the top of so many of them.

MarkB
Reply to  Pau Hana
8 days ago

I’m sure Chad is much older than Coach Wharam so yes, before his time.

Swimfan1
Reply to  Ranger Coach
8 days ago

Don’t forget about BLAKE AMLICKE and Annie lee choate

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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