What to Get Coach For Christmas: A Few Ideas from Around the World

Santa SwimSwam has been on a whirlwind world tour to ask a few coaches about some of their more memorable holiday gifts. Here are their answers (in alphabetical order):

My dad is a coach – the gifts he always talks about are ones that are for him and his family/spouse. One year, the team got him a gift certificate to go on a boat cruise at one of the resorts in town. Or like a gift card for a dinner or to see a show or do something fun. Coaches get so busy in-season they don’t have much time with family. They (and their spouses!) definitely appreciate something that lets them reconnect after the season is over. –Jared Anderson, Head Writer, SwimSwam

Tickets to a Blackhawks game. 7th row tickets! –Brian Brown, Academy Bullets Swim Club

Susan Bassett (my first head coach when I was her grad assistant) got me a hard cover edition of Ernie Maglischo’s “Swimming Even Faster” – such a great book and resource for me as a young coach. I still use it today! –T.J. Davis, Head Coach, Hamilton College

A really good bottle of whisky: George T. Stagg; Bookers; Ardbeg Uigeadail; William Larue Weller –Chris DeSantis, Coach in Denmark and SwimSwam Writer

Santa Fenwick

Santa Fenwick

A stainless grill. –Jeffrey Dugdale, Head Coach, Queens University of Charlotte

Best gift ever? Just got it. Santa Fenwick. Alex Meyer made it for me.
A more serious gift was a margarita maker. It actually just broke and I need to replace it. I love margaritas. They never fail to bring me back to zero after a long day 🙂
–Tyler Fenwick, Associate Coach, University of Tennessee

My latest, best toy, that I got came actually over a couple holidays, but they gave me gift cards towards buying a drone. They were excited to buy me a new toy to play with 🙂 –Jeff Julian, Head Coach-Swim, Rose Bowl Aquatics Center

Besides cash? I got an aqua man action figure once! That was neat! –Braden Keith, Coach, Houston Christian High School and Co-Founder, SwimSwam

My boys HS team once bought me an 80gb iPod after I had one stolen. Then my girls topped it with a Paul Stanley signature electric guitar and amp. –Shawn Klosterman, Head Coach and Aquatics Director, Webb City High School and SwimSwam Writer

A box of hand warmers with a box of toe warmers. Great for outdoor early mornings Dec-Feb. –Jeri Marshburn, Associate Head Coach, Irvine Novaquatics

Cash; Amazon gift cards; my CrossFit level 1 certification. Always better when the group presents a collective gift. –Ash Milad, Co-Head Coach – National/Senior, KING Aquatic Club

Seiko stopwatches. –Nicolas Miquelestorena, Technical Director, ES Massy Natation

I would have to say that our greatest gift has always been and always will be to have our college athletes return home at Christmas to train with the team and share with them their college experiences. This is proof that they each can reach their full potential in College Swimming and it  truly inspirational for the entire team!! –Sheri Stoddard, Head Coach, Swim Pasadena

In December of 1986 while the Head Coach for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, the National Team drew “Secret Santas” and I put my name in the hat to be included… although I knew this was a big risk as we had entered into Christmas Training and I expected only coal in my stocking.
When my Secret Santa revealed herself to me it turned out to be the Women’s Team Captain, Kristin Winn and she gave me “Best Time Pills” (jelly beans in a medicine bottle) with a Prescription on the outside: “…to be used whenever necessary to produce best times in a swimmer…” and a leather notepad holder that she had special ordered with my name and Mission Viejo Nadadores imprinted in the leather.  I ran out of pills that season but that team went on to win the 1987 Spring National Championships in Boca Raton, Florida.
–Terry Stoddard, Director of Aquatics, Pasadena City College

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Cathy Silveira

Best gift over 20 years: handwritten cards from my 12 and unders. Their personalities shine through! Most appreciated: coffee at morning practices through the holidays!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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