Recently, Bob Vincent and Jeff Gudman, both candidates for Treasurer of USA Swimming, spoke with SwimSwam in order to give our readers, many of whom are members or family of members of USA Swimming, an opportunity to get to know them. Last week Tristan Formon, candidate for Eastern Zone Coach Director, was kind enough to give SwimSwam some of his time and answer some of our questions (while on vacation in Europe, no less) about what he believes the Coach Director’s responsibilities include and why he thinks he is the right man for the job.
Formon, of Gillette, New Jersey, represents the New Jersey Swimming LSC and is the Head Age Group coach of Berkeley Aquatic Club in New Providence, New Jersey. Formon has been coaching at BAC since 1995. In addition to his responsibilities on the pool deck, Formon is father of four children, Robin, Gavin, Tamsin, and Nicola. Though a long-time member of USA Swimming, Formon grew up in Mansfield, a town in Nottinghamshire, England, where he was a member of the Mansfield Swimming Club.
SS: You are nominated for Eastern Zone Coach Director—have you ever held this role before?
TF: “No, I have never served as Coach Director.”
SS: What do you view as the most important roles of the Eastern Zone Coach Director?
TF: “To be an advocate on USA Swimming’s Board of Directors for the 80,000 plus athlete members of the Eastern Zone in addition to the non-athlete and club members of the Eastern Zone.”
“To serve as a conduit for information from USA Swimming back to the 12 LSCs in the EZ, between National and the grass roots of the sport.”
SS: What qualities about yourself do you think will make you a good Eastern Zone Coach Director?
TF: “I feel I am organized, proactive, open minded / receptive to input and an effective communicator.”
SS: Do you see any areas about the organization that, in your role as Eastern Zone Coach Director, you would like to improve?
TF: “I hope to build upon the contributions of my predecessors: Ed Dellert and Marci Callan.”
SS: What are your strategies to bring about those changes?
TF: “Keeping open lines of communications with LSC General Chairs and EZ Technical Committee Members and then being proactive in facilitating discussions to improve the experience of the sport of swimming for the athletes, non-athletes and member clubs.”
SS: What are some of your biggest accomplishments in swimming? (Coaching, as a member of any boards or committees, etc.)
“Coaching – Currently Head Age Group Coach and Senior / Junior Coach at Berkeley Aquatic Club.”
“Over the past 20 years, I have provided an opportunity for athletes to experience the sport of swimming keeping two fundamental goals in mind: for the athletes to have FUN / develop a passion for the sport AND to strive to get better each and every day. Additionally, I have played an integral role in providing opportunities for athletes to qualify for and final at NJJOs, Eastern Zone AG Champs, (NJ State Records Relay and Individual), Senior Zones, Sectional and Futures. Several athletes have gone on to participate at USA Swimming Junior Nationals, Nationals, U.S. Olympic Trials as well as compete in college.”
“Board / Committees:”
“NJ Swimming: I have served as a volunteer (2001 – present) in several capacities including: NJS Competition Committee Member, Treasurer, Nominations Committee Member, Age Group Chair, Tech Planning Chair, General Chair and Secretary.”
“EZ Swimming (2010 – present) I have served as a member of the NJS delegation at both the Spring and Fall EZ Technical and EZ General Meetings and as the EZ Technical Planning Chair (2013 – present)”
“USA Swimming (2014 – present) I have served as a member of the USA Swimming Convention Education Committee.”
SS: How do you believe your various roles throughout swimming have shaped your perspective when it comes to overseeing the sport at this level?
TF: “I have been involved in competitive swimming for my entire life from age 7, as an athlete with Mansfield Swimming Club in the UK, and from age 22 as an athlete with Berkeley Aquatic Club in the United States. As my role in the sport has evolved and changed, my perspective has been shaped by my own experience of the sport, as an athlete (Age Group – Senior – Collegiate), Age Group Coach, Senior Coach, volunteer and more recently a parent.”
“It has always been my firm belief that swimming is a sport for all. My goal has always been to provide the very best opportunities and experience for all athlete and non-athlete members of NJ Swimming and since 2010 of the Eastern Zone.”
SS: As Eastern Zone Coach Director, how do you keep athletes in mind first and foremost, per USA Swimming’s core objectives? (Building the base; Promoting the sport; and Achieving sustained competitive success)
TF: “Keeping athletes in mind first and foremost: All decisions to be, “Athlete Centered, Coach Directed and Volunteer Supported.”
“Building the base; Promoting the sport; and Achieving sustained competitive success: in addition to being an advocate for the EZ at the national level and serving as a conduit between National and the Zone, as EZ Coach Director my goal would be to strive to provide increased educational and athletic experiences for the Athlete, Non Athlete, Club and LSC members of the Eastern Zone.”
Further information about the USA Swimming annual convention can be found here. Current members of the USA Swimming board of directors and all USA Swimming committees and committee members are also available on USA Swimming’s website.
The new Zone Directors will be elected next month at USA Swimming’s Annual Convention, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. Nominees can be made by receipt of a nomination form up until September 9th if the form is sent by mail, or until 12:00 noon on Thursday, September 22nd, if the form is hand-delivered at the convention. Nominees must be non-athlete members of USA Swimming and must have completed a background check and undergone the Athlete Protection Online Training Course before September 19th, 2016.