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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


I was thinking about this topic at work today. I often wondered what makes people like Joe Paterno, Geno Auriemma, Jim Stein, Todd Bozeman, David Marsh and Mike Krzykzewski great coaches. The easy answer is winning. However, its not just winning. If we say its only communication we over look just how important it is to actually do the right thing. A person can commuincate very well and be loved universally, however, if they have the wrong ideas regarding their sport they will lose. Finally, but not of last importance are the athletes. They have to fit as well as the synergy. I would say a coach who has good ideas, knowledge, and understanding as well as good communication skills might be able to bring his athletes together all the more, functioning as a team. Every Navy ship has one captain and a chain of command. If that captain puts the mission and his men first and in turn his men put the mission and their captain first then they will move as one. One heart, one mind, one body and attain honor through victory. When it happens repeatedly a legacy is built. Everyone thinks how can I better the other and myself (i.e. how can we imporve on particula strength and our weakness). It is strategic thinking to earn honor.

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Comment by Jayson Jackson on March 30, 2011 at 2:51pm
I was thinking about this some more today. I remember a fellow Penn State Track and Field alum talking about his high school. He said he knew nothing about running, but everything about coaching and motivating kids to go above and beyond what they previously thought they were capable of. So often when people are competing or training, they find a million reasons to slow down, but if they can just find one to keep going it will get them through the interval, set, or race.
Comment by Jayson Jackson on March 28, 2011 at 2:35pm
Plus with Coach Wooden he "Got It". I read that he said he didn't feel he was a great game coach, but he was a great practice coach. He felt that if the players executed their assignments properly, that it didn't matter what the other team did. I will try to compile a list of my favorite coaches soon.
Comment by Naji on March 27, 2011 at 6:47pm
John Wooden is a coach I greatly admired growing up and what he did with UCLA b-ball  teams of the 60s and 70s. He was not only a great coach but a marvelous teacher and too me that is just as integral. I feel a coach needs to be able to communicate a certain aspect to an athlete in order that they all understand the big picture together. I try and do this with the kids I work with in age group swimming. I hope to one day be a coach that exemplifies what the Woodens of this world did. Great topic Robeson!
Comment by Robeson White on March 23, 2011 at 2:01pm

Motivation, you are absolutely correct Jayson. If you weren't motivated you would not show up to be part of the team in the first place. Recruiting aside, but you know recruiting comes with an understanding that if the player shows up there will be some kind of reward or some kind of gain. That leads us to the importance of a coach having good character and being aware to understand the psychological and spiritual condition of his athletes, not just as a whole but also on the individual relationship level. A general who shares in the hard ship of and with his soldiers is respected (Sun Tzu). George Washington shared in hard ship in valley forge. Martin Luther King shared in hard ship with his marches through Alabama. Ghandi did too. They were good leaders and life coaches. Their example is motivating as well. This is important that your athletes are not all the same and some will need personal attention you must be personal and "keep it real". One athlete might need positive advice and compasion more than empathy while another athlete simply might need a kick in the ass. Learn to see people, I mean really see them. There's your motivation, persuing honor together. Did you Napolean said "The Moral is 3 to 1 the physical". If the esprite decour is high they could accomplish defeating a stronger army.

Comment by Robeson White on March 23, 2011 at 1:24pm



You are correct, I forgot to mention motivation. Who are some of your favorite coaches and what motivated you to perform at a higher level?

Comment by Jayson Jackson on March 23, 2011 at 11:35am
I think the motivation the coach provides is also an integral part of the equation. And communication is key too.

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