Free Style SC … more than just a swimming club!
I have been coaching for almost eight years, since 2009, involved initially with assisting and, thereafter, leading the junior squads at a small town club in the North East of Scotland, UK – the Forres Bluefins. The squads ranged in age and ability from between, 6 and 13 years old, competitive swimmers and beginners.
This set a strong foundation for moving on to assist with coaching the club’s senior squad – swimmers aged between 11 – 18 years of age. The club’s athletes included local, regional and national competitors. I led a number of the squad sessions and, also acted as the Assistant Coach, under the club’s long-standing and knowledgeable Head Coach. Eventually, I ran a number of sessions independently and, additionally, I provided poolside training for a number of assistant coaches.
Thereafter, I found myself coaching, for a short spell – whilst balancing my studies, under one of the most experienced coaches within Scottish Swimming at Perth Swimming Club, Scotland, UK. This was by far the largest club I had worked with and, consisted of development Age Group swimmers to Commonwealth athletes, as well as an Olympic – medal winning – swimmer. This was a significant turning point for me. Although it was highly beneficial to work with such high-class sportspeople, and, indeed, I learnt a lot about the management of large squads, I began to discover the extent of the lore and dogma which exists within the swimming world.
Thus, it was very fitting that I should find myself move on to my current club, Free Style Swimming Club. The club bases it’s training on the evidence available (not belief based evidence), scientific rationale and, even apply experimental method to sessions! It’s a club employing tomorrow’s science, today. It is predominately a sprint club (based on an adaptation of USRPT).
In addition to my coaching, I have a background in medical science and, I am currently engaged in a number of research projects. I use this experience to research articles related to swimming performance and, often critically appraise said research. I can be often found on Twitter engaging in respectful, yet critical, debates with other coaches on swimming science.
Finally, I wish to share a mantra of mine which I would implore all coaches to use; directly from philosopher Bertrand Russell:
“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
When is the last time you hung up some question marks?
Support Coach Stuart with a premium membership. Use the coupon “FreeStyleSC” during your registration and you will also get 20% off any subscription plan.