PSW Podcast – Episode 1 – Barry Prime (Swimming Queensland)

During this first episode of the PSW Podcast, our host Robby Cox welcomes Barry Prime, a Coach & Club Development Officer for Swimming Queensland, to mainly discuss long term athlete development among other things.

Barry’s coaching career spans over 40 years at all levels of the sport and is now working to engage with clubs and the community in Queensland to help them developing the next generation of world-class swimmers in Australia. He is a young spirit at heart and continues to roam around pool decks without a walking stick.

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

What are the best teams and (age group) coaches doing to develop the next crop of successful athletes?

– The coaches (need to) have a good work ethic and are good communicators – they lead by example and know how to explain “difficult tasks” in simple language.
– They set standards to continually improve the program and emphasize technique with their (young) athletes – they get the simple things right and do them very well before moving to more advanced things by correcting and encouraging their athletes (Barry is explaining this further with some examples of his own coaching philosophy and methodology).
– They are actively engaging in their role as a coach (working with athletes “individually”) and are not playing traffic cop (simply “directing” the workout).
– They are educating the parents (to bring them on board with their “curriculum”) and ensure that their athletes are having a great time.

Through all of it, they were also discussing some of the fundamental aquatic skills – floating, balancing, connected kicking and connected sculling, necessary for all young swimmers to properly acquire during their formative years. And also touched on the topic of physio screenings for older athletes to assess, track and address body position out of the pool in order to improve performance in the pool.

Towards the end, Barry was giving some advice for coaches starting their career and encourages everybody to build their network and ask questions to learn from other coaches.

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