Help with "unmotivated" swimmers

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Posted Oct 18, 2005 12:11AM

I coach a group of swimmers on our club ranging from 11-14 years old. They are a great group of kids and work very hard. The only problem I have is with a couple of swimmers who seem to go out of their way to make it difficult.
They are very talented swimmers, but lack the daily committment to what we are doing in the group. I have a rule for the group that we are there to support everyone and you are not allowed to influence others in a negative way.
I understand my role as a coach to provide a positive environment to achieve success. I exposed them to many different things in practice (Drills, Technique, Goals, endurance, videos, etc.) It just seems that nothing interests these two swimmers. They occasionally have a good practice but they can be disruptive to the rest of the group.
I have talked to the parents in the past and that didn't get very far. I was basically told it was my job to motivate their swimmer to do well. I believe that is true to a certain extent. I see my role as providing a positive environment and giving positive feedback to those who try. I don't think it is OK to give positive reinforcement to those who show up late, don't have proper equipment, miss sets, etc.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated?

Posted Oct 18, 2005 01:02AM

Well I was once told (by a coach much better than I) that sometimes trying to mix rec swimmers and competitive swimmers is like mixing oil and water.

On the other hand I guess all you can do for the time being is work exceptional hard with those who want to be there and who have the desire to attain more.

Don't go out of your way to pander to the 2 causing problems - instead just drag them along with the best interests of the group. One day they'll either decide they hate you and not return or they'll stick it out and mature.

Instead use your extra energy with those who want to be there. You'll feel better and it may stop you from feeling burnt out.

I guess this is just more of a last resort thing - cut the losses and making sure it is still fun and informative for those who do want it.

Posted Oct 18, 2005 08:06AM

The way we do it is simple...either the swimmer does as we ask it or he has to stay 5' on the bench. second time it's 10' and third time it's out for the rest of the training. they either give up playing or quit.

Posted Oct 18, 2005 12:29PM

Posted Oct 18, 2005 02:47PM


Do you mean coming and speaking with the team? I am assuming that is what you meant.

Posted Oct 18, 2005 03:25PM

Absolutely remove them from the situation. I like koen's idea, make them sit out... talk about BORING. I'm pretty sure watching swim practice for kids, is listed under the Geneva Convention as Cruel and Unusual punishment. Just make sure you don't make them both sit out together... make them lonely. Also, don't make it brutal... give them a towel or something... and then... slowly, ask them questions about techinque things they notice... try to trick them into talking about what they see. Try to get them involved OUT of the water, and see if any of that works. You HAVE to get them one on one. Also, making sure they're not in the same lane would help I think.

Finally... definately... bring in Dave. If they can't see the opportunity their passing up by wasting time in practice after hearing him talk... heck... it's soccer time! :)

Posted Oct 18, 2005 04:01PM

I am going to talk to them individually today. I have tried putting them in separate lanes and it is worse. They are constantly looking to see what the other is doing.
I don't want to give the impression that the group is awful or I have lost control. 98% of the kids work hard and are great. I just want to make it 100%.

Posted Oct 20, 2005 02:36PM

Is it allowed to exclude certain swimmers from a team? For reason of lack of discipline.

Can you set a rule like, late = no swim, no equipment = no swim?

Posted Nov 16, 2005 01:43PM

DD, what do you cahrge for a booking??

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