USMS Coaches assist members by teaching, motivating and inspiring

What makes a coach great is subjective, but there seem to be universal traits that appeal to many lifeguards: Good communicator. Cares about its athletes. Offers social activities after major events. Create an environment that teaches and inspires.

It’s what Doug Hayden, Andy Dugan and Sterling Fuhriman do every day to inspire their athletes to strive for excellence and achieve it every day in the pool, and it’s why they are valued during Appreciation Week. coaches.

Doug Hayden, Masters of Cinema

“Doug comes up with creative workouts,” says MOVY Masters member Larry Fehner. “He mixes short and long distances and launched the April Fool’s Swim-a-thon, which raises funds for summer activities for children who are financially compromised. He also participates in the event himself.

Hayden also includes swim music, connects with swimmers, encourages swimmers to improve their swimming and speed, and visits some in the hospital to lift their spirits.

These are just a few examples of what makes Hayden such an inspirational coach to his athletes.

“Doug’s energy is always on point,” says Fehner. “He said he arrives tired from work and drags, but once training starts he gets into it. His energy levels go up, he gets excited and has fun.

Fehner says Hayden works hard every day to evolve the team’s workouts.

At holiday time, they receive Christmas tree training. On paper it looks like a Christmas tree, and in the water it’s an increasingly longer workout.

On St. Patrick’s Day, there was a special practice session with rhymes and a play on all things green. On April Fool’s Day, MOVY does 100 x 100 in 100 seconds.

And then there is the music.

“When it comes to music, well, you get the usual tunes on the speakers, but on St. Patrick’s Day, it was all Irish-inspired songs,” Fehner says. “You never know when Doug might burst into song, loudly. Famous words and melodies. He loves it when a few of us talk back to him – if we have enough breath!

Fehner has been swimming with the club for about eight years and says Hayden’s training has taken him from the slowest lane to the middle of the pool with the fastest swimmers.

“I used to be a good swimmer, but now I’ve gotten a lot faster,” he says. “Doug made it easy for me, taught me and showed me by example how to be a good teammate. I have never been on a swim team or swum competitively.

“He improved my form and hit a lot. I go much further in one fell swoop. My breathing has also improved a lot.

Andy Dugan, Sylvania Masters Swim Club

Andy Dugan is so dedicated to his team and his athletes that he usually arrives at practice before everyone else and greets everyone with a bright and cheerful “Good morning”.

He prepares club members for practice by writing the start of the hour-long practice on two whiteboards for everyone to see, including a start time so they are all in sync with the ‘coaching.

During practice, he is in a constant state of observation and devotes his time to observing the technique for all shots. He walks around the pool deck observing the different lanes, and he never tires of explaining concepts and making suggestions for improvement.

He’s a great coach, person and friend to his swimmers, and they appreciate him for it.

“Andy continues to improve and adapt as the club’s needs have changed over time,” said Sylvania Masters Swim Club member Samantha Rousos-Gage. “Over the past 25 years he has coached in a professional and positive manner, conducted video running clinics, organized competitions for the club and adjusted his schedule to members of the coaching club as needed to meet other club needs. pool schedule.

“He adapts his coaching to the availability of technology. It incorporates the use of an iPad to track each member’s swim time stats so that time series can be broken down based on individual abilities and levels. And on those long Saturday swims (90 minutes), it brings a portable speaker for a fun change to practice with music. He drives hard training, but it’s always fun, personalized and caring.

Rousos-Gage joined the club with her friend Jacqui Barber, with whom she swam in college, shortly after her first and only Olympic distance triathlon in 1998. She swam with the club during two pregnancies at the same high school as her youngest son is about to graduate.

The reason she still swims with the Sylvania Masters Swim Club to this day is because she loves the water, and so does Dugan.

“What I appreciate most is the personal growth I’ve experienced being part of this swim club and the incredible, somewhat ‘invincible’ feeling I carry with me on the days I swim,” she says. “Andy always stresses the positive side of having participated in swimming training and all the health benefits that come from constant and dedicated training, including a good night’s sleep.

“As a coach, he had a huge impact on my life. He may not know it, but the things he says during swimming practice follow me mentally throughout the day.

Sterling Fuhriman, Queer Utah Aquatic Club

Thomas Lundstrom, a member of the Queer Utah Aquatic Club in Salt Lake City, insists his club is unlike any other.

As a club dedicated to promoting adult amateur swimming regardless of age, ability, gender identity or sexual orientation, it operates with eight coaches who rotate every three weeks.

One such coach is Sterling Fuhriman, who, like his fellow coaches, instructs by showing swimmers something they don’t understand or pointing out something to help them improve their technique on his days off.

“Sterling has been coaching for nine years, and for three of them he was our head coach,” Lundstrom said. “Coach Sterling is a very funny and awesome coach who makes everyone feel welcome and accepted, no matter if you are a great swimmer or a newbie who can barely keep your head above water.

“He does an amazing job explaining how to swim and how to do the practice we’re doing that day. Most of the time he even includes a little side dance to show you how to do the right strokes. He devotes a lot of his time to the team and cares a lot about each member.

Lundstrom and her husband have only been members of QUAC for about nine months, and both are very new to swimming.

They started in the lower tier lanes and over time Lundstrom’s husband rose to the second highest tier thanks to all the coaches at the club.

He has competed in swimming competitions they never imagined he would and credits Fuhriman for helping him get there.

“We both enjoyed the social aspect of the team as well as the fact that we got back to better physical shape,” Lundstrom said. “Because of the coaches on this team, including Sterling and the community, it has made our lives better.”