Steve Carson’s voice was full of enthusiasm as he discussed the upcoming swimming season. Carson, the head coach of the Inconnu Swim Club is in his second year at the position, and is poised to make changes to better the club this year.
He just came back from the B.C. Swim Coaches Association Conference in Whistler, which went Sept. 21 to 24. There, famous coaches of the U.S. Olympic team, including Eddie Bush, gave presentations on how to coach a club with Olympic- calibre athletes. While Inconnu doesn’t have that calibre currently, the commitment and behind the scenes look at what it takes to achieve that quality of club interests Carson.
“They show you what it takes to get there and what it takes to maintain that sort of ability, and there was points you could take away the whole time,” Carson said. “It’s all about taking away what I can adapt in a smaller community.”
Some lessons from the conference that Carson is planning on working on this year include team unity in an individual-based sport, professionalism as it relates to coaching, being proactive in the community, and internal competition.
But perhaps the biggest idea was that of changing routines and practice programs around 25 per cent each year.
While the club swam really well the first half of last season, “with everyone taking off time left, right and centre,” things faded in the second half, Carson said. He plans to change things up so that doesn’t happen this season.
Carson is most excited for a potential trip to a couple meets in California this year.
The Far Western meet in Southern California at the end of July is one meet that high-end athletes could qualify for, and Carson hopes to find a secondary meet to send down a group of 12 to 20 kids. It will result in extra fundraising this year to make the trip attainable.
“As soon as I said the word California, the eyes and ears of the kids perked up quickly.”
Heading into the year, the club is down in registration numbers.
Carson created room in the schedule this year to have more seven- to nine -year-old swimmers, but so far the numbers have not been there. He said the goal is to have 115 kids this year. To register a child, visit www.inconnuswimteam.com.
The club will begin practicing at the beginning of October when the North Peace Leisure Pool opens for the year. The first meet Inconnu will attend is in Grande Prairie Nov. 3 to 5.