The 10 Best Things I Read, Watched, and Listened to This Year

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA
 

As a coach who is interested in personal improvement and being the best coach that I can be for my athletes, I am constantly on the lookout for ideas, motivation, and knowledge that can help me.  Here are a few of the best things I came across this year.

You are missing out if you aren’t part of the (1) Swim Coaches Idea Exchange on Facebook. With nearly 5,000 members, there is nearly always a pithy discussion of technique and tons of fresh ideas.  Be sure to check out posts from Jonty Skinner to be the at the tip of the spear when it comes to freestyle technique especially.

On my drive to and from practice, I love to listen to podcasts on a variety of subjects.  By far the best podcast I listened to this year was (2) Michael Gervais’ interview with former swim coach Sean Hutchison. Interesting, inspiring, and thought-provoking.

I got my start coaching with Gregg Troy at Florida, and reading (3) SwimmingScience.net’s Notes on his talk “Garbage Yards and Other Things that Work” was a reminder of the power of commitment that he always emphasized to the Gator teams that I was around.

If you have been paying attention on the club scene, then you know about the recent success of the York YMCA and Coach Michael Brooks’ swimmers.  I found this (4) great summary of his philosophy from his time at Brophy Prep.  He took many somewhat-formed thoughts right out of my head and put them down on paper in a clear, succinct, and firm way.

Here is my (5) favorite new drill of the year from Eagle Swim Team’s Scott Ward.  Swimmers love it, and it helps them with a critical skill in freestyle.

I have no idea if (6) this is a superior way to break out, but I love it as an example of outside-the-box thinking by the coaches at Tennessee.

My favorite passage I came across in my reading this year is from “The Olympian” by Brian Glanville written in 1969 (7):

I always enjoy reading Paul Yetter’s thoughts on his Create Performance blog.  This post was particularly insightful: (8) The Road to Greatness has Dips and Turns.

It has been interesting following along with Glenn Mills and Rachel Stratton-Mills as they have been on their Quest.  This article really hit home with me – (9) “Unreal Expectations.”

Jake Shellenberger wrote (10) “My 5 Top Drills for Sprint Freestyle,” a very helpful and informative post with more detail than your typical “listicle.”

What great resources did I miss?

Here is my list from 2013 and my list from 2012

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