more than swimming

Sherri Fisher Helps Me Unleash My Epic Self

Today a repeat non-swimming guest drop in from my friend Sherri Fisher. Sherri is the director of Learn and Flourish LLC, and we talk about the work she does with young people, particularly those struggling with executive function challenges.

We also talk about her new journal, which we hinted at in the previous podcast, and some of the content that went in to it.

You know, this business, this blog and this podcast probably would not exist without Sherri’s help, and I hope that it’s obvious when you listen what a big impact she’s had on me. Wait until the end when I tell her one big change she has made my family life. Enjoy.

Find out more about Sherri’s day to day work at Learn and Flourish

Check out the journal we talked about: Unleash Your Epic Self


Cultural Knowledge, Richard Foster and More

Today I'm joined by Sarah Ehekircher and for the first time, Dia Rianda. We talk through how cultural knowledge, often damaging, is handed down from coach to coach, and work through a few examples we have seen.

Later on, Dia helps us understand the latest news about Richard Foster, and I rant a bit about the piece I wrote on Dick Shoulberg yesterday:

Grooming: What to Avoid, and What to Look For Instead

Hi All,

Please enjoy this very low-fi, thanksgiving edition of the Swim Brief. Sarah Ehekircher joined me and we talked about three major ways grooming manifests itself in swimming. On a positive note we also talked about what to look for instead.

We also had fun talking about people in our lives who have no idea what we are doing as coaches or as “consultants”.

There is no intro, no ads, just straight into the podcast and straight out. There is some noise in the background that we explain off the top. Have a great holiday and I’ll catch you on the other side:


Should You Take Attendance?


Today I return with Trever Gray to talk about the subject of attendance. It may seem like a little thing, but we got into an interesting conversation with our plans  as we both embark on a high school season next week.

At the end, we both do movie reviews, and mine contains spoilers for the film Pacific Rim Uprising. So you've been warned.

Substance Abuse and Coaches Well-Being

Today two world's collide on the Swim Brief: Trever Gray (you know him from Nerd Alert) and Sarah Ehekircher- you know her because we have done a ton of podcasts together.

I'm bringing them both on so we can take a multifaceted look at substance abuse in the swimming world as well as coaches well-being. Sarah and I both noticed (and Sarah experienced) the connection between substance abuse and abusive behavior. Trever did a nice literature review to help, and ultimately we decided to make a three person pod to tackle the issue. Enjoy.

Chris, Sarah and Eva: The Senate Hearings

A few weeks back I teamed up for a podcast with Sarah Ehekircher and Eva Rodansky. This time, we got to talking about the Senate hearings with Olympic sports leaders.

Eva was there and a part of some pretty compelling events outside of the hearing. Sarah watched from home. We talk about whether there is true progress and momentum.

Just one note: this was recorded last Friday, and there is a discussion about the independence of Safe Sport vis-a-vis banning coaches that USA Swimming failed to ban. Later on in the day, Sean Hutchison was banned, which is an interesting test case for this. Although, Sean had already been very prominently exposed and USA Swimming has already admitted some wrongdoing in the way they handled the investigation, specifically with the termination of Susan Woessner.

Also we talked a bit about a rumor that Hutchison had fled the country. News reports quote his lawyers as saying he is still stateside.

A Year With Bridge Bats

We are coming up on the one year anniversary of when I met today's guest, Dirk Marshall. Since then, we've embarked on a project together to bring Positive Psychology education to the team that he co-owns and coaches, the Bridge Bats.

I talk to him about what he expected and then what has actually happened as we have gone through the year together. What has changed, what has stayed the same and how some of the experiences we’ve had together have helped both of us over the last year:




Chris, Sarah and Eva

Today a three person pod with both Sarah Ehekircher and Eva Rodansky.

Sarah you should know from my her numerous recent appearances. Eva is a new face- someone that Sarah and I both have started to get to know. She tells some of her story of coming up in the speed skating world when it was in the grips of the infamous Michael Crow.

We talk about the recent Sports Illustrated article that came out on the Lopez Brothers, as well as the recent resignation of Kerry Perry from gymnastics. Finally, we have advice for National Governing Bodies if they want to stop repeating the vicious cycle they are in. Enjoy. 

Here is a way to catch up with some of Eva's story.

After posting, Eva did want to let me and everyone else know that she endorses the "Darkness to Light" training that is also endorsed by Champion Women and Aly Raisman.

Gender Equity in the NCAA with Susan Teeter

Today on the Swim Brief I am joined Susan Teeter. Susan capped off a very successful career as coach of Princeton University a year ago, and since then she's been working with organizations big and small through her company S.S Teeter Associates

I wanted to talk to Susan specifically because of the report that was reported on last week, coming out of the University of Minnesota's Tucker Center that gave NCAA Swimming an "F" grade for gender equity. We both noticed the way the conversation was going online and wanted to see if we could steer it in a better direction. Enjoy.

Three new patrons signed up this past week for my Patreon account, thank you to them!  If you want to join the cause go here.

Telling The Truth with Sarah Ehekircher

Today on the Swim Brief I am joined once again by Sarah Ehekircher. We talk all things related to the abuse in sports, hitting some of the big topics that have been in the news these past few weeks.

Just a preface before you listen- Sarah is someone that I met several months ago. She was sexually abused by her swim coach and I really value having her voice on this podcast. If we're ever going to truly move forward with this problem, I think we need to continue listening to people like Sarah. 

Nerd Alert: Motivation

This week, Trever Gray returns with a nerd alert, where we discussion motivation. Specifically, we go through Deci and Ryan's well known Self Determination Theory.

Trever's written some blogs on the subject (links below), and it's a great discussion to have in the off-season or as you look to the new year:

All About Emphathy

This week, another solo-cast where I talk about Empathy. I get into several of the false definitions of empathy that I see out there, as well as some talk about practicing empathy inwardly as well as outwardly. In the end, I think empathy is only going to become more important as a skill for both coaches, athletes and people in the future:

Solocast: Learned Optimism

The topic of this week's Swim Brief is one that I have spent a good deal of time talking to coaches, swimmers and parents about around the country. 

Optimism: what is it? What is it not? How can you use that definition to enhance what you do as a coach, based on what i've learned from studying Positive Psychology and coaching. Enjoy:

Stand Up For What's Right

Today I talk to Dirk Marshal. Dirk was an accomplished swimmer in his day who has taken a different route to starting a unique kind of team. We talk about his club, the Bridge Bats and how he came to form it the way he did.

Later we discuss Sarah Ehekircher and how we've both come to know her and join Sarah's posse. Dirk shares a really good argument on how we can stand up for what's right in swimming. Enjoy.

You Can't Be A Good Coach While Leading a Secret Life

Today I talk to elite Masters swimmer and former National Champion Susan Williams. Williams has a world record in her age group, and we talk about her life growing up swimming in the DC area. Williams was the first National Champion that disgraced coach Rick Curl ever coached.

We talk about her recollections of the time, including finding out that Curl was sexually abusing her teammate, Kellie Davies Currin, and Susan does some brutally honest self-examination of how she dealt with the knowledge and the subsequent aftermath. We also do our best to bust up the "great coach" narrative that often works against victims of sexual abuse:

We Need More of This

When you work in any profession, you really get shaped by the people you meet and the relationships you form. This week, I'm making up for the fact that I coached in the same conference as our podcast guest, and yet I didn't get to know her.

Christen Schefchunas was an NCAA swim coach for many years, culminating with a run at University of Miami. As you'll hear, she reached a major turning point at Miami, one that ultimately led her to go beyond coaching just one team. I called her because I've been following what she's been doing, and I think she has a really important message that, frankly, we need more of:

You can find out more about Christen and her work at her website.

Jeff Of All Trades

Today's conversation is with a very unique Canadian gentlemen, Jeff Grace. Jeff, well, Jeff has done a lot of things in swimming and continues to do so. He's a fellow writer, and we talk about how he got into writing about swimming. We also talk about how open he has been about his own mental illness and advocating for others.

 

For more information about Jeff and all the work he does: 

Mental Health for Athletes:

https://swimswam.com/?s=mental+health+for+athletes

Yoga and Meditation Classes for Mental Health

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_CMQtiKnX8K9pQQJF2yuzJZra1nOiNcP

Eliza's Website

https://www.elizajanewellness.com/

Stand-Up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcbjztZo8Kg

Swimming Specific Yoga

https://www.swimmingspecificyoga.com

Excel with Grace Sport-Specific Yoga

https://www.excelwithgrace.com

The Unicorn

Today's conversation takes us to somebody that I have been a fan of from afar for many years: Janelle Atkinson. Janelle is currently the head coach of the recently restarted program at Stony Brook.

Janelle talks me through her life story, from her early days in Jamaica, to the decision to come over to America for high school and college, and paying her dues in the coaching ranks. We also talk about some of the challenges and frustrations that come with being a person of color and a single mom in high level college athletics, and how she's overcome that. Enjoy.

The podcast was also sponsored this week by Swimnerd Pace Clocks. Check them out. 

Mental Health Deep Dive

 

This week I talk with someone who's doing some work that I really admire, and I wanted to hear more about it. Emily Klueh is a former national teamer who has gone into the field of mental health and sports performance at the University of Michigan and the attached USA Swimming team, Club Wolverine.

I dig deep on the kind of innovative work she's doing both with college students and younger kids, how to navigate some of this stuff as a coach and even some of the Positive Psychology she is incorporating. I recorded this podcast with Emily right before the holiday season. Enjoy.

Rules for Adulting

This week Sherri Fisher takes us outside of the swimming bubble and we talk about words like "smart" and "talented" and how they actually play out educational and athletic environments. Sherri has some really cool rules for how to get people who have not been marked as "talented" to really up their game. We also talk about the flip side: kids that have been marked as capable but aren't "performing" up to expectations

For those of you who want to learn more about Sherri and what she does, go to http://www.learnandflourish.com/. If you want to check out her journal go to positiveedgejournal.com. Check back and I'll let you know when her journal becomes available.