more than swimming

Sarah Asks the Questions

Have you ever listened to one of my many podcasts with Sarah Ehekircher and wished that she could ask me the questions? Well then I have the podcast for you. After many times getting her to bare her soul for all of you, this time she is the one probing.

We go all the way back to 2008, the first interactions I had with USA Swimming and what motivated me to pursue the topics I pursue.

Why Don't They Do the Right Thing?

Welcome back to the podcast Sarah Ehekircher. After a long hiatus, Sarah and I get together to discuss a couple of pretty significant investigative pieces that are in the works.

We then follow that up by discussing conversations she’s had with a USA Swimming Board member, USA Swimming head Tim Hinchey and why neither seems willing to do the right thing.




Swimming Agent Cejih Yung

As promised last week, here’s the podcast recorded with swimming agent and all around sport enthusiast Cejih Yung.

I think Cejih has a clear sense of what swimming is as a business, and I mean that in the most positive way possible. For the sport to thrive, the value of what we’re doing needs to be connected to those who can support it, and Cejih has done just that for a group of top level professional swimmers in the US.


Recovery Myths and Educated Guesses

Recovery, what the heck is it? We all know it’s an incredibly important part of any training program. Still, there is a lot of mythology around it, including, but not limited to, the idea of a “recovery” workout.

I get into all of it with Professor Trever Gray. (One note, I reference a post which I unfortunately could not find after recording the podcast. My bad).



Dani Bostick

Dani Bostick is many things. She’s a teacher, a parent, a former mental health counselor. She was also a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her swim coach. She’s a passionate voice for reform beyond sports.

We split the podcast into two parts. In the first, we discuss the recently released MAAPP, which Bostick has been sharply critical of. In the back half, we discuss the uncomfortable conversations that are necessary about the culture that enables abusers within an organization.



Digging in On MAAPP

Last week USA Swimming’s Safe Sport Division released the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy (MAAPP). The release has been controversial, particularly among coaches who have additional responsibilities as a result of the policy.

I begin by assessing the major planks on their own- do they make sense and are they sound policies for preventing abuse? Then I get into a lot of the context surrounding the policies, with questions and commentary.



Checking In With Nicolas Messer

Nicolas Messer is always a good hang on the Swim Brief. This time he checks in from a brand new geographic location. We talk about how he ended up there and what his new job entails.

We also get into the topic of streamlines, and I put Nico on the spot on whether he has joined the anti-streamline coalition. Enjoy:


Samantha Arsenault Livingstone

This podcast was recorded last week with somebody I’ve admired in both her athletic and professional career. Samantha Arsenault Livingstone was a 2000 Olympic Gold medalist.

I wanted to have Samantha on because we connected over the fact that she’s pretty brutally honest about the peaks and valleys she had along the way, and dedicated herself to helping others when they encounter the same. We had a far reaching conversation covering almost two decades. Enjoy:

Some links that we discussed during the podcast:

www.samanthalivingstone.com/control 

www.samanthalivingstone.com/gift 

What Investigation?

In the wake of the OC Register’s reporting earlier in the week that an FBI Veteran, hired to investigate Sean Hutchison, was very much not allowed to investigate, I called up Sarah Ehekircher.

We go through the article and give context to the names and players involved, and what some of the facts suggest about the broader Olympic sport culture:


Sarah Ehekircher on Fishers and More

Sarah Ehekircher comes back to update on her own saga for justice against her former coach, before we pivot to a discussion of what happened last month in Fishers, Indiana and the fallout from a group of administrators abdicating their responsibility.

We finish by getting a little fired up as we usually do about broader topics concerning creating a safe environment for kids in sport.

A New NBOR For Sarah Ehekircher

A conversation with Sarah Ehekircher about the possibility of a second NBOR (National Board of Review) after the botched one in 2010. We talk about the process of even getting to the point where USA Swimming would consider another one.

All of this takes place with the backdrop of USA Swimming’s biennial “Safe Sport Leadership Conference”, leading me to speculate whether the two are connected. Enjoy:


Grooming Part Two: Athletes

In a follow up to last week’s podcast with Monica Strzempko, I sat down with Becky Finley, a former teammate of Sarah Ehekircher. We discuss what it was like to come up to an “elite” team at a young age (13) and all the kinds of radical behavior that she accepted as normal.

We also discuss at what point she decided that it was not normal for her coach, Scott MacFarland, to intervene in the way that he did:


Jeanette Ottosen Still Has It

Today one of my favorite athletes in the entire world, Jeanette Ottesen. I've followed Jeanette's career from when she first broke through as a teenager in Denmark, straight to world titles and an Olympic medal.

Now at 30 going on 31, married and with a one year old child, she's entering a new chapter of her competitive career. Guys, there is so much for coaches and swimmers alike to learn from Jeanette's story throughout this podcast. I even get schooled late in the pod when I try and guess what made Jeanette doubt continuing her career and fall into the same trap that most of the media does.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did:


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.