The Journalist Who Took on Swimming

Today another guest that I've wanted to have for a long time. Irvin Muchnick has been doing outstanding work covering corruption and abuse in American swimming. He's soent a lot of the past few years breaking stories and doing legwork that often finds its way later to bigger publications, uncredited.

Irv and I talk for a long time, almost 80 minutes, and we cover the big picture as well as the the story that he has spent the last few years with intense focus on: former Irish Olympic coach George Gibney, who is still living in the US and evading justice for the terrible crimes he stands accused of in his home country. Enjoy

To catch up on Irv's work, go here.

Nancy Hogshead Makar: The State of the Fight

Among the revelations of this podcast: there is reason to believe that Susan Woessner lied when she resigned from USA Swimming about her interactions with Sean Hutchison. Also, a group of swimmers led by Olympic gold medalist Karen Moe Humphreys will be speaking out against abusive coach Paul Bergen. 

The guest is one that I've wanted to have for a long time and is so relevant to everything going on in the swimming world right now. Nancy Hogshead Makar is a former Olympic Champion swimmer. She went on to a law career, where he has dedicated significant time to advocacy work, first for the Women's Sports Foundation, and now as CEO of Champion Women. 

Her most recent accomplishment includes lobbying to push the "Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport" act through congress.

The act was recently signed into law, and Champion Women has a nice cheat sheet for those looking to catch up on what it means.

For more information on Nancy and her work visit Champion Women. You can also read this excellent piece where she tells a lot of her life story here.

Matt Kredich

On the Swim Brief this week is University of Tennessee Men's and Women's Swimming and DIving Head coach Matt Kredich. Matt reached out to me last week just before SEC's, and agreed to this podcast just after the meet. 

We hit some uncomfortable topics, including the interactions Kredich had with Hutchison, the overall culture of swimming and coaching, and the role that organizations like ASCA and their hall of fame should play in all of this. Enjoy:

Paul Yetter Returns

Here's the back story on this one: A couple of weeks ago, I did a pod with Erik Kramer. Paul Yetter liked that pod, so I asked him to come back for a similar conversation. I wanted to talk to Paul about some of the stuff he's struggled with over the years, and more importantly how he found a way to move forward.

We ended up getting all kinds of fired up about three quarters of the way through about Race Pace training, before bringing it back to really get a fuller picture of what he's learned through 20 years in the coaching world. Enjoy.

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.

Rise, Fall and Rise

Eric Kramer currently coaches the Saskatoon Lasers in Saskatchewan, which I'm told is a real place in a real country (Canada).

Eric's coaching story really hooked me in. We talk about how he had international success with a swimmer very early in his coaching career and how that affected him in ways both good and bad.

We talk about the pivotal moment he had looking into the eyes of his swimmers, and there's a lot of learning and honesty along the journey. Enjoy:

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:

Yoga and Meditation Classes for Mental Health

Eliza's Website


Swimming Specific Yoga

Excel with Grace Sport-Specific Yoga

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.

The Virginia Whirlwind

This week a guest I have gotten a lot of requests for: new University of Virginia Head Coach Todd DeSorbo. We talk about the whirlwind he has been on since August, and I try to figure out just how he turns teams around fast.

We also talk about making the leap from an elevated assistant coaching role to head coaching and some of the intrinsic strengths of Virginia. Enjoy.

Craig Lord Part 2: Suits, Blazers and Short Course

On part two with Craig Lord, we continue our conversation from the first part. We discuss the European Short Course meet in Copenhagen and branch into a broader conversation about the the institutions that surround our sport.

I tried (and mostly failed) to find some points of disagreement, including former British Para coach Rob Greenwood's dismissal and yes, THE SUITS.  Enjoy and listen to part 1 if you haven't already.

Craig Lord on Swimming Governance and Journalism

Craig Lord is the preeminent journalist in the sport of swimming. He has been writing about swimming since 1989, attending countless major international championship meets, speaking out doping in the sport from the very beginning, and generally being unafraid to speak his mind.  Craig is currently the editor and writer for Swimvortex. He also writes for the Times of London and the Sunday Times.

We talked for so long that I had to split the podcast into two parts. In part one, Craig and I dive right in to discuss how he came to be a "swimming" journalist as well as what he's seen change over the course of his career covering swimming from the media side. Then we turn to discuss the IOC's recent decision to ban Russia from the Winter Games and what the state of governance at all levels that affect swimming. Enjoy and watch for part 2 this upcoming Friday.


Relentless Optimism

On the brief this week, we're talking to the guy who is relentless about two things: that #workworks and a general positivity about swimming: Mike Murray. Mike talks all about his swimming roots, including some harsh reflections on himself as an athlete. We talk about sharing what you learn online and I even ask Mike to coach me a little bit.

You can follow Mike on twitter, as well as facebook where he's an administrator for the Swim Coaches Idea Exchange Group.

Giving Thanks for Short Intervals

Putting out the podcast early this week for everybody traveling. This week's guest is Nico Messer. Nico and I talked about longer interval training a few weeks back.

Today we tackle shorter intervals and all the stuff associated with it, whether it's speed work or USRPT.

We also discuss Nico's Thanksgiving plans, how to avoid talking politics with your right wing uncle (Jay Chambers) and how rec swimmers in Switzerland react to a few seconds delay. Also enjoy a cameo from my landlord and a plumber trying to fix the heat in my apartment.

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 If you want to check out her journal go to Check back and I'll let you know when her journal becomes available. 

Getting Grit with Caroline Miller

On the brief this week, Caroline Miller. Caroline is a published author and renowned speaker, with her latest book "Getting Grit"  being named by Live Happy as one of the ten books that will change your life.

Caroline and I go all the way back to the beginning to her experience swimming as a kid and a young woman, and how she re-found the sport fifteen years ago. We talk about some of the growth of Positive Psychology and some of the ways it can be dangerous if you apply knowledge without deeper knowledge of the concepts. Caroline also talks about some really crucial concepts in goal setting, there is so much you can get out of this listen. Enjoy

The Wild Man

Coley Stickels is currently an associate head coach at Indiana University, who's teams vaulted to high rankings, including #1 for the men, after some big dual meet victories over the weekend. We talk about some of the different ways he looks at training swimmers and his perspectives from both the college and club world.

We also have a discussion of the unique legacy of Doc Councilman at Indiana University and some of the ways a coach can leverage that working there.

Personalized Goggles and Long Term Development

Have your goggles ever leaked? Do you care about the long term development of athletes in the sport of swimming? If the answer is yes to either of those questions, you should listen to this podcast.

On the brief this week, Niklas Hedegaard. Niklas is a swimmer I've coached who continues to swim at age 27, and we talk about his journey through swimming up to this point and what keeps him motivated to keep pushing forward. We also talk about his new venture with his friend Rasmus Barfoed in Denmark, TheMagic5, which makes personalized fit goggles using facial mapping. 


TheMagic5 on instagram

TheMagic5 on kickstarter