Sigma Featured Staff Member Of The Week
Nathan is one of our coaches at Sigma Fort Worth East (TWU) location. Today we interviewed him focusing on life lessons, coaching, and motivation.
Q: How and when did you become involved in swimming, and eventually coaching?
A: I became involved in swimming in 8th grade when my best friend convinced me to start practicing with the high school team so we could join freshmen year, get our PE credit, and quit the subsequent year. Of course, I actually ended up swimming all four years, lifeguarded for 3 years, became an Aquatics Manager of a community waterpark this summer, and found my way into coaching this fall.
Q: What is a life lesson that you hope your swimmers learn from the sport?
A: Never stop. I think that’s the biggest lesson I learned from swimming. Even if your goggles fall off, don’t stop swimming. I believe this can be applicable in life also. No matter what life throws at you, keep pushing through.
Q: Do you think that there is ever too much practice for a swimmer and if so why?
A: Swimming is one of the best and safest exercises out there due to it being a non-weight-bearing exercise that utilizes almost every muscle group, promoting cardio and muscle endurance at the same time. Despite this, I think it's important that coaches and swimmers don’t overextend themselves. So yes, there can be such thing as too much practice but it would be very hard to do for most swimmers.
Q: What do you tell a swimmer when he/she thinks that they are not good at swimming?
A: I tell them my story. I was not very good at all when I first started. Swimming is unique in how many things you have to consciously be doing at the same time and it's hard to mentally nail that at first. It just takes time and practice to move past those mental blocks.
Q: What would you tell a swim parent that is not happy with a swimmer’s performance at a swim meet?
A: I would be honest with them about why I believe it happened and what we could work on to improve it.
Q: Did you have any swimmers that inspired you when you were growing up and why?
A. I actually don’t think I did. I wasn’t very athletic or into sports in general before High School and swim was originally just something to get out of PE class. It of course became much more than that.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your swimmers and coaching?
A: My favorite thing about coaching is teaching adults how to swim. It’s a lot of fun to break down every aspect and, in a way, re-learn how to swim with them.
Q: How do you keep your swimmers motivated?
A: Constant encouragement. I know what it’s like to be in their place and try to use my life experience to inform how I teach them.
Q: Do you have a favorite sport, other than swimming?
A: No. I really don’t like sports. This swimming thing was totally out of left field for me.
Q: How do you prepare your swimmers for a swim meet and what do you tell them?
A: Swim meets were the most stressful parts of swim for me so I try to replace their nerves with total confidence in themselves and what they can accomplish if they work hard.