Sigma Featured Staff Member Of The Week
James is one of our coaches at our Sigma Burleson (THR) location. Today we interviewed him focusing on coaching and motivation.
Q: How and why did you become involved in the sport swimming?
A: I needed something that my brother wouldn't do, because I was tired of him beating me in everything. Joined, worked hard, and have loved it ever since.
Q: What do you hope your swimmers will learn from you?
A: I hope my swimmers will learn that being young doesn't mean you can't do something. I have swimmers that say they can't do a specific stroke or drill because they are too young. Low and behold they eventually do it in the next 15 minutes, so this lesson of not being able to do something because of age is incredibly important to learn.
Q: What does coaching the sport of swimming mean to you?
A: This means I get to watch and learn from young swimmers. I personally swim, and I've learned a lot about my own technique from seeing my kids do the same thing I do. Whenever I swim now I think of all the things I tell the kids myself.
Q: How did you stay motivated in the sport growing up, and how do you keep your swimmers motivated?
A: Honestly, I didn't keep myself motivated, a lot of that came from my parents. My parents have always pushed me to be the best I can be, and swimming is something that they had to push hard at sometimes. I motivate my swimmers through positive reinforcement and getting to know them. When I get to do this they always seem to come back, even if they hate it, because they get to hang out with someone that treats them equally.
Q: What is your favorite thing about coaching the sport and your favorite thing about your swimmers?
A: My favorite thing about coaching is getting to know the kids. Every day before we start I ask then how their day was and what they did in Math. It's weird but it makes them think about their day, and it lets me get some crazy answers out of them. My favorite things about the swimmers are their diverse personalities.
Q: Who do you think are one or more of the greatest swimmers ever and why?
A: The greatest swimmer in my mind is Chandler Glenn. Though you may have never heard of him, he went to my high school before I got there. He was on the swim team and beat all the records and growing up I wanted to do the same exact thing. He had an amazing attitude towards swimming which rubbed off on me as a middle schooler, and he inspired me to push for my goals.
Q: What do you tell a young child that is afraid of the water at his/her first swim lesson and how do you try to make it less scary for them?
A: I always tell them that once they get in it isn't so bad. Sounds really basic, but when the kids see you in the water with them, it makes it seem a little less scary.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being around your swimmers and the atmosphere of Sigma?
A: My favorite thing about Sigma's atmosphere is the dedication that both the swimmers and the coaches have. The coaches that work for Sigma love what they do, and it shows when they work with the kids, talk with parents or even hang out after practice. The swimmers that are with Sigma show their dedication by showing up to practice every day with an amazing attitude!
Q: What do you like to do when you are not coaching?
A: I like to swim for my high school team, play with my two wiener dogs and eat Mexican food.