Change Your Coach If…

A week ago we discussed Laure Manaudou’s decision to change coaches. We offered the view that her reasons did not merit such a risky move. That claim should not have been made without offering some guidance as to what are valid reasons for heading to another team. We apologize for this error and thank those who brought it to our attention.

Here are twenty grounds we think do justify a change. We hope they help those of you emotionally struggling with this issue. In these examples the word “he” also includes “she”.


  1. He beats his thigh with a rolled up heat sheet during your races. (Don’t laugh, we’ve seen it done.)
  2. He thinks coach’s hospitality and pool deck are the same thing.
  3. He puts on a suit and tie for the last night of finals.
  4. He prowls through your Facebook and MySpace pages looking for evidence you’ve been enjoying yourself.
  5. He says he knows you better after a month than you do after 20 years. (That’s from Rhi.)
  6. He thinks aerobic training means walking around the pool twice.
  7. He spends 15 minutes convincing you 10×25 is a hard set.
  8. He has you recite the Lord’s Prayer before your National final.
  9. He thinks a broken arm is a poor excuse for missing the next set.
  10. He thinks swimming the mile before your best event is an ideal warm up.
  11. He’s thinks it’s wrong for a coach have nap while you’re swimming 10×400 meters aerobic.
  12. He has two or more stop watch straps hanging out of his trouser pockets. Worse if they are around his neck, leave immediately.
  13. He uses those energy system codes to explain how your training works and doesn’t seem to know the meaning of fast, slow, steady, hard or easy.
  14. He cheers for your competitors.
  15. He deletes your name from the team’s record book.
  16. He thinks throwing up in the pool is a sigh of a well swum set.
  17. He uses a whistle to control practice. You’re swimmers, not sheep.
  18. He thinks eight-thirty is a late curfew and drinks Gatorade on the final night of the Nationals.
  19. He encourages team parents to keep a notebook full of their child or children’s best times. And splits. And the times and splits of their competitors…
  20. He comes from New Zealand. (That’s from Rhi as well.)