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  • Jul

    Coaches' Corner: Q&A with Linda Bostic

    On this month's coaches' corner series we're diving in to how Linda Bostic, coach of the Palm Beach Masters, develops a wildly successful program. Coach Bostic incorporates new SwimSmooth training techniques to grow her ever expanding team in Palm Beach, Florida.

    Q: How do you keep your numbers up?

    Linda Bostic: Well we’re at 430 which is where we ended last year and we’re expecting to add about 100 more by the end of the year. We have 3 pools across Palm Beach County and the farthest one north and south are about 30 min apart, so there are always places to swim.  We add 10-20 swimmers per month. I think the growth in USA Triathlon has really helped the growth in USMS because so many triathletes need a coach. They want someone to help them with technique. I would say, probably, 40% of our swimmers are triathletes. We have a huge fitness base as well, which makes masters swimming fun. Trying to strike a balance is always a challenge but I think it’s important for the coaches to meet everyone’s needs. Part of the membership growth has been because they love our coaches. 

    Q: How do manage three locations with such a large membership?

    Linda Bostic: Good question!  It’s harder than I thought it would be. Basically, we do the same workout each day, across all groups. I write 6 workouts a week and email them out to our coaches. Our coaching calendar is always a challenge to fill that in, but I have it setup to always have a coach on deck and I’m always the second coach. We have to manage that coverage, but it’s been easier to do it this way so we always have a coach on deck. I rotate my locations and I’m flexible with where I can go. I’m really lucky with the coaches I have.  We try and get our coaches out to all the locations so they can cover if anyone is ever gone. One of the things is my own personality, I want to be everywhere all the time but you can’t. But, we’ve got great coaches that do as good as of a job as I do! 

    Q: Do you have a coaching philosophy you pass down to your membership?

    Linda Bostic: That’s a good question. I think if you ask all of my coaches what my philosophy is, they’ll say the same thing. I definitely convey to them that enthusiasm is the most important thing on deck. They have to be fun and the swimmers love it when we do workouts where the entire pool is together. They love that and those are the workouts where the coaches must take the most charge and lead. I encourage them to always be welcoming and friendly to everyone. Have as much fun with beginners as the triathletes and seasoned swimmers. I encourage the coaches to ask swimmers, “why are you here”. We can help them meet their goals when we know what they are.

    Q: How do you accommodate beginner swimmers?

    Linda Bostic: We do offer learn to swim lessons and we offer one to one video analysis. It helps a lot with a new swimmer to spend an hour with them in the beginning and see what they’re doing wrong to work on stroke correction and drills. A lot of times, even though I’ve told someone a thousand times to change something, when they see it on the video it clicks and they can work to correct that. 

    Q: What is your pool time like? How do you keep that relationship going?

    Linda Bostic: All 3 pools are 50 meter. I’ve been really lucky to have a great relationship with Palm Beach County. I am the only master’s program they will allow in their pools and they really protect me. They always offer additional practice times but they will not bring in another competitor. We try and sit down with the club team once a year and look at the calendar and make sure we’re having a conversation. As a college swimmer, I respect that the age group team comes first. Usually, if they need something, they’re going to get it. In the evenings, we go later so they can get the earlier time. In the summer it’s a little crazy, but you know it’s getting the swimmers used to having 10 in a lane and honestly, I work around their schedule.

    Q: Tell us about SwimSmooth. 

    Linda Bostic: They’re pretty well known in the triathlete community but they’ve only focused on the US for 6 months. I’ve been following them on their blog and on the internet for years. I applied and was accepted to go to Perth. I’m a soon to be a certified SwimSmooth Instructor. I was 1 of 5 coaches in the US selected to go. It’s a 6-18 month training and it’s a really extensive. There are only 30 coaches across the World that are certified SwimSmooth instructors. I learned so much while shadowing Paul Newsome, the SwimSmooth Head Coach. I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and I feel confident with helping them with their race plan, but I wasn’t super comfortable with the newer swimmer or triathlete who sinks. I wasn’t real sure the best way to work with them and give them tips, but going through the SwimSmooth certification has really helped me.

    SwimSmooth is all about how to train for open water and long distance swims. Paul Newsome uses the Tempo Trainer for training. To set your goal pace, he sets it to beep every 20 seconds per 25, or something like that. You have to stay with the pace. Sometimes it’s hard to see the clock, but the Tempo Trainer helps you keep your pace. If we work on that pace, over time, you can start to reduce that pace. 

    With SwimSmooth, they’ll have groups of 50 swimmers and none of them are using pace clocks. They all use Tempo Trainer and they all work on holding the pace steady.  It’s really neat and since I’ve been back, I’ve been introducing the Tempo Trainer on endurance days. It’s a great way for endurance swimmers to train.  It does teach newer swimmers to relax and they’ll swim faster. 

    Email Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: xx@yy.zz
    Kedric Sr
    3 years ago.
    Linda, so proud of you, you are such an inspiration for others in gettin up while getting their goal accomplished.
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