Today’s news brings the addition of the widely respected and accomplished Jim Richardson as a site contributor. I have been blessed to be able to know and work with Jim doing a coaching “exchange program” per se during the summers of 1995 and 1996. I spent that time in Ann Arbor working and watching how both he and Jon Urbanchek ran the highly successful Michigan swimming program while explaining to them how we ran our sprint program at UC San Diego. It was one of the most valuable learning experiences as a young coach to better understanding middle and distance training philosophies.
“I am excited to join Doug Boyd and Swimfever.com in the effort to create a place where we can discuss both old and new ideas to enhance learning and skill development. Prior to my 30 year stint as an NCAA swimming coach, I taught high school and coached age group swimming for 9 years. While it is certainly exciting to work with Olympic and World Championship swimmers, for me, it is just as exciting to watch a young swimmer grasp the concepts behind technical improvement. Once they understand the “why and how”, they are more likely to experiment and discover what works for them.
It is not enough to know what to do, it is just as important to know how to teach it. My greatest frustration as a coach was to spend time on technical improvement and then to see no changes when the swimmers raced. This frustration led me to research motor learning theory, attribution theory, and the physiology of building neural connections. In this regard, I have been greatly influenced by scholars such as Dr. Carol Dweck, Dr. Martin Seligman, Dr. Anders Ericsson, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Vern Gambetta, and the research of Daniel Coyle and Geoff Colvin. Along with Doug, I will try to bring information to this site, which will hopefully allow us to speed up the learning curve, both in and out of the pool.”
Jim’s contributions will begin tomorrow with his thoughts on how we as human’s learn.