SAMANTHA EVANS

On Saturday 13 March, TuksSwimming kicked off a two-day American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) course. The course was presented to a multitude of people, ranging from Tuks swimmers, parents and even coaches from other swimming clubs in the Pretoria area.

ASCA is one of the most highly recognised swimming coaching certifications in the world and is also the first professional organisation to offer professional certification to swimming coaches.The course was facilitated by TuksSwimming technical advisor, Larry Laursen. Laursen has been involved with ASCA for a number of decades and is currently one of eight directors of the World Swimming Coaches Association.

As explained by Laursen, this course is the first of five and is titled “The Foundation of Coaching”. It involves the role of the coach, communication skills, training methodologies and specifics about strokes and assessment among other things. This is not the first time TuksSwimming has presented this course and it certainly won’t be the last. Levels one and two of the course will be offered before the end of August. There are many benefits to being certified by ASCA. They keep track of the coach’s academic, experience and performance levels. ASCA is also a favourite among employers who want to ensure their coaching staff have the best qualifications and are of an international standard.

When asked what makes a good swimming coach Laursen said, “a solid general knowledge about the sport and training, an ability to communicate effectively with swimmers, parents and peers, organisational skills and empathy towards the swimmers in their care. A great swimming coach [has] an X-factor there that only comes with time and experience.”

With courses like this on offer and coaches dedicated to keeping the standard of swimming in South Africa at an internationally competitive level, it comes as little surprise that TuksSwimming is now in fourth place at the Telkom SA level 3 National Swimming Championships currently taking place in East London. Tuks is looking to improve from last year, where they finished seventh overall. After the first three days of the meeting Tuks accumulated a total of 15 medals: four gold, six silver and five bronze.