Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Good Reading….

If your looking for a good book to read during the summer or while your on vacation. There is a book that just hit the market called “The Great Swim” written by Gavin Mortimer. Here is a brief synopsis of the book:Let me know if you enjoyed it.

The dramatic story of the four courageous female swimmers who captivated the world in the summer of 1926.
Despite the tensions of a world still recovering from World War I, during the summer of 1926, the story that enthralled the public revolved around four young American swimmers—Gertrude Ederle, Mille Gade, Lillian Cannon, and Clarabelle Barrett—who battled the weather, each other, and considerable odds to become the first woman to conquer the brutal waters of the English Channel.
The popular East Coast tabloids from New York to Boston engaged in rivalries nearly as competitive as the swimmers themselves; each backed a favorite and made certain their girl—in bathing attire—was plastered across their daily editions. Just as Seabiscuit, the little horse with the big heart, would bring the nation to a near standstill when he battled his rival War Admiral in 1938, this quartet of women held the attention of millions of people on both sides of the Atlantic for an entire summer.
Gavin Mortimer uses primary sources, diaries, interviews with relatives, and contemporary reports to paint an unforgettable portrait of a competition that changed the way the world looked at women, both in sport and society. More than an underdog story, The Great Swim is a tale of perseverance, strength, and sheer force of will. A portrait of an era that is as evocative as Cinderella Man, this is a memorable story of America and Americans in the 1920s.

The Washington Post – Allen Barra

In 1926, in what might be the most amazing athletic achievement of the century, Ederle swam 21 miles from Cape Gris-Nez, France, to Kingsdown, England, to break the record held by a man, Argentina’s Enrico Tiraboschi, by nearly two hours. A comparable achievement today might be Michelle Wie beating Tiger Woods by 15 strokes—if Wie’s life were at risk each time she approached the sand traps…In The Great Swim, British journalist Gavin Mortimer tells this story with a verve that pulls the reader in like a high tide.

By the way as a kicker to this story is that Gertrude Ederle presented Coach Ginny (my wife) her very first swim medal back in the 50’s

coach Ginny-1  Gertrude

          Coach Ginny                                  Gertrude Ederle

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Books to Read, Coaches, Parents | 1 Comment

Your Brain is like a Parachute





Your brain is like a parachute,it only works when it’s open! Those of you who I have coached,have heard me say this many times. It is so true, when your coach stands up on the pool deck  giving you instructions on ways to improve your strokes and turns. Is your brain open to receive coaches instruction? Every day is a new jump into the air (water) don’t waist it!

By the way talking about using your brain, does anyone know the name of the swimmer in my last post. Come on, open the chute and use your brains. Please respond with your answer to my blog at

April 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who can name this swimmer?


She was born in 1974. She won 5 Gold Olympic Medals. She was very popular during the 80’s and 90’s. She was the 1991 World Champion.

Please send answers to the comment section of my blog……

April 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

101 Winning Ways – Great little book written by Olympic Coach Nick Baker

Nick Baker

I highly recommend this book for swimmers of all ages…It is a book that quotes ways of winning that stick in your head!….Coach Pete 

Attitudes for Swimming and For Life

101 Winning Ways Book

This book is dedicated to swimmers of all ages and abilities who commit countless hours in pursuit of their swimming dreams.


Swimming is a very competitive sport. To be competitive, you need the right winning attitudes or winning ways. Winning attitudes act like an automatic pilot, guiding you to victory.

The pages in this book identify 101 winning attitudes, attitudes all great swimmers possess – including Michael Phelps. 101 Winning Ways presents these winning attitudes in an easy-to-read, easy-to understand format. The creative cartoons and simple text make learning fun and easy.

While physical fitness and technical know-how are key ingredients to swimming success – nothing, absolutely nothing, can replace the winning attitudes found in this book.


Nick Baker, former Olympic Coach and founder of Peak Performance Swim Camp, shares his recipe for winning in his new book 101 Winning Ways. Coach Baker believes that given the right attitudes any swimmer can be a winner. 101 Winning Ways delivers these attitudes one inspiring page at a time.

Here’s an Idea

Keep a copy of 101 Winning Ways by your bedside and read a page a night, just before you go off to sleep. Consider the meaning behind the words and imagine yourself with that winning way. How would it change your swimming? How would it change your life?

How to order your book: Go to:

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Books to Read, Parents, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Information on 08-08-08

For information on the 2008 Olympics got to:

For Information on the USA Olympic Trials go to:

For information on Beijing Olympics got to:


Olympic History



Duke Kahanamoku

USOC Media Services // November 27, 2006

Olympic Sports: Swimming & Water Polo
Olympic Games Attended: Stockholm 1912, Antwerp 1920, Paris 1924, Los Angeles 1932
Olympic Medals: 100-meter freestyle (gold) , 200-meter relay (silver)—Stockholm; 100-meter freestyle (gold), 800-meter relay (gold)—Antwerp; 100-meter freestyle (silver)—Paris
Additional Accomplishments: Inducted into the Swimming and Surfing Halls of Fame (1965) and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame 1984
During the first half of the 20th century, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku “emerged as the world’s consummate waterman, its fastest swimmer and foremost surfer, the first truly famous beach boy,” wrote biographer Grady Timmons. Duke Kahanamoku is best known to surfers as, “the father of modern surfing,” and a statue in his honor is located on Waikiki Beach.
Born on August 24, 1890, “he was among the last of the old Hawaiians, raised next to the ocean at Waikiki,” wrote Timmons. After school, the only logical thing for Duke and six siblings to do was hit the water. His brother Louis said, “My family believes we come from the ocean. And that’s where we’re going back.”
During the summer of 1911, Duke Kahanamoku was swimming at Diamond Head when he was clocked in the 100-yard sprint by attorney William T. Rawlins, the man who was to become his first coach. Rawlins encouraged Duke and his beach boy friends to form the Hui Nalu and to enter the first sanctioned Hawaiian Amateur Athletic Union swimming and diving championships in August 1911, where Duke’s prowess as a swimmer awed the fans.
Sports fans began to call him “The Human Fish” and “The Bronze Duke of Waikiki.” Duke competed in an Olympic
trials swimming meet held in May 1912 in Philadelphia, and he qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team by winning the 100-meter freestyle event in exactly 60 seconds. Less than a month later, at Verona Lake, N.J., Duke qualified for the U.S. Olympic 800-meter relay team.
Sports history was made in Stockholm. Jim Thorpe won almost everything on land, and Duke Paoa Kahanamoku won almost everything in the water. Duke broke the record for the 100-meter freestyle, winning the gold medal. Following World War I at the next Olympic Games held in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium, Duke reestablished himself as the world’s fastest swimmer. He broke his previous world record in the 100-meter with a time of 60.4 seconds. He also swam on the winning 800-meter relay team.
In 1924, Duke was dethroned by one of his best friends. “It was not until the 1924 Paris Olympics,” wrote biographer
Timmons, “that he was defeated by Johnny Weismuller, who later went on to become Hollywood’s first Tarzan. Duke would joke in later life that ‘it took Tarzan to beat me.'” Hawaii still had cause to celebrate, however, because Duke, now age 34, brought home a silver medal in the 100-meter sprint and his younger brother Sam won the event’s third place bronze.
Duke is remembered not just as a swimmer for his remarkable speed, but also for his grace in the water, good humor and sportsmanship. In his later life, Duke remained active and traveled throughout the United States as a “symbol of Hawaii.” He was the “human fish” and the “father of surfing.” His name became synonymous with Waikiki and the term “beach boy.” He died in 1968.

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

"Coach, I hate to kick"

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Michael Phelps & Daniela Victoria                         Amy Van Dyken

Do you think these champions said this to their coach? I’ll bet they did, however I’ll bet they also said no matter how much I hate kicking, this is what I need to do if I ever want to be a champion! So kick they did, so you too must learn that kicking is  important to your training. I have found though, that when we kicking with flat shoulders, this flat position causes your legs to drag. It causes you to have poor body position.Kicking flat causes the kick to be inefficient. I would like to see you kicking on your side, you can start kicking on your side by using fins, this will help you get comfortable with being on your side. Try switching from one side to the other and as you switch take one arm pull. When you feel that you can handle the switch from side to side and you are holding good body position with one arm stretched out leading towards the other end of the pool and one arm at your side placed on your hip with your head resting on your shoulder of the stretched arm. Then when you switch take three arm pulls. From there you are ready to start swimming a normal stroke. Keep your body rotating side to side, keep your kick strong and steady. You can refer to the kick,kick,kick article I wrote in the stroke technique category of my blog  

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World Maccbiah Games Looking for Participants


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, April 21. MACCABI USA/Sports for Israel, based in Philadelphia, PA, is seeking Jewish Swimmers to represent the United States at the 18th World Maccbiah Games in Israel, July 13 – 23, 2009. There will be over 9,000 Jewish athletes from over 60 countries participating in the Games. Juniors and Open Athletes will be departing around July 2, 2009 for a mandatory Team USA Pre-Camp.
The USA Team will be bringing Swimmers in the following age divisions:
Open: – All Ages
Juniors: – Male Athletes born between 1993 – 1995, Female Athletes born between 1993 – 1996
Masters: – Athletes 35+
To see a complete listing of sports and levels, visit our website at
The selection criteria for Swimming is as follows:
1) There are NO qualifying times. Everyone interested in competing in the Games must fill out an application to be considered. The team will be selected from all applications – based upon best times.
2) ALL Swimming applications are required to be submitted NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 2008. The Swim Teams will be announced by February 1, 2009.
The Swimming competition will take place at The Wingate Institute and will compete in a Long Course Meters format. This competition is sanctioned by FINA and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Games are about more than sport, they are an opportunity to connect Jews from around the world with their culture, heritage and the State of Israel. There is a cultural program that takes place prior to the start date of the Games, where the athletes have the opportunity to tour historical and religious sites and take part in unique cultural experiences, all while bonding with each other.
“The Games provide an opportunity to use sports and Israel as a way to connect kids with their culture and with each other,” said Ron Carner, General Chairman, USA Maccabiah Team. “This is a life-changing experience for all who participate in what will be the world’s third largest international sporting event, combined with a unique cultural experience.”
Applicants can apply today to show commitment to Israel and Jews everywhere while competing with and against the best Jewish athletes in the world. To apply online and learn more, visit

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dave Denniston Recovery News


Immediately after Qualifying for the US Paralympic Swim Team, Dave went under surgery for his back. As of today he is supposed to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow. It seems that what they had to do on this surgery went ok. For more info on how Dave is doing you can go to his web-site at:, they click on daves journal to hear from Davo himself. Dave can use all the support we can give to him. Please check out his web-site. To those of you who may not know of Dave’s accomplishments, Dave was a member of the 2003 World Championship Team. He also was a member of the Auburn University team and the  NCAA 200 Breaststroke  Champion in 1999. Please keep him in your prayers for a successful recovery.

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Report on Clinic

Hey Coach,
On Sunday there was Swimming Clinic with Lenny Krayzelburg (the American backstroker and the four time Olympic gold medalist) at my school pool.
He gave a very intriguing and inspiring speech about his life and swimming. After the speech, he took us to the pool and showed us some vital drills and I learned a couple of new things from there!

Best regards,
Yoel Lapscher

  Lenny and Yoel                                            Olympic Champ Lenny Krazelburg     


Yoel Lapscher Latin American Maccaber Games Champion, Holding Lenny’s Olympic Medal, Youel is a member of Team Weston Aquatics, Weston Florida

April 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

98 Days to the FGC Junior Olympic Championship at Plantation

  Now is the time to intensify you training, you cannot wait until the week before the meet to tune up your strokes, starts and turns. You should be focusing on better turns in every workout, every set. You know that your coaches have been preaching over and over again for you to streamline every turn…You have to make it happen!

Power off your turns keeps you in the race. Power off your turns keeps the flow of your speed into the next lap. Keeping your head down and not breathing into your turns sets you up for a good streamline position off the wall. These are the things I know I have told you as well as your present coach has..DON’T BREATHE INTO OR OUT OF YOUR TURNS. It’s a matter of practice, it’s a matter of forming a habit.

Pick on one part of the turn each day of practice and FOCUS! it’s all up to you and your attitude towards practice, set your goals and practice for it, by being intense. Don’t give in to the boredom, don’t give in to the person in your lane who doesn’t care about where they are headed. Don’t give in to your body saying “I am tired”…It is when you are tired that you should be more focused. 

Set your calendar for July 24 thru July 27 at Plantation Pool. If you have any questions or concerns about your stroke or starts or turns please post them on the BLOG and I will do my best to address them. 

April 17, 2008 Posted by | Age Group | Leave a comment