Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

News from Coach Pete

 I will be taking a break from blogging these next few weeks….Ginny and I will be taking a cruise through Northern Europe celebrating a belated 50th wedding anniversary. So keep on training hard getting ready for the High School Season,Only 85 days until the Florida Gold Coast Winter Championship – Plantation – November 20-23, 2008  remember what you have learned from watching the Olympics and put it  into practice…..See you all in a few weeks

Adios, Coach Pete


August 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now that the Olympics are over where do we go from here

Olympic sign

This will be my last post on the 2008 Olympics, this comment will be my opinion only. If you wish to add to my comment please feel  free to do so.

For 17 days 204 countries competed together, played together, lived together, ate together, laughed together and cried together.. The Chinese people were great host and were so proud of there country as well as the other 203 countries. I wonder, how is it that every 4 years the world can take two weeks off from all of the ugliness of their countries politics and live in harmony.Why can’t the leaders of all of these countries take a lesson of Olympic sportsmanship from the athletes and put it to use in the ruling of their countries. It seems to me after watching these Olympics that the people of the world want to live in peace with each other, we need to live in peace with each other. It has been reported that China has spent more than 40 billion dollars on showing the world that they are promoting openness and harmony with the peoples of the world. Their effort was of epic proportions, however at the close of the Olympics, 8 Americans were deported for protesting for the Freedom  of Tibet. Also China has censored the Internet. As Boutros Boutros-Ghali said when he was head of the U.N.,the Olympics is a “school for democracy”……So can China play by the rules of the international community? 

That remains to be seen…….Now on to England

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA Men’s Water Polo Team Playing for Gold

national-teams-mens2 Not even considered to be a medal contender the US Men’s Water Polo team defeated Serbia, and Croatia and will now play for the Gold Medal against Hungary. It has been 20 long years since the US team has been on the winners stand. Our thanks goes out to all of the squad and especially to   Head Coach and Men’s Program Director: Terry Schroeder Assistant Coaches:Ryan Brown, Robert Lynn Men’s Team Leader: Rick McKee and National Teams Manager: Nikki Jost…….

Go USA, bring home the GOLD!!!!!!!!

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

Paralympics Start September 6th………..

Dave Denniston Swimming Breaststroke Again …Go for it Dave!!!!


Dave Denniston is well-known in the swimming world. An NCAA champion and a 2004 Olympic hopeful who just missed making the team, he’s making waves again as he prepares for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

On Feb. 6, 2005, Denniston was sledding with a friend in a remote region of the Snowy Range in Wyoming. After taking several runs, he decided to go down the hill head first. He lost control of the sled and hit a tree. Denniston remained conscious the entire time, but knew something was wrong because he couldn’t feel his legs.

Denniston’s friend, who was sledding with him, called 911. Because of the remote region they were in, it took over two hours before help arrived. He was taken to Laramie Hospital, then to the spinal cord specialists at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., where he learned that he was completely paralyzed from the T-10 vertebrae down.

Instead of dwelling on the past, Denniston is focused on his future. He makes the two-hour commute from Longmont to Colorado Springs, Colo. to train with the U.S. Paralympics Resident Swimming Team once a week. He also works out every day at the Longmont Recreation Center on his own.

Denniston says his goal is not to win the medal he had hoped for in 2004, but rather to bring awareness to Paralympic athletes who receive so little attention for all of their hard work and dedication.

Denniston started swimming at the age of eight, when his friends next door asked him to serve as the fourth swimmer in their relay competition. Denniston figured it would be fun and his love for swimming took off from there. Before he knew it, he was beating all of his competition, including his friends from next door.

Denniston went on to compete at Arapahoe High School, where he was recruited by the Auburn University swimming program. While at Auburn, Denniston became an NCAA champion in the 200m breaststroke in 1999, the same year the Auburn Tigers won the NCAA Championship. Denniston graduated from Auburn in 2002 with a degree in Communications and a minor in English.

After graduating, Denniston moved to Irvine, Calif., where he swam under coach Dave Salo and qualified for the World Championship Team in 2003 (Barcelona, Spain) in the 200m Breaststroke.

After Worlds, Denniston focused on qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team in 2004. He just missed the mark, finishing fourth in the 100m breaststroke and fifth in the 200m breaststroke at the Olympic Trials.

When he isn’t swimming, Denniston spends his time delivering motivational speeches to middle schools, high schools, universities and businesses. A humorist at heart, Dave mostly enjoys making other people laugh.

If you want to learn more about Dave, visit his website:

Major Achievements:

  • 2007: NCAA Inspiration Award winner
  • 2002: World record, 400m medley relay – World Short Course Championships, Moscow, Russia
  • 1999: NCAA Champion, 200m breaststroke
  • Holds two Colorado high school records – 100m breaststroke (54.69) and 200m individual medley (1:50.25)

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

The Secret to US Swimming World Records


 Now that the Olympics are over there will be all kinds of speculation on how we broke so many records and what made our kids swim so fast. Was it the swim suits, was it drugs, was it luck? It was none of these…. So  Let’s take a look at what got us to be so great at this sport. It all starts with a good learn to swim program, there have been many great swim instructors who have been part of the development of US Swimmers that never get any acknowledgement other than the fact that they have taught thousands of children how to swim and how to be safe in and around water. These dedicated teachers have also influenced thousands of young swimmers to get into the sport of competitive swimming. You will find that behind every good swim team program there is a good learn to swim program. Coaching in South Florida as I have I have come across many great instructors like, Karen King, Ginny Spagnuolo, Carol Victoria and Biggie Lohberg to name a few. Then after learning to swim properly and joining a swim team they come in contact with what I call the backbone of US Swimming….The age group coach. My hat goes off to all those age group coaches who dedicate themselves to developing great swimmers. There would be no Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak, or Dara Torres if it had not been for their age group coaches. So lets put the credit to where it belongs….and give a big thank you to all of those teachers and coaches who’s passion and love for our sport got us to where we are today…So now you all know the secret, Amen!  

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


great Arms

Now that the swimming portion of the summer Olympics is over, have you learned anything? Watching the coverage every day has been one of the greatest swim clinics any swimmer or coach could have ever attended. The underwater views of starts, turns, strokes and streamline’s were outstanding. Every good coach out there has been saying over and over again for his or her swimmers to streamline. Well, proof of the pudding was the streamlines of all of the swimmers in all of the events. Ask yourself this question, ” Do I streamline every start and turn during workouts?”…For us who coach the answer is very obvious…most of you do not take streamlining serious enough. So now that you have seen and heard from Roudy Gains about the importance of streamlines, maybe, just maybe you will be more intense about your starts and turns at practice. Let’s also talk about what this coach and I am sure many other coaches have been preaching about…Kicking off your turns. Have you looked at the power that is generated off the walls when you kick at a high rate of speed, you don’t see any of the swimmers floating of the walls…do you?

Did you look, as I looked at the stroke efficiency of these great swimmers…did you see the length , depth and finish of each stroke. I know that all they was talked about was the new swim suite and how fast it made all of them swim. However I want to talk about the perfect stroke technique and focus all the swimmers had….All of this was so evident in this great clinic….If you did not learn, shame on you. If you do not go back to you local teams and start this new season with an attitude of perfection in all that you do, shame on you. Now is the time to dream, but when you dream there are responsibilities. You are responsible for your own actions…..Now go do it!

August 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

An Open Letter from A Great Olympian and a Great Man….

After reading this letter it made me realize the character of our kids who represent our great country. They are able to express their feelings freely and from their heart. Larsen thank you so much, we are all so proud of all that you have accomplished.


To all of my family, friends, supporters and Americans who I have never met: Thank you for all the support that you have given Team USA and me. We have all been incredibly honored to represent all of you at the 2008 Olympic Games.
It has been a dream come true to reach the pinnacle of sport success and each of you should consider yourselves a part of that success. I can’t thank each of you enough. Today, I swam my final race and it was a tough battle. Unfortunately, I finished out of the medals…
My good friend and training partner Ous Mellouli won the event, and I couldn’t be happier for him. He truly deserved it and I look forward to congratulating him personally.
Our final award ceremony today finished the way it started-with the playing of the United States National Anthem. I began to get choked up. I was choked up because I understand what our flag and our anthem represent. It represents freedom and opportunity. Freedom to pursue any dream-and the opportunity to make that dream a reality.
Mine have become a reality, and our team is proof that America is great-and always will be.
A few days ago I received an American Flag and accompanying Flag Citation from Navy Special Operations Task Force – West, Camp Shane Patton, Fallujah, Iraq. I was hoping to personally carry that flag around the pool; but that wasn’t in the cards.
However, that flag was carried around the pool by Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Michael Phelps, and Jason Lezak for the awards ceremony of the 400 Medley Relay.
They are great Americans and they carried that flag to make all of you proud-they did a damn good job. This team has made me proud by their grace in victory and poise in defeat. A man could never ask for a finer group of men and women to be associated with than our USA Olympians.
It has been an honor to represent The United States of America. I will never forget this experience and I will never take it for granted.
Thanks again America for your support. I, and all U.S. Olympians, look forward to coming home to the land of the free-and never forget WE ARE THE HOME OF THE BRAVE.

Regards, Larsen Jensen

August 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bob Costas makes a dumb statement

bob costas  Watching the coverage of the 2008 Olympics has been a shear joy for this coach. Seeing one of the greatest swimmers in the world  perform at a level of swimming that no one has ever achieved is mind boggling. It is hard to understand, it is incredible, it is fantastic, it is  so many things…but what it is not, is what Bob Costas described last night in his statement that Michael Phelps victories are “reaching the level of  being ridiculous” …This statement is the dumbest statement that I have ever heard Costas make. Being from Queens New York, I have always been a fan of Costas but after that dumb statement I will have to turn down the volume on my TV and just watch the athletes do their thing…Please let me know if you agree with me or not……..Coach Pete    

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oops my goggles are full of water!

Some time ago I wrote an article to my age groupers about what to do when your goggles fall off or get loaded with water. If you never got to see the article here it is again:

Oh My Gosh!…My Goggles Fell Off.

Posted by pspag on February 25, 2008


Ok, so what do you do?..You suck it up, put your head back in the water and race!. Goggles falling off is a common occurrence that young swimmers encounter.

There are a few things that can prevent this from happening. When you place your goggles on your head make sure that the elastic strap sits on the crown of your head and not beneath it. Pull up on the straps near your ears as tight as your can. Have the goggles fit into your eye sockets tightly, with a little pressure by pushing them in. All of this should be done before getting up on the block, not when your on the block.

If your goggles come off or get loaded with water, don’t panic…..

Another thing that you might want to do  at practice is to take off your goggles for one set and get the feel of water in your eyes at race pace.

Always take an extra pair of goggles to the meet, just in case something happens to them…..


Last night Michael Phelps swimming the 200 Butterfly event swam the entire event with water in his goggles. In an interview after the race Michael told the press that on his dive his goggles filled with water. It may not have been as drastic as the photos above, however it did happen to the best swimmer in the world! How did he handle it? He did as I stated above ….”Put your head in the water and race!”, Well that’s what Michael did he raced so well that he went on to win gold and set a new world record. So don’t panic when it happens to you.


August 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olympians Having a Blast!

Last night the world witnessed one of the best swimming races ever. As a former US Swimming Coach I was so proud of our kids. Now don’t get me wrong, when I refer to these great young men as kids at 71 years of age I guess I have the right to. But watching them win the 4 X 100 free relay and smashing the world record and then seeing them have as much fun as a 10 and under age grouper winning their first race was incredible. But I also realized that they are kids having a blast and enjoying the fruits of their labor….It is a great example for all of those thousands of young swimmers out there. It was also great to see how our kids were able to handle the French team, they did all the talking and we did all the swimming. Tell me if these photos don’t look like they are having a blast.

phelps gone wild relay team

Phelps going wild                                       Sharing their victory

the finish

Jason Lezak finishing the world record 3:08.24 record. Jason swam the fastest 100 relay split in history at 46.06



August 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment