Masters Swimming NSW Coaching News

Congratulations to Greg Gourley (Tuggeranong) on being awarded National and NSW Coach of the Year (2019). Greg’s contribution last year was outstanding, particularly to the NSW Branch. I am sure many of you benefited from his knowledge and expertise at the Thredbo camp, Pambula, Ulladulla and Canberra workshops and the Basic Freestyle Faults Workshop in Sydney. Hopefully it will not be too long before we are able to run workshops again and more will be able to benefit from Greg’s knowledge, particularly in the use of underwater filming.

Congratulations to Aaron Cleland (Blacktown) as runner up NSW Coach of the Year – another excellent coach and a very worthy contender.

Welcome New Coaches

We have number of newly qualified coaches, some in super quick time!

Welcome Suzie Haddid (Campbelltown), Bradley Monks (Wett Ones), Marko Antic (Wett Ones)  and Marie Taylor (Manly).

Coaches are a very important part of the Masters Swimming family: they help ‘recreational’ swimmers keep fit and healthy as well as helping competitive swimmers to reach their goals and set new records in the pool or on the open water.

The coaching team is comprised of a group of MSNSW Coaches, interested in fostering and developing a coaching network for MSNSW.

Di Coxon-Ellis is the director of coaching and Anne Smyth is the team leader of the group. Other members are: John Kulhan, Paul Bailey, Greg Gourley, Caroline Makin, Bill Moorcroft, Jane Noake, Peter Johnston, Peter McGee, Greg Lewin and Leisa Cass.

The team runs visiting coach sessions for clubs, coordinates club coach courses, workshops and forums and fosters coaches’ professional learning through emails and developing resources. If you are keen to contribute and join the team please let Anne know.

News from MSNSW Coaching Team

A few checklists:

–  Swimmer goals– have you talked to your swimmers and recorded what their goals for the year are? This may be as simple as to keep swimming, more specific as to improving my catch or aimed at targeting events and improving times.
–  Medical or other conditions. It is timely reminder to your swimmers that it is their responsibility to inform the coaches of any condition that may affect their swimming.

Preparation for Nationals

It has been a tricky start to the year for many swimmers with so many areas affected by smoke and fire with some clubs’ training sessions cancelled or curtailed. This obviously has implications for those swimmers preparing to compete at Nationals. I know that many of our club swimmers have lost fitness therefore the focus is building fitness and working on technique. In each session though there is always a sprint element, often as a heart starter (getting heart rate up) leading into main set. For example, 8 x 25 Sprint with 30 sec recovery.

Anne Smyth
(MSNSW Coaching Team leader)

Stroke Workshops

Masters Coaches are available to visit your club and offer their expertise in stroke correction. To avail yourselves of this opportunity, contact the branch office.

Masters Coach membership
If you are Masters Coach but not a member, you are eligible to become part of our Masters Swimming Community for only $10 under the banner of Coach, Technical official or Volunteer membership. Go to and click on the  “Non-Swimming Members” tab for more information.

Backstroke Rules
It is very important to ensure swimmers are aware of rules to avoid disqualifications. As our referees tell us, in the number of DQs the vast majority are to do with backstroke turns and finishes. As coaches, we can help our swimmers by ensuring that correct turns are done in training. These should also be done at race speed so swimmers are familiar with stroke counts to wall. Check out the backstroke rules update and pass onto your swimmers.

Relay Meet – a great way to encourage new swimmers to compete
It is often difficult to engage older swimmers in competing. Over the past few years The relay meet is an excellent opportunity to introduce first time swimmers to competition. It is a lot of fun, there is no pressure and it is all about team spirit and camaraderie. A members story:
At this year’s relay meet, Donna swam for her club. She is in her 50’s, joined Masters this year and has never competed previously. She loved it and I think this will spur her on to enter more. Her elderly mother, who came to watch, was so impressed that she too is going to join a Masters club in Sydney and has just bought her first pair of goggles!  So keep it in mind for next year to use the relay meet as an excellent starting point to competition – it embraces what Masters is about: fun, friendship and fitness.

Coaches are required to update every four years
To do so you need to complete the Club Coach Updating form and the Coaching Code of Behaviour form and submit with your current CPR certificate to:
Download these forms at

Coaches are also encouraged to undertake courses offered by NSW Department of Sport & Recreation such as Mentoring< other coaches, or to consider becoming a Presenter and Assessor and assist in the conduct of future Club Coach courses.