Don’t let swimmers fall off your radar because of middle-lane syndrome
It’s fun to coach fast-lane swimmers because they’re experienced, independent, and knowledgeable. Some coaches find it even more exciting to instruct newbies who need a lot of attention and display rapid development.
But what about those middle-lane swimmers who comprise the bulk of every club’s membership?
What is middle-lane syndrome?
Here are a few signs that middle-lane syndrome might be creeping into your club:
- Overshadowed by the fast-lane swimmers, middle-lane swimmers are disconnected from their coach.
- Exhibiting patience, middle-lane swimmers prefer to keep to themselves without building a relationship with a busy coach who gives an inordinate amount of time teaching newbie swimmers.
- Middle-lane swimmers haven’t learned too many new things because their coach hasn’t corrected their strokes.
- Middle-lane swimmers are hesitant to ask for help because they don’t want to rock the boat by asking for their coach’s attention.
- Though hungry for encouragement and instruction, middle-lane swimmers don’t feel they are the favorite ones.
- Least likely to feel comfortable talking with their coach, middle-lane swimmers have very shallow conversations with their coach.
Discipline is required to coach middle-lane swimmers. You must make time to pay attention to them. Coaching them may not seem as rewarding as it is to coach the fastest and slowest lanes. To be a successful coach however, you must study and connect with all swimmers.
Ways to coach middle-lane swimmers
- Take notes and keep a file for your middle-lane swimmers. Set goals for them or ask them for their goals. Meet with these swimmers, preferably away from workouts, and review their progress.
- Encourage and strengthen middle-lane swimmers with a phone call, email, or text to let them know you notice their improvements.
- Recognize their accomplishments publicly.
Greatness ceases in a family of swimmers when the quiet ones are ignored because they’re overshadowed by the more talented among the club or the newbies with their many needs. A great team gets great by including and encouraging everyone.
- Coaches Only