December 2019 Newsletter: Hannula interview with Counsilman



Greetings Coaches!
As we enter the holiday season, we are delighted to bring you training articles and coaching tips from some of the greatest coaching voices in the history of the sport.
Along with a number of celebrated swimming contributors already sharing tips on the International Swim Coaches Association’s website, ISCA recently received special permission from Coach Dick Hannula to share his articles, interviews, and book exerts for educational purposes. 
Some articles date back almost 50 years but are still relevant and of interest today. To begin, please find below his advice on “Developing a Swimming Coaching Philosophy” as well a historic interview with legendary coach and swim scientist Doc Counsilman.

Keep an eye on your inboxes in the coming months to receive more tips and advice from coaching legends.

​"An Interview With James 'Doc' Counsilman"

by Dick Hannula (1990)
Excert from "An Interview With Doc Counsilman"

"Question: Your 'X Factor in Coaching Speed' is generally considered one of the best talks ever. Do you have anything to add to that talk?

Answer: Some have that X factor. Some can motivate and inspire confidence. That is the X factor and it stands on its own merits. Coaching by concepts, not by sports medicine research, is advisable. Get the principles only, then expand. Research is coming in little packages right now. More complete information will come, but it will take time."

Doc Councilman

Doc Counsilman

"Developing A Coaching Philosophy"

by Dick Hannula (2003)
Excert from "Developing a Swim Coaching Philosophy"

"A swimming coach’s success is measured by the progress and the development of his or her swimmers. Although you may have a limited talent pool to draw from, the athletes who make up your team should reflect the teaching, training, and discipline that you’ve given them. This reflection is made visible by their actions in and out of the pool.

Your philosophy must be centered in the belief. If you believe totally in your basic philosophy, then it has the roots necessary to ensure a lasting commitment. Continuity in your core beliefs, you philosophy, is necessary to gain the respect of your team members and their parents. You must be totally committed to your beliefs; otherwise, your philosophy won’t stand up through adversity or failure."

Dick Hannula in black-and-white

Dick Hannula


Coach Dick Hannula’s contributions to the sport of swimming have been recognized worldwide, culminating in his induction into the 1987 International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), the 2004 American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the 1982 National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

In additional to authoring some of the most notable coaching books in the sport--including Coaching Swimming Successfully and The Swim Coaches Bible (as well as over 160 independent articles and interviews)--his swimmers have achived success at the highest levels. Hannula's swimmers have won 2 World Records, 2 Olympic Records, 13 American Records, and 2 National High School Records. His is one of the all-time winningest high school coaches, as he led Wilson High School (Tacoma, WA) to 24 consecutive Washington High School State Championships, and held a 323-winning dual meet streak without a loss.

Hannula has served on multiple international team staffs, including the 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1979 Pan American Games, the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, and the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. He has served as President of the American Swimming Coaches Association (1976-1978, 1986), as well as USA Swimming's Technical Committee Chairman (1981).

Dick Hannula

Dick Hannula

ISCA is proudly sponsored by ACTIVE Network and Commit Swimming

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Commit Swimming

Commit Swimming

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