D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

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poolmans
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D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by poolmans » Fri May 04, 2012 5:01 pm

The NCAA is out of date especially with D3. Any d3 coach that is worthy is breaking d3 rules. If they are not then they are working against their student athletes concerning out of season training. So let's stop the deception and conduct voluntary out of season practices with our teams. The d3 student-athletes want this as an option. D3 swimming is getting faster and more high quality athletes are attending D3 institutions. They want off season training.

Now I am going to spout off:

Take a look at what the NCAA has done to our most heralded swimming/diving event in the USA. They have made the NCAA championship meet so small that the spectator attendance at d1 swimming and diving champs was pathetic! How many great swims were lost and how many more swimmers will we lose?

Fairness-a crock:

Hell, the NCAA does not even police d3. There are institutions changing SAT scores, blatantly offering scholarships, coaches calling athletes making offers and helping to make those financial aid changes needed to get that athlete. The NCAA answers: "more education needed", what a crock!

What is the NCAA?

A lot of us coach club teams to make enough money to live; we should be allowed to coach our own swimmers in their own college facility. It is a joke when the NCAA thinks that helping the athletes means making them commute to another pool - giving them no choice at all. The NCAA is unconstitutional; they must be a remnant of the Soviet Union.

The NCAA does not have any right to tell me how I can earn a living. I am on a 9 month contract and run my own club team out of the college facility. This is the only way my family can make it! The NCAA rules will not allow me to have my college swimmers train on my team, this is just ridiculous. The NCAA needs to change with the harsh economic realities and become current with the times, hell they are like the Old Testament!

Olympic sports are better off:

There will come a day unless the NCAA changes that they will have two sports, football and basketball, because it is all about money.

Most other sports would be better off to be club programs. The college would have total control and Olympic club programs would become more important to the institution as they already are in gymnastics, volleyball and soon to be men's water polo.

NCAA = Big business and any sport that does not fit in gets crapped on.

coach tom
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by coach tom » Fri May 04, 2012 6:33 pm

Nice rant!

I agree with a lot of what you are saying. D3 is about the most uneven playing field in all of sports. How many colleges in d1 could even come close to creating a dynasty of championships. It just cannot happen due to scholarship limits. in many way d1 is more honest.


Financial aid in d3 is very slippery and what family would complain if they received too much money?

I hear you on the club and out of season training. I am at a d3 college and I feel very restricted in ways that you mentioned.

Thank you for the rant.
Last edited by coach tom on Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

imJumbo
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by imJumbo » Fri May 04, 2012 9:44 pm

Admittedly, I never swam over the summers (I just lifted and tried to stay in some overall athletic shape..) but I have 2 questions:

1) Can a d3 swimmer join the club team their college coach is at to swim with them when they're out of season?
2) Can a college coach make a club team and let swimmers join (i.e. what Stanford does, a lot of their swimmers swim for stanford swimming when not in season)

I like that the season is short (especially in the NESCAC even shorter than most) so it doesn't completely dominate life at college. But I do think that if swimmers want to participate in voluntary practices with their coach AFTER the season, it should be ok. I say after and not before because there should be some time for freshman to get acquainted with college life, and having coach-led voluntary practices before the season officially begins would likely feel mandatory to freshman who don't really know the difference.

coach tom
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by coach tom » Sat May 05, 2012 9:49 am

Answers:

#1. D3- No, you cannot swim on club team where you college coach is in involved in any capacity, even assistant coaches. D3 coaches can coach a club team, but cannot have their college swimmers participate.

#2. Yes a d3 coach can form a club team, but the swimmers that are on the college team cannot participate.

Most of my swimmers want to train after the season is over so they can return home in good shape for the long course season.

We also used to have a 21 week season which was cut down to 19 weeks. That extra two weeks I used for teaching technique and building up the workouts on a more gradual incline. Now we have to ramp it up fast and we have more injuries and get less time to instruct.

- tom

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Last edited by coach tom on Sat May 05, 2012 10:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

skutbe01
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by skutbe01 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:56 am

imJumbo wrote: 1) Can a d3 swimmer join the club team their college coach is at to swim with them when they're out of season?
2) Can a college coach make a club team and let swimmers join (i.e. what Stanford does, a lot of their swimmers swim for stanford swimming when not in season)
I was under the impression that you could join the team your coach led as long as there wasn't a different USAS club within a certain radius (~100 miles I thought). We tried to do this at Luther in the summer of '05 but came under some heat from another coach in the IIAC who also had a club team. I can see the argument that D3 is not about athletics, but there should be the opportunity available if the athlete wants it.
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screeeeeeeeech
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by screeeeeeeeech » Sat May 05, 2012 1:33 pm

I agree with a lot of the above. The problem, I think, is that for most teams, "voluntary" practices become compulsory practices pretty darn fast. I don't know how to solve that problem, but my guess is that that's the big issue for the NCAA.
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steveschadt
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by steveschadt » Sat May 05, 2012 5:59 pm

I agree with a lot of what's been said in these posts so far. The NCAA may have legitimate concerns over coaches forcing athletes to train in the off-season but what we currently have in place is much, much worse. It prevents motivated athletes that want to achieve and do more with their sport from doing so and it creates a lot of inequity within the whole division on exactly what is and isn't being done in the off-season.

There should be a logical way to allow students to choose if they want to train in the offseason with their college coaches and still protect their rights on whether to do so or not. In fact, it should be simpler in some ways than it has been in the next levels up. We don't have the complication of athletic scholarships to deal with. There are too many athletes who would like to have the option of training in the offseason that are hamstrung by what's currently in place.

In Division 1 we have already seen the offseason training option happen. Student-athletes are now being allowed to train with their college coaches in the spring and even well into the summer if that's what they choose. It sure would be helpful for athletes & coaches in D-3 if we could have the same opportunity. My guess is that if this were allowed in D-3, abuse by coaches forcing athletes to train would be minimized as the new rule would be well know by virtually all d-3 athletes just as the 20 hour rule is pretty much universally known by all D-1 athletes. The athletes would having common knowledge of the rule and it should help keep coaches in check.

Many of our D-3 swimmers want to train like year round swimmers and some of these rules do nothing but frustrate them and make it harder. They picked D-3 swimming in most cases because they wanted great academics and great swimming. Most of these kids didn’t think they would have to choose one over the other. They want and deserve to be able to have both. D-3 has good athletes. Some of these kids are approaching national and international levels. The NCAA should allow them to train in the off season like that is the case, rather than making it more difficult for them. They should let these kids train in the pool with their college coaches if that’s what they really want to do. That’s why there are presently so many D-3 programs “beating around the bush” and running club programs on campus or setting up P.E. classes. The status quo on this issue will probably remain and it’ll be business as usual for most. The inequitys in D-3 athletics will remain until the division is willing to take a hard, honest look at what it's doing.

It’s difficult to look an NCAA qualifier in the eye who’s gung-ho on getting better or someone who’s made a summer senior national cut or Olympic Trial cut in the eye and say, “I can’t train you 20 hours a week in the pool like you need and want because the NCAA will not allow it. Go train with the club coach who you don’t know from Adam instead. Good luck to you!” But that is exactly what we have to do to play by the rules. It’s ridiculous. The NCAA gave us a waiver this spring so that anyone with a kid who was close to trial cuts could keep training him which is fine and great, but what about the 3 years that were leading up to that. Do we really believe that the 12 D-3 kids who made trial cuts and the 30 or 40 senior national level kids in D-3 were do nothing in the off season? Of course not. They wouldn’t have gotten as fast as they are if that were the case. Most were either finding local club programs to train with through the spring or enrolled in some sort of “PE” swim class most likely. How many kids out there in D-3 could be great athletes and want to be, but can’t be because of the restrictions the NCAA forces upon them? I’ll bet there are many. It’s a shame and not right. I’m wondering how many years it’ll be before one of these kids takes the NCAA to task. I don’t know legally how the NCAA can restrict kids like they do. It’s just brutal.

I’m glad at least that this conversation is being had. It probably will take a couple generations in D-3 to get it done, but it's a fight worth fighting. Getting our division to agree on anything at all is difficult and I know there are many administrators at other institutions that want to see less and not more when it comes to this. However, if we as coaches & athletes don't fight for this, nobody else will.

PioneerSwimming
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by PioneerSwimming » Sat May 05, 2012 7:09 pm

I need to change my handle: I'm not longer PioneersSwimming, so maybe I will soon.

Anyway, I digress. There are reasons why the 19 week rule and the non-contact rule are on the books. It has mostly to do with the fact that at SOME D-III schools, the coach is a part-timer, and the budget for coaching is small. I myself at one point was paid for 75% of my time as a Lecturer in the Health and PE department, with classroom responsibilities, and the other part as coach. Many D-III schools are in the same boat. If the season were allowed to be longer, athletic departments would have to find a way to pay a coach for a longer duration in the season. Not saying this is right, but there are plenty of D-III colleges that would protest this. Basically, it keeps the full-time coaches at colleges with big budgets on supposed even footing with the colleges that have classroom professors coaching. They limit the abilities of the top programs to the basements of the under-performing programs. It's great to see the very rare champions from tiny colleges, but, let's be honest, that is so extremely rare. I know I am sounding like some kind of crazy libertarian or Rand-ian, but I certainly am not.

A few years ago, at an NCAA convention, a prominent D-III AD commented that top college dramatists or musicians are not limited to weeks in the year or hours in the wee they can study acting or violin. Imagine asking a violinist at Amherst to stop taking lessons during the other 33 weeks of the year, and that she has to take breaks during finals, and weird breaks during Thanksgiving, and has to start her weeks on Tuesdays so that her drive back from competitions on Sundays don't spill into Mondays and violate the "no 7 day work week" rule. This AD was roundly supported AND criticized, but it was the criticism that won out.

What I'm saying is what others have, as well. Student-athletes pick D-iii in large part because of academics, and they now how to keep their studies current. They did so as club athletes in high school. There is no reason not to let them train the way they need to keep their abilities sound if they are doing well at their studies. If XYZ College can keep their coach around with creative budgeting, like a club team, let the kids swim.

coach tom
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by coach tom » Sun May 06, 2012 3:54 pm

Good comparisons to music and drama.
I think a lot of us would do it without extra pay if it was voluntary for the students. I have a lot of inquires by my Swimmers and divers every year.
If the NCAA could give us non-traditional time or let us coach a club and be allowed to coach our athletes, that would be great. If it was voluntary and a club, that could help the money issue.

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DonCheadle
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by DonCheadle » Mon May 07, 2012 11:13 am

coach tom wrote:Good comparisons to music and drama.

[ Post made via iPad ]
Not really. You can major in music, you cannot major in swimming.

It is worth looking at these rules and trying to improve them. But I think it is more important to protect the students who don't want to participate in the off-season than it is to provide for the ones who do.

I had a GREAT experience at Kalamazoo. I had 999 great experiences and 1 bad one. THe bad one was this: As an incoming freshman coming from a 1000 miles away I was homesick and lonely. We had voluntary workouts the first week back. I did NOT want to go. I wasn't ready. I quit the team for several weeks because of the pressure to attend voluntary workouts. I specifically remember the set that I was doing: 3x800s; I did about a 600 and then got out.

Still, there has to be a system that works for everyone.
Last edited by DonCheadle on Mon May 07, 2012 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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screeeeeeeeech
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by screeeeeeeeech » Mon May 07, 2012 2:05 pm

I agree with Don here. The key is making sure that kids that don't want to swim don't have to swim in the offseason. I can't speak for others, but I went to Emory to get an education first. Swimming was a great benefit, but it was ancillary. If there were mandatory offseason practices, I honestly don't know what I would've done. Swimming from September through March is exhausting and I needed a break after NCAAs every year to recharge my batteries.
Clearly, some people don't need or want that break. The opportunity to train should be available to them in some capacity, but not at the expense of those that want to pursue other opportunities in the very limited offseason that swimmers get during the school year.
Last thing: Don I wouldn't have even gotten in the pool during a preseason workout if the set was 3x800s. I'm impressed you even made it as far as you did!
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coach tom
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by coach tom » Wed May 09, 2012 5:17 pm

Coaches, Swimmers and Divers

D3 Out of Season Voluntary Training – organizational steps:
Two point approach, SAAC and your Conference.

1. Athletic Director- conversation - coaches
2. Student Athletic Advisory Committee: - student driven. The student- athletes need to be the main proponents and your SAC is the main vehicle and the best way to bring it to the NCAA and get the attention of your ADs and Presidents
3. Survey all swimmers and divers- do they want this option?
4. Conference coaches meet and present their position. Swim and Dive Coaches need to talk to conference coaches. Then bring it up as an agenda item in your conference meetings, this will move it to your ADs meeting
5. Athletic Directors meeting will decide merit. If positive moves to,
6. Faculty Athletic Representatives.
7. FARs support, then it moves to the FARs and Presidents Committee
8. Legislation is proposed to the NCAA

CSCAA and ASCA - Meeting
Last edited by coach tom on Thu May 10, 2012 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

screeeeeeeeech
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by screeeeeeeeech » Wed May 09, 2012 5:48 pm

Question: how many swimmers does this rule negatively affect (and please don't be flippant and say "all of d3")? I understand the issues for coaches, but are there really that many swimmers that can't find training space in the offseason? I'm honestly just curious because I always had access to an offseason program if I wanted it.
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coach tom
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by coach tom » Wed May 09, 2012 6:47 pm

I cannot answer for everyone.

An issue for us is their academic schedule is set and night classes are part of that mix. Some of my swimmers/divers just want to swim with their peer group and their set practice time might be all that works.
They do not want a club environment. They are in college and that is who they want to train with. It seems like an innate desire, it was for me.

plutus
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Re: D3 off season training Stuff that Makes me MAD

Post by plutus » Thu May 10, 2012 10:44 am

Anyone who stays on campus for study or internships is hampered by this. Especially in D3 schools, which tends to be a more remote area, and club teams tend to cater to age group schedules that allow for 3:30 PM practices. It affects anyone who wants to swim and juggle academics.

I stayed on campus one summer and was only able to train a couple times per week when the club team had a late practice.
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