Skillful swimmers have more fun.
Coaches for West Texas Swim Coaching
Founder of WTSC and Head Coach - Tom Harris
Level 2 USA Swimming Coach
Level 3 US Masters Swimming Coach
Level 5 American Swimming Coaches Association Coach (Education)
Member of the American Swimming Coaches Association
Master’s Degree in Education (counseling)
Former Total Immersion Swim Coach
Former Xterra Triathlete
Retired USMC Infantry Officer
Yoga Instructor for the Northwest Texas Islanders - Kristin Dow
200-hour Yoga Certification
Certified Fitness Group Trainer with 13-years Experience
Former Elementary School Teacher
Master’s Degree in Education (curriculum development)
Mother of Swimmers Owen and Kaden
To provide USMC style leadership and technique-focused swim training to create joy through active physical lives involving fitness, camaraderie, and adventure.
Training Philosophy - Technique First
The NWTX Islanders is a technique-first team. This is what we do well. In the long run, it will, I am convinced, produce more swimmers who reach their potential.
Bill Boomer, without any experience in competitive swimming, became coach of the Rochester University swim team in 1961. Looking at swimming without the blinders
of tradition, he determined that reducing resistance is more important than conditioning, “The shape of the vessel matters more than the size of the engine.” (He also developed the modern track start for swimmers.)
This technique-first idea was revolutionary in swimming. Prior to Boomer, we had little understanding of efficient swim technique and depended on a natural selection process of finding and developing good swimmers. See Coach Doc Counsilman's 1971 The X Factor speech to the American Swimming Coaches Association for an explanation of this system.
Coach Boomer's technique-first ideas were used by retired swim coach Terry Laughlin and his Total Immersion (TI) coaching organization to successfully train thousands of adult swimmers during the triathlon boom of the last several decades. I was one of those triathletes and eventually a TI coach.
Coach Laughlin taught us that because water is a thousand times denser than air, minimizing resistance trumps conditioning in swimming, unlike in running or bicycling, AND resistance increases at the square of speed.
Technique-first thinking has become mainstream in swimming publications (see Swim Speed Strokes by Taormina or The Swimming Triangle by Baker for example.), but has had little effect on the conduct of most swim team practices. Coaches who swam tend to run practice the way their coaches did 30 years ago. And with little time to prepare large numbers of swimmers for a meet, coaches see little choice but to go for the quick fix of focusing on conditioning.
So that's the theory. West Texas Swim Coaching will always be technique-oriented and the Islanders will always be a technique-first team.