If you want to take your swimming to the next level, look no further than a clinic with Bob Hill! His dynamic partnership with each participant opens the door for deep learning opportunities, all while having fun. “I’ve been told that I tend to have a high-energy personality. I feed off of the swimmers, and they feed off of me. That gets me excited!”
While Coach Hill recognizes that swimmers attending his clinic may have a coach at home who shares the same knowledge, he uses different language and teaching styles that will lead to the lightbulb moment. For Coach Hill, the most important part of the clinic experience is for the swimmer to be able to take the feedback to their home coach to find the best stroke for themselves moving forward.
Coach Hill demonstrates and explains skills to his swimmers in addition to showing video to make sure key skills click into place. His hands-on approach makes him a great clinician: “I try to give each individual athlete at least three to five comments per day on technique. My goal is to make adjustments in all swimmers I work with.”
The bulk of Coach Hill’s technical feedback consists of ways to decrease drag and increase stroke efficiency, which is the name of the game in swimming. “I want these swimmers to learn how to be efficient in the water. You’ll hear me talk a lot about distance per stroke, catch and pull. Minimizing water resistance is key to fast swimming.”
While many swimmers lack focus and attention to detail, Coach Hill reinforces that the technical work done now will pay off in dividends down the road. “I like to talk a lot about the process. What you put into the water today builds on what you did yesterday. Tomorrow is a different day, and you have to continue to consistently put the work in. The process should be enjoyable, while the performances at the end of the season are just the icing on the cake!”
Doing the daily details correctly is probably the most challenging task for any swimmer, and Coach Hill encourages athletes to develop grit – the ability to persevere toward a goal through challenges:
“While maintaining technique is the most important focus for developing swimmers, it is the first thing that goes out the door when you’re tired. I think we need to keep pressing on and persevering through pain, knowing that the goals we’ve been working toward are that much closer. Staying strong the whole practice, whether physically or mentally, and being focused on the long picture and process of success should be the target. Results will come out of this process.”
The fear of failure is often what keeps athletes from truly pushing themselves to the edge of their abilities. “If they don’t try as hard, they don’t have to worry about possibly falling short. But what swimmers really need is to push themselves out of their comfort zone, to have confidence in themselves and their decisions, and to learn from both success and failure. We can learn as much or more from loss as we can from success,” Coach Hill says.
“I like to see the kids challenge themselves and race each other in practice. They should be challenging each other. By doing this, you will succeed. It takes a whole team to raise an athlete.”
Are you ready to rise to the challenge of stepping up daily at practice and each competition? Sign up for Coach Hill’s next clinic today!