We all love our coaches, even though sometimes it may seem like they are trying to kill us. Here are four types of coaches that are likely to be found on the pool deck.

4The Dinosaur

They can always be heard saying things like, “Back in my day…” and “I’m ancient and I can swim better than you can!” The Old School Coach – aka, the Dino – is always telling stories about practice during the Cold War era. When swimmers complain about hearing thunder, Dinos dismiss it because back in their day, swimmers didn’t get out of practice for anything less than a nuclear bomb threat. Dinos will set forth swim sets with names from their very own swimming days.  Sets such as the “Viet Cong Cruncher” and “Mongol Madness” will leave swimmers gasping for air and begging for mercy. If someone loses their goggles during a race, they shouldn’t expect sympathy from the Dino, because when the Dino was young, goggles didn’t exist. The Dino will push their swimmers hard no matter what and the swimmers will complain no matter what.  But you know something?  In the end, the swimmers – while quite possibly traumatized – will swim best times at their meets.

3Tech on the Pool Deck

Are they a swim coach or secretly a cyborg? Another kind of coach is the Tech-Bot. It’s hard to know whether they have a heart or a computer processor in their chest, since they are constantly tweeting faster than a teenage girl about practice and best times. The Tech-Bot always has the latest and greatest underwater cameras to make sure everyone’s stroke is perfect. Their stopwatches are more powerful than any smart phone and they won’t explode, even if the battery gets hot. The Tech-Bot scoffs at the “new” scoreboard at every pool because “it’s probably from 2016.” The latest tech always keeps this coach’s swimmers coming in first.

2Supersonic Boomer

Reaching over 9000 decibels, with the ability to shatter glass and produce seismic waves… This is the effect of supersonic coach’s whistle. At meets, swimmers drop to their knees and cover their ears as the SB unleashes an acoustic blizzard of loud whistles and “GOOOOOO!” If the buzzer is not working at a meet, the SB is a great replacement. The excuse, “I didn’t hear the set” never works with this coach, even though like members of an 80’s rock band, some swimmers actually need hearing aids after a few years with this coach.

1The Nice One

As this coach steps on the deck, sighs of relief can be heard from every swimmer. Sharks and minnows, relays, and water polo – the Nice Coach is always up for something fun, and thus earns a special place in the hearts of all swimmers. While many swim coaches govern by threatening hard sets or no breathers, this coach is just too nice to punish anyone. The Nice Coach typically coaches the younger groups, but every now and then fills in when one of the other coaches is away. Swimmers look forward to having this coach as the practice takes the swimmers back to carefree practices when they received a piece of candy if they made the set.

Written by Jesse Hagy