Which begs the question… if Swimming Natation Canada could have 70,000+ more members, if 70,000+ more Canadians could be involved in the sport then why aren’t they? What has happened that causes Canadians to be excluded from the sport of swimming? What has happened to reduce or eliminate accessibility? What has happened to deter the formation of new clubs?
What has happened is that SNC and its Provincial counterparts such as Swim Ontario have turned the sport of swimming in Canada into a closed franchise system of clubs by implementing policies and procedures that make new club formation either next to impossible or entirely impossible.
In sport, athletes want to compete against the best of the best. Why? Because they know that to improve, to see their own true potential they need to be challenged, they must compete against the best, they need to lose, they need to be pushed, they know that to be sharpened they need to meet the steel of other athletes. Athletes love to compete…
Canadian athletes are not lazy, they are not afraid to compete.
Canadian coaches are lazy, and they are terrified of competition.
If Canadian coaches weren’t lazy, weren’t afraid of having to compete with new and upcoming coaches, with new clubs… then the state of swimming in Canada would not be as it is. We would have 100,000+ members in the sport of swimming across our country; the fact that we don’t shines a spotlight on the truth.
Instead of applying the exact same principles to coaching – as in promoting and encouraging new coaches to start up new clubs – Canadian swim coaches have taken the exact opposite approach. Taking advantage of their power positions as Board members of PSOs, coaches have implemented policies and procedures to ensure that it is as difficult as possible – both financially as well as operationally – to start a new club. Start up processes are made as onerous as possible in order to discourage parents & coaches from starting up clubs.
To protect the geographic regions of existing clubs, to prevent any new club from starting up in their region, to prevent the loss of even one swimmer, to prevent any new coach with new ideas new concepts new training philosophies from gaining a foothold in their franchise region, to prevent any level of competition with their own club! To prevent swim coaches – especially head coaches – from continuing to train, to develop, to become better and smarter coaches; protecting themselves from having to do what they expect their athletes to do: improve.
If Canadian coaches are this afraid of competition, if Canadian coaches are this afraid of being challenged head on by a new aspiring, motivated, eager coach who wants to challenge the status quo… then you can see why Canadian Olympic Trials are uncompetitive for Canadian National Team spots. Perhaps you can start to see why Canadian athletes leave Canada to be coached elsewhere. Perhaps you can see why the state of swimming in Canada is as it is… Canadian coaches are lazy and what athlete wants a lazy coach, especially when they know that their own goals will require nothing short of a full out commitment, complete dedication, unwavering determination. Lazy coaches cannot develop athletes into Olympians, only hungry coaches can lead an hungry athlete to their potential.
I believe in the potential of Canadian children, of Canadian athletes. Unfortunately Canadian swim coaches through their actions demonstrate that they are not interested in helping Canadian athletes achieve their goals, they are simply interested in maintaining their jobs, holding onto their clubs, protecting their personal interests, and are willing to compromise athletic excellence in order to do so, they are willing to compromise Canada’s and Canadian’s athletic potential, athletic excellence.
This is the state of swimming in Canada.
The hope is that athletes, parents, coaches, former athletes, even former Olympians will wake up and realize that the the current state of swimming in Canada is the byproduct of how SNC and its PSOs have managed the sport. The call for their roles to be cut back and cut back severely in the sport of swimming – especially at the grassroot/club level – should no longer be debatable, only the extent to how severe the cutbacks need to be in order to restore true growth.
If the state of swimming in Canada to change, then the state of swimming must be caused to change.