Building coaching expertise on South Pacific island of Samoa
A clinic for swimming coaches was organised at Apia's Faleata Swim Complex, Samoa from April 17-21, 2012. Hawaii-based Willem Sakovich - also known as "Uncle Bill" - instructed swimming coaches from intermediate to advanced level on various topics: how to teach skills of proficiency at all levels; identify stroke problems and correct them; participate in training drills and exercises for all strokes; give basic nutritional guidance and fitness training.
During the five-day course, Sakovich conducted training sessions for junior and senior squads with five coaches from two clubs as well as 47 swimmers, some of which were to participate in the Fiji Nationals two weeks later.
The clinic was seen by all who attended as highly successful. It was an opportunity to understand and swim at the level practiced overseas, so that the participants may realise the standard required to reach elite levels of swimming.
It also gave the beginner-level coaches an insight into what knowledge they have to achieve in order to get their swimmers at a higher level of competency so that Samoa can have a better chance of success within the swimming world.
The clinic also reinforced that Samoa and its small group of swimmers are on the right track and that with the help of a few more clinics over the coming years they can achieve better results.
(Based on report by Kerrie Punivalu, Samoa Swimming Federation)