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article imageCoach David Marsh talks about Stand By Me Foundation, technology Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 28, 2018 in Sports
Swimming coach David Marsh is the head coach of Team Elite Aquatics. He chatted with Digital Journal about the Stand By Me Foundation and the impact of technology on the sport.
Aside from Marsh, the Stand By Me Foundation was founded by Marc Huberty and Ambroise "Rowdy" Gaines. "All of us decided that it was something that needed to happen, so we designed the infrastructure support for professional swimmers," he said.
He noted that the Stand by Me Foundation supports American world-class swimmers by providing financial assistance. Team Elite Aquatics is the first swim squad to see fiscal backing, in an effort to pay for swimming pool access, coaching fees, housing, and medical care. He shared that Team Elite is very selective and he keeps it "relatively small," since he wants to offer "quality over quantity."
"The foundation is something that I needed to do the last 12 years," he said. "We wanted the professional swimmers to give back to the sport, in order to create a successful cycle. It's about having the best of the best impact all aspects of swimming."
Marsh continued, "Our sport is changing and it doesn't need to be the brutal sport it was for many years, where he who does the most laps is the toughest, and wins. Now we know that proper technique and programming can come together in a very interesting and progressive method of developing higher level athletes. Everybody deserves the right to swim, so we are putting some effort, time and resources in that."
He went on to describe the Stand By Me Foundation as a supplement to the USA Swimming Foundation, as opposed to a competitor of it. "For us, it is directed to a particular group of athletes that are aspiring to be professionals," he said. "Given my track record of the last two Olympic Games (2012 and 2016), we were able to put more athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team than any other club in America. We have a good history of being able to produce performances at the right time in a world course pool, and that's what it's really all about."
Marsh added, "At the end of the day, every kid in the world deserves to learn how to swim. Let's start with America."
This year, Marsh scored a Golden Goggle nomination for "Coach of the Year." "The Golden Goggles is a very unique event," he admitted. "All of the coaching awards are based on how the athletes perform in the biggest meets. I really have to express appreciation to Kathleen Baker and Katie Meili for performing and going above and beyond. Kathleen broke the world record at the nationals, and she did that in an outdoor pool."
In 2016, he was the Head Coach of the Women's U.S. Olympic Team (at the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro), where he guided them to secure 16 medals for Team USA. "Looking back now, it is a lot easier to answer that question. We came off the Olympic Trials with many records that were broken. The most satisfying thing was to see the ladies and the whole team come together. It really came down to the leadership," he said.
He added, "In the team meetings, one of the key things was that every woman on the team was grateful to be on that team. Their attitude was contagious, and that was very profound for me as a coach."
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology on aquatics, Marsh said, "Technology in swimming is advancing faster than we are able to use the technology at this point. We need to figure out as coaches which area of science, biomechanics and stroke technique, we can use video playback. The key is to figure out how much to do it since it can be overwhelming."
He shared that the great thing about technology is that swimmers can send him their videos in minutes after world class meets via their iPhones. "I tell a lot of young coaches that the most valuable thing to have is to use video on their iPhones," he said. "GoPros are also simple and very valuable when used underwater. Most of the swimming efficiency happens underwater and not above water. As coaches, we need to figure out better ways how to coach from under the water."
To learn more about the Stand By Me Foundation, check out its official website.
More about Coach, David Marsh, stand by me foundation, usa swimming, team elite
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