Coaching Association of Canada

Randy Bennett, ChPC - Swimming

This week’s tip pays tribute to the legacy of a coach that the Canadian sport community lost recently.

Randy Bennett, the 2012 Olympic head coach, was responsible for swimming success stories like Ryan Cochrane and also had an impact on countless coaches as a mentor and guest speaker at the Canadian Sport Institute in Victoria. His words have marked the swimming and coaching communities and it is with pleasure that we are able to share some of Randy’s words of wisdom in remembrance of his contributions and in celebration of his passion and dedication to coaching.

This excerpt from a pre-Olympic interview with the CAC highlights the importance of program evaluation.

“The biggest thing you learn is when you look back at the end of a cycle. That’s the beauty of coaching – you get a chance to do things over and fix your mistakes. We critically evaluate the program with our IST (Integrated Support Teams) and that’s a huge learning curve. The times when you submit to an evaluation are when you learn the most. The hard part is to know what you have to evaluate. Some people think it’s a magic formula, but if you’re doing it constantly, you start to know. It’s not just about competition – there are so many other variables. You need clear parameters that you evaluate all the time.

I’ve coached Ryan (Cochrane) since he was 13, and we can show eight years of data on him. I had a meeting yesterday with our service providers. We can look at it and make programming decisions. Any athlete that comes in has to be prepared to submit to data collection, and the coach has to get comfortable with collecting that.”

For the full interview and more coaching insight, click here.