Working within a network of clubs whilst being daddy day care

James Freezer, Head Coach at City of Cambridge Swimming Club, explains how he juggles staying connected with his swimmers, other clubs and family life in these challenging times.

It’s important in these challenging times that the coaches of the bigger clubs are reaching out and supporting other coaches in their network.

It has been, and always will be, a two-way relationship with other clubs, supporting both athlete and coach development.

I had a really positive and productive Zoom meeting with the Head Coaches of Royston SC and Bottisham SC. These are both network clubs with the Cambridge programme and have a good line of communication and team work between the clubs.

We discussed the ongoing situation and plan, specifically the plan and schedule that we had in place for both the strength and conditioning as well as maintaining the aerobic fitness of the swimmers.

We talked about how to keep our members engaged through social media and TeamUnify and the schedule we had in place for the virtual training/resources page – and how we would gradually drip feed information and resources to our members to ensure that we are maintaining engagement and keeping things fresh and interesting.

In my situation, I am trying to stay in contact with my swimmers through WhatsApp, different social media platforms, the club website and our YouTube channel.

All of these are in line with the guidance produced by Swim England.

Swimming world will return stronger

A huge thank-you to the team around me, especially coaches Tom, Sarah and Chris Greenhalgh. They have done an amazing job working on the various areas of delivery and I cannot thank them enough.

Alongside my responsibilities as a club coach, I am also being kept very busy at home looking after my three-and-a-half-year-old son and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, especially as my wife is a frontline member of NHS staff.

I am having meetings with my coaching team two to three times per week and staying in contact through phone most days.

I then work on the days my wife is at home and any evenings if required just to make sure everything is covered and organised.

I am then actively trying to talk and keep in touch with friends/coaches and colleagues through the week to engage and get ideas from them and just have a general catch up and talk.

It is a very challenging time right now, but it is important we keep perspective as to the bigger picture here.

The swimming world will return stronger from this and we need to make sure in the near future we stay engaged with our athletes, parents, club staff as well as our families and friends.