Thursday, May 7, 2015

Shoulberg at 76: Going Just Swimmingly

Dick Shoulberg, master coach -- Phila. Inquirer, Clem Murray

Dick Shoulberg, the renowned Germantown Academy swim coach who hurtfully lost his job in 2013 to a huge national outcry, is doing just fine, thank you.  Hazing had been hinted at, an allegation that many of the youths he had coached even to the Olympics  could not believe, nor did their parents. His age at the time, 74, was another theory. The school backtracked months later and called him back as "coach emeritus," with reduced responsibilities.
Shoulberg, 76,  who finally 'was retired'  from the school earlier this year, has clearly not retired.
As this swim coach extraordinaire says:
"As long as there is water and kids, I'm going to do it as long as the guy upstairs says I can."
He recently traveled to Mumbai to teach young swimmers in India. He's been out to Colorado to help coach the US swim team in advance of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. He's setting up a local swim camp. He has kids from around the world coming to train with him.
A fine interview by Jessica Parks in the Philadelphia Inquirer catches us up with Shoulberg.   With age has come wisdom and he has plenty of Shoulberg-isms to share, mostly on what young people need. Parents should take heed.
On why to push kids hard:
 "What I've found is, the higher you raise the bar, the higher the kids will reach."
On their need for structure:
"Kids wanted structure in 1958, and they want structure in 2015. They want to know where they stand with you. They want consistency."

To read my previous blogs on Dick Shoulberg:
About his ouster.
Then the outcry that followed.
And his reinstatement.

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