YMCA of Central Ohio
Swim Team Guidelines

Coach Jenn

Mon, September 01, 2014

Welcome to the North YMCA Waves Swim Team! 

I began MY swimming career at age 4, joining the AAU (prior to USA swimming) at age 7,receiving All District, All Region, and All American awards in swimming and water polo.  I swam competitively until age 21 including competing for the US Swim team, University of North Texas club team and participated in tryouts for the Women's Olympic Water Polo teams twice, and then started my Masters Swimming career at age 25.

I have been coaching for over 15 years , including summer leagues in the Houston TX area, US Swimming teams, and Special Olympics programs.  I understand what it takes  to grow a team and I am committed to investing in the team for several years so that we can recruit, grow, lead, nurture, and mature the team we all love.

I love sharing my joy of swimming with kids. I enjoy the sense of community swimming invokes. Wherever you are when you meet another swimmer you have made a friend. And I love the cheers for winners and also for those accomplishing a first or personal best!

You will find technique is the foundation of my coaching. With proper technique we can avoid injuries and improving swimming times.

My favorite events are the Butterfly, the IM, and middle distance Freestyle.  

I look forward to seeing y'all in the pool!


I hope to be able to:

  • inspire a lifelong passion for the sport of swimming in my swimmers
  • engage my swimmers’ heart and mind in the sport
  • Will teach my swimmers the importance of swimming skills and technique
  • Will encourage my swimmers to learn, be patient with them when they fail and above all help them to develop a real sense of self confidence and self-belief

My basic philosophy for age group swimming has many components. I have been fortunate to work with so many great athletes and coaches over the years, and I have taken bits and pieces from all of them. I believe in "Excellence through Individuality." When a training group of swimmers is really going, it looks like a multi-ring circus. Every person is different and "one training set fits all" will leave all short of their full potential. I use my vast experience to tap into each athlete's imagination of where he can take his swimming. While there are common themes to any great program, there are no short cuts. Proper training takes planning, time and commitment!

I believe in teaching technique, technique, technique at the beginning stages and continually refining the stroke through the years of training. It is critical to make sure kids have the fundamentals of basic body position and core body movement in all four competitive strokes. With proper technique at a young age, the swimmers will maintain their stroke integrity through periods of rapid growth and interest in other activities. As the swimmer progresses through the program, more aerobic conditioning is introduced as well as an excitement for trying new, many times longer events. I feel it is the foundation of a well-rounded swimmer to train all four strokes and not specialize at a young age because all swimmers develop at different rates.


I want mentally and physically fresh swimmers, as opposed to kids who are fatigued and used to no-purpose yardage at a young age. By the early teen years, I begin to try to change the swimmers' perception of "fun" by getting them to see the work and commitment needed to excel as something to look forward to doing and doing well. Strong aerobic base and continued technique at a high level is stressed.

Mentally, my philosophy is based on the principles of self-image psychology. This discipline is concerned with guiding and directing individuals toward maximum development of their talents and abilities. I try to teach, train and motivate the kids to achieve their ultimate potential in swimming and to see that this experience will prove valuable to them as they grow. Developing an appreciation for such concepts as high self-esteem, personal accountability, self-discipline, goal setting and achievement is essential to success in training and competition. I want the kids to "dream the BIG dream," but I also want them to understand that the process and chase of the dream is as beneficial if not more than achieving the dream itself.

Just as important in this philosophy is the education of parents (i.e., letting them know what to expect on each step of the swimming ladder). After all, the parents are a major part of the ladder of success. Educating the parents on the philosophy of the program and then showing them how they can support their swimmer's progress makes all aspects of the club flow in a positive direction. I communicate with parents so they can be aware of their swimmer's progress and support him or her through successes as well as challenges.

Am I a sprint coach? Am I a distance coach? I think of my job as a developer of all talents. I have had success coaching all levels of swimmers at all distances and strokes. I want kids to think for themselves and to use the knowledge I have given them to maximize their potential.

I believe in using dry land training to compliment the movements that swimmers make in all the competitive strokes but not to tear them down to where they have difficulty maintaining proper technique. I love the MovNat and bodyweight exercises programs and philosophy.

Does my swimmer need to be doing strength training in the gym?

No. Not unless they have an injury or weakness or imbalance or other physical condition that has been identified by a professional sports physical therapist / medical practitioner.

The three key areas – what we call the “ABILITIES” of non-pool training to focus on are:

  • FLEX- ability: Improving their flexibility in important swimming muscles and muscle groups;
  • MOB – ability (mobility): Improving their mobility around joints;
  • STAR- ability (stability): Developing a strong stable “core” – abs, back muscles and important stabilizing muscles in their shoulders and hips.

Kids don’t need to lift heavy weights – work on the “abilities”, technique, skills, attitude and self


Jenn Fellrath

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