BCSSA Volunteer Coaches (VC) Program

The BCSSA Volunteer Coaches' Program was first developed in 1998 when BCSSA wanted to work with clubs to promote, encourage and assist senior swimmers in making the transition from "swimmer" to "coach", by giving them the basic information to start on their coaching career.

When developing this program it was noted that several coaches already ran volunteer coach programs within their own clubs. It was decided to join forces and resources and create this program to standardize information across the entire Province. The course and materials were developed by TJ Cunningham, Karlene Epp, Carrie Matheson and Rosemary Smith, who volunteered to take on the project in late 1997. Most recently, it was updated by Stephanie and Elizabeth Pharo in the spring of 2011.

Why implement the VC Program?

1. Recruit future club coaches

2. Now is the prime time to catch young adults before they commit t0 other activities. Volunteering promotes commitment to swimming and retains swimmers in higher divisions that equates to higher senior registration.

3. Teach senior athletes valuable leadership and communication skills.

4. Promote education and consistency for apprentice coaches.

5. Upgrade support of the coaching staff with an organized group of volunteers.

6. Contribute to the positive experience of senior swimmers.

7. Decrease the swimmer/coach ratio, allowing for increased one-on-one and focus group coaching.

8. Provide junior swimmers with knowledgeable role models, which contributes to club unity.

9. No major financial investment!

What is involved?

The VC clinics are held at the beginning of the season. The clinic consists of approximately 8 hours of instruction by a designated course conductor.

The clinic follows a similar format to Red Cross Instructor courses. This includes approximately six classroom hours on topics such as:

1. Leadership Development (communication, feedback, discipline and teaching techniques)
2. Coaching Conduct (professionalism, role modeling and coaching ethics)
3. Stroke Progressions (all four strokes, starts and turns)

The classroom session is followed by a  two hour in-water session.

Guidelines for Running a VC Clinic

1. Contact the BCSSA office about available dates, costs and clinic requirements.

2. Set the clinic date and schedule.

3. The host club or region shall book the appropriate pool and classroom time.

4. There must be a minimum of 10 coaches, maximum 30 coaches, attending the clinic.

5. Set cost of clinic based on pool, classroom, BCSSA fee and manual for each registrant.
    (BCSSA Instructor Fee: $200.00 / Manual: $18.00 ea.)

6. Set an appropriate registration cut-off date. Advertise to club members or other clubs. What, when, where and how much.

7. Host club is responsible for collecting money from attendees if club is charging a nominal fee to them.

8. Contact the BCSSA office with the number of manuals required.

9. BCSSA will invoice the host club at the conclusion of the clinic.