Coaches are there for support, growth, strength and inspiration. National Coaches Week shines a light on these heroes on the pool side.
We asked Swimmers from across the province to submit who they recognized as a great coach and what made that person so special. Every day from September 21 -29th we will be posting a new leader in their community who has sparked inspiration in those they’ve trained.
September 21 2019 – Melissa Krivoshein – Stony Plain Sharks
“My sons coach certainly deserves recognition, though she does not expect it. She works hard to see her swimmers be better…even does research to help them. It just blows my mind how dedicated she is to helping our kids. She is such a sweetheart, yet she’s not afraid to be firm. She is both supportive and inspirational. Not only does she coach our summer swim team, in a VOLUNTEER role, she has a demanding career and two children of her own who are both involved in other sports. Both her and her husband are very involved in everything their children do. She’s just amazing.
She is Melissa Krivoshein from the Stony Plain Sharks.”
Submitted by Ryder Chambers
September 22 2019 – Alex Wallingford – Edmonton Keyano Swim Club
“Alex has taught me to always be punctual, to show up and give the utmost effort I can. He’s taught me to love every part of swimming – to love practice and the feeling of pushing myself. It’s not always easy with Alex, and because of him, I am so much more mentally tough. Swimming is a hard sport but I can handle the disappointments now. Being a successful coach isn’t always about being understanding and gentle, but about pushing their swimmers beyond what they think they are capable of. Alex has done this time and again for me.
So, I would like to thank Alex for being such a phenomenal coach and for all the lessons he has taught me.”
Submitted by Mattea Lastovka
September 23 2019 – Sharon Barr – Okotoks Stingrays
“Sharon Barr was my coach this summer, with the Okotoks Stingrays. Over the summer, she helped me reach my goal of making it to provincials for the first time. But I didn’t really think of that, what I did think of was how much I’ve improved and why… because of her.
Sharon would always believe I could do better even after I beat my time she would tell me, that was good but next time it will be faster. She pushed me past my limits each and every practice and if I gave her all of my effort and time I would get her time and attention back.
This summer I improved the most I’ve ever improved before, speed wise and technically. She was also amazing out of the pool, she was always there to talk to, anytime about anything. Sharon was by far my favorite coach ever, and hope this wasn’t the last time I will be coached by her.”
Submitted by Haley Puhalski.
September 24 2019 – Alexx Diep – Nose Creek Swim Association
“Alexx is the most dedicated and detailed coach I’ve ever had across 20 years in various and multiple competitive sports. He approaches our training in a highly customized way, which led me to take 25 seconds off my PB 200m freestyle race time in just six months. At 25 years old, I had just began to lane swim and race the 200m free. Alexx used video underwater and poolside analysis, among other modern, well-informed coaching plans and techniques. He customizes successful training plans for dozens of athletes all at the same time, while providing abundant love for his wife and children.
Alexx helped me drastically through the selection and preparation phases of my recent Pan Am Games participation. I attended the Lima 2019 PAG as a modern pentathlete for Team Canada. I set a personal best overall score at my first major games experience. Big thanks to Alexx, I honestly couldn’t have done it without him. Our training in swimming transcends my other sports and my life in so many ways. He is a great mentor and highly professional coach.
Alexx Diep (Cochrane AB) deserves national recognition for his incredible work.”
Submitted by Claire Samulak
September 25 2019 – Greg Kozell – Silvertide Swim Club
“We were lucky to be coached by Greg Kozell at Silvertide Swim Club. Coach Greg is very inspirational Coach, he taught us to Believe in ourselves, Learn, Dream Big, set Goals and put Action Plan to achieve those Goals.
Under his coaching we had an opportunity to compete at some of the swim meets we couldn’t even dream before and achieved unexpected competitive ambitions. He taught us to take responsibility for our own swimming, taught us to be tough and to understand consequences of our action (being late, missing training, lack of sleep etc.) He was always On time, always Enthusiastic, Prepared and fairly often did incorporate Humor and Motivation into practices (May the 4th), most importantly he was helping us to learn “Never say Never because limits, like fears, are often just illusions” .
Although Coach Greg moved to Ontario to pursue his Coaching career, we hope he can be recognized as he undoubtedly made a positive impact on a lot of swimmers in Alberta and their future!”
Huge Thank you Coach Greg!”
Submitted by Edita & Henry Mackay
September 26 2019 – Josh Gette – Innisfail Dolphins
“Josh Gette is the head coach of the Innisfail Dolphins swim club. Josh is a full time university student and during the summer swim season, he dedicates his time and energy to our local swim club.
Josh is amazing when dealing with youth during practices, swim meets and if he sees them in town. He is approachable, always greets youth by name and asks them how their day is going.
Josh treats all levels, abilities and ages of swimmers equal. He is extremely patient and encouraging. He is willing to adapt his coaching style to meet the individual needs of the swimmers and he genuinely wants to see the swimmers have fun and do well. He has the unique ability to make hard practices fun and the swimmers are always laughing and so happy to be at practices and meets.
Josh inspires the young swimmers to become better athletes, community members and students. Our swimmers and parents look up to Josh for his positive influence, his willingness to improve as a coach, his strong work ethic and his dedication to youth in our club.”
Submitted by Kendra Haldorson
September 27 2019 – Mark Chantaj – Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club
“Coach Mark, no matter how long the day at the Pool is, can always put a smile on my face. Coach Mark has been my coach for many years and he can still motivate me, push me, etc. We are all human and our relationship pushes us all to still be able to rise above, be a great coach and get us kids performing in the water. “
Submitted by Alexandria Karamujic.
September 28 2019 – Lucien Zucchi – Red Deer Catalina Swim Club
“Coach Lucien is a fun but fair coach. He has high standards and won’t accept anything but your best effort. He has high expectations, but clearly defines those expectations and helps you to achieve both those expectations and goals. He pushes you outside of your comfort zone, making you push beyond where you even thought you could go.
He is extremely dedicated to the club, and us as swimmers and I appreciate all he has done for both. He goes above and beyond what is expected as a coach encompassing the whole being and not just the swimming aspect of coaching. He organized a multidisciplinary team to benefit us as swimmers. He inspired a group of smaller clubs to organize and create a group of swim meets geared to younger swimmers to instill a love of swimming.
While swimming is an individual sport and he is technically sound coaching high level athletes TEAM is a definite focus for Coach Lucien. He looks at what is beneficial to the TEAM before self. He is on deck and ALL levels of the club know who he is. Thank Coach for all your work!”
Submitted by Isaac, Abbi and Ben
September 29 2019 – Lesley Serediak – Olympian Swim Club
I wanted to nominate my coach Lesley Serediak because she brings so much positive energy to the pool every day.
I asked some of my teammates too. They said:
“Lesley has a passion for the sport like no other. The pride she takes in her swimmers is uncanny and can be matched by no other.”
“She makes hard practices more fun and enjoyable! ”
“She makes hard #ss work fun”
“Lesley supports me both inside and outside of the pool”
“Lesley really knows how to push you and help you believe in your abilities while at the same time making it the time of your life.”
Submitted by Submitted Fyn Buhler