Tina Hoeben is a better swim coach after spending a week in Derby, England.
Hoeben, coach of the KISU swim club,, was among eight coaches across Canada chosen by Swimming Canada for the Select Coaches Group. They were given a budget to visit a coach anywhere in the world to later share information during the World Short Course Championships in Windsor this month.
Hoeben used a $2,000 budget to meet Mel Marshall, who coaches the City of Derby Swim Club, which is similar in size to KISU, but in a larger population, and helped Adam Peaty to Olympic gold in Brazil last summer. Hoeben said it was very cool what she was able to do.
“Often they go to high performance centres or bigger places when they get to that high level,” she said.
Hoeben said going to England and meeting Marshall was a great learning experience. Hoeben said there are not many female coaches in swimming, particularly in Canada that get to that high level.
“I’ve done a couple of other mentorships and visits and they have always been with male coaches,” said Hoeben.
What stood out to Hoeben about Marshall is how much she cares about her swimmers and what she does to help them achieve success.
“She has really put herself out for that swimmer. The relationships that she establishes with her swimmers is really inspiring,” said Hoeben.
Hoeben also said they created a program and took measures to accommodate fast swimmers and learned about things can they do to support the top swimmers.
“That was really inspiring to see,” said Hoeben, who plans to apply some of the things she picked up with KISU.
Hoeben said some will be more long-term, while others involve subtle changes in doing things.
Hoeben looks forward to going to Windsor to meet with the other coaches and exchange the information.
“That’s a cool event in itself. A privilege to be able to go and see,” she said. “It will be the best swimmers in the world.”
One thing Hoeben realized while in Derby is how good the club has it in Penticton. While the English city has some good facilities and training, there are some facilities that are not great and not ideal training times.
“We have great support from the city,” she said.