GAINcast Episode 52: Winning Culture (with the Carmel Swim Club)

Suburban Carmel, Indiana might seem like an unlikely spot to find one of the nation’s top swimming clubs, but year in and year out it continues to produce champions. The Carmel Swim Club and Carmel High School have put together a winning culture that has produced a national record 31 straight high school state championships. On a recent visit to the club, Vern sat down with Carmel coaches Chris Plumb and Ian Murray to discuss how they helped grow the culture and what role athletic development plays in their team’s success.

This Episode’s Question: What has led to a culture of sustained excellence at the Carmel Swim Club?

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In addition to their national record of continuous high school championships, Carmel Swim Club has won the national junior championships and is one of just twenty US Swimming gold medal clubs. Vern has been consulting with the Carmel swim club for years and visited the club in January to check in on where they were as the new year started. Head coach/CEO Chris Plumb and assistant head coach Ian Murray started off the conversation by focusing on the culture they have put in place and how they continue to try and improve it:

Before we could be good we had to give ourselves permission for excellence to occur. @CSCSwimcoach Click To Tweet Squeeze the good stuff up & bad stuff out. Enhance what you do well, eliminate rest. @CSCCoachMurray Click To Tweet Culture starts a small: what do you want your team to do better this year? @CSCCoachMurray Click To Tweet

Words mean nothing unless you establish them as true core values on a consistent basis. @CSCSwimcoach Click To Tweet Training requires daily attention & so does team culture. Culture is the daily behavior of your team. Click To Tweet

The conversation also went in depth on the role of athletic development in being a swimmer. For more about from coaches Plumb and Murray you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further Reading

  • Applications for GAIN are still being accepted, but space is filling up fast. It will take place from June 13 to 17, 2017 in Houston. Listen to GAINcast 41 for more details about GAIN or register here.
  • You can learn more about the club on their website or on Twitter (@CarmelSwimming). The Indianapolis Star also wrote a great profile of the team two years ago which helps put their success in perspective (their times would make the group of youth swimmers one of the top teams in the Big 10).
  • Swimming was also the focus of GAINcast 29 with University of Tennessee coach Matt Kredich.
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