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Finding Balance For Female Coaches

Written By: Jamie Bloom

So often we hear about the concept of work-life balance. While I’m not sure that’s an actual thing I do think we can create and have the lives we want outside of the pool, while being successful on the deck.

Legendary Coach John Wooden stressed the importance of having a personal creed to help establish priorities and find balance in your life. He noted “a personal creed is more an ideal we can strive for than something we can expect to accomplish every single day.” Additionally, research suggests female coaches, especially those who are moms seem to be, by nature, “fiercely competitive and this lends itself to tremendously high levels of guilt.”

With this in mind here are some ideas to help with creating the personal life and coaching success we all are striving to achieve:

  • Take care of yourself first. The importance of self-care cannot be overstated

  • If you supervise other coaches, practice what you preach to your staff

  • Set your priorities in writing. Be creative!

  • Delegate “less urgent” responsibilities to your coaching staff

  • Take time away! Consider doing this regularly (weekly, monthly)

  • If you have a family (partner, spouse, kids) INCLUDE them in your team activities. Try to do this regularly

  • Develop your personal creed

  • LEAN on your network (remember the importance of your squad!)

By the nature of what we do, we keep long and late hours. Finding creative ways to take care of yourself, include your family and, lean on your squad will help you with balance and a positive quality of life as you find success with your coaching.

Women's Leadership Director at

Streamline Teams

Head Senior/National Team Coach YOTA Swim Team, Raleigh NC

Associate Head Coach, Director of Operations William Peace University,

Raleigh NC

2005-2015 Head Coach/Director of Aquatics, Westfield YMCA, Westfield MA

2000-2005 Assistant Women’s Swim Coach, University of Tennessee

1982-2000 Head Coach James Buchanan HS/Mercersburg Area Swim Club,

Mercersburg PA.

1980-1982 Head Coach Slippery Rock Eels Swim Team, Slippery Rock PA


Slippery Rock State College 1982, BS-HPERD, Specialty in Aquatics

Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) 1986 MS Athletic


Committees, Team, Camps:

Secretary-North Carolina Swimming Board of Directors

Member- YMCA Swimming Operations Council

USA Swimming Chair- Convention Education Committee

Head Coach- National Diversity Select Camp, rescheduled for May 2021

Head Manager- National Diversity Select Camp, May 2019

Head Manager- FINA World Jr. Championships, Indianapolis August 2017

Assistant Manager- FINA World Jr Championships, Singapore August 2015

Assistant Manager- Duel in the Pool, Scotland, December 2103

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