The 10 and under coaching staff at North Coast Aquatics are working everyday to develop student athletes with great character. One way we engage our swimmers are by using incentives and recognition of our student athletes that embody our NCA philosophy during practice and outside the pool. We have a hammer that can be earned by a swimmer who stands out to us by showing awesome teamwork, respect, accountability or great “AEFP” (attitude, effort, and focus equal performance). At the end of each practice, we come together for a debrief of the workout, lessons learned, and a team cheer, which we are sure you have heard before! A key part of this end of practice is to distribute our NCA Hammer. Coaches give the hammer to a swimmer who has exemplified one more more facets of the value wheel during a given workout. At the JCC you may hear, “what time is it”, the kids response “hammer time”, the coach continues; “you can take it home” and the swimmers respond “but you have to bring it back”. At Alga Norte you may hear coaches yell “hammer time, hammer time”, with a response of “what, what”.
Now the trick is the swimmer gets to take home the hammer, add their own unique piece to it and bring it back for a new swimmer to earn. These smaller and daily incentives is how we believe we can achieve long-term development of our swimmers. By earning the hammer, we hope that your swimmers return to practice with a renewed sense of pride and motivation, which is an infectious energy felt by their teammates. Pictured below is one of our 10 and under groups at the JCC taking a “before” picture with their hammer, being challenged by Coach Katie to see how decorated they can get the hammer by the spring. As a 10 and under coaching staff, we are excited to see how our groups can come together to embody the NCA value wheel every day, both in and out of the pool, and we hope small incentives, such as the coveted Hammer, help them along the way.