Ned Denison Explains About Marathon Swimming Mentors on WOWSA Live

Ned Denison Explains About Marathon Swimming Mentors on WOWSA Live

Ned Denison Explains About Marathon Swimming Mentors on WOWSA Live

Courtesy of KAATSU Global, Huntington Beach, California.

On today’s WOWSA Live, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame chairperson Ned Denison explained about Marathon Swimming Mentors, a new program managed and offered by volunteer experienced marathon swimmers and individuals around the world.

These volunteers teach, guide, inspire, coach, assist and mentor aspiring marathon swimmers, either those who challenge themselves to attempt an open water swim at least 10 km in distance for the first time, or currently successful marathon swimmers who wish to swim further or take on more difficult challenges.

Upon its launch, the Marathon Swimming Mentors include several dozens of experienced marathon swimmers or individuals with a wealth of experience in the sport from England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Bangladesh, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Netherlands, Egypt, USA (California, New York, Maryland, Maine, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, and Vermont), India, Spain, Japan, China, Canada (Ontario and Vancouver), Denmark, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Africa, France, Israel, and Australia (Tasmania, Queensland, and New South Wales). They all agree to not offer any paid services to be part of this program, although they may receive compensation for their travel expenses in order to support or serve as an escort crew member.

This new Marathon Swimming Mentor Program was suggested by Sue Guesdon and aimed at swimmers who do not currently have any help. A Marathon Swimming Mentor will be in communications – in person, virtually online or via telephone or written communications several times per year in order to offer one or more of the following:

* Review marathon swimming plans and preparations
* Help debrief after a marathon swim
* Answer questions and provide advice
* Identify an an additional mentor who may be local to the swimmer, closer to the swimmer’s age and swim speed, more in tune with the swimmer’s family situation, mental outlook, or progression in the sport
* Serve as a Big Brother or Big Sister to build a rapport with

Conversely, a Marathon Swimming Mentor is not generally going to offer the following:

* Provide stroke analysis
* Prepare workouts
* Provide nutritional analysis
* Offer virtual or in-person hypnotherapy

Denison explains what are some examples of their services:

* If a swimmer starts marathon swimming over the age of 50, they can relate best to a Marathon Swimming Mentor who also started later in life
* If a swimmer’s stroke technique is so bad that they need work performed by a physio after every workout, a Marathon Swimming Mentor may strongly suggest a one-year pause in the marathon plans while private stroke coaching begins (by a non-Marathon Swimming Mentor)
* If a swimmer is only training 2 km twice a week in the pool, a Marathon Swimming Mentor may strongly suggest that they postpone an English Channel solo swim set for next year and slowly build to at least 20 km per week
* If a swimmer only eats sliced peaches while swimming and run out of energy after 5 hours, a Marathon Swimming Mentor may strongly suggest a swimmer tries carb drinks
* If a swimmer is convinced that they will never complete the planned big swim, a Marathon Swimming Mentor may strongly suggest a swimmer try one half as long to achieve success and help your confidence
* A Marathon Swimming Mentor is the person to contact after a failure of an attempt at a 6-hour swim in order to discuss, debrief, learn, and then reset for the next swim
* If a swimmer already has a coach and local marathon mentors who are knowledgeable and they like/trust, repeatedly thank them and do not add any new voices
* If a swimmer wants advice on one aspect of a foreign swim, the current mentor can initiate a conversation
* If a swimmer aspires to be an elite professional marathon swimmer and compete in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, this is not an appropriate program. In this case, work with your local coach and National Team to access expertise in this aspect of the sport.

The following individuals have graciously and selflessly volunteered to act as mentors:

* Nick Adams (Eton, England):
* Gordon Adair (Cork, Ireland):
* Cameron Bellamy (California, USA):
* Jason Betley (Herts, England):
* Caroline Block (New York, USA):
* Colleen Blair (Scotland):
* Natalia Chuich (Russia):
* Jim Clifford (Maryland, USA):
* Ned Denison (Cork, Ireland):
* Emre Deliveli (Turkey):
* Nasser Elshazly (Egypt):
* Rosie Foley (Clare, Ireland):
* Pat Gallant-Charette (Maine, USA):
* Paul Georgescu (Romania):
* Milko van Gool (worked in Belgium, Pakistan and Malawi from The Netherlands):
* Christopher Guesdon (Tasmania, Australia):
* Sue Guesdon (Tasmania, Australia):
* Jessi Harewicz (Vancouver, Canada):
* Mariel Hawley (Mexico):
* Michael Helps (England):
* Hans Henrik Heming (Denmark)
* Simon Holliday (Hong Kong):
* Stephanie Hopson (Los Angeles, California, USA):
* Fazlul Kabir (Bangladesh):
* Matthias Kaßner (Berlin, Germany):
* Loren King (Ontario, Canada):
* Thomas W. Kofler (Italy):
* Marilyn Korzekwa (Ontario, Canada):
* Kathrin Lammers (Nanjing, China from Germany):
* Craig Lenning (Colorado, USA):
* Dani Lobo (London England – but from Spain):
* Tita Llorens (Spain):
* Jim Loreto (Maryland, USA):
* Yuko Matsuzaki (Florida, USA from Japan):
* Ellery McGowan (Surrey, England):
* Patrick McKnight (Virginia, USA):
* Courtney Moates Paulk (Virginia, USA):
* Rohan More (India):
* Jaimie Monahan (New York, USA):
* Lynton Mortensen (Queensland, Australia): * Nick Murch (England):
* Madhu Nagaraja (Canada):
* Julie Newton (Singapore):
* Kristian O’Donovan (Kerry, Ireland):
* Sofia Psilolignou (Greece):
* James Pittar (New South Wales, Australia):
* Stephen Redmond (Ireland):
* Carl Richards (England):
* Janine Serell (South Carolina, USA):
* Carol Sing (San Diego, California, USA):
* Ryan Stramrood (Cape Town, South Africa):
* Avishag Turek (Israel)
* Jacques Tuset (France):
* Michael Ventre (lives Cork, Ireland from Botswana):
* Marcus Wadsworth (Southampton, England):
* Paula Yankauskas (Vermont, USA):

Submit comments on the mentoring experience and to volunteer as a Marathon Swimming Mentor, contact Ned Denison at

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