Swimming World Presents – Q&A with SwimMAC Coach Megan Oesting

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By Michael J. Stott

 

This past fall, Megan Oesting—business owner, team founder, USA Swimming select camp coach, empowerment speaker and national age group coach of the year—moved from Eastern Iowa Swimming Federation to SwimMAC, where she looks to continue the program’s Olympic tradition.

Before becoming head coach at SwimMAC Carolina, Nov. 1, 2020, Oesting was the founder/head coach of the Eastern Iowa Swimming Federation from 2016-20. There she coached her swimmers to more than 25 Top 100 USA Swimming All-Time Age Group swims.


CREDENTIALS
• UCLA, B.S., mathematics, ’96; University of Iowa, M.S., educational measurement and statistics, 2014
• Four-year NCAA All-America swimmer, NCAA national champion water polo player, senior academic excellence and hardest worker honoree at UCLA
• National junior team member, 8x Washington state high school champion, gold (400 free relay) and silver (100 free) medalist at 1991 Pan Am Games
• Nationally top-ranked 10-year-old age grouper in three events; later won three national junior titles
• No. 1 world-ranked Masters swimmer, 35- 39 age group, 50 and 100 meter freestyle, 2009-10
• Owner, Megan Oesting Swim Technique (MOST); developer, MySwimEars (wireless waterproof headsets for swim training)
• Head Swim Coach, Iowa Flyers, 2010-12
• ASCA Age Group Coach of the Year, 2019
• Head coach, USA Swimming Southern Zone Select Camp, 2019; assistant coach, National Girls Select Camp, 2018

Q. SWIMMING WORLD: How did you get started in swimming?
A. COACH MEGAN OESTING: My parents joined a summer club in Seattle when I was 5. I was an asthmatic preschooler with frequent ER visits, so this was a great opportunity to be active and outdoors. In my early elementary years, I was frustrated in other sports because my body would just shut down. Swimming felt good to my skin, lungs and whole body. I could be as physical as I wanted in the water. With my driven nature, I could be myself while swimming.

SW: Any seminal influences regarding swimming and your decision to coach?
MO: My age group coach, Craig Weishaar, gave us an ideal swimming experience. He was invested, had fun with us, and we enjoyed his humor and discipline. We knew he cared, and we had fun working hard and pushing ourselves. There really was no separation between the hard work and the fun. Being raised that way allowed me to flourish as a young person.

I started coaching at 14. I had been coming to practice an hour early to do push-ups and sit-ups on my own. A teammate was coaching the 5-6-year-olds, and I asked if I could help. I’ve been on the pool deck ever since.

Like swimming, it’s the most natural thing in the world for me. Many times I’ve tried to make the decision NOT to coach. I thought I had to get a real job, work in a high rise or do something academic. I come from an intelligent family with an academic and musical culture, so sport was way out of the box and not really respected. But for me, swimming is exactly like musical expression—the water was my instrument.

SW: How do you have a “conversation with the water?”
MO: I ask swimmers to listen to the body sensations that the water is giving them. If you listen to the water, it’s very active, and you can hear it as if it were a piece of music. Only you can hear the music you are playing. The fundamental focus point, before the biomechanics, is the ability to listen with your body. We all come to that skill or “talent” differently. In music, some people have perfect pitch, others are tone deaf. No matter what your starting point, everyone can learn to enjoy musical expression. Likewise, everyone can learn to enjoy physical expression. Swimming is “playing the water.”

 

To read more about SwimMAC coach Megan Oesting,
Check out the full issue of Swimming World’s April 2021 issue, click here to download now!

[PHOTO CREDIT: MINE KASAPOGLU/ISL]

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FEATURES

012 A PANDEMIC PERSPECTIVE FROM MASTERS SWIMMING
by Dan D’Addona
Masters swimmers maintain a connection to the sport they love as well as to their team and community. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that connection has been missing the past year, but they are ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.

017 DEATH, TAXES…AND INDIAN RIVER!
by Andy Ross
Indian River State College will be shooting for its 47th straight men’s and 39th consecutive women’s NJCAA team titles.

018 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: SPRINT TSAR
by John Lohn
As Swimming World continues its “Takeoff to Tokyo” series, the opportunity to examine the career of Russia’s Alexander Popov—accomplishments and approach—is the chance to pay tribute to a man who might be the greatest sprinter the sport has ever seen.

021 COUNT ON CHINA
by Dan D’Addona
Based on the results of the last eight Olympics—and the most recent World Championships held two years ago—China would be a good bet to once again dominate the diving competition, July 23-Aug. 8, at the 2021 Games in Tokyo.

022 EVER THE COMPETITOR
by David Rieder
Five years after her public introduction to the world at the Rio Olympics, little has changed about Lilly King. She will still speak her mind, tell you how she really feels, and she’s still a winner, a dominant force in sprint breaststroke.

025 THE GREATEST OF THEIR GENERATION
by Bruce Wigo
The General Slocum steamship disaster  in 1904, the tragedy that changed swimming history, had an impact on two of the greatest swimming heroes of all time, Johnny Weissmuller and Charles Robert Drew.

028 NUTRITION: FUELING FOR COMPETITION—THE “CHERRY ON TOP!”
by Dawn Weatherwax
Athletes spend hours upon hours training. It is now time to put the sports nutrition piece all together when it matters most. A big part of the plan is to know what, when and how much to eat and drink before, during and after the event.

COACHING

014 FAST AND FURIOUS
by Michael J. Stott
College coaches Braden Holloway (NC State), Todd DeSorbo (Virginia), Matt Kredich (Tennessee) and Jessen Book (Kenyon) share their ideas on how they help their swimmers maximize turn speed.

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: APPLYING MECHANICAL PRINCIPLES TO IMPROVE SWIMMING TECHNIQUE
by Rod Havriluk
Many swimmers attempt to swim faster by modeling the technique of the fastest swimmers. Using champions as models is an archaic approach of painstakingly slow, trial-and-error that risks adopting technique limitations. A far superior approach is to apply mechanical principles that eliminate uncertainty and accelerate the skill-learning process.

043 Q&A WITH COACH MEGAN OESTING
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN DIGGORY DILLINGHAM
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037 DRYSIDE TRAINING: PUSHING POWER
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

040 GOLDMINDS:  LEARN HOW TO BE A RACER
by Wayne Goldsmith
It’s important to learn how to swim your event in such a way that you can perform to your potential in every possible racing situation, including different strategies for heats, semifinals and finals.

047 UP & COMERS: DANIEL DIEHL
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT THE STORY OF THE AUMAKUA?

030 2021 SWIM CAMP DIRECTORY

046 DADS ON DECK: BRENT BILQUIST

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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