Swim Bits – January 2021 1


Dick Hannula

Dick Hannula

Dick Hannula is the most successful high school swimming coach in Washington State ever.  His teams at Wilson High School in Tacoma won 24 straight State Championships.  Hannula coached at the Olympics and several times at the Pan-American games.  He also sold swim suits which I used at Marshfield High School.

I was going through some old swim files, and I came across a mimeograph sheet of “Hannula’s Hints.”  Here are some of them as food for thought and application to your own swimmng.

  • “You cannot waste your God-given talent.”
  • “What really matters is that you become as good as you possibly can.”
  • “Never compare yourself to another swimmer.”
  • “To improve is to succeed.”
  • “To fail is to say in your own mind you failed.”
  • “You learn by your non-successes. You learn by your losses, but you do not fail unless you say you failed.”
  • “Training is directed exercise. When you are really fit, there are some great feelings in workouts.  Training has to be hard some place if you want results.”
  • “The objective is to swim fast in races. Training should relate to racing, training into the body what competition takes out.”
  • “If we don’t have a purpose, swimming is the most stupid, ridiculous waste of time ever imagined.”

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One thought on “Swim Bits – January 2021

  • Dick Slawson

    I attended a coaches’ workshop by Dick Hannula in about 1968. He provided a number of useful tips regarding stroke-development and perfection and some excellent drills. But what I remember most and still quote to this day, is his definition for motivation, as it is often practiced:

    Lies Threats Bribes Profanity