Chris Harrison (everyone calls him "Coach") started his coaching career 50 years ago in Tucson at the Green Hills pool. Known as the "Moses" of swimming, at one time Coach had 96 swimmers that followed him as he coached at various pools in the Tucson area. To those swimmers, the facility wasn't as important as the great rapport, technique, and teaching mindset that Coach brought to the pool each and every session. Today, Coach Chris has been at Sabino Vista Hills for 19 years, and at every turn you'll see him meet young (and older!) adults whom he still knows by name and all of whom exude the life skills and benefits they received from swimming with him.
When asked what coaching techniques he brings to the pool, Coach Chris says,
"My coaching philosophy is as one might expect. I was coached by swim coaches who stressed and taught fundamentals, respect, dedication, discipline, team spirit and sportsmanship. Those men had a great impact on what would become my coaching philosophy. I like to think I stress discipline in every aspect of life...school, chores, work, play, whatever. If you are going to do something, do it right and be consistent. I know how to teach swimming correctly, and those fundamentals are taught every practice from Day 1. I am not bragging here, but I see everything that happens in the pool, and I want my assistants to do the same. I only hire former swimmers of mine to coach with me. They know what to do, how to do it, and what is expected."
"We coaches rarely sit, we are on the move, watching, instructing, praising, and sometimes correcting...whether it be a behavior OR a swimming issue. My end game is to have each swimmer step up on the blocks knowing EXACTLY what to do, and the fortitude and preparation to do it. After their swim, they will shake hands, climb out to their foot, thank the officials, and return to their teammates. Is this easy? No. We do things that are hard, and requires a paradigm shift in many cases."