PLUMB
PLUMB
Coach's Corner is a weekly 'Q' and 'A' featuring the coaches of Hamilton County high schools. This week's volunteer is Carmel’s boys and girls swim coach Chris Plumb.

Q: You just celebrated a girls state championship — how does this one compare to previous championships? How is each title unique in its own way?

A: I have won 12 girls state championships and six boys state championships. They are all different and my philosophy is this; have strong principles but flexible in methods. This team was tight and created as strong of a bond than I have seen before. They swam for each other, and they rose up to for those around them. We did everything they could so they became this unit, and when it clicked, it was something special.

Q: How do you handle the pressure of year-in and year-out being basically expected to win a state title? How do you embrace those championship or bust expectations? Do you feel like those expectations ever affect your swimmers?

A: We talk about the process and controlling the things we can control. We recognize the standards that are at Carmel are good things, and we embrace the expectation. We are standing on the shoulders of giants, and we recognize that and at the same time, we know we have to control what we have power over. We keep it small and simple — Yin and yang if you will.

Q: What do you believe the keys to success are? What are some critical aspects of your daily life that you’ve incorporated over the years that have proven to be important?

A: The four principles are: hard work, change, support and belief. Hard work is an admission ticket to get in the door. Hard work does not guarantee success, only allows to participate. Many people think hard work is the end, and it is only the beginning. Everyone works hard. The second is a tough one - change. If you want to get better, you must change for the better. You have to be continually evolving to improve, and the least safe thing you can do is play it safe. Third, is be a great teammate. No one gets anywhere alone, and your job is support your teammates and give more than you take. Lastly, believe in what you do. Without belief and confidence, you are nowhere.

Q: This is a question I always wonder in sports where the coach doesn’t have access to the athlete during competition. When you’re watching your swimmers in an event, what do you look for?

A: I am evaluating the race in two ways - one for the individual athlete in what they can do better, and then are there larger areas than can be fixed on a group level?

Q: If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be?

A: I would need music, books and Twizzlers.

Q: If you could master one skill that you don’t have or aren’t very good at, what would it be?

A: I would love learn to play the guitar and sing, because I love music so much — I wish I could do it.