Masters Swimming Canada is pleased to recognize Danielle Brault, Head Coach of the Victoria Masters Swim Club, with an Excellence in Coaching Award
Danielle Brault received her Excellence in Coaching Award from Nigel Kemp, MSC President.
The Victoria Masters Swim Club (VMSC) is incredibly fortunate to have the expertise of a wonderfully talented coach and we were pleased to have the opportunity to nominate Danielle Brault for the MSC "Excellence in Coaching Award".
Danielle first started coaching in 1973 with a youth club and added masters coaching to her repertoire in 1979. Danielle has been with VMSC as head coach since 1994 making this her 15th year. VMSC has 130 members, with a wait list of about 25, and ranging in ability from beginners to world record holders. There may be several reasons for the popularity of our club but one of the main reasons is the constant encouragement, effort, and organizational skills of our head coach.
Our club has a number of individual swimmers who have held or hold Provincial, National and World records due in no small part to Danielle who thoroughly plans out each season for her swimmers. Under Danielle's expert coaching, five VMSC swimmers were listed in the most recent FINA world top ten rankings in 15 SCM and 8 LCM individual events and nine VMSC swimmers hold world top ten rankings in relays. VMSC swimmers also hold 17 SCM and 19 LCM Canadian records, and 45 SCM and 50 LCM individual and 21 relay BC records.
However, Danielle's true talent lies in her ability to get the best effort out of all swimmers whether they are pursuing fitness goals, personal best times or records. Danielle asks each swimmer to set personal goals at the beginning of each season so that she has a much better idea of what the swimmers want from the program, and then works to support and encourage each swimmer to achieve their goals. Danielle has an amazing ability to know when it is the right time to push a swimmer to a new level, and when a swimmer needs a bit of space. She creates workouts (sometimes with "surprises") that cater to all levels and remembers that even "big kids" still like treats, fun relays and being recognized for their accomplishments.
At our VMSC meets, Danielle spends an enormous amount of time putting everyone who is competing into a "club" relay, balancing each team so that everyone has an equal chance of winning. This year there will be 50 of us and we love it! And with Danielle's enthusiasm and support for participation (and travel) to local, Provincial, National and International meets, swimmers that have never been to a competition in their lives take part regularly in meets as well. Danielle has a knack for creating many fast and record breaking relays, but always makes sure that as many swimmers as possible participate. In addition, Danielle also puts together relay teams from across BC for National and International meets, and takes the time to coach everyone who wants some advice and guidance, regardless whether they are from VMSC or not.
As a swimmer herself, Danielle knows what it takes to get to the next level or to reach one's goals. She also knows that there are hurdles and challenges, or just everyday life, which can sometimes get in the way. Throughout all of this, Danielle maintains a positive approach to coaching and always reminds us that the most important part is to have fun and enjoy the moment!