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Monday, December 30, 2013
Ahmed Zaher, Staci Brode: Working Out Working Together
Together with her husband Ahmed Zaher, they own the Playtri Club and organize over 25 events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area together with 20 coaches while managing 4 triathlon retail stores, triathlon camps, a club with open water swim clinics and a USA Triathlon-certified Performance Center.
Zaher founded Playtri over 10 years ago and has continuously expanded so it now offers programs for beginner and advanced triathletes as well as a Playtri Club, Nutrition Coaching, Bike Fits and a new Corporate Training Program.
The pair is relentlessly active and are highly successful coaches and athlete. Zaher has coached countless athletes domestically and internationally as a full-time triathlon coach, a swim coach and personal trainer. He has helped over 20 triathletes achieve their dreams of qualifying for the Ironman and has helped over 50 athletes qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. He is also the technical advisor for the Egyptian Triathlon Federation.
They shared a bit on how they share the workload and success:
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How many hours per day are you together?
Staci Brode: We are probably at the stores together 2-3 hours a day, but usually going in different directions and then at home about 2 hours.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you train together?
Staci Brode: Very rarely. Ahmed is very fast and I am not. We try to do weights together every once in a while, but our schedules almost never coincide. We used to a lot more together before the kids and our two retail stores. But it was more he riding with me on a cool-down or me riding a mountain bike while he runs just due to our differences in speed.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you compete against one another...even secretly in training or competition?
Staci Brode: When I used to be more competitive before my 6- and 2-year-old, I would always try to beat him in transition, but never did. He is an 8-time Hawaii Ironman qualifier/finisher. I have only come close to qualifying, so there really is no competition in any of the 3 disciplines.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you push - or console - each other while training or competing?
Staci Brode: Yes definitely. I always try to help keep him updated on his competition at big events and motivated when he is racing. I don't get to race as much and am more of a participant than a competitor so he is usually with the kids cheering me. We try to not let each other make excuses and make sure working out and staying healthy is a family priority. Sometimes skipping family time to workout is more important and we both realize that. We feel it is imperative to set an example for our kids that working out and staying healthy is a lifelong requirement - you brush your teeth, you go to the bathroom, you eat, you sleep and you workout. If you have your health, you can do anything.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you both recover when you do a race together?
Staci Brode: We don't race together anymore. Hopefully this year we will now that my youngest is 2. He is a firm believer in the cryosauna we have at the stores. I just like my compression.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When you need some "space", what do you do?
Staci Brode: Me, I work late at night when the house is quiet. Ahmed, he works out.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: You are not only two athletes, but you also come from two different cultures. How do you make marital bliss out of that combination?
Staci Brode: Haha. We are a great team who really compliment each other. I think that we both respect the others strengths and opinions. I know when I need to let him make the final decision and he knows when I should take the lead. We are both hard workers who hate to lose and strive to the best at whatever we do, but we have different ways to get there which makes us have different strengths and weaknesses, but always a common goal which makes it much easier.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you have any advice for couples who work together and plan to get married?
Staci Brode: Wow - know your roles in the marriage and the company. Make sure you agree on who is stronger at what. When you have two competitive people, they want to be right, but when there are two people, one will always be stronger than the other, it just depends on what the subject/topic is who is the strongest. It will just depend on whether you recognize that how successful and happy you will be. One of the hardest things for men and women is we think and feel differently. Now I am generalizing, but I have spoken to many women who work with their husbands and there is always a common thread. Men treat everyone at work the same: no special treatment or feelings spared, but when they come home, that is home and they are the husband. A women looks at her husband as a husband first and a co-worker second no matter where they are interacting so things at work can be taken personally and carry over to home. I haven't figured out the fix on that one, but knowing the problem is half the battle, right?
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you focus on one thing in the business and he focuses on another?
Staci Brode: Yes. We both used to coach and race direct and found our constant interaction and need to be in charge was not good for us as a couple or a business. I focus on the race directing, marketing and general administration. He has responsibility for the coaching and the retail stores.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Are your coaching philosophies the same or different? How so?
Staci Brode: Exactly the same. He was my coach and then I started to coach with him. I learned everything from him and continue to learn every day because I watch and listen to him interact with people whenever I can so I can learn. Because I know his philosophy so well, we are able to discuss his clients and bounce ideas of each other for him and for his clients. I no longer coach due to the demands of the business and family.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.