Every day, athletes train hard to earn their medals and awards, the marks of their accomplishments. No matter what sport you play, there is no doubt that there is no room for those who rest on their laurels when it comes to being an athlete. Becoming the best requires hard work and determination. However, these champions didn’t achieve all this alone. After all, where would the best athletes be without their coaches?
A good coach can help an athlete improve, but a great coach can make an athlete the best. Coach Archimedes Lim, program head of the Ateneo varsity swimming teams for elementary, high school, and college, is part of the latter. Under the direction of Lim and his coaching team, the FAST Ateneo Swimming Team bagged the 75th UAAP championship for the first time in UAAP history, not to mention the eight straight championships that the high school team has won as of the most recent UAAP season.
Today, he is also the program head of QCSC Buccaneers and the Celebrity Rapids Swim Clubs, head coach of the Ayala Harpoons Swim Club, program director of Coach A. Lim Swimming Co. and coaches the country’s national swim team as well.
Lim, who has also competed internationally representing the Philippines with several medals to his name, says that he is proud of his career as a swimmer, having given his all and done his best every single time. One of his most memorable achievements was during the 1995 Pan Pacific Games in Atlanta, Georgia, a pre-Olympic meet.
“The event was the 200 individual medley and I was seeded last in my heat… I swam my heart out, and to my surprise won my heat and actually did my best time as well,” Lim shares.
However, coaching styles from before and now have been revolutionized, according to Lim, who received his accreditation after taking the IOC International Coaching Course IOC International Coaching Course at Semmeweis University, Hungary – and graduated with a GPA of 4.95 out of 5 to boot.
For Lim, it was the experience of a lifetime. “There, I saw how scientific and serious they are with the sport. Coaches and teachers have Ph.D.’s and [some] are actual medical doctors. It made me realize that improvement to my craft is boundless and I am only limited by my own goals.” At the same time, though coaching and swimming techniques may change, some things do not. “Setting goals, hard work and training smart is still an imperative,” says Lim.
Having been both a swimmer and a coach, Lim has been exposed to many different coaching styles. “I guess I have taken what I deemed was the best in each one, [to] try to come up with my own individual style,” Lim says. “Having a goal, [along with] continuous improvement to attain this goal is the most important thing,” he says, something which goes not only for swimmers but also for coaches.
With so many achievements under his belt, what’s in store for this coach and his swimmers this year? “With several national and international competitions lined up, we constantly do our best to reach and remain at the top,” Lim says. “Being focused and knowing what we want to achieve primes us as we train every day. There will be several international competitions this year including the World Championship in Barcelona and the SEA Games in Myanmar for our senior swimmers, there will be the SEA Age Group Swimming Champs and the Asian Youth Games for our age groupers, and of course there will be the UAAP for our college and HS students.”