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Faison takes helm for West Fargo Flyers

In November, the West Fargo Flyers Swim Club hired long-time swimmer and coach Badger Faison to take the reins as head coach.

Faison has been involved in competitive swimming since he was 5 years old. Before coming to West Fargo, he coached teams – at the high school and club level – in Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina and Washington. He has coached 24 swimmers who have earned college scholarships, 18 All-Americans, two World-ranked swimmers, two state champions and three high school state championship teams.

He also won high school “Coach of the Year” awards in Kentucky three years in a row, from 2007 to 2009.

He considers team rebuilding his specialty, and recent teams that he has coached have seen an average participation increase of roughly 500 percent.

“I typically come in and work with a team that has some sort of challenge – either poor numbers or not performing well,” Faison said. “This team already has a great base of swimmers and a good parent group, so I am starting with a leg up here.”

Having been actively involved in swimming for decades, Faison understands that every swimmer is unique, and should be utilized based on his/her own style.

“My coaching style begins and ends with a focus on all the members of the team,” Faison said. “They are measured against their yardstick, not someone else’s.”

While he considers himself a “success before fun” style of coach, he admits it is part of the equation.

“I try to remember what I liked – what was fun about being a swimmer,” Faison said. “I liked being ‘good,’ the thrill of competition and all that went with it, but you have to have a sense of humor. You have to be able to smile and have fun with these kids – and sometimes be a kid.”

Faison admits joining a club with a strong base was appealing, but claims that his reason for coming to West Fargo was much more simple.

“I really don’t like hot weather,” Faison said jokingly.

The West Fargo Flyers are the local USA Swimming program. They work on developing, nurturing, and focusing on athlete self-awareness; building and reinforcing a positive self esteem and a strong work ethic; and the mastery of fundamentals while developing a well conditioned athlete who takes responsibility, is accountable, and is willing to build lifetime successful habits.