Inside with Brett Hawke: Mark Bernardino

By Fitter and Faster Staff

Coach Mark Bernardino’s teams at UVA captured 27 ACC titles. At South Carolina, six of his swimmers won individual events at SEC’s. Now at NC State, the women are sweeping the podium in the 400 IM at ACC’s.

No matter where he goes, swimming fast is sure to follow. But it’s not just about physical toughness.

Brett and Coach Bernardino’s main discussion revolves around this:
“What’s it take to find that next gear in our sport? And I think that next gear comes from the mental perspective.” – Mark Bernardino

What kind of mental training did you learn?
Dr. Bob Rotella, Sports Psychology became the golf guru and worked with Ed Moses and Mark at UVA.
“A relaxed athlete will be a better athlete.”
Physical and Mental Relaxation.
Performing in a relaxed state. A positive mental state. Without stress. Without anxiety.
What do you believe in? What do you want to stand for as a coach?
Early in the season I explain to my team about failure but there will be a break through moment.
I like to do sets that build upon themselves.
How do you get the most out of your team? We test them.
If you’re an A Finalist at SEC’s, you’re knocking on the door to scoring at NCAA Championships.
“Every dual meet is like taking a quiz. It’s a test.” – Mark Bernardino
Matt Targett. He went to swim for Dino at UVA and transferred to swim for Auburn.
Absolute belief from both swimmer and coach is a key ingredient in success. The coach-athlete chemistry is critical to success.
Why do athletes believe a certain athlete is unbelievable? Are you afraid of Caeleb Dressel? Changing in the locker room with Mark Spitz at NCAA’s.
Helping kids to think positively. Your non-verbal communication skills are important. You need to be cognizant of how you communicate non-verbally when speaking to your swimmers.
Letting your swimmers write a workout.
What are ya’ll doing unique at NC State? 36 hour recovery period in the middle of the week.