ROBERT H. SAHMS
2012 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Robert’s career coaching in R.I. began in 1980 while teaching at Portsmouth Abbey and he has been doing both ever since. One of the amazing things about Robert’s career is that he is a swim coach without a pool. This shows his persistence and dedication to the sport of swimming. Over the past thirty-two years Robert and his team have traveled to many pools in South East New England to continue the program he started at the Abbey. The team has been fortunate to use Roger Williams University Pool for the past six years.
In 1995 the Abbey team practiced and competed with the Newport County YMCA where Robert became the assistant coach. In September he accepted the Head Coach position for the YMCA as well as the Varsity Coach at the Abbey. During those five years of coaching at the YMCA, the team won in 1996, 1997 and 1999 the SENECY League Championships. As for the Abbey men’s team, they won the Eastern League Championship in 2011 and the Providence Cup six years and three years for women.
As a coach, one of the life lessons Robert instills in his swimmers before each meet is that you can’t do anything about what the other swimmers are doing. You can only do something about yourself. Another life lesson he shares is that you can’t do better that your best. The final lesson emphasizes goal setting. He has his swimmers write goals for the times they hope to achieve by the end of the season. His swimmers learned to realize that these lessons transcend one’ s swimming career and help one live life to the fullest. Robert is an encourager. Although swimming appears to be an individual sport, he emphasizes the ‘team aspect” of swimming. He lets every swimmer know that his or her contribution to the team is important.
In 2005, Robert was presented the NISCA Twenty-Five Years of Service Award.