coaching summits


Whether you're an assistant looking to learn & grow or a head coach hoping to expand & evolve...the summit will allow you the time and space you need to reflect, connect, and get clear.

Create a plan for the next steps in your career.

2018 Women's Coaching Summit Dates:

  1. April 18 - 20, 2018: Bellingham, WA
  2. June 6 - 8, 2018: Bellingham, WA

** OFFICIAL SUMMIT SIGNUPS for 2018 will open September 1st 2017 **

Here's what you get:

1. Three large group sessions where we'll take a 360° look at your season - look back and celebrate your success, look at where you are right now and identify current challenges, look ahead to determine your priorities for the next 90 days. We'll break leadership down so its easier to see where you can expand and specific ways to teach your athletes to become better leaders. We'll also do some fun activities that you can take back and adapt for your team.

2. Small group check-in where you'll get to share in more detail what really went on for you last year - the highs, the lows, the good and the bad. Coaches need places and spaces to share these stories with people who really get it - other coaches. 

3. A coaches mastermind session where you'll be able to get laser focused on a current issue you're dealing with and brainstorm, problem-solve, and get clear on your next steps.

4. 2018 Summit Planner because your habits drive your behavior, behaviors influence your actions, and your actions determine your results all season long. This planner will help you incorporate a series of healthy habits into your routine on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis. 

5. 2018-19 Summit Season Planning Guide which will help you take a time-out from working with your team to work on your team (and yourself) for next year.

6. 2018 Summit Onramp (for new summit coaches only) which will help you connect with the amazing coaches within this community at a much deeper level from Day 1. We'll connect before the summit through a series of group calls.

7. PRIVATE Summit Facebook page where you can begin to connect with one another throughout the year. This is a place where you can ask questions, share inspiration, get support, suggest topics, and coordinate logistics from one central location.

8. Summit Celebration Hour on Wednesday night where we'll officially toast to all of your accomplishments, victories, and things you're proud of from the season. Hang out, relax, and get to know your coaching colleagues over some tasty local Pacific Northwest microbrews, ciders, and sparkling sodas.

9. Summit Dinner on Thursday night where we'll gather for a special meal together in a more private, intimate setting. We'll have an 'ask anything' coaches panel and end the evening setting a powerful intention together for the season ahead. Let's tap into the group vortex: a powerful energy that this group will create when we come together!

Want to save your spot?

2017 Women Coaching Summit participants

2018 Coaching Summits

Itinerary: Check back soon for tentative schedule for 2018 as well as lodging recommendations and transportation options in and out of Bellingham.

A flyer (to share with your friends): Coming soon 

Lodging & transportation not included: Recommended lodging includes: Four Points by Sheraton, The Fairhaven Village Inn or The Chrysalis Hotel and Spa. There are also plenty of beautiful (and affordable) VRBO or AirBNB locations within walking distance of our meeting space at The Chrysalis Hotel & Spa.

Fly into Bellingham, SeaTac or Vancouver airports.

We'll have room-sharing and ride-sharing options with other coaches once you pay for your deposit on our private summit Facebook group.

What's a coaching summit?

Coaching summits are three-day retreats that allow you to take a step away to work ON your team instead of IN your team. The main focus is you the coach. 

The summit will allow you the space to reflect on what's going well and what you can do differently - for yourself and for your team. The content we cover will be a blend of personal & professional development with an emphasis on leadership training for you and your team.

This experience is intentionally designed to help you reset, refocus, and recommit to this profession and leave you energized and inspired with fresh new ideas for the season ahead. Sound too good to be true? Hear directly from past summit participants - below.


Why are summits important?

You can't always share the real challenges you are facing when you see your peers or colleagues during the season. You have a job to do: you have athletes to coach and a team to run. 

Summits help you get to know other coaches and establish an environment of confidentiality and trust where you can share your story. This can be so integral to the longevity of your career as a coach and help you realize how much support is out there for you

My personal summit experience

I went to my first women's coaching summit in 1999...and our group still meets each year. Being a part of a women's coaching summit helped give me the confidence to take the leap - from an assistant coach to a head coach. I felt like during our conversations at my summit, I was able to contribute a different perspective and my unique ideas. I realized I DID know what I was doing! The summit gave me the outlet to form a more clear idea of what I would do as a head coach. 

I believe in the value of these summits! I've been planning and facilitating them for the last six years. I'm passionate about bringing you things that are applicable and can be immediately applied to your work as well as finding ways to support you through the ups and downs of your career. 

How are summits different from coaching conferences?

Coaching summits are purposely held in a more intimate setting than a typical conference center used for coaching conventions. This allows each coach the time and space to connect and share what's going on - at whatever level they feel comfortable.

The number of participants is limited so that each person gets more out of it. Count on an environment where you can be who you are and show up exactly where you are - in the moment...and be totally supported.

Most coaching conferences give you the opportunity to listen, learn, and take in a whole lot of information - which is great. This firehose approach can sometimes leave you overwhelmed! Sure, you get lots of great information, but you leave without a clear action plan, or the accountability and support to put things in motion. 

Coaching summits help you validate your strengths and the things that you are great at. Process your season through writing, sharing with a partner, or simple conversations with other coaches. What went well, what didn't go well, and what you want to do differently next year? You will establish closer relationships with other coaches that you can connect with throughout the season.

What do we do at a summit?

While there will be some talk of the x's and o's of the sport (coaches always LOVE to talk shop...), the emphasis will be to take a deeper dive into you - the person and the coach - to help you both personally and professionally.

The schedule for each summit is more flexible than a typical convention - allowing you time to play, reflect, and connect. 

You are encouraged to come early or stay late and take full advantage of your time in the Pacific Northwest. You can choose to get massage, go do a float session, take a yoga class, go for a run or hike, or whatever else you like to do to take care of yourself. 

For ideas to cover the cost of a coaching summit: click here.


"Coming into the summit I knew I was run down after a long and busy season. I had been struggling to find a place where I felt I could share emotionally charged professional issues I had been struggling with. I was feeling a bit anxious, as I wasn't sure what to expect from the summit experience. I had heard great things from others who had been to summits in the past, so I was hopeful that the experience would be positive.

I left the summit with a new perspective, as well as feeling mentally, emotionally and physically recovered. I also left full of admiration for my fellow summit members. After meeting so many strong female coaches, I was inspired to continue to learn and grow.

I experienced an immense amount of trust and support at the summit, and was able to find the words I needed to voice and work through some of the issues I had been struggling with over the past year. I didn't realize just how much I could benefit from the supportive and encouraging atmosphere that our summit group created over just a few days. I look forward to staying in contact throughout this year, and many more, to forage deeper relationships and continue to support these fellow coaches in their professional and personal lives. Much is made about the lack of female collegiate coaches, but I know that with opportunities like the summit, the future of female coaching is bright!"

- 2015 Women's Coaching Participant

"Attending the summit for the first time allowed me to realize how fortunate I am.  I am surrounded by great people who care about others & their success.  I recognize not every place is like where I’ve been.  All the women I met were all fantastic! 

- Naya Higashijima, Assistant Swim Coach, UCLA

"I could not wait to get to the summit. Having had such a great experience last year it was something I had been looking forward to for months. I knew I was going to be around great people I could trust and in a beautiful environment. I felt it was going to be a breath of fresh air that I was in great need of. As I left, I felt refreshed and relaxed with some of my questions and feelings validated and supported. I also gained a new perspectives on things. Gained valuable insight into some of the issues I struggled with this year and also was able to celebrate with other coaches aspects of our seasons that went well. I can tend to look at ways that we can improve for the next season without taking a minute to look at what went well and appreciate that. It was a great reminder to enjoy even the small victories."

- Stacy Busack, Assistant Men's & Women's Swim Coach, University of Pittsburgh

"Coming into the summit, I felt really scattered and pulled in a lot of different directions. At the summit, I was able to get centered and re-focus my priorities. I also felt so much more connected to my coaching colleagues and friends around the country.  

It is easy at times to feel isolated in the challenges of our work or trying to achieve work work-life balance. But this summit reminded me that I am part of a community beyond my team and my institution and that there is great support and opportunity for learning in that community. I also learned new ideas about leadership and team dynamics that I'd never encountered elsewhere.  I gained a great deal of perspective and left feeling stronger as a coach and refreshed overall.

Please know you are making a difference in the lives of so many women, and this is trickling down so many teams, so many families, so many little girls who are going to watch women in coaching and see something awesome."

- Jennifer Blomme, Head Men's and Women's Swimming Coach, Whitman College

After Katie's First Summit:

"I had heard great things about the summit from others that had attended before, and yet it exceeded everything I thought it would beThe discussions went deep into real issues and concerns and the support to be our own authentic self during the summit allowed me to grow and learn without the pressure to appear like I've got it all in control.

The camaraderie we built as a group of powerful women in coaching was worth more than I can express. I was able to recognize my strengths and weaknesses through our discussions and was given a large amount of support and encouragement from the group. I went into this summit with a feeling of being overwhelmed with all that it takes to be a coach, and left with a sense of newly energized competence and the tools and determination to be a better coach than I had been."

After Katie's Third Summit:

It was a tough year for me emotionally and I was drained in feeling like there was no break long enough for me to be excited to go back to work. I had given myself so fully during the season and hadn't taken the time fill myself up. I was in such a peaceful place by the end of the summit. I saw the growth I experienced in just the short couple days and it is incredible. The power and strength of our group was immediately felt upon arrival. I've never been surrounded by such an authentically accepting group. It brought about a deep healing that I look to carry with me throughout the year.

The last day as we were leaving I couldn't wait to get back to my team at home and implement some of the ideas. I hadn't been that optimistic and excited about coaching in a long time. Being a female in a male dominated profession many times has lead me to act strong and confident in all ways regardless of how I truly feel. The summit provided a healthy break from the facade and it got me back in touch with who I am at my core. The summit truly is a healthy and safe place to voice frustrations, fears, shortcoming, failures, etc and have their support and guidance without judgement. I had some real 'ah-hah' moments at the summit that will allow me to coach with my best self moving forward.

- Katie Robinson, Head Swim Coach, Tulane University

"Coming into the summit, I had a lot on my mind. I had not been able to really talk through a lot of personal feelings with anyone while in season.  When I left, I felt totally relieved - like the weight was off my shoulders. I slept so soundly! I got encouragement and a new found desire to develop myself as a person. I am very excited to try a lot of the things we talked about with my team. I feel I have more confidence in my abilities and that we are continually growing closer as a group."

- Sarah Woodbury, Assistant Women's Swimming Coach, Tulane Swimming & Diving

"Coming into the summit I felt excited to share how my year went and excited to see the coaches in my group. As I left, I felt heard and enlightened. I feel as though, in the smaller group, I received alot of help and new ideas as well as had many chances to share my experiences. I learned some things about the X's and O's more than ever before. I gained more insight into my leadership style and the style's of others. I experience inclusion and laughter."

- Leslie Shevlin, Head Men's & Women's Swim Coach, Willamette University

"Before the summit I felt overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated and a little bitter.  I left feeling inspired, appreciated and I had a renewed excitement for new things! I learned a lot from hearing others' experiences and helped take my frustration down a notch. It was nice to hear so many different techniques and training ideas. Having so many unique personalities within one group allows me to really appreciate our differences and how we sharpen one another!"

- Danielle Tansel, Assistant Men's & Women's Swimming Coach, University of Michigan

"For me the Summit has been a time of renewal, relaxation and reflection.  I enjoy the time with the other women, getting to know each other, making new friends, strengthening our relationships, working through issues, laughing about silly things, and eating delicious food.  I also enjoy the time away from the everyday work at the office. For the past two years I have used it as a time to look back and reflect on the school year/season while learning about new ideas to improve next season."

- Brooke Larson Plotz, Associate Head Swim Coach, Carleton College

"Before attending my first Summit this spring, I had no idea what to expect. I was still tired from a long season and school year and was really just looking forward to a rest.  Coaches that I know who had attended Summits said that they were great and that I would really enjoy it and to go with an open mind.  I am so glad that I did as any and all expectations were met.  It was an terrific experience to share ideas and personal trials with those who can help and support and give valuable advice.  The whole environment is one of care and concern and most non-threatening.  I have attended hundreds of clinics & workshops during my career.  This was by far, the most helpful experience that I have had to make me a better coach and person. I recommend it all!"

Nancy Bigelow, Head Swimming Coach, Tufts University

I was stoked to learn that a small group of women college coaches were getting together to talk about coaching.  I think it is invaluable for women to get together and actually get to talk and share about our experiences as coaches.  For those of us who work with all male staffs, we probably are not having as many “conversations” and “verbal processing” sessions as we would like/need with people who really understand our sport, and what life is like for a college swim coach. At the Summit I attended, it was great to be welcomed into a group of my peers with open arms and to be able to “get real” and share in an environment that was created as a “safe” place to share from the very beginning. The attention to detail in setting up an environment that was authentic and real was awesome.  Erica Quam’s leadership, vision, and genuine care for the personal and professional development of all of us, is the reason why the summit was so beneficial to us. Where there is solid leadership, there are usually good things happening!  This coaching summit is a good thing!  I left with 12 new friends, coaching questions answered, new perspectives, and learned a lot about myself.  I am really glad I attended this Summit, and I can’t wait for next year!!

- Jamie Jackson, Assistant Swim Coach, Oregon State University