Making Waves: Pres Swim Coach Receives Award

Making Waves: Pres Swim Coach Receives Award

Bacosa Photography

Presentation and Swim South Bay coach Marisa Cozort has been selected to be one of four recipients of the Double Goal Coach award, presented by the Positive Coaching Alliance, out of 2,300 nominees.

Unbeknownst to Cozort, her school and club swimmers and parents filled out nomination forms for the award in December. Only when she received a phone call from the PCA, founded at Stanford University in 1998, congratulating her for being an award semi-finalist did she discover she was in the running. After phone interviews and further review, Cozort became the first swim coach to receive the honor, and the only woman to receive it this year.

The award is presented to coaches who not only focus on the goal of winning in the sport, but also focus on the goal of teaching life skills. Cozort has the opportunity to speak at the National Youth Sports Awards on April 16, which is honoring tennis legend Billie Jean King for her Lifetime Achievement.

Cozort herself is no novice when it comes to swimming. From personally winning four CCS titles in her career as a Pres swimmer to representing the United States at the World Cup for swimming in Rio de Janeiro to becoming an All-American Athlete during her time at Purdue University, Cozort has spent plenty of time in the water.

Needing to fulfill some final course credits at Purdue, Cozort completed a fifth year of college, in which she discovered her love for coaching kids through a work-study class. And when she graduated, Cozort was presented an opportunity to continue coaching in a familiar location.

“Mary Miller called me when I was graduating from college that year and said ‘Oh, are you coming back and working at Pres?’, and I said ‘Uh, yeah!’…Because if she tracked down my number, I better be here!” says Cozort.

Since then, she has been coaching at Presentation and for her club team Swim South Bay for a total of seventeen years. Cozort loves the creativity, spontaneity, and ability to meet amazing people associated with the job. After working at a desk job out of college, she was able to decide that coaching was what she really loved to do.

“I was working as a recruiter for a start-up company and working in a cubicle, and I couldn’t stand the cubicle. I couldn’t do it…I need to be doing something where I can see the difference that I am making,” says Cozort.  

As a coach, she hopes she can help her swimmers, whom she fondly refers to as “her girls,” not only to grow in athleticism, but also as people. Cozort places importance on not only the success one finds in swimming, but also the experience. She wants to test her swimmers in order to set them up for life. Cozort places importance on the goal of being the best athlete you can be. 

“Some days are better than others. Some days you can work really hard and have fun, and some days you can work really hard and it’s not fun. But that’s okay!…It’s okay to have days that are not the greatest…they [the swimmers] just have to do the best job that they can for any practice, and they can’t compare themselves to anybody else,” says Cozort.

Coaching while also trying to run a small business and be a mother of two sons often leaves Cozort without much free time. But, she is dedicated to the job she loves.

“I love coaching, I love doing what I do,” Cozort says.“If people want something badly enough, they’ll find a way to make it happen. And that’s something I learned when I was swimming.”