Kathleen Dingman was among the first group of students to enroll in 2010 in Southern Arkansas University’s online Master of Science in Kinesiology-Coaching program, and she has since seen one coaching success after another.
Her most recent coaching accomplishment was leading the Magnolia High School swim team to capture the first Arkansas State Championship in the history of the school. The MHS boys earned the 1A-5A title while competing at the state meet this spring in Little Rock.
Even more impressive, the team was swimming all season without their senior leader who was injured in a car accident prior to the start of the season. He was able to take a day off from his physical therapy to cheer on the team in person at the championship, according to Dingman, but the team showed a lot of resilience to outswim the rest of the state while overcoming him not being a part of the team in competing that day.
Dingman was a newcomer to coaching when she began SAU’s online M.S. in kinesiology-coaching program, so she credits this education with helping her become an effective coach. More specifically, she cites several important elements in SAU’s program as leading to her coaching effectiveness:
- it develops and implement an athlete-centered coaching philosophy;
- it facilitates the social and emotional growth of athletes by supporting a positive sport experience and lifelong participation in physical activity;
- it provides athletes with responsibility and leadership opportunities as they mature;
- it identifies, models, and teaches positive values learned through sport participation;
- it plans and implements daily practice activities that maximize time on task and available resources;
- and it demonstrates and utilizes appropriate and effective motivational techniques to enhance athlete performance and satisfaction.
Dingman’s coaching career began in 2004 as an assistant coach for the Magnolia Dolphin Swim Team, which is a summer-only team that competes in the South Arkansas Swimming Association. She became the head coach two years later. Also in 2006, she was selected by Magnolia Public Schools to take over the MHS Swim team and has held both positions for ten years.
Dingman and 17 other students joined to become the first cohort group to enter the online M.S. in Kinesiology-Coaching degree program at SAU after it was approved by the state in 2010. She completed the program and graduated in August 2011. Dingman also earned her undergraduate degree from SAU. She graduated in 1988 with a B.S.E in K-6 Elementary Education and a minor in K-12 Special Education.
In 2012, she was selected to serve as an assistant coach for Team Arkansas in the AAU Junior Olympics. Team Arkansas won the title that year. She also led the Magnolia Dolphin Swim Team to the South Arkansas Swimming Association title in July 2013.