Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's the Answer?

As swimming coaches we have been asked all week about our reaction to the Michael Phelps story and his subsequent disciplinary action handed down by USA Swimming.

We have been asked; "Do you think it is fair?" "Do you think he made a mistake?" "Do you think the discipline is just a slap on the wrist, or is it meaningful?" The list goes on but you get the drift.

While we have answers to those questions what we would really rather know is the answers to these questions?

Does the new suit technology really make swimmers that much faster?

If the answer is yes, so what? So did goggles; fancy lane lines; deeper pools. So long as everyone has access then what's the difference?

How does CoreControl really work?

If a swimmer's event takes 2 minutes why does that swimmer need to swim for 2 hours per day, let alone 3 or 4 hours per day?

Is it more important to have 12 and unders learning to swim their strokes correctly before they begin training?

If a swimmer simply does not connect during workouts is it better to have him/her leave or stay and do things improperly?

Is Matt Fitzgerald (Brain Training for Runners) right about his science? If so, how do we in swimming adapt the principles to our training?

As a coach, would you rather have a team of racehorses or sled dogs? Do you train your team accordingly?

Have you looked at training schedules for racehorses or sled dogs?

If you have starting blocks at your pool do you go off them every day? If not, why not since the fastest part of the swim is from the blocks or at least it ought to be - correct?

What is the most important part of a coaching clinic...the prepared speeches or the chatter at lunch?

And finally...if you have read this far, what question would you like to ask us? Let us know. We will answer all of them!

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