Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Mixed Bag of Tricks

This week's offering is a compilation from three different sources, each with their own piece of wisdom to share. We think one of the most enduring characteristics of coaching is the willingness on the part of most coaches and programs to share their ideas. Some do not take part in this but by and large the coaching family is one of openness. This is a very positive attribute since the thread of improvement gets stronger with each "generation" of an idea. If you have an idea we encourage you to share it with a colleague or with us and we will toss it out there (with your permission of course) for all to see, riff off of and benefit from.

Ken DeMont of North Bay Aquatics delivered a great workout on Saturday.

Warm-up was about 30 minutes of swimming and drills.

6x150 kick spiking the last 50. The interval was 2:45 (I forget, it may have been 2:30 - no matter, it was somewhat challenging but not crippling)

6x100/1:40 progressive (descending) 1-6
5x100/1:30 pro 1-5
4x100/1:20 pro 1-4
On the 6 and the 5 we had stroke specialists mixing in non-free. On the 4 everyone swam free.

A 10 minute sculling set followed, going 25's working on perfect body position. We use snorkels on nearly all sculling sets.

5x100/1:40 pro as above - mix in strokes
4x100/1:30 pro as above - mix in strokes
3x100/1:20 pro - free

10 more minutes of sculling

4x100/1:40 pro as above
3x100/1:30 pro as above
2x100/1:20 pro as above

Cool down with 25's on 5 seconds rest swimming as well as possible working on a few simple drills...

This set was excellent for several reasons. What I liked particularly was how it pushed them stroke wise and then finished up all freestyle on a shorter interval. You can use the template and adjust your intervals accordingly. At the end of each set on the 1:20 you could see who was fully engaged by the immediate exhaustion. We had several breakthrough swimmers. This will make for excellent "coaching ammo" at our Monday team meeting.

I had a nice visit with my 87 year old Mom, Helen Swartz last week. She is absolutely dying from kidney failure. These are her words towards the end of lunch.

"I believe each person should do their best all the way to the end. So that is what I am doing - my best to the end. And only that person really knows if they are doing the best they can."

We will share her wisdom with our team this week, making certain they understand the credibility of the last sentence above.

Coach Mark Stanley at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, CA asked us to check out and search for "Messner". We did and were blown away by the free video. Messner is considered by those in the know to be the most prominent mountain climber of the modern era - perhaps any era. His insights into his abilities are fabulous. He really understands and gives huge credit to his mental toughness. We are figuring out a way to show this film to our team. It will make a big impact on more than one of our swimmers.

So, thanks Ken, Helen and Mark for sharing. Let us know how it goes for you and if you can spare an idea or two please feel free to do so. We are, after all, in this game together!

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