You may remember Terry Stoddard from a blog a year or so ago about the difference between being disappointed and being discouraged. Terry coaches the Pasadena Swim Association US Swimming club team. We are in Long Beach this weekend so we had a chance to chat with him while competing at the Speedo Sectional Championships.
We were comparing notes about how we began our training block back in late August which is culminating for many swimmers right now. We found his comments and approach refreshingly straightforward, simple and - if done correctly - very effective.
He said he began the season with a 5 week block that focused for one week on each of the following 5 topics. His contention is that if his swimmers could master these 5 things they would improve dramatically.
They are as follows:
1 - head position
2 - body position
3 - kicking
4 - pull pattern
5 - breathing pattern
You may not agree with his 5 or the order of importance but we think if you will pick a manageable number of focal points and drill those until they are second nature you will be well served. We see far too many swimmers striving valiantly with easily correctable bio-mechanical flaws. None of us are "perfect" in the sense that our way is "best". The object is not to be "right". The task as coaches is to impart what we know to our swimmers so they can use it to be more effective and faster. Our goal is to make certain that what we are imparting to them is correct...and then to do it in such a way as to make a difference in their performance.
Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. Keep coming to the pool and keep smiling...and keep your head down!