Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Real Impact of Fast Suits

We spent a very interesting weekend in Roseville at the Summer Sanders Senior meet. This is a trials and finals meet early in the long course season. We say “early” since our high school season ended in mid-May. California high school swimmers have the shortest long course season in the entire world…maybe 7 to 9 weeks before the end of season shave meet.
We had our team race in the prelims in regular training suits and if they swam fast enough to get a finals swim they could then “suit up”. And those that did so swam VERY fast in the evening.
On the third and final day, Sunday, we let all who wanted to do so, put on their suits for the prelims so they could actually have a shot at a final swim. Most took us up on the opportunity. Several didn’t and actually made the top 27 (3 finals in a 9 lane pool). Those that did suit up swam fast enough to get a second swim.
In the finals of the 100 free we had lights out races and times from every single swimmer – 4 girls and 5 guys. Of course there were lots of smiles and rightfully so. They competed well and swam very fast. We took no rest for this meet and yet swam super. How did that happen, we ask ourselves?
Certainly the suits make a more streamlined, compact body. But there is no shave and no rest, so how come the times drop dramatically? It seems to us that the suit gives the swimmer “permission” to swim fast. They have a higher level of “positive expectation” that the result will be a “good” one so they “go for it”.
A Ha…a positive expectation leads to an anticipated (dare we say “guaranteed”) positive outcome (time). If this is true…and we submit that if not totally true it is at the very least mostly true…then the real question is: “How do we get the swimmer to “put on the suit” every darn time they race?” without putting on the actual suit?
Tonight in workout we posed this question and asked them to imagine they had a suit on when we did a set of fast 50’s. We had some fast swims and we could see a few brains working on the concept…and that is all we really ask. Work on the concept, daily, weekly, monthly until you figure it out.
When you figure it out, you will be light years ahead of the rest of the population.
In our opinion…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The question of how to get a swimmer to swim fast not suited up. How indeed. This is something I am going to approach my swimmer child with at the start of the season this Sept.

I am going to go down this path. Swim every event at every meet like it is the last one you ever will get to do. Last season at her big meet for her she didn't get to swim the last day due to being sick. You never know how many chances you will ever get.

I have seen so many kids mail in entire meets. Then it can spread to other kids. I am really going to push her to challenge herself to beat her times without the suit. Then think how it will be when you do suit up.

I will say my swimmer played mind games with some kids at a small prelim/final meet at the end of the summer season. She did this on her own. Since it was prelim/finals it was circle seeded. My swimmer had done this twice before. She knew she would final in her events for the most part. She swam prelims without a tech suit. The kids from this other team had their suits on in prelims. Sometimes in prelims these kids didn't have much to race for. One parent said at lunch after prelims her kids were down because they didn't have anyone to race and didn't make the cuts they wanted.

My swimmer knew the game. She saw where she was seeded in finals. Then she suited up. She was seeded tied for 3rd in the 100 fr. The kids were within 0.60 in prelims. My swimmer beat everyone in finals by almost 2.0 secs. She was the only one that made the cut. She knew she had more. The 200 back was even worse. My swimmer was seeded 2nd and 4 secs behind. She won that race by almost 2 secs. The other girl didn't know what hit her.