Sunday, April 3, 2016

What If

What do you suppose the value is or would be of doing 15x50/1 once a week?
What if you ran a workout without using the pace clock?
Would attendance improve if late comers were not allowed to swim…Or had to sit out the first set?
If you forgot your snorkel you had to swim with a ping pong ball in your mouth…bad idea, safety and all…scratch this one.
What would the effect be if you alternated a week of pure aerobic conditioning with a week of pure speed, a true ultra-fast race pace training week?
How many times in a month do you repeat a set?
What if you went to a meet and raced only off events?
What if you went to a meet and raced the highest total yardage available?
What would happen if you had your most involved swim parent coach type run a workout while you sat and observed?
How about setting up the workout lanes such that on the odd repeats only the guys swam and the evens only the girls?
What is the most off-the-wall idea you have always had but never tried?
And you are rejecting any or all of these ideas because?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Don & Ken,

We actually do several of these already! Pingpong balls excluded. lol

We keep the pace clocks off early in the season & off during warm-up sets throughout. This is a David Marsh idea I have been using for awhile now. What we have found is that many of the kids are having better results in the training sets following the warm-up that they did when we had warm-ups on intervals. Ironically, most of the athletes actually move through the warm-up sets at a faster pace now than before, but without the stress of making an interval & having a set amount of rest (such as 3rd person to the wall then go or leave after taking 5 exhales). While the lanes rarely move at the same pace through the sets, the kids seem to get more out of them now. They remain more focused on the content of the set & self select a pace that works for them early on.

We repeat sets frequently. This is a concept I stole from Dick Jochums, and I love it. Every time we repeat a set, the kids track their results from the time before. It really adds value to the set because it becomes more linear in assessment. Kids efforts always improve. Some sets are are repeated weekly, others monthly, and a few of the ones where its harder to improve we will do once every 15 weeks.

We also do gender specific heats during our Dive Racing Sets (ie- 6x100 @6:00-8:00). Sometimes we will even have the boys do something different than the girls in sets like this. The kids have fun with stuff like this. The boys race more freely, and the girls focus more on how they race.

I am always looking for things like this to improve my program, so thank you for your work on this blog. It is something I look forward to reading. Keep it coming!

Here are a couple of other things we do with pulling that might be different from most team, but really I think they are just lost in time, because I have stolen all of these from other coaches. We never use a pull buoy. But we pull almost every day. We use kickboards between our legs (George Haines) because it forces the swimmers to stay engaged throughout their core & legs while pulling. It also adds resistance to the rotation, allowing swimmers to really feel the connection between the pull & their what their body is doing. This allow have really improved our performance in practice & meets. Plus the kids strokes look more connected and smooth now. We also use a 4 inch tractor tube around the ankles with no flotation at the hips (Dick Jockums & Paul Bergen). This adds resistance to the pull itself much like a parachute and adds strength and awareness to the sets. Without flotation at the hips, it forces them to remain engaged through the core again.


Raymond Keown
NRG Swimming Inc.