Monday, April 25, 2016

Part Two

Today’s offering is meant to be tagged off of the last posting. It is in specific reference to the comment about “at risk” swimmers. Used last time this referred to those who were unsure about their willingness to commit to their future season, especially in their freshman year in college. (We are rather certain few, if any, of our swimmers are “at risk” in the usual sense of those words.)
It seems to us that a missing ingredient in the mix of success is often a clearly stated goal of what we are currently striving for…what are we after…what compels us to hit the floor early and enthusiastically every darn day…what lights our fire…what makes us willing to sacrifice anything for. The need for a big audacious goal is so obvious to us coaches that often we fail to ask our swimmers, “What are you really passionate about? What do you really want? What are you willing to commit to?” Once the answers to those questions are clear, then it is easy to formulate a plan of action.
And then the big one…hold ourselves and each other – our teammates –accountable. The following made so much sense to us:
“The Powerful Idea: if you want to make PROFOUND improvements in the way you think, feel, perform and live FEW things work as well as being at a LIVE event with other people making the same improvements. (This comes from Robin Sharma – google him for more)
The “LIVE event” is your workout, your swim meet and any other interaction of a positive nature with your teammate(s) and coach (es). It happens daily and serves to fire you up and keep you focused in times of doubt and temptation.
As you will recall from the last blog, this time of year is full of temptations for high school swimmers. Be one of the ones who enjoy the end of the school year and all the celebration while MAINTAINING FIRM SIGHT of the goal that really matters…that which is ahead of you, not right in front of you.

Friday, April 22, 2016

And The Answer Is…

…it is entirely up to you. We are thinking about high school swimmer/students, no wait we mean student/swimmers – oops. Especially if you are a California Junior or Senior there are so many questions this time of year. High School swim season is nearing the end. This means League, Section and State meets to prepare for, perhaps even taper for – HA.
There is also the end of the year school activities: finals and other school projects, graduation activities, lunches and dinners with family and of course the almighty Prom.
We were talking with a fellow coach last weekend at a long curse development meet and we both had the same experience. We have nearly 100% attendance these days since the “big” meet is in view. Then immediately after that meet is done attendance drops from 100% to sporadic levels depending upon the student in question, no wait, the swimmer in question – no oops on this one.
The swimmers keep training and if your team is like ours we see the whole spectrum; those who aim for a great summer of training and racing and those who do as much as they think they can get away with while enjoying their summer. Especially at risk are the Seniors who intend to swim in college. They have all sorts of plans.
We say “at risk” because the best way to have a successful fall semester in a new program with the demands of college tossed in – studies and student life with pretty much full independence for the first time in their lives – is to be ready physically and race wise.
The only way to do that is to be fully committed to the summer. Here in California our long course season is so short for high school swimmers. Yet we regularly hear the need to travel, take vacations, you name it and we have heard it.
So, the question is – so well put by Coach Krotiak – do you want to earn a Participant Certificate or do you want to contribute to your new team? The answer is up to you. We coaches care a great deal about you and your future.
However, we are only able to coach you when you come to the pool. That is an absolute truth.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Base Sets

We were looking for a way to present a fixed amount of full speed swimming for a short amount of time and distance that would drive focus up (looking for flow here), raise metabolic rates high and improve confidence about handling the race pace physical feeling of collapse. We came up with what we call “Base Set”…you could call it anything.
We have used these sets several times over the last few weeks at least twice a week. We would guess maybe 3 times a week would be max and then perhaps they lose their effectiveness. We actually have no idea – HA.
What we do know is that when we do them, the swimmers get very quiet, focused, determined and close to failure often. We have done only one of the 3 on any given day. We have done 3 rounds always and once we did 4 rounds. We think 3 are best. Each set is surrounded with some aerobic base building of swimming or kicking or pulling; the only limitation here is your imagination. We are pretty happy with the 3 sets and will stick with them, maybe adding one or two more variations…we like keeping it simple so they and we can compare while tracking improvement.
Each set equals 350 yards and takes exactly 6 minutes. All swims/kicks are full speed. Our workouts generally run with a 2000 yard warmup and total out between 6000 and 7500 yards in about 2 hours, Saturdays sometimes a little longer.
Set 1:
25/.20 then 25/.40 non free then 25kick/.30 then 25kick/.30
50/.40 non free then 25/.20 then 25kick/.30 then 25kick/.30
25/.20 non free then 50/.40 then 25kick/.30 then 25kick/.30
Set 2:
25/.20 then 25/.40 non free
50/.40 then 25/.40 non free
75/1 then 25/.40 non free
100/1:20 then 25/.40 non free
Set 3:
25/.15 then 25/.30 non free
50/.30 then 25/.30 non free
75/.45 then 25/.30 non free
100/1 then 25.30 non free
We currently have only a few on our team who can make all 3 variations full speed. Set 3 is the most challenging but 1 and 2 offer mighty fine efforts of speed and non-free quality…350 yards no nonsense in 6 minutes.
Every swimmer who races 500 yards or less fits that 6 minute parameter.

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?