A Swimming Blog for coaches and swimmers.
Paul--saw that you were trying the Ikkos glasses. Interested in what you thought of them so far. Which ages at T2 are using them--have you tried them with age group swimmers? Thanks.
We purchased one pair, and it's been terrific. I am kind "piloting" a routine right now involving a 13 year old boy and a 14 year old girl (who both spend a decent amount of time using them). I most likely will purchase 4-5 more and run a circuit with them at some point.I think for the price, Ikkos offers good value. I can see immediate results.The hard part for me is this: to use this tool to its full potential, it has to become a large part of the training program (you have to "train" it 2-3 times per week minimum). Somethings has to give, I think, if we're going to implement them the way they need to be used. If we don't use them consistently enough, the stroke changes we see with the athletes don't carry-over to the other hours of swimming they do per week.I probably need to figure out a way to make it happen more consistently, because they are a GREAT tool. Your comment about the AG swimmers...I haven't gone younger than 13, but I bet they'd be effective. And they are pretty neat too, so you certainly are going to have some kids get highly "into" swimming once you bust out the Ikkos glasses.
Paul--thanks for your reply. It is very helpful. Your blog is terrific. Too bad Tom stopped doing his blog--it was great too.Also, have you seen Nick Folker's new venture for dryland programs in swimming (Bridge Athletic)? I have a 10-year-old son who swims, and last summer while we were in CA we were lucky enough to have Nick work with him one-on-one, 2-3 times a week, 45 min each session. I have observed a lot of different swim programs in CA and FL, and the stuff NIck did with my son was very different than anything I've seen done with age groupers. There was a lot of focus on balance, coordination, learning motions (as well as flexibility, strength, and injury prevention)--NIck should explain his philosophy himself. The effects were stunning--my son's posture changed almost overnight, his general balance and coordination improved greatly, etc. And though his swim training was scaled back from Nov thru May because we were traveling, he was swimming very well at the end of July.While the stories in SwimSwam and Swimming World make it appear Bridge may initially be trageted more toward older swimmers, I know Nick is passionate about improving dryland programs for age group swimming. In short, I couldn't recommend Nick more strongly for your dryland programs--and while I don't have knowledge of senior-level training, I think he could make an astonishing difference for an age group program.
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Yes...interesting news about Nick Folker's new gig. Certainly Coach Folker is in the top 1% of strength coaches out there when it comes to Aquatic Sports. Too often we focus on "strength" over "balance" -- and MUCH too often we neglect the age and "development maturity" of the athletes we work with. Much like there is an "Aerobic Development" window, there are neural windows for balance, dexterity, flexibility, hand/eye coordination, etc. Great to hear Nick was able to teach you son. We have taken the time at T2 Aquatics to be aware of these issue and teach "to the athletes". We do plenty of old-school PE exercises (Jumping Jacks, pushups and that sort of thing) -- mixed with some balance & coordination challenges. We are fortunate to have more than one coach who is capable to teaching these sorts of things well!