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Friday, 30 November 2012

Erika Erndl Video -- Resistance Swim into Phantom Wall Turn and Breakout

Check out this video of T2 Aquatics swimmer Erika Erndl.

Part of Erika's workout on this day was a resistance trianing exercise, broken into two parts:

Part 1: 25 Resistance Swim on the Power Tower.  Erika eased back into the wall, took about 20 extra seconds, then went into Part 2.

Part 2: Phantom Wall turn + breakout.  If you watch the video you'll notice that Erika's breathing pattern on the turn isn't a 50 SCY Free pattern -- she's doing her 100 LCM breathing pattern, which means that she's getting a lot more air than she would if she were swimming a 100 or a 50 SCY.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

1650 Pace Set -- Tuesday November 27, 2012

On Tuesday November 27, I had a group of athletes do a freestyle set.  Here's how it went:

10x: 150 Fast Free + 150 easy choice .....the whole 300 was on (4:00)

I put this up on the white board at the beginning of practice:

The 150 Pace goals correlate pretty accurately with the 1650 paces (minus one second for the hand touch we did -- not going to the feet).  The 500 times were made up by me on the spot, and basically were there for the two athletes I had in the group who don't count the 1650 as one of their top 5 events.  This is a "mile pace" set, but the way I look at it is: if an athlete who swims the 100 and the 200 gets better at the mile -- in particular at the 18 and under age -- their 100 and 200 will get better as well.  Certainly I'm trying to motivate everyone in my portion of the training group on this day.

For a few reasons I won't go into here, I only had one female athlete doing this set (the others were doing another set -- or training at a different time on this particular day).  This athlete happens to be from Hong Kong and has only swum a few SCY meets, so I put some "grade goals" on the right side for her because she doesn't quite understand SCY times yet.  The rest of my guys swim a decent mile, so I put the goals up (in red) to motivate them for our SCY Florida Championship meet this spring....the times are based off the top time, top 8, and top 16 from the mile -- from the 2011 Florida Championship meet, which was the last time we went to that meet as a team.

After a few rounds, I had to ammend a few of the goals because some of the top guys were doing pretty well -- and were "off the charts". 

The final results are listed below.  I thought it went well.  Many of these guys have not been this fast or this consistent before on this type of set (or this exact set) -- and it's all about improvement so I'm a happy coach. Our three seniors (Aidan, Chase, BT) are 4:43-4:38-4:41 500 guys, and only BT has done the 1650 with any regularity (16:13 PR).  Eric is 15 (16:23 1650), Shawn is 15 (17:30+ 1650), Liam is 15 (17:36 1650) and Jacob is 14 (18:02 1650).
Aidan (18) 123, 121, 120, 120, 121, 121, 122, 122, 121, 121
Chase (18) 127, 124, 123, 123, 123, 124, 124, 125, 123, 123
BT (18) 126, 124, 122, 124, 123, 123, 123, 125, 125, 122
Eric (15) 124, 123, 123, 123, 123, 123, 124, 123, 122, 123
Shawn (15) 130, 128, 129, 127, 129, 127, 127, 127, 127, 123
Liam (15) 131, 129, 128, 127, 129, 127, 126, 126, 126, 124
Jacob (14) 130, 129, 128, 128, 127, 126, 126, 126, 127, 125
Karen (13) 137, 135, 134, 134, 135, 135, 136, 136, 136, 136
Based off these results, I think:
1) we are in line for some improvement in the 1650.  It does take time, and often doesn't happen right away, but we are going to get some drops at some point this season. 
2) we are in line for some even higher level training now, which will lead to bigger time drops and some "big boy" times.  You never know, as a coach -- but you've got to plan for the highest level success to have a shot of getting there.  .....And with distance swimming, it doesn't matter  how big you are, or how much "natural talent" you have -- hard work and consistentcy beats everything else!


Monday, 26 November 2012

New School VS. Old School -- And the "In Between"

Becoming a great athlete, or an accomplished coach is dependent upon the right mix of two things:

1) Figuring out new ways transcend normal methods.


2) Copying others who have been successful.

If a competitor only accomplishs number one, it's going to be tough to get to a high level because "enroute" the competitior is going to avoid some tried and true methods.  "New" can be good, but not at the expense of ignoring that which has been successful for years.

Likewise, a competitor will miss things by sticking only to number two.  We have to press the envelope!

The trick is to figure out the correct mixture. 


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Workouts -- Week of November 19 2012

Here are a few practices our T2 Aquatics athletes did this week, as posted on Proswimworkouts.com

Check back here (or there) for workouts from a good part of last week's training.


Monday, 12 November 2012

10,000 Hour Rule (Repost)


For those who have never this blog post from many months ago, it gives you some insight into my mentality as it relates to "Team Culture".  Thanks for tuning in.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Predicting Times


When top athletes race, they have a time in their head that they would like to achieve.  Ideally, everything they do within the race will lead to this time goal.  This time that an athlete would like to achieve can be viewed as a “prediction”.

As athletes, I believe we can train ourselves to predict our performances.

As coaches, I believe we must predict our athlete’s performances on a daily basis in order to get our athletes “race ready” at the end of the season.

Here are a few keys:

For athletes:  Simply stated, predict your daily repeats in practice.  Talk to yourself during training, and set mini training goals for sets.  Start with warm-up, and predict as much as you can.  Certainly during the main parts of the practice, in particular for “race pace” training – you should predict each swim.  Once you start to do this, you’ll get better at being right.  And once you start predicting correctly, you can raise your level of expectation.  Essentially, you will begin to ask more of yourself. 

Getting better at asking more of yourself is the first step to actually delivering – and getting more from yourself.

For coaches: Prior to meets, we like to consider “where” our athletes may be.  We think about what certain athletes can do for certain events, based off their practice performance and/or previous meet performance.  But we are missing the boat when we predict only at meets.  I believe we should practice predicting training performance every day.  This coaching skill will subtly enhance the quality of the practice we provide, and we will begin to see small ways in which our practice construction can improve -- and small details our athletes must improve upon to reach peak performance.

Additionally, as we predict we will essentially be planning for the race, well before the race day – and correcting when needed.  If we predict incorrectly often enough, we are probably highlighting inefficiencies and areas of needed improvement in our athlete’s preparation.  An astute coach will recognize these areas, and design ways to improve an athlete’s skill application during the set to achieve the desired results.  If we can be ultimately successful in the “trail/error/trial/success” game in practices, we are going to be ahead of the game as it pertains to training the race.

A time-prediction setI like to ask for is very simple.  Do a few 50s or 25s and ask the athletes to guess their time.  They can predict their time before they swim, or they can swim and then tell you the time they did.  Athletes who are not good at this will get good at it fairly quick.

A perk of the set is this: the best way to go about getting the prediction correct is for the athlete to go fairly fast -- not easy, but certainly not all-out. – but with great stroke.  As a coach, you end up seeing your athletes swim with a high level stroke technique, and pretty fast!  We end up getting what we want: relaxed speed with a stroke technical focus.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Your Vision Controls your Body Position (Part 2)

I've discussed in previous blog posts about "Vision" -- and your ability to control your body position through 'looking' in the proper direction while swimming.  Here's a cool trick that coach Tom used today with one of our athletes: he painted the bottom of an old pair of googles with a Sharpie...forcing the athlete to use his eyes better while swimming freestyle.  This particulart athlete is used to swimming freestyle with his waterline on the middle of his forehead, and we would like the waterline to be closer to his harline.  By painting the googles in this way we are forcing the athlete to use his eyes better, and look through the clear part of the goggle to see where he's going.  If his head is "cranked up" and out of his body line, he won't see very well! 

Here's a link to my previous post about Vision and Body Postion: