Reply To: Resting for meets

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Billratio, you are asking all the right questions. I think you will see the results.

Regarding the analog clock, I went to Kiefer swimming and got a battery operated digital clock that kids can see from both sides of the pool. Made a huge difference. Much less cheating/leaving early, and it is obvious to everybody when someone tries to leave early. Also, much easier to see their time, so less of that head popping up that Glenn mentioned. Our boosters bought a larger model for about $500 so we will have digital on both start and turn side come high school season. Also, I let them start one second before the start of the swim. In actuality, they start getting ready for their pushoff 2 seconds before, and they leave about 3/4 of a second before the actual start time. The important thing is they do this consistently, so we know they are getting faster if they drop their goal time.

I experience the same thing with our breast and fly sets. They definitely get faster, but the goal time in practice is slower than they race. Again, I stress to them that if they can drop their goal time, it will equate to faster times.

I am a firm believer that you can’t allow the little “cheating” that swimmers do to make their times. It is too demoralizing to those swimmers who did it the right way and missed their goal and are sitting one out. What I am going to do this season, if necessary, is move those swimmers who refuse to follow the rules to their own lane and let them know that when they are ready to train the way we have instructed them, I would be happy to put them back in their usual lane. Might sound harsh, but I learned last year that it can be highly infectious, and it is not training at race pace.

For what it’s worth, I wasn’t as strict with the 20 second max rest last season, as evidenced by my “dropping the interval” post, but the results were fairly solid for a high school team that only gets 75 minutes/5 days a week to train.

So much of this is dealing with the individual personalities/psychology of the swimmers. I hope that I’m not the only one mentally exhausted at the end of our practice. Having coached the traditional way, I can see why this is a tough program for a coach who has already worked an 8 hour day.

Hang in there. Went through a lot of what you are experiencing last season, but the results made believers out of most of our swimmers.