Reply To: Taper for Distance Swimmers

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I’ll start with the last question first. There is truth to the “Compression Theory”. It was really hard when the suits first came out for those of us that worked on the Bill Boomer/Milt Nelms paradigm of “Posture-Line-Balance”. We’d spent all kinds of time getting kids to understand that body position and how you shaped yourself in the water played an important role in speed. Then Boom! The suit comes out and all they had to do was fork out a couple hundred bucks and didn’t have to spend any time working on or understanding “shaping” and they went fast. I could go for a very long time on this one 
I’ve attached a chart that I used at a clinic in Fargo a few months back. It shows rates of improvement for just the short course seasons from 1990 to 2014. So it goes from the old “paper suit” era thru the “tech suit” era and now back to “tech suit” for women and jammers for men. It also goes from a time when I was a 9-11 workouts a week, lifting weights; core work, stretching, run 3 miles and dryland to none of that. You can see by the numbers it really had an impact on our performances not doing all that stuff. Just being a smart a@#.

Recording of practice data is critical. I know that coaches have anywhere from 2 swimmers to a lane which is great to 5-6 per lane and now you are hustling. I know that Dr. Rushall says that swimmers should be accountable for their times. (You can attest to this, 33.1 and 32.7 is a big difference and has a possible huge impact on the swimmer’s performance) What if your job depended on that 500? Is Dr. Rushall going to come and speak to her parents if the wheels come off the wagon? Not a chance. It can allow you to make adjustments earlier and maybe avoid some but not all unpleasant situations. Even if you just pick a couple of swimmers to track that’s a start and then work from there.

I can’t emphasis this enough. Coaches have to keep their race splits!! and use them to compare to practice times. This may be the most important information you have. “Training must relate to performance and performance must relate to training”. I use little memo books the ones that are 3 x 5 inch and 60 sheets, (picked that one up from Bob Gillette, coach of Misty Hyman, 2000 Olympic Goal Medalist 200 fly) easy to keep in your pocket. I have 38 in a desk drawer and can go back and look at race performance over the years in a matter of minutes. No brag! Just fact :0) 

I enjoy sharing what I know and I’ve posted this before that “If I don’t have data or don’t know I will say so “. Then I’ll a give you my best SWAG based on data I have. The kids love that one SWAG, “Scientific Wild A#$ Guess”, which is better than a WAG, which is a Wild A#$ Guess. They’ll ask SWAG or WAG? Always a SWAG 🙂 or I tell them I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. If you know the commerical you get the joke. 

I have a couple of coaching buddies here that give me a hard time about sharing my data. But I always figure if the Russians hadn’t shared what they knew with me then how do we progress?


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