Reply To: Do any of you have kids complaining of workouts being boring?
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Unfortunately, yes, some kids have been complaining here too. They find workouts to be “predictable”, since we have a logical system to when which sets are programmed. I also notice it becomes hard for some swimmers to keep up a good mental attitude (i.e., “go for it”, each set, both what concerns technique focus and physical effort). Some kids give up before even starting.
How to remedy this? In my case, I have a few ideas (might be different for other coaches of course):
Better data logging + feedback:
I wanted to give kids responsibility for what they do in training. So they were in charge of logging their workouts themselves. This worked well for a while, but many let it slide after some time. So, I’m thinking of logging myself. Additionally, we need to do a better job showing them correlation between training and meet results. So they feel the need to push during training. I’ve been trying out some strategies, but I’m not satisfied yet. If anybody has a smooth system for this, please share!
Plan some non-USRPT stuff (or just some fun):
We generally set up a micro-cycle for a few weeks/months. It pretty much maximizes the number of USRPT sets per training. I feel, especially for the younger/more immature ones, we need to cut away some of those sets and do “something else”, even if it’s just fun. Although, as a coach, it pains me to see them doing stuff I know won’t make them better. Especially since there are kids that don’t seem to need such distractions.
An additional problem is that if you don’t set yourself up well before a set. You fail quickly and don’t swim much at all at practice. I have some swimmers that are just lazy, fail fast and bail out of the set asap. Well, they don’t make any progress at all (which of course is mainly their own fault). But I then get the remark: “This kind of training doesn’t work for me, what are you going to do about this?”.
I’d like to add that I think this is an important issue that needs discussion. Coaches are (partly) responsible to keep swimmers motivated. A motivated swimmer will get better results. Since USRPT has a “minimalist” approach, especially younger kids (13-14-15 year olds in our case) might lose interest. How do you guys keep them sharp?