Reply To: Sections/State Results
Well your points are valid, as usual. Record keeping is a chore and simplifying things for a group would be great. However, the technique-at-speed element of USRPT is individual. Some people here, and most on other forums (SwimSwam, USMS, USA Swim), continually talk in terms of conditioning for races. That’s about the first 1-2 months of USPRT. The rest of the season is technique-at-speed and energizing that technique.
Unfortunately, many competitive coaches will not publicly provide insights to maintain “trade secrets”. I don’t think Coach Bray has posted here. I saw him weekly at SDSU during the 2010-2012 seasons when Rushall was doing research with the team. That team significantly improved. He would be a great data point. I didn’t see them taking records during the practices I was near though. I could have missed it at the time.
I think we may be missing the technical focus of the system in terms of describing our sets and questions. Posters still refer to the sets and times from a conditioning standpoint. I haven’t seen a post stating “reps to failure improved 60% while swimmers focused on element A and B of decreasing resistance (A: head looking down, B: 45 degree body roll) for 4 weeks”. We will see perceived stagnation in large numbers (by both teams and coaches) if the experimenters do not reveal that they relied exclusively (probably unknowingly) on the conditioning element of USRPT and continued with their minimal or large-group-generalized technique coaching (high elbow, strong kick). These would be bad populations with insignificant results but outside observers would never know why. I propose it would be better to further analyze the individual performances of USRPT swimmers (Glenn Gruber is a great example) in terms of their macro and micro cycles understanding that the typical USRPT conditioning progression is set in stone for all athletes: race pace using fractional distances, 15-20 seconds rest, breaks at failures, stop at degrading fatigue, faster pace at completion of ~5-7 times distance. The greatest benefit will be the discussion of how an individual swimmer continued to improve past the conditioning period; some specific element of technique should have been consciously improved. And for many masters swimmers this is self coached. Rushall’s concepts, as with other conditioning systems, can be applied to large groups but he always analyzes the techniques of the top individuals. I could be wrong on this last point but I haven’t seen anything from him that shows ~20 swimmers using USRPT (generalized) improved significantly over ~20 traditional swimmers. I guess that’s what coaches want to see even though there are a growing number examples of individuals improving greatly using the system for very specific reasons.
Doc, you seem to be doing the best data-driven analysis with n=48 but you have no control group. And we have no idea about the technical abilities of your swimmers before intervention. I guess that would require a lot of video pre- and post-intervention analysis. Dates for macro and micro cycles would also need to be identified. I’m doubting you had things set up for that level of analysis at the beginning of the season since you weren’t running a scientific study.
I’m planning on getting some video on myself to compare over the next 6 months leading up to masters nationals. Guess I’ll ask for a GoPro for Christmas.