Psychologica/Emotional Profile of Swimmers and USRPT
October 21, 2014 at 2:42 am #1975
I would be very interested in learning how this approach to training is working for all of the different types of swimmers we train. While I have seen this method of training yield very positive results for most of my swimmers, I am still befuddled by a few who seem not to thrive.
For this year, I am going to follow 4 different male swimmers. All of them will be of high school age, and all of them will have different emotional/mental attributes. If there are any other people out there willing to follow 2-4 of their swimmers, I think we can learn a lot.
There are so many subtle, very important, variables to this type of training, that I would like to know more about how to reach every kid I work with. For example, how do you handle the swimmer who knows the first 3 or 5 of the set don’t “count,’ so they don’t swim hard? How do you handle the chronic “early start” swimmer who is scared to miss a goal time? How do you handle the swimmer who has another coach who says this method doesn’t work? How do you handle the swimmer with great potential but doesn’t buy-in to the importance of the mental approach to racing? This is the stuff, along with training/racing correlations that most interests me.
There are so many different types of swimmers, but we could probably divide them into 8 sub-groups for the high school level (4 for girls/ 4 for boys). For age-group swimmers, even more.
If anybody is interested in this, let me know. If not, I will, at least, post what I have learned at the end of our season.
Thanks.October 21, 2014 at 2:55 am #1976
Sorry. Should have read “Psychological.” Hate how I can’t editOctober 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm #1992oldschoolcParticipant
It’s been done and what I can tell you is this. People make money off it and the information it can provide and the likelihood of them sharing that data and or formulas is next to impossible. It’s called an Athlete Assessment Profile and covers/measures frustration tolerance, self control and will power of activity.
I have seen the questionnaire and it is very detailed.
Good luck with this one!
"Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"October 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm #1993
Thanks for that piece of info. I didn’t know this existed. I had searched, but must have been using lousy key search words. Any experience with this? I’m just finding it tough to deal with a few specific personality types.October 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm #1996drpaulParticipant
I’m with ya. This is our first year of USRPT & I knew going into it that it would be tougher mentally on some more than others.
For example: I have a 14yo girl who has swam year round since she was 6…..all traditional. She has never been one to blow it out in practice but she does pretty well in meets. She makes JO’s and sectionals every year. Going in I figured If I had her racing more (USRPT) that things would kick in & she would become the swimmer I believe she really is…….NOT HAPPENING.
Being “on the clock” for all these sets has really messed with her head. She feels like a failure most of the time & lately will stop in the middle of a set because she “thinks” she can’t hold the time. I ask her what she thinks the consequences will be if she doesn’t & she doesn’t have an answer. She doesn’t push all that hard so she tends to miss a lot of her intervals. I was doing the 2 in a row or 3 misses & your done like the doc says but for this swimmer, she would get in about 200 yards total is she did that.
I’m kind of at a loss as to what to do with her. I’m just letting her get though it for now
Would be interesting to see if boys were prone to do better with this systemOctober 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm #1999
I guess that’s more my problem too, drpaul. I am used to working with many different types of kids in my classroom, and I can usually find a way to reach them. With this training, however, I’ve had some trouble finding out a way to get to all of my swimmers.
I will say I have noticed something similar to what you are seeing. With the TT our clubs would do around here, it was very easy for a swimmer to slack/hide/sit one out/phone it in (take your choice), without being noticed. I’d see a coach mention once in a while that they should pick it up, but then they would ignore the person. With this method, it is quite evident when you are not working hard based upon your goal times.
Maybe this is something I just need to learn to accept. If a swimmer by the age of 15 or 16 has refused to work hard their entire swimming career and relied just on natural talent, there might not be anything I can do.
It’s just frustrating for me personally.October 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm #2000oldschoolcParticipant
You have to remember that the system may not be for everyone, no system is. There are going to be kids that take to the responsibility, accept ownership and those that shrink from it. It’s going to happen and no matter how hard you try and the amount of effort you put in “you can’t save them all”. While we may see the logic and the simplicity of it, they don’t and for whatever reason won’t get it. I have kids in my program that just damn near refuse to acknowledge that how they perform in practice is what will happen in a meet (thankfully not many). No matter how many times I show them the correlations from practice times to race performance they just don’t get it.
I get and understand the frustration. I’ve had kids that are Junior National qualifiers say “I can’t do these speeds” not exactly what you want to hear. But you try your best to adjust and somehow make it work and sometime you stumble on to the adjustment and other times bad things happen. But if you been diligent in your record keeping you can show why some, not all things happened the way they did.
I know this is not what you want to hear.
I could go on with this for awhile.
"Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"October 24, 2014 at 2:26 am #2001
Actually, this is probably exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks, oldschool. I will continue to be diligent in tracking my data, and keep fighting the good fight. Thanks.November 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm #2019MattParticipant
I’m finding that race pace sets are outing the swimmers who like to “hide” within the sets in a TT format. Those who don’t eat/sleep properly also stick out more. Given the nature of college living those who are out making social choices that conflict with training are easier to see. I like this. For the bad actors it’s a meritocracy operating perfectly. For those poor performers who had to cram for a test or don’t eat/sleep properly it’s a big factor in motivating them to get their sh*t together.
Of course this isn’t 100% black and white, but in large part the RP sets are really good diagnostics of their behavior outside the pool.
Those who don’t engage with the spirit of the sets…I don’t know. Either they trust you or not. If they do then they need to act on that trust and just step on the gas in these sets. Not just todayIf they don’t trust then that’s the end of it for me if they aren’t actively seeking to build that trust.
A constant refrain for me and i’m sure most coaches: what’s you’re goal? Everything flows from that.
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