Sections/State Results

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  • #2879
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    We had State this last Thursday/Friday and Sections the Friday/Saturday of last week. At sections we had 3 of 30 swims that were not best times. One of them was from a girl who tapered for JV conference. The other two swims were from the same girl and didn’t surprise me. Still happy with 90% best times.
    The drops weren’t huge for everyone and we didn’t all hit our paces exactly but with the longer rest intervals that we use I don’t expect them to hit practice paces exactly.

    We won 5 of the 11 swimming events at sections and also won diving. It was fun to hand out so many medals after not winning a single event last year. We won the 50 free, 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Broke the 7 year old Section record in the 200 free relay. It couldn’t have gone much better for our top girls. 200 free relay could have been better but I stink at coaching for the 50 free. One of the girls should have been so much faster.

    Flyers – 3 of our 4 flyers trained 25s @:50 and our top flyer trained @:40. We had 3 in the top 8 (winning medals) and our 4th was 10th. Overall it was our strongest event. No one hit exact paces. Our girl training 16.0 @:50 went 1:06.9. Our girl training 16.5 @:50 (though started swimming faster the last 10 days) went 1:06.2. The 4th girl was a very late addition to the fly for us so only trained it for about 2 weeks.

    Breaststrokers – We don’t have strong breaststrokers but I was happy with their results. They all trained 25s @:50 and were 1-2 seconds off what their paces in practice were for their times.

    Backstrokers – Also not a super strong group and I should have done more 25s @:40 and probably more 50s. They were just able to do so many more yards when doing them @:50 and they were so much faster. Only 2 of the 4 had good drops at sections. They all improved a lot this year but it was hard to see a correlation between practice times and the meet.

    100 Freestyle – They all trained 25s @:40 and 50s @2:00. Decent practice to meet correlation. Our second girl was training 13.9 and my goal was for her to break 56. She went 56.4. She never got her times down on her 50s @2:00 and never could go much faster on 25s @1:00 than @:40 so I didn’t know what to expect. The goal for the top girl was 52.9 but she was training 13.0 consistently for 25s @:40. Could swim 50s @2:00 in 27.2 for good reps. Swam 12.7 for 25s @1:00 working first 50 speed. She wound up going 53.00 at sections. A hundredth of a second would have felt so much more satisfying. Still a good swim.

    200 Freestyle – They did well. Good correlation between 50s @1:00 and their total time divided by 4.

    500 Freestyle – I didn’t do a great job with their training. Our top girl should have dropped a lot more time than she did this year but she swam on our 200 free relay and 400 free relay and I wanted to get a lot of sprint work in the last couple weeks. We pulled back on the 500 too much. Her times in practice made me think she’d go at least 5:23 and she went 5:27.10. She was 5:28.5 last year with much slower practice times. I think we just let up on the 500 yards too much at the end.

    50 Freestyle – The most frustrating race ever. I have no idea how to train it still. Our second girl who went 26.19 in season wound up going 26.09 with a tech suit at sections. I don’t know what I did wrong.

    200 IM – This was a good one for us. Trained 25s for fly and 50s for everything else. Breaststroke was still much slower than practice times but overall times were good. Our second girl dropped from 2:23.90 in season to 2:18.7 at sections.

    Everyone on our team did 25s @1:00 for front end speed as well.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #2880
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    We did not have a single swimmer make finals (top 16) last year at state. This year went much better.

    200 free relay – 6th (with a 24.5 lead off from our flyer)

    400 free relay – 12th (with a 53.2 anchor from our flyer)

    100 fly – 7th (59.37 with 27.7,31.6. She wanted to break 1:00 and I wanted her to break 59 because she was training 14.5s at the end)

    200 IM – 7th (2:14.0 with 27.7 fly, 33.5 back, 41.7 breast, 30.8 free)

    100 Free – 6th (53.17 but 53.00 at sections. With 25.3, 27.6. Was very sad not to break 53.)

    50 Free – 6th (24.40 and this is another one that makes no sense to me. She was swimming so fast in practice that for her to only go .12 faster than our flyer led the 200 free relay makes me think I did something seriously wrong. When they would race off the blocks on 25s it was usually 11.4 for this girl and 11.9 for our flyer. She has a great start and good turns… I don’t know how she was this slow. I feel like I let her down.)

    Our diver amazingly took first in the state by 0.3 points so that gave us a boost in points. We wound up placing 7th in the state as a team with 105 points. The most our school had ever scored in the past was 30 something and took 20th. Last year we placed 35th but that was with no swimmers scoring… only the diver.

    We broke 8 of 12 school records this year and many pool records throughout the season. Overall it has to be the best swim season in school history.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #2881
    AvatarMarlin
    Participant

    Great stuff. I have been looking out for when you would post this.

    “We won 5 of the 11 swimming events at sections”

    “We broke 8 of 12 school records this year and many pool records throughout the season”

    This is awesome. Bill, you are a great coach. Great job.

    #2882
    Avatarryanupper
    Participant

    Bill,

    Great write up. I’m becoming a believer in super-compensation. Obviously, I don’t know what your training transition plan was going into the meets but the intervals may have been too long. I train alone but during the college club practice and I’m always thinking about how to apply race-pace to a large group setting. My suggestion would be to lower intervals is this way:

    Swimmers are doing 25’s @:50. Assuming they are doing about 12-15 before first miss I would swim 5 reps @:50 and immediately lower the set on rep 6 to :45 with no break. This allows them to get into the rhythm for 6 swims at the usual interval then pushes the aerobic work.

    Individually, I will lower my interval after I finish a target before I lower my pace but in a way that allows me to maintain volume. Right now I’m 12.0 @:35 and when I finally hit 20 reps without a miss I’ll go 12.0 @:30 until the first miss then :35 for the rest of the set. When I get to about 12 reps @:30 at the first miss I know I can continue the set @:30 till about 18-24 reps. I understand that this would be a hard set to apply with a group so the idea of 5 usual reps before the harder interval seems easier to manage.

    Your 500 swimmer: Well she got a section record on the relay! That’s just a tough coaching call to have her work the 50 and 500. She was probably a little tired working the extra 50 paces.

    When you figure out how to get the sprinters going let us know. The 50 is just a craps shoot sometimes.

    Ryan

    #2883
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Nice job my man!

    Couple of things. As you know I don’t coach club any more (retired) and am the Director of Performance for a Div I program. I took the system that I used at the club and just transferred it to a college program (48 swimmers). Below are the results of our mid season shave meet. The meet had 2 Big 10 teams and we came in second on the men’s and third on the women’s.

    10 Team records
    10 Pool records (2 of which were held by an Olympian)
    19 NCAA “B” cuts
    The men won 20 out of 25 events.
    92.87% LTB as a team and only 3 swims were not season best

    The best they had done in 7 years!

    On your 200s look at their average of 2, 3, & 4 and see if that’s closer to “n x 50 on 1:00”

    Your 500 swimmers. Think about it you, tried to train her for 50s to 500, that’s like trying to train Bolt to run the mile and 100, that’s not going to happen. I’ll make a guess here and say her turn speeds slowed. Because the time you projected for her and what she went is really very small over a 500. We time from the last hand hit to foot touch and it needs to be at or under 1.00. (cheap speed)

    I’ve attached some files from our Sprint group showing race splits to training for you to review.

    This will probably not go over well on this website. But I will say it any way. Be very careful of input from master’s swimmers. An “n” of one is not very reliable.

    Again great job!

    Doc/oldschool


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

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    #2887
    AvatarAmsepamse
    Participant

    Great job!
    About your 50’s… if your girl was training off the blocks at 11.4, then 24.4 at the meet is an excellent result! Add the half second for the turn on first lap and then add 1.5-2s for no dive on second lap and you would expect 25.5-26.
    Another comment also on not hitting race splits: I think your intervals for Nx25/50 may be too long, and your intervals for sprint 25’s too short. As your setup is now, I believe your aerobic work (USRPT is aerobic) is too anaerobic, and your anaerobic work is too aerobic (not enough full recovery).

    #2888
    Gary PGary P
    Participant

    This will probably not go over well on this website. But I will say it any way. Be very careful of input from master’s swimmers. An “n” of one is not very reliable.

    As one of the masters who give input, I would agree wholeheartedly. My “n=1” results should be taken with a grain of salt; as one data point that must be considered against many others.

    What we self-coached masters are uniquely positioned to provide, however, is first-hand feedback from the swimmer’s perspective. As a coach, your expectations of what should happen, whether it’s with a single set or a season long program, are not always the same as what your swimmers expectations are. Your level of motivation as a coach may not align with the motivation of the athlete at that moment. Expectations and motivation have a significant impact on the actual outcome. As a self-coached swimmer, there’s no disconnect between the expectations and motivation level of coach and athlete. When results don’t meet expectations, you can disregard the expectation and motivation variables. Instead, you have to conclude that the expectations were not appropriate for the athlete at that time, and consider either a new plan, or new expectations for the same plan, in the future.

    #2889
    Gary PGary P
    Participant

    Oh, and congrats to billratio. You sound a little disappointed, but you really brought that team a long way in a year. You’re obviously on the right track, and will, with experience, hone in on the fine details that will take the team to the next level.

    #2890
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    Gary P,
    While I agree with you. I offer this. If I’m planning the swimmers training paces off their goal sheets that they have turned in at the beginning of the season and they are a reasonable rate of improvement, in the 1.5 to 3% range, then the expectations and motivation should be very close to the same i.e. coach and swimmer on the same page. If a coach just some how determines a time which may be unrealistic say an improvement of 5-7% in the 100 free for a SR type swimmer probably not going to happen and there will be upset people, probably both swimmer and coach. The ” But you said, I was going to go …”

    Coaching is a partnership. The athlete needs us for our expertise in a sport and we need the athlete to execute the plan and both have to be on the same page. This reduces the likelihood of unrealistic expectations and lack of motivation.

    I mentor a number of young coaches here and I tell them that the hardest part of the system is the education of the system. You have to know this front to back and in reverse. They need to be able to answer questions and NOT take it as the swimmer is challenging them. You just calmly explain the reason why they need to do this. What each set does and how it relates to their race.

    I enjoy the exchange. Makes me think.

    Doc


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #2891
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Think K.I.S.S. The PDF files I attached are all from a PUSH on whatever set they are doing. You really don’t need to add or subtract anything. It takes care of it’s self. Example “n x 25 on 2:00” will come very close to 50 performance and it’s done from a PUSH.

    I get it all the time. “Did you factor in the start or what about the turn?” Again, every set we do is from a PUSH and the race splits line up with what they are doing in practice. (See the PDF files). You will drive yourself crazy and become so fragmented you will not know if you are on foot or horse back. I guess coaches just have to believe that it’s some how more complicated and have to invent 30 different ways to do one simple thing.

    Again GOOD JOB and hope you and your family have a nice Thanksgiving!

    Doc/oldschool


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #2893
    Avatarryanupper
    Participant

    This will probably not go over well on this website. But I will say it any way. Be very careful of input from master’s swimmers. An “n” of one is not very reliable.

    First of all, this site is about a system than is well outside of the traditional. People that would take this comment to heart probably aren’t listening.

    With that said, I believe our “n” is moving further away from 1 with each new master’s comment. I can think of 4 people here who have provided insight that is in line with the USRPT principles. As long as the comment isn’t a violation of some basic tenet of USRPT we are all experimental samples in the same test. Andrews would be the real n=1. Of course he will be a masters swimmer when he turns 18.

    I’ve been coaching for 10 years, some swim, mostly water polo, and I’ve continued to play during this time. I know plenty of coaches who haven’t been in the water in a while and I can sometimes see the struggle they have with explaining a technique or figuring out why an athlete is have an issue with something. They’ve forgotten how to manipulate their body or they’ve never applied the technique to themselves so they are really missing the ability to explain the movement. Coaching myself in USRPT is so much about feel that my brain is usually in overdrive on a set. I have a “goal sheet” but I can’t wait for a coach to tell me what to do. I need to drive to the goal with an athlete’s training effort while at the same time analyze my technique from a coach’s point of view. Maybe this is why I can only train 2-3 days in a row at most before performance slides; fatigue from high physical and mental effort has accumulated.

    Ryan

    #2894
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    raynupper,
    The problem is as a club, college or high school coach an “n” of 1 over 2 to 3 years is rather painful and tedious. We deal with 18, 24 and as many as 40 plus swimmers that have to improve or people could lose their jobs. As a masters swimmer if it doesn’t work “oh well, on to something else” You have no skin in the game. If you are honest with yourself you will agree. It has to work with a large number!

    I believe that most of the guys on this site coach more than one swimmer and are looking for things that are simple, direct and with a minimal amount of record keeping in regards to improvement in the performance of their swimmers.

    I don’t want to be mean about this and in no way was trying to be insulting. But you have to understand that guys are taking a huge leap of faith and want/need to know that this works from coaches that have seen results regardless of the number of swimmers they coach, whether it be club or college.

    I’ve said this before. I truly enjoy the dialogue on this site whether we agree or disagree.

    Doc


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #2895
    Avatarryanupper
    Participant

    Doc,

    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.

    Ryan

    #2896
    Avatarryanupper
    Participant

    Just realized we aren’t even arguing about the effects of the system like you see on other sites. Just on how to apply efficiently. Progress…

    Ryan

    #2897
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    Ryan,
    With regards to a control group. It would be very interesting and had thought about it at the club (better to do it when you are the boss). But can you imagine the uproar. “Ok guys we are going to split the team into 2 groups and one group is going to do this type of training and the other this type” Holy hell would break out. You’d have “How come they get to do this and we have to do that?” My hat is off to the coach that can pull that off and keep his/her job!

    The best I can come up with is I took the system from a club program and dropped into a college program only knowing about 7 of the 48 swimmers and had just about the same results. It will get better as the kids start understanding the system. They are constantly presented with the training information on their FB page. There is no escape!!

    We video tape EVERY race at every meet and use race analyzer software on each race and this gets posted on their FB or YouTube for their review. We will even do more critical analyzes using Kinovea software (freeware on the web and is plenty for a coach with limited resources i.e. money) this is turned around in about an hour. So, if it’s a prelim/finals meet the kids and coaches have the data from prelims before they go to finals. We are VERY technique driven and believe that’s where the greatest improvements will occur. If you have heard of Milt Nelms (swimmer whisper) or Bill Boomer, we are very driven in that paradigm of posture- line – balance. We even allow swimmers to rest in a set if they feel that they cannot maintain the quality of movement. They maybe maintaining the time, but something tells them that they need to rest and regain balance. We want perfect race execution!

    We have a value system of: turn speeds, underwater work and surface swimming skills and every set reinforces that in practice. If you think about it that’s how the race degrades or decays. Turns speeds slow, the CO2 light starts flashing and there goes underwater work and finally surface swimming quality starts to go right out the door.

    I am truly blessed. I have a Head Coach that had the vision to hire me and I have assistant coaches that are the most tireless workers any coach could ask for.

    I agree wholeheartedly that coaches and swimmers are much more civil to each other on this site than others.

    Doc


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

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