Stubborn Teen Leaving Race Pace

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    lefthanded swimmer

    Our club team added a group this year that was somewhat of a dumping ground for people who couldn’t go to the Senior Group (high yardage) or they didn’t have the time. The good news is the new group had a good coach that ran it as a sprint program. My son started this group after a year of race pace training. The new group isn’t going to run through the summer (long course) so my son thinks the only thing that will make him better (and get him respect) will be going to the high yardage senior group. 15 year old late bloomer physically that improved as follows this year under race pace: 100 Fly (59.2/54.5); 100 BR (1:08/1:06); 100 FR (54/51.6); 100 BK (1:00/58.4); 200 IM (2:11/2:06). We worked on tempo and rebuilding his strokes to do primarily 100s. He isn’t fast but heading in the right direction. He can’t do many 50 repeats at 200 front in pace/100 back in pace with 1 minute rest. I watched the “Senior” Group last night running 8 lanes with one interval time. Here is what they did (rest interval was the middle to slowest kid):

    500 Warm up
    300 (100 bk dolphin kick/100 1 arm fly/100 fly) 30 sec RI
    300 (100 Bk kick/100 1 arm bk/100 bk) 30-45 sec RI
    300 (100 no board BR kick/100 2 kick BR/100 BR) 45 sec RI
    300 (25 no board kick/75 kick w/ board; 100 shark fin drill; 100 FR) 30 sec RI
    300 IM (75 fly/75 bk/50 br/50 free)
    200 SLOW SWIM
    200 IMs X 12 around 45 sec RI

    This was a low yardage day for them. I don’t think he can do this and I don’t think it will help. I’m so frustrated as a parent and a temporary coach. Who runs one interval for a group of kids that makes rest intervals vary by over 100% between the fastest and slowest? A few kids were doing this with virtually no rest-pathetically. I just don’t know what to do. He won’t listen to me.


    I also coached my daughter this season with this training. She HATES it. Well, she considers it “less than” what her peers are doing at her old club. She is embarrassed of our program and would LOVE to travel the 45 mins away to our old team. Going into summer training, she wants to know when the real training will start. Sigh.

    I would love to know how to change this perception. She placed 6th at freaking state meet in 100 Fly and made States in the 100 Free. Her teammate 7th in Breast and made states in the 200 IM. Both relays made state meet. I mean we are a tiny program doing less than 3K a day seeing great results. We placed higher than other teams three times our size at Districts.

    How do we sell swimmers and parents on this when we can’t even sell our own children? I was looking into sending my top swimmers to our old program this summer because I really would love to take a break (I do NOT get paid for coaching this team over the summer.) And speaking with the coach about my concerns with them being exposed to traditional training, he absolutely refused to believe my girl 1:04 Breaststroker and 56 Butter flier went less than 3K a day. Refused to believe it. And this coach is a young, talented coach, I would expect him to be open to NEW ideas. Of course, he has tried USRPT but it just didn’t work (after two weeks).

    The good news: my child is the first to call BS on a set that has no specific goal or purpose or even a kicking set now 9 (this is someone who LOVED kicking sets)! So the ideas are getting through somehow. And it is the swimmer that has to 100% be on board with the training. And I think it is harder for our own children than other children who only see us in a coaching capacity. I keep telling her, just wait until you get a real coach, how much faster you will get!

    Maybe go over that GAWD awful practice set by set with him and ask him what the purpose was? What event are they training for? How did they get faster that day? Where did they check in with their technique. From a coordination standpoint, what happens when you isolate your legs? YOu get the idea…. I don’t know. The frustration is real

    lefthanded swimmer

    Thank you very much for your post and feeling my pain! You made some very good points. I will get him to evaluate the sets they did. On his own, he swam Saturday “experimenting” with some similar sets to the traditional junk. The sets were demoralizing (repeat 200IM). He died in on the 3rd 200 IM, swam slow, and commented that at least he knows why he was so bad in back before switching to race pace. He would just die on back on 200IM repeats doing traditional training and Saturday was no different. I think he will come around to doing race pace. You are correct about being 100% on board. It’s just hard for him to swim basically alone for the summer. It’s so hard to not think the traditional group is not the way to go during the long course season. I hope he will develop his underwaters which are his real “talents” or “opportunities” over the summer instead of mountains of long course yards. Your daughter is fast. I hope she sticks with what got her there. My son actually liked race pace training but felt like the “traditional” group got all the respect which is true. 3.5K would be our high yardage for race pace or similar type training and this would be an IM day. Thanks again!

    lefthanded swimmer

    I doubt anyone looks at this. Update. The realization that he either couldn’t do the traditional training or doing repeats long as or longer than your events made little to no sense. He has been doing race pace type practices with one other swimmer and making progress. We average 2K/day. Club team (traditional program) is doing 9-15K with doubles in the summer.

    FYI: We do almost exclusive short course training all summer.

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