New swimmer/pacing/technique

Home Forums General USRPT Topics New swimmer/pacing/technique

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #1926

    Sorry to create so many topics, folks, but I’m not sure if there is any other way to post questions. Honestly, I’ve gotten better advice here than any other site, so I’m asking for some help.

    2 problems.

    #1 New swimmer who has come along really well. He cannot discern the difference between a 31 second 50 free swim and a 36 second. He did not start swimming until 2 years ago. He needs to be able to hold a 31 second 50 in his 500 free to make his goals. I did a timed 500 swim with him and he went 36 in his second 50 and a 30 in his second to last 50.
    He hates to miss his goal times, so I made him do a 50 set of free where he had to swim each 50 between 32 and 33 seconds. Whenever he missed that goal (high or low), I made wait an extra 10 seconds before he could swim the next 50. He hated it because he wants to keep up with the other swimmers. I told him I’m glad he hates it because I want him to realize pacing is very important when swimming the 500.
    Does anybody have any ideas on how I can teach a kid to “feel” an accurate race pace. This boy always goes out way too slow, but he thinks he’s going fast. Not a question of heart/mental toughness. He just has no idea how to accurately gauge his pace. Even counting strokes doesn’t work!

    #2. Swimmer can’t kick consistently with both feet in 200/500 free. This is my kid, so I’m biased. Has solid kick with one foot, but his ankles cross/collide with the other. I have read/watched a lot of opinions online, but nothing has worked. Doesn’t happen in the 50 or 100 free. Nice steady kick there.
    He has a good chance to go 1:40/4:40 in the 200/500, but I don’t think it will ever happen without fixing the kick. I have been trying to fix this for 2 years, and I am out of ideas. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Would be happy to send a video to any more experienced coach who could offer some insights.

    As always, thanks again for the help.


    Try a tempo trainer if you have the lane space. Set it to 33s and he can be “no slower than”. It’s “beat the beep” using 50s. My guess is you will probably need to set it at ½ or 16.5, that way he would have feedback at the 25 as to correct pacing. So it would be 1st beep push-off, 2nd beep should be feet on the walling making turn or very close and 3rd should be finish. You can adjust rest anywhere from 1 beep (16.5s), w:r 1 to ½ out to how many beeps you think he needs.

    We have done this with 200/500 kids and its not easy. Especially at w:r 1 to ½. We have even done it to a ¼. We call them “slow learners” kids think it’s pretty funny.

    You can get pretty creative with the workout and stay very close to USRP.

    Your kicking question is interesting. I would ask: does it interfere with his 1.Body alignment (balance), 2.Power phase or 3.Rhythm/timing? Kinda the check list I use with regards to making stroke changes. Does it keep him from making pace times? Can’t hold consistent time/tempos/cycles? If you feel the kick is interfering with any of those then a change may be warranted.
    If you buy into that the kick is really a mechanism for balance and really doesn’t provide much in the way of propulsion and it’s not messing with alignment, power phase, rhythm and he can hold what he needs to within the metrics given. Why mess with something that may not be broke?

    It may be a point of diminishing returns?

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"


    Thanks for the advice, oldschool. Going to try a tempo trainer and see if that helps my new swimmer to get the feel of solid pace at practice.

    Problem with the kick in the other swimmer is that, yes, it does seem to make a difference in speed. He wants to kick, but the ankle cross just seems to come and go, and we haven’t been able to figure it out. I think it’s more of a balance problem with one arm crossing and entering the water past the midline. When we concentrate on eliminating the crossover, he loses all rotation and swims flat. He also loses his distance per stroke. Maybe late breathing?

    Just baffled at this point. Am thinking more along your diminishing returns line.

    Thanks again for the ideas.


    You might want to try having him just do a two beat kick in the 500.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.