Question for Age Group Coaches
January 22, 2015 at 2:16 am #2178billratioParticipant
I have stopped doing kicking sets with my older groups except for recovery once in a while. I now consider it a waste of time. I have heard a lot of people talk about how important kicking is for developing swimmers. So my question is how do you do kicking with beginner/young swimmers and when do you stop doing it? Also what do you consider the most important drills for swimmers to do when they are young? What progressions do you use for each stroke? I want our club to do a better job developing swimmers and I’m not sure how to go about it. When do you drop drills?
Also, I like to have focus points for my sets. What are focus points that you have found helpful? Things like distance per stroke, not crossing over, one goggle breathing, etc.
"Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."January 22, 2015 at 6:57 am #2179AmsepamseParticipant
I train 7-9 as well as 9-11 yo age groupers
What are drills?
If one swimmer is well positioned and has low breathing freestyle, does that swimmer need to kick the same superman drill as some other swimmer? Does one-armed butterfly improve your butterfly? Is two-kick-one-pull breaststroke appropriate? Maybe if you do it just for the fun of it…
What do you want to achieve with your swimmer doing drills? I see it often enough with drills having the opposite effect because the follow-up is insufficient.
I tend to pick one swimmer to the side working specifically on something that needs fixing. This of course requires a free water space and other coaches that can cover for you.
Instead of one-goggle breathing, I would like to propose freestyle breathing with both ears in the water…
We just started with USRPT (second week), and what we observed is that many slow-swimming technical issues seem to resolve themselves with fast swimming. Especially with butterfly and breaststroke. Freestyle breathing was also greatly improved for some of the worst example swimmers when fast swimming was introduced.January 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm #2180dmueckeParticipant
I would recommend “Swimming pedagogy and a curriculum for stroke development”. It answers all your questions.January 22, 2015 at 7:59 pm #2185billratioParticipant
I tend to agree with your thoughts on drills. My questions are largely regarding constructing strokes. Surely you don’t go straight into full freestyle? Where do you begin your progressions when teaching the different strokes?
"Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."January 23, 2015 at 6:19 am #2186AmsepamseParticipant
Freestyle and backstroke: body/head position floating and then kicking. Freestyle breathing from a side kicking and switching sides. The tricky part is adding arms and maintaining body position when breathing.
No drills; just work on those aspects.
Butterfly and breaststroke: start with arms and breathing pattern from a floating position. Legs comes naturally when you have the body movement established.
These kids train only once a week for 30 weeks/year, so building fours strokes takes many years. The once weekly in my opinion is too much time between practices and they forget (muscle memory) in between.
Train them daily and you will have four strokes easy before they are six years old.
My experience is that the overuse of “drills” greatly delays the progression towards completing four strokes.
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