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    We went to our second LC meet of the season and did not have the same results. The first was two weeks ago. The 10 year olds had 100% PB, and the 13 year old had 87% PB. Several factors may have played into this meet not being as successful.

    We have recently joined an AAU summer league team. They are practicing 1 1/2 hours 3-4 mornings a week in addition to our normal USRPT sessions. I know this falls under the “mixed training = mixed results” mantra. We chose to make a trade-off. They have missed being part of a team, and this is a relaxed, fun atmosphere. They do the conditioning exercises Rushall describes and focus a lot on technique. They have done one meet with this team and are having a blast. I keep telling myself that I am making sure they are having fun.

    Two swimmers (10) had been away at camp until the day before.

    We left at 5 am and drove six hours.

    The 10 year olds had 37% & 25% PB. In all but two races, the boy had no competition. He was half the length of the pool or more ahead in the other races. Is having someone to race an intangible that I can not quantify?

    The 13 year old trained as usual. He had 50% PB. His first race was the 1500, and he dropped over 16 seconds in eight weeks. I was greatly encouraged by his first day because he swam 100% PB. The meet ended up being very small with turn around times of around 15-20 minutes. He ended up swimming in 16 events. He made it through – even posting a PB in 200 Fly as his last event. He was hurting so bad that he asked me to scratch which he has never done. I think I made the right decision in getting him to dig deep and push through. He proved to himself that he could do it.

    Did those factors really make an impact? We are supposed to go to an outdoor meet in four weeks. The first two of those, the 13 year old is out of town. The second week, the 10 year old boy will also be gone. I need to decide if we should still go. It is a 5-6 hour drive. I don’t want to set them up for failure. I would love feedback from you guys!


    Really. One meet and you’re ready to change?

    As a club coach the biological maturity issue is always going to be a factor. Get over it! The research says 1-3% improvement can be attributed to biological maturity until they reach peak height. So if they are improving at a greater rate than that (per year) at least you know you didn’t screw them up and that’s about it. Truthfully

    This is not an easy system “plug and play”. You have to be on top of recording. Numbers offered, numbers made, looking at race splits/tempos/cycles and correlating them to practice performances/sets and vice versa.

    We are now the researchers and we have to record the data and I really don’t think that after a couple of weeks of training and one meet you can make “heads or tails” of what to expect.

    This is going to take work and probably more observation on the part of the coach than most are use to or willing to do for extended periods.

    Do the work and stay the course! If you do the “numbers will start to speak to you”

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


    “One meet and you’re ready to change”

    That’s not at all what I said & I’m not sure I need to “get over” anything. This is a results post & I was merely posting ours. When I’m not on the pool deck, I’m going on 15yrs as a practicing physician so I’m pretty aware of the physiological/biomechanical changes that take place in ones body as well as the adaptation process…..this is why I’ve chosen USRPT as our training method. I also stated we were 6 weeks into it…..not a couple.

    I’m just wanting to ensure that I’m on the right track & as far as how much we’re doing, etc. I have zero plans to go back to a traditional model. I would think it’s human nature when you drastically change methods & see your kids struggle to question things a bit.

    Stay the course I will


    Doc, you might want to reread your first and last sentences. Looks like one meet and change? I did miss the 6 weeks and I apologize. The biological maturity issue was not meant to insult your intelligence. It’s there and it’s uncontrolable. We just need to focus on the things we have some control over.
    “I’m just wanting to ensure that I’m on the right track & as far as how much we’re doing, etc” What are you doing?
    Using your data 6 weeks at 4 days and 3-4 sets. If I just say 3 sets per day as an example then that’s 72 sets of the 72 sets say you do 25s, 50s, and 75s that would be 24 sets of each distance.I just divided them equally.

    Using 25s, you offer 20 x 25 each time, so at this point that would be in the neighborhood of 480 x 25s offered. what percent have they made? there is a number. With the 50s, say you offer 16 x 50 each time, that’s going to be roughly 384 x 50, again what percent have they made?

    The numbers made is about “accumulating potential” low %s not much “in the old bank account” hard to spend “utilization of that potential” if you don’t have it. Without numbers I don’t know many guys that can help you. There are guys, albeit not many, that have quite a bit of data on this and are willing to help but coaches are going to have to provide more information than they are probably use to.

    If a patient came into your office and all they said was “it hurts” and you spend the next twenty minutes playing 20 questions to final figure out what might be the problem and then set a course of action. Or you have the patient that comes in and says ” Doc, I have pain above and below my right eye, my ears are plugged off and on and when I go underwater hurts like !@#$” The course of action gets done alot quicker I’d suspect.

    The more information/data you and other coaches can provide the better chance we have of helping each other.

    Apologize for the long post.

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


    We went to another meet. We are sticking with USRPT, but we are concerned about endurance. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Our technique focus going into this meet was turns.

    13 year old – 45% PB. He was out of the water for three weeks and in for one week before this meet. (Two weeks of camp and an additional week for injury. He cut off the tip of his thumb.) He dropped 8 in his 400 IM in three weeks.

    11 year old – 54% PB. He missed one week of training, but had two weeks back in leading up to the meet. He dropped almost 19 in his 400 IM in three weeks. He also did his first 1500 under his goal.

    11 year old – 18% PB. She didn’t miss any training. The drops she did have were not huge. Some of her gains were minuscule, but some were big. (8+ in 100 BK and 100 Fly.)

    Their performance does not reflect what they have been doing in practice at all. All three of them have been training at 2-7% under PB times. I think we may have more of a mental/pressure issue when it comes time to perform in a meet. Our summer league championships are tomorrow and LSC LC championships are next weekend. We are hoping to get this resolved and see them perform well at the meets!

    Greg Tucker

    What kind of “endurance” did you do 3-4 weeks out?


    What do you mean 45% PB?

    Kinda hard to comment without details.

    Good luck.

    Greg Tucker


    My three swimmers have spent the summer also swimming with an AAU team. For our 4-5 sessions a week, we do USRPT with 3 sets. For their 3-4 AAU practices, they have done no more than 1,000 yards with heavy emphasis on technique. We did not taper for this meet, but we have reduced our sets this week to two per session. Our LC championships are this weekend. Only the two boys will swim. When I say 45% PB, I mean that he swam best times in 45% of his races. We have not done any “endurance” training. I am very anxious to see how championships go.


    I’d be interested to know what they were holding for pace in practice on 25s, 50s and 75s (if you did them)?
    What were their race splits i.e. 1st 50 of 100, 2nd 50 of 100? If they swam 200s what was the 1st 50 split? What was the average of 50s 2, 3, & 4? If they swam the 2IM what were their splits?

    Just trying to get a feel for correlations of practice times to race times.



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


    We are at our LC Champs, and our results are not good. So far, we have had only two PB out of nine swims. I am not sure what the issue is. I think my kids may have been ready for the season to end a couple of weeks ago. I will be rereading everything about the psychology aspect and peaking. I think this may be my mistake.

    Hopefully, our next three swims will be better!


    Results from our LC Championships July 3rd-6th

    18 swimmers, 51 swims with 30 LTB for 58.82 % improvement

    When breaking down the improvement rate by attendance using 70% or higher. I get a totally different picture. Any swimmer above 70% attendance had an improvement rate of 86.95% to LTB.

    When breaking down the improvement rates using “numbers made at pace” with 35% or higher. We had an improvement rate of 85.71%. It also happened to be roughly the same kids with the higher attendance, go figure, more opportunity to achieve MASTERY and accumulate potential. Each swimmer was between 38.95% and 47.23% (highest was 64.23% on “50s on 1:00”) on each of the protocol sets 25s, 50s, 75s and 100s. If below those percentages they struggled to maintain any kind of consistence with regard to splits and performance i.e. might have one good swim, one bad swim and some just downright terrible swims all from the same individual. All you had to do was look at attendance and “numbers made” and had the answer.

    The kids with the best attendance and “numbers made” are also the kids that swam the most consistent all summer staying within 2% of LTB or swam LTB at the 3 other meets we attended.
    Funny how that works!

    We have one more meet with the top kids. Could get interesting based on race projections.

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

    Greg Tucker

    Love it. Just love it. You ever think about publishing or presenting your data at a swim conference?

    I gotta ask again about your “numbers made at pace” metric. How calculated? Do you do it across strokes? Or dies a kid have a “number made at pace” for each stroke?

    Again, thanks for the analytics. Really good info.

    Greg Tucker

    Greg Tucker


    One more Q. Any notable correlations with length of swim? Really interested in USRPT data and distance training.

    Thanks again.

    Greg Tucker


    Coach Tucker,
    I presented a lot of this information about a month ago at the North & South Dakota Swim Coaches Conference in Fargo, ND. Well received by the majority of the coaches had about 50ish and other than that no real desire to publish any of this. I really do it more for my enjoyment/passion, for my staff and for the kids.

    The kids have a pace range for freestyle and one for their stroke that correlates with race performance for 25s, 50s, 75s and 100s. We are more Parametric in our progression, meaning we control the number offered each time they do the sets as we progress thru the season. We use the “rules” that’s what the kids’ call it with 2 in a row out or 3 total misses and out.

    I’ve included a “snapshot” of our “n x 50 fr on :50/1:00” Excel spreadsheet I use to record and tally numbers. This sheet goes from A1 to BA1. So it’s a small “snapshot.

    Stdev is standard deviation: this is VERY important. A lot of coaches may record the average for a set and try and use that to do race projections and miss a key component which is standard deviation it will tell you the technical reliability of the swim i.e. d/S, tempo, turn speeds and speeds underwater. The lower the Stdev the better technical work.

    Avg- & Avg+: is their pace range with avg+ as the slowest speed they can go.

    The columns with dates are where we record number offered (#O) and number made (#M) that’s the number they give me after the set. The spreadsheet keeps a running total of #O & #M throughout the season and what percentage they have made at the point in the season. You see we sometime increase numbers and at other time we’ll decrease numbers depending on how the athlete is doing. We’ll also make big jumps in numbers just to see if they will respond to the challenge. That usually falls flat on its face.

    “Total offered” column is the total number offered to the swimmer for that season
    “Total made” column is the running total made by the swimmer for that season

    “% total offered” column is the one we think has the greatest importance because it gives the best information on how they will perform. It shows mastery, high accumulation of potential and fitness. Caveat here is done at the correct speeds which is a whole other topic.

    All workouts are written in WORD so it’s just a simple “cut and paste” from Excel spreadsheet to the workout of the numbers they made from last time. So they know that that need to improve on making more than last time.

    The distance question is interesting. We are really good out to the 200s all strokes and 400/500 free with the work we do and have good correlations from race performance to practice and vice versa. I wish I had kids that wanted to do the 4IM and mile. At one time I had 3, but after the 3rd workout they had a come to Jesus meeting and decided to swim shorter events. They found out that swimming at race pace for the 4IM and mile every workout is not easy. They actually cried after reading the workout.

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

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