View Full Version : Practice ideas for swimmer birthdays?

July 8th, 2008, 02:56 PM
I coach age-group swimming with a rec team, but I suspect this is also applicable to swimmers of any age... What are some good ideas for fun practice activities when a swimmer has a birthday? We've done 25 flys with kickboard wakes created by the other swimmers, and I've toyed around with the idea of letting the birthday swimmer choose a set for the team to do... But I'm stumped as to some new, creative ideas.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

July 8th, 2008, 04:54 PM
I recall on my age group team that fellow teammates would take turns hitting the birthday person on the backside with a kickboard - based on the number in age the person was turning. I suppose that might now qualify as "hazing" or someother frowned upon practice of the sort (I think it probably did at that time too).

One of my coaches used to let the birthday person do a "get-out-swim" - to end the practice slightly early to either get out or play a game (sharks and minos, etc). The get out swim was usually something like a 50 free, and the birthday person would do the swim (at a pace he/she would likely make, but still a challenge). It makes the birthday person the hero for the day (because everyone benefits), and still provides a challenge. Generally if for some reason the birthday person did not make the time, the coach would just let the next in line try to do it.

July 9th, 2008, 10:20 PM
Not sure what age range you're talking about so these may or may not work.

Our team doesn't do anything special for birthday practices, but when the coach of our age groupers wants to reward the kids or add some fun to the practice, he ends early and they play a game of water polo or sharks and minnows. They also seem to like relays...especially if the strokes are changed up in some way (the corkscrew, etc).

July 10th, 2008, 11:56 PM
Thanks for your responses!

My kids range in age from about 9 - 17. I really like the idea of the get-out swim - I think I'll actually do that tomorrow (one boy is turning 16) and then follow it up with a game of water polo perhaps. :) In the future, some sort of birthday relay might be in order... We'll see. Thanks a ton for your suggestions!

November 28th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I have my birthday athlete stand on the blocks and sing Happy Birthday as loud as they can to themselves then I throw them in. If they refuse...I hold their arms, move them around, and pretend to be singing for them but in a weird embarrassing voice. It gets great laughs.

-Coach Ty

July 29th, 2009, 08:42 AM
If you have the entire pool at your disposal, I know a great exercise that all swimmers love...

We will swim from one side of the pool to the other, using the width instead of the length of the pool. The challenge is to make a flip over every lane that you pass (keep the lanes in the water ofcourse) and swim back under water or wathever they prefer...

Have you tried swimming backwards already? It's really hard, but lot's of fun...

Lot's of things to do, just imagine what you really liked when you were a kid, then consider if it's safe and just have fun!