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Trichica
December 3rd, 2016, 10:06 AM
Good day.

For any who can take two seconds, can you please reply and let me know about your coach your practices?

For example, does your coach put up a workout and just let you swim without any feedback whatsoever?

Or does your coach provide you with corrections, tips or pointers to improve your swimming? I am trying to get a sense of how coaching is handled by other groups.

Thank you and happy swimming.:fish2:

flystorms
December 3rd, 2016, 10:33 AM
Hi there! My coach puts the workout on a whiteboard, but adjustments are made for those who are slower or freestyle specialist (our tri/OW peeps). We usually warm up on our own according to the workout, then do at least one of the sets together as a team on the same time. For instance, we may do 15x100s on 1:40 and some folks will adjust down to doing 75s or wear fins. He does work with individuals for stroke technique/tweaks as he sees them.

Very occasionally, if we have someone with an upcoming race he may do a separate workout for that person - printing it out so we can put it on a kickboard and work off of it. He did this for me as I was upping my mileage for the last OW race. He'll still check in on occasion to see how you're doing or modify a bit. We're lucky we have a smaller team so he's able to keep doing this for now.

Trichica
December 3rd, 2016, 02:59 PM
Thanks. I wanted to see how it worked at other Masters. I learned to swim as an adult and we pay like 1300 a year for masters if not more. We get what you get for the most part--a workout on a kickboard and we are off. If people do their own thing coach barely notices or says anything. It is very disheartening because swimming tons of meters and repeating mistakes will not improve any of us....imho. Thanks.

FindingMyInnerFish
December 3rd, 2016, 04:13 PM
My coach is great! He tailors workouts (written on whiteboard) so that fastet and slower ppl get similar challenges. (I'm in latter group.) This could involve varying the number of repeats or the distance per interval. He also goes back and forth between lanes, giving feedback to all of us, regardless of speed. I did at one time go to a group where the coach just left copies of the workout on kickboards at the end of each lane and then read his newspaper. I was at the time fine w the latter group since it meant I had a quality 2 hour workout which I needed b/c I was training for a long o.w. swim, and simply adapted his wotkout to my speed (fewer repeats usually). But after a while, I needed more, and my current coach offers much more! Probably worth your while to try other masters groups in your area b/c I can't imagine that guy is the only game in town. Or maybe talk w him about your goals and needs.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Sumorunner
December 3rd, 2016, 06:52 PM
I'm a novice (at age 68), so have no team and no experience with racing, etc. Here's what I found last winter. Our high school has a continuing education program which includes everything from basket weaving to ballroom dancing to masters swimming. There are four different swim sessions one can sign up for. Adult learn to swim. Open swim with no coaching, just a life guard on duty. Stroke improvement with a coach to give you advice on whatever you need, stroke, kick, turns, etc. And masters swimming which was a set workout as others have indicated, distances and intervals written on a whiteboard with timing goals.

I signed up for the masters swim to have others to do the workout with even though I'm too slow to do some of it. If I couldn't do the repeats in the time specified, I merely did fewer with longer rest intervals. So while others might have done a 2500 yard workout, I did 2000. It worked for me. Now, brace yourself, because the price for a 10 week session of any of the above is $30, or $10 for senior citizens. Right, I'm paying $1 a week.

I did also sign up for a few swim clinics from a private coach at $20 per session this fall which was of the stroke improvement type. There were two coaches for about a dozen people. They fixed my stroke mechanics and I learned to do nice smooth open turns. Though it did not speed me up a whole lot, I feel much more comfortable in the water now.

ssumargo
December 3rd, 2016, 07:45 PM
oh goodness. I had the same problem. I signed up for a Masters Swim class at my gym, she printed out some workouts, but while I was doing it, she would be texting or disappear. She didn't tell me what I was doing wrong or paid any attention. I was completely discouraged, I didn't understand why I was still so slow. I found another Masters Swim club at the local middle school. Its $160 for 2 months, 4 times a week. It's with a legit coach, as in he won the coach of the year according to USMS. I will start in 2 week, very nervous, but I will come back to this thread and let you know what his coaching style is.

Jlvs2run
December 3rd, 2016, 11:33 PM
I started swimming in April, the lap swimming is free for seniors, and I make my own schedule.

Trichica
December 4th, 2016, 09:07 PM
Thanks all for your responses. I am thinking of finding another masters team--though I will miss my friends. This is a new coach and he gives us NO feedback--we just swim. And, yes, I love it when coaches sit on the deck and send emails or text messages all through practice.

Thanks all. The new year may call for a new masters team.

GGS5T
December 5th, 2016, 06:33 AM
Coaches need to remember the golden rule: That swimmers do not have to attend club workouts. They have a choice.

If swimmers are ignored or don't get constant feedback from the coach, they will leave and join another club. I have seen many coaches who resemble statues. They stand at the end of the pool and shout instructions to the swimmers. Most swimmers in the pool go home feeling anonymous.

Coaches need to make every swimmer in the pool feel important. It costs nothing for the coach to say hello to each swimmer as they come in to the pool. "Have you had a good day?" "You will like this session," "You've been training well recently," always goes down well.

I've never been keen on putting the program on a whiteboard for all to see. The coach will have planned this workout beforehand, but if swimmers don't respond as expected, the coach can change the rest of the session to lift spirits or to make it more appropriate. If the program is on the whiteboard it doesn't look good if swimmers see that the coach has 'taken a diversion' half way through.

Masters swimmers, as opposed to age-groupers enjoy a certain amount of banter. A 'connected' coach will easily be able to tease his swimmers on occasion, and allow himself to be teased in return. Self deprecation always goes down well. If swimmers can feel that the coach understands them and wants the best for them, they will respond positively.

Every swimmer, during every workout needs to be reminded of their stroke. Masters swimmers are all the same - they can be told something when they push off, but by the time they get to the end of the pool they will usually have forgotten it. 'Reminders' rather than stroke correction are always received well. Experienced masters swimmers know all about the mechanics of each stroke. They have learned about this during their age-group years, usually. They don't need to be told the basics of the stroke, but a reminder such as, "Just think about the last part of your pull," or "Aim for 5 fly kicks coming out of the wall," is the type of comments that masters will remember.

But 'connection' with the swimmers shouldn't be confined to the pool. Social events, particularly for masters groups are the best way of building team spirit. I've seen clubs use a social committee to organise such events, other clubs have had events arranged solely by the coach. The important thing is to get 100% attendance. It can be done, but will only work if all the swimmers in the squad feel valued.

If you don't want to go home at the end of the workout because it's been interesting and fun, then you know you have a good coach.

sunruh
December 5th, 2016, 09:38 AM
when i coach (that would be thursday mornings at 5:30am) i do the following:
i provide 2 types of workouts - competitive and fun & fitness
i explain the workout so that it is done as intended
i offer stroke corrections and advice
on some days i even video strokes to show the bad examples to the swimmer
i offer encouragement for the "fast" parts
--
now, my coaches dont always do this...actually i have only had 1 coach video me in the last 8 years and it was 1 time at my request
--
what i find the most interesting is when someone wants to argue with me about technique

flystorms
December 5th, 2016, 09:55 AM
Adding to my earlier comment, my first Master's coach I thought was pretty good, then after about a year in, I realized that he had his favorites and would cater to them. He'd almost completely ignore the others. Then he'd have a string of bad days where he'd just give us a long set and then sit on the bench and text or just pout about something. I nearly quit the team, then he left, thankfully.

The coaches we have now are fantastic! They're engaged with all levels and genuinely enjoy what they're doing. They definitely work to make us the best that we want to be. I feel very lucky to have stuck with the team through the rough period so that we could get these two.

Mark Usher
December 5th, 2016, 11:26 AM
I've gone from one extreme to the other with Masters coaches in the past year.

My first coach was an accomplished swimmer (Olympic goal medalist) who was a great stroke technician. She knew the goals & objectives of each swimmer and would set individual send-off times for each individual based on their own abilities. She actively coached from the deck and would have a "theme" or point of focus for each practice. She knew my goals and would push me in practice.

Our current coach usually makes up two different practice sheets: one IM-stroke based, and one for our triathletes that is composed of longer freestyle sets. The yardages on the workouts are written for the top performing members of the group and are unachievable by most members of the group within the scheduled practice time. The coach leaves it to the individual swimmers to edit or modify the printed workout to their ability level. He does no proactive coaching from the deck, but will answer individual questions if asked.

Some folks like the more laid-back approach of our current coach, as the previous coach could be more "in-your-face" at times. Not saying one is right or wrong. Different strokes for different folks as they say.

Personally, I'm still working to improve and preferred the previous situation. Quite frankly, most of the technical "coaching" I get these days is from Ernie Maglischo's and Sheila Taormina's books and Bob Bowman/David Marsh/Richard Quick videos.

FindingMyInnerFish
December 9th, 2016, 04:03 PM
Coaches need to make every swimmer in the pool feel important. It costs nothing for the coach to say hello to each swimmer as they come in to the pool. "Have you had a good day?" "You will like this session," "You've been training well recently," always goes down well.

I've never been keen on putting the program on a whiteboard for all to see. The coach will have planned this workout beforehand, but if swimmers don't respond as expected, the coach can change the rest of the session to lift spirits or to make it more appropriate. If the program is on the whiteboard it doesn't look good if swimmers see that the coach has 'taken a diversion' half way through.

Masters swimmers, as opposed to age-groupers enjoy a certain amount of banter. A 'connected' coach will easily be able to tease his swimmers on occasion, and allow himself to be teased in return. Self deprecation always goes down well. If swimmers can feel that the coach understands them and wants the best for them, they will respond positively.


I'm cool w my coach putting a workout on a whiteboard and later tweaking it. In fact, it seems to me that allows for some flexibility. My coach will notice if we're considerably ahead or barely making it on our intervals and might adjust accordingly--or might not, depending on the goal of a set, but I trust his judgment. He knows lots more than I do.

He definitely is excellent at giving feedback to all of us, the velocity challenged among us (namely yours truly) and the speedsters. And he adjusts intervals and reps accordingly. But he doesn't baby us. Last night, when I expressed concern that I wouldn't make an interval without fins, he held the line and told me I was good for it, no fins! And in fact I made the interval each time.

He's a great motivator--he'll critique, but also tell us when we're doing well. And sometimes, as you mention, he and the swimmers tease one another--he's adept at puns, and if I'm stressing out over not doing as well as I want, he'll say something to make me laugh... (I have to be careful there b/c sometimes as I'm swimming and my face is in the water, I'll think of something funny he said and have had to develop the ability of laughing with my face down.) :)

He also has a give-away night, where he might do a relay as the last item in a practice, winnowing down contestants until only one person is left--and that person gets a prize from his box. It's usually something he got from a sponsor or an item from one of his race goody bags, not expensive, just fun stuff (swim caps, drawstring bags, goggles, etc.). Last night there were only 3 of us, so he just let all three of us pick something from the box and complimented us on how hard we'd worked.

Don't anyone hire him away from us!! :)

orca1946
December 10th, 2016, 12:25 PM
Our coach Corinne gives each lane the workout a set at a time. She tailors each lane for who is in it and what works for what ails you this week. She has been running the team for 29 years this way and we like it.

Trondi
December 22nd, 2016, 05:55 AM
Coaches need to remember the golden rule: That swimmers do not have to attend club workouts. They have a choice.

If swimmers are ignored or don't get constant feedback from the coach, they will leave and join another club. I have seen many coaches who resemble statues. They stand at the end of the pool and shout instructions to the swimmers. Most swimmers in the pool go home feeling anonymous.

Coaches need to make every swimmer in the pool feel important. It costs nothing for the coach to say hello to each swimmer as they come in to the pool. "Have you had a good day?" "You will like this session," "You've been training well recently," always goes down well.

I've never been keen on putting the program on a whiteboard for all to see. The coach will have planned this workout beforehand, but if swimmers don't respond as expected, the coach can change the rest of the session to lift spirits or to make it more appropriate. If the program is on the whiteboard it doesn't look good if swimmers see that the coach has 'taken a diversion' half way through.

Masters swimmers, as opposed to age-groupers enjoy a certain amount of banter. A 'connected' coach will easily be able to tease his swimmers on occasion, and allow himself to be teased in return. Self deprecation always goes down well. If swimmers can feel that the coach understands them and wants the best for them, they will respond positively.

Every swimmer, during every workout needs to be reminded of their stroke. Masters swimmers are all the same - they can be told something when they push off, but by the time they get to the end of the pool they will usually have forgotten it. 'Reminders' rather than stroke correction are always received well. Experienced masters swimmers know all about the mechanics of each stroke. They have learned about this during their age-group years, usually. They don't need to be told the basics of the stroke, but a reminder such as, "Just think about the last part of your pull," or "Aim for 5 fly kicks coming out of the wall," is the type of comments that masters will remember.

But 'connection' with the swimmers shouldn't be confined to the pool. Social events, particularly for masters groups are the best way of building team spirit. I've seen clubs use a social committee to organise such events, other clubs have had events arranged solely by the coach. The important thing is to get 100% attendance. It can be done, but will only work if all the swimmers in the squad feel valued.

If you don't want to go home at the end of the workout because it's been interesting and fun, then you know you have a good coach.


+1 :applaud:


hmmmm any room in your club GG? :)

mrsbananars
December 24th, 2016, 10:46 AM
Yes, I remember the coach your are talking about, Flystorms. I was one of those swimmers he would ignore. He was great to start, but once I told him I was pregnant, I was left to my own. Wouldn't even say "hi" to me. I don't think he liked his job.

The coaches we have now are wonderful! They take the time to correct and teach! In the few months I've swam with them, I feel the strongest and most aware of movement in the water than I have in my whole swimming experience.

-Megan

orca1946
December 24th, 2016, 05:11 PM
Maybe print this list out and hand it to "coaches" that are just there?