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View Full Version : Things swim coaches should not do or should do.



geochuck
January 10th, 2007, 06:51 AM
Things swim coaches should not do....

#1 If you can not do a stroke correctly - Do not demonstrate.

#2 Do not make too many changes in a stroke at one time.


Coaches should

#1 Make sure the swimmers can handle the workload.

#2 Design Individualized programs.

Please add your thoughts, I have many more but would like to see what others think.

Caped Crusader
January 10th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Coaches should

#1 Make sure the swimmers can handle the workload.

#2 Design Individualized programs.



Can coaches always design individualized workouts in a group setting? How?

aquageek
January 10th, 2007, 10:40 AM
In a Master's setting there are typcially people of widely varying abilities and ages. It would be almost impossible to design individualized programs. Our coach does a base workout with the interval times for the fastest lane and then modifies the times/repeats for the other lanes. Considering all the new "try it out" types this time of year, coaching is a huge challenge as new folks show up all pumped up and then fade big time after a half hour.

geochuck
January 10th, 2007, 11:06 AM
I make a list of every swimmer and their abilities. I design my workouts to be specific for each individual. Although the workouts are done as a group I give each swimmer time goals on a card to follow for their workouts. Sorry guys I only coach groups of maximum 5.

Every coach could make a list and give individual goals for larger groups, it is time consuming. I spend at least five minutes a workout with each doing stroke correction. Next year all of my swimmers will be doing their workouts with no more than 2 in a group in my Riverpool.

EyeoreSAM
January 10th, 2007, 11:41 AM
I would love to be able to give tailored practices every day.....but I have 38 senior kids in a 5 lane pool. I do the best I can for the group as a whole and I make sure that the practice intervals are different for each, but I am the only one on deck and it tends to get very difficult!

chlorini
January 10th, 2007, 03:51 PM
We typically have 25 or so people per workout, and our coach does a good job of individualizing workouts for people with different goals. Sometimes we all do the same set (with some different intervals or distances based on ability) if the goal of the set is something we all need to work on, such as aerobic base-building, kicking, etc. But other times, he gives a set and then gives certain people specific modifications based on their specialty. If we have a set of 4 x 200, for example, most people may be doing freestyle, but he may tell me to do breaststroke and hold my times under a certain interval. He might do the same with a backstroker and flyer. He may remind a newer triathlete of a specific stroke focus before they take off doing freestyle. It's not that everyone gets a customized set every time, but when it's appropriate and, especially if you tell him you have specific goal you want to work towards, he will do more individualizing. I think that works well.

Other thoughts:

A coach should offer encouragement and praise in addition to stroke critique and suggestions.

A coach should be thanked for his or her efforts and passion.

A coach should continually strive to improve his or her knowledge of swimming.

A coach should be honest when he or she doesn't know the answer to a question.

Michael Heather
January 10th, 2007, 11:09 PM
Coaches should:

make workouts that have a point other than using up time

be ready to time a swim at the end of any workout

pay attention to a group that has been tasked with drills to ensure they are being done correctly

watch the swimmers in case anyone asks about their stroke

give intervals to the slowest group; the fastest group already knows their interval

Coaches should not:

palaver with the lifeguards, no matter how friendly or cute they are

have favorite lanes

be late to practice or leave early (it rubs off on the swimmers' attitudes)

FlyQueen
January 10th, 2007, 11:19 PM
Coaches should ...
Have a solid knowledge base and teach within that ... if you don't know how to coach fly, don't have your swimmers doing it while you try to fix it ...

Know what each of their swimmers are capable of ...

Tailor the workout at least to specific lanes and injuries ...

Know their swimmers goals and/or reasons for coming ... (whether it's to swim a fast 50 in a meet OR do a tri ... VERY different goals and training)

Be learning constantly ....

Take criticism well ...

Give both praise and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism ...

Be enthusiastic ....

SMILE ....

Welcome new swimmers, tell them where to go, ask them their name and background, show them where equipment is and introduce them to people ...

Pay attention to practices ...

Try NOT to have favorite lanes ...

Make their swimmers work hard!

CreamPuff
January 11th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Boy! Makes me glad I'm not a coach! It's too difficult.
Being a swimmer is tough enough for me.

My coach *should* do :thhbbb: when giving me long fly sets and :dedhorse: when I'm lazy or whine or not giving 100% - although she always gives 100% at practice.

Peter Cruise
January 11th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Coaches should not stub out their cigar on a swimmer's arm. Oh, yes he did: stand-in coach, 1959, was giving us a 'pep' talk and went to extinguish said cigar on diving board support (without looking) and didn't realize that little 7 year old future master of purple prose had wedged himself in there. Yeow!

Jeff Commings
January 11th, 2007, 12:46 PM
It would be almost impossible to design individualized programs.
It's possible. I did it when I coached Masters. You just need to plan very well, and most coaches either don't want the hassle or don't have the time (usually the former).

It's not hard to split the pool into distance, middle distance, stroke and sprint and design workouts accordingly. When new people come to try it out, put them in a lane of their choosing.

Shaman
January 11th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Things swim coaches should not do....

#1 If you can not do a stroke correctly - Do not demonstrate.

#2 Do not make too many changes in a stroke at one time.

Please add your thoughts, I have many more but would like to see what others think.

I have a problem trying to do that as an athlete.

chaos
January 11th, 2007, 01:50 PM
Coaches should not stub out their cigar on a swimmer's arm. and didn't realize that little 7 year old future master of purple prose had wedged himself in there. Yeow!

i agree that 10 and unders are a bit young to subject to this treatment; but masters on the other hand..................................

aquageek
January 11th, 2007, 02:22 PM
It's not hard to split the pool into distance, middle distance, stroke and sprint and design workouts accordingly. When new people come to try it out, put them in a lane of their choosing.

That's what I said, lanes for preferences. Hard to design an individualized program for each swimmer, however.

nkfrench
January 11th, 2007, 03:07 PM
* Fall asleep on the bench during practice
* Not know which set the swimmers are on when only 2 show up for practice
* Give sets where the sendoff interval is a minute faster than your best race time for that swim (ie 5 x 500 leaving on 6 minutes when your best time is 7:00) and where the coach has had that swimmer for over a year.

chaos
January 11th, 2007, 03:07 PM
That's what I said, lanes for preferences. Hard to design an individualized program for each swimmer, however.
I agree that it would be difficult to design an individual program for each swimmer but, assuming this is done; given limited lane space it is imposable to divide the lanes according to preference and not have speed/abilities conflict.

bbpolhill
January 11th, 2007, 03:25 PM
I've recently been told that my kids' swim coach sometimes puts a long, boring :snore: set on the board and retreats to the office and checks e-mail. Pretty demoralizing... :(

aquageek
January 11th, 2007, 03:36 PM
I agree that it would be difficult to design an individual program for each swimmer but, assuming this is done; given limited lane space it is imposable to divide the lanes according to preference and not have speed/abilities conflict.

This is very true. We have a few swimmers who are basically "stuck between lanes" - too fast for one, too slow for the other. We encourage them to swim up and they are quite good at moving over when caught. Usually, they go off last on a set and this is only an issue on longer sets of 300 yards or more.

It also works as a motivation for the fast folks. Trying to catch that slower person speeds you up along with them swimming faster to avoid being caught. It's a little cat and mouse game.

FindingMyInnerFish
January 11th, 2007, 05:08 PM
i agree that 10 and unders are a bit young to subject to this treatment; but masters on the other hand..................................

:laugh2:

However, there's a small problem here: shouldn't coaches model healthy behavior, thereby excluding cigar smoking from their repertoire?

FindingMyInnerFish
January 11th, 2007, 05:17 PM
My first coach was also, I think, my best one. He was everywhere (or seemed to be), noticing everything. I would think that I could slide a little and there he'd be. And he'd be so encouraging and so persuasive and so enthusiastic that you couldn't help but pick up and keep going even when tired. He also gave great feedback on stroke, breathing, all kinds of stuff. Young guy with tons of energy!

He didn't just notice the faster swimmers but all of us, correcting this, praising that, noticing improvements....

Unfortunately for us (and fortunately for future clients), he had to give up the masters' group b/c of his class and work schedule. He's going for a master's degree in PT. I think anyone who gets him for their therapist will be very, very lucky!

FlyQueen
January 11th, 2007, 05:25 PM
I LOVE PTs that know swimming ... so hard to find!!

Coaches should also know their swimmers limits, when to push, when to back off and have some semblence of an idea about injuries (shoulders at least) and listen to their swimmers when they say so I can't swim fly right now or free ... and think of other ways to get things accomplished ...

geochuck
January 11th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Some very good replies, you have really dug into it and this is the reason I started this topic.