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Thread: Christmas Break and High School Swimming

  1. #1
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    Christmas Break and High School Swimming

    I am a high school coach in Texas, and we have to deal with the untimely 2 week holiday break right at the peak of our season. I'm developing the schedule right now and as I'm doing so, I can already hear the kids saying "We are going out of town...family vacation...blah blah blah" and I'm trying to figure out how to deal with it.

    Do you guys have guidelines you follow for your high schoolers? I'm thinking along the lines of not missing more than 2 consecutive days each week, but how do I enforce it when I know that parents are going to raise hell if I threaten no swimming at district meet or no possibility of lettering?

    Frustrating dealing with enabling parents...

  2. #2
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Christmas Break and High School Swimming

    I always thought the holiday break was the greatest thing about high school season. It gives plenty of time to train without school getting in the way. I'm not sure you can really force kids to stay in town and train, but you can certainly greatly encourage it! And for those who are leaving town make sure you print workouts for them to take. Maybe they will be able to swim wherever they're going. Perhaps give some kind of incentive for anyone who attends every practice over the break.

    My other suggestion is to make things fun so the kids want to be there. This doesn't mean make the workouts easy, but add fun things like mock meets, gift exchanges, etc. Workouts can be hard AND fun at the same time. Good luck!

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    Very Active Member ekw's Avatar
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    Re: Christmas Break and High School Swimming

    Christmas break was always my favorite time of the season too. You didn't have to get up early for practice. One of my favorite things was having alumni and visiting swimmers there. We didn't have many people who swam in college (we were a dinky school) but some alums would come back to swim even if they weren't competing any more. We'd also have visiting swimmers, either from out of town or folks in town who swam for various colleges.

    I especially liked coming back when I was in college - I'd been considered fast in high school (big fish, small pond), but I dropped a lot of time and people were very impressed. (Too impressed, but who doesn't like an ego boost?)

    We did a lot of stuff to make it fun - stupid relays at the end of practice, for example. And we did a lot of piling into team captains' cars to descend en masse upon fast food joints after practice.

    I don't think there's much you can do to make it required because at that age the students don't really have a voice on whether they're in town or not, so give the ones who are out of town print workouts and hope for the best. Maybe they'll hear how much fun it was from teammates and pressure their parents to stay in town next year.
    "Librarians are hiding something." - Stephen Colbert

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Christmas Break and High School Swimming

    I've shared this here before and it really ties into this thread. This is the program (the late) Rick Edwards used at Eastern HS in Lansing, MI over the winter break:
    http://eastern.lansingschools.net/st...interblues.htm

    here are the workouts:
    http://eastern.lansingschools.net/st...g/workouts.htm

    You can see there are some real butt-kicking workouts, yet there is lots of fun mixed in.

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    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: Christmas Break and High School Swimming

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    My other suggestion is to make things fun so the kids want to be there. This doesn't mean make the workouts easy, but add fun things like mock meets, gift exchanges, etc. Workouts can be hard AND fun at the same time. Good luck!


    One thing I remember my team doing, was a "stopwatch workout". We had a sheet with 100 sets on the sheet, number 01, 02, ... thru 99, 00.
    The swimmer would start and stop the stopwatch, whatever the last two digits were determined the set the team would do.

    The Goal: To hit Double Zero (00) - that was get out of practice, or water polo, sharks n minnows, etc.

    The Catch...#85-99 & #01-15 were extremely tough (somewhat) sets e.g. 3 x 200 IM @ 2:30, while #45-55 on the list (furthest from the game option) were super easy e.g. 2 x 25 Free @ :30
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Christmas Break and High School Swimming

    I think I remember you mentioning the "Stopwatch Workout" before. I like it! You know all the high schoolers are going to roll the dice and try for that elusive 00!

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