The Path to Clean Swimming

The Path to  Clean Swimming
Path To Clean SwimmingWe see admirable courageous stances by athletes from multiple nations in Rio with regard to the immediate and important need to protect our sport.

This comes about because the IOC and its subsidiary International Federation Puppets such as FINA in our sport, have abdicated their moral responsibility to protect and preserve the sanctity of Olympic Ideals and Values. They have revealed themselves as simply a financial machine generating BILLIONS of dollars while sharing pittances with the Athletes on whose backs those dollars are generated, AND THEN, they are so arrogant as to ask the athletes to protect their private money generating circus by not  protesting the prostitution of clean sport, as FINA and the IOC have done by allowing the dopers to swim.

Which leaves us with “WHAT TO DO”?

Here are the SIMPLE (not easy, but SIMPLE) steps:

  1. The real power in sport is with the athletes. Read that again three times. As athletes, you have become so used to the mindset of “big brother IOC will take care of all” that now that that trust has been betrayed, you have not realized ITS ALL ABOUT YOU. Your heart, soul, passion and BODY are what the IOC is getting rich on, and all the IF’s underneath them as well, (Read FINA, with their 100 Million in the bank while you starve.)
  1. ATHLETES MUST UNITE, form your own organization and TELL THE IOC under WHAT CONDITIONS YOU WILL PARTICIPATE IN THEIR CIRCUS. (Suggestions on conditions to follow.)
  1. And PS. You can run your own Swim Circuit without them, earn REAL money, and be in control of your destiny. See GOLF and TENNIS. I am here to help you do it, when you are ready and I have a team in place to help you do it. And I won’t accept an American nickel to do it. No money for me.

This is about you and generations to follow.  I want my children who coach, to be able to coach CLEAN ATHLETES and aspire to win in the generations ahead. That’s my personal motivation for the cynics to understand.

  1. Once you have a viable option to the IOC and their Circus, you are in control. Yes, keep the Olympics, but have it drug free, have it the way you dreamed of it when you were a child and emerging elite athletes. Not the cynical freak show of today, all marketing, no soul. Value your Dreams. They can be real. They can be real. They can be real.
  1. What conditions do you want? Here are “suggestions”.
  1. WADA must be rebuilt with a REAL anti-doping reformer at the helm. (I suggest Travis Tygert, of USADA, the ONLY administrator in all sport to truly SPEAK UP for you. He’s real. He’s at odds with the USOC because they are just more fakers hiding behind nonsense like “Zero Tolerance.”

The only ZERO TOLERANCE they recognize is for anything that threatens their bank account. Note to the USOC – why hold an Olympics in Los Angeles when it’s just another corrupt operation serving no clean athletes…..? When you cave in to the IOC on everything, to get the Games in LA, YOU STAND FOR NOTHING!  ATHLETES, DEMAND A REBUILD of WADA. And real power for WADA to set rules, test for doping and ENFORCE RULES FOR ALL OF OLYMPIC SPORT.

  1. A thing called “HIGH THROUGHPUT TESTING” which exists TODAY, can find the doping needle in the haystack that current testing can’t. It can immediately create CLEAN SPORT. Why don’t “they” use it now? Because they don’t want clean sport, they want the charade of “Zero Tolerance” rhetoric.  The Science EXISTS NOW. ATHLETES, INSIST WE USE 2016 Science to catch 2016 cheats, NOT 1950’s technology which is what is used now.
  1. MONEY – It’s all about the money right now, isn’t it? Why are the IOC making BILLIONS while you struggle to get the money to eat and keep a roof over your head? ATHLETES, insist on a fair distribution of revenue to keep YOU at the center of the picture. How? See number two above.

Athletes, every problem that frustrates you and your coaches and the entire world that wants CLEAN SPORT, can be solved by YOU. Unite. OWN YOUR SPORT.  Many of us are here to help you. Fix swimming for your generation and hundreds of generations to come. You have the power to do it. Use it. Please.

John Leonard

American And World Swimming Coaches Association.


New ASCA members for the week of November 25, 2016

New ASCA members for the week of November 25, 2016

Congratulations to ASCA’s new members from November 19-25, 2016:
• Taylor Hunt – Golden, CO
• Surabhi Jain – Dubai, UAE
• Alex Mikolajewski – Hoffman Estates, IL
• Gabriela Muraca – Vernon Hills, IL


A Dryland-Specific Program for High School Swimmers by Randy Wells, Emporia High School (2013)

[introduction, by George Block]

I’m George Block; I want to welcome you to this session on dryland training.  This is one speaker I’d never met before, and I was getting ready to go out and hunt him down this morning and God put us in the same elevator.  It made it real interesting to meet.  And I am so happy that Randy is here, from just the little I got to talk to him.  I found out the level of personal commitment he had in his talk: he is a football coach and defensive coordinator, and he skipped his game this weekend to come here and give his talks.  He had to watch it on a webcast, and try to use his cell phone to call the guys in the booth and run a defense from New Orleans back to Emporia, Kansas.  So it’s really exciting to have somebody who is a Football coach, a Track coach, and committed to Swimming—has worked with a number of Swimming coaches.  I learned just moments ago that you’re very lucky, because normally he does the clinic in the weight room and all the coaches do the exercises. [laughter]  So today you are saving my knee, and me a lactate bath tomorrow.  So, Randy, thank you for joining us; welcome to the ASCA World Clinic.


[Wells begins]

Thank you, I appreciate it, thank you.  Just to give you a quick background, my background, I work with every type of athlete possible.  Swimmers, I’m lucky that we’ve had some really good swimmers where I’m from, and I’ve had a chance to work with some really good swimmers.  Katie Yevak, who went to Georgia, just barely missed the Olympic team; she is from our hometown.  So I work with a lot of swimmers.  And believe it or not, my first teaching/coaching job, I had to manage the pool and they said by the way you got to do the swim club too.  So I do have a little bit of background in there.  I am by no way a swim guru of technique or anything like that.  But what I’m going to show you today are some very interesting things that I think you can take back and use.


And the presentation is kind of a two-part deal.  I’m going to move pretty quick through the PowerPoint stuff, the slides.  Some of the slides are going to give you a background of what we’re going to see in the video.  Then I’ve got to switch gears, I’m going to put a video in.  The video is about 28 minutes; there is a lot… there is a ton of stuff on it.  I figured out the other night there is probably 40 different exercises that you’re going to see.  And it’s no way inclusive of all the things that we do, but it’s going to give you a framework that you could take back with little or no equipment and get some dryland training for your swimmers.


At the same time, the good thing about dryland training, if you can do some of these circuit things that you’re going to see today, you can actually reduce the volume in the pool.  Of how much volume you’re doing actually in the pool, and that’s a good thing I think.  You know, I’m a track coach too, and it’s always about volume, volume, volume, all this stuff.  And sometimes we do too much.  So if you could do some of these things, then at the same time you want to try to decrease some of the volume you’re doing in the pool.


My background, like I said, I coach Football, I coach Track.  I work with every athlete.  I’m basically our strength and conditioning coordinator at our high school as well.  So I work with tons of athletes; I see about 150-165 kids a day, and sometimes 50 at a time.  So it’s very challenging.


So what we’re going to do, before we start.  Everybody standup.  Give yourself a little bit of space.  I’m going to show you something that you can take back, right now.


Shoulder injuries are usually a common occurrence in Swimming. (Would I be right in saying that?  Somewhat, alright.)  And you’re going to need to give yourself a little bit of space.  So here is a little tool that you can use either as pre-hab, rehab, warm-up; however you want to use it, it could be used.  And it is just a little isodynamic shoulder routine.  It can be done with weight, no weight—we do it with no weight.  Just to loosen up the shoulders and get some good stability in our upper back.  So I’m going to demonstrate first, and then we’re going to do it.  Don’t poke anybody in the eye.


I’m going to get into somewhat of bent-over-row position, push my hips back.  And I’m going to take my hands and put them in a Y.  Notice my thumbs are up.  And the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go with my right arm and I’m going to touch my left knee, and I’m going to keep this left arm extended and not moving at all.  So this is a Y, okay?   Do 5.


Now you got to get… you’ve got to get hold a good bit of a row position, touch the inside knee, thumbs up, do 5.  Normally we would do 12; you guys are only doing 5.  Yeah, I know it’s a little cramped.  If you want to scoot-up to the front—I move around a lot.


So then put the right arm out, and do 5 with the left arm.  These are Ys.  And both arms should be straight, and I’m keeping my thumbs up.  Okay, you got the idea.  That’s part one.


From the Y, then we’re going to go to somewhat of a T.  It’s not a full… (I’ll show you from the side), it’s not a full 180-T; so I’m somewhere right in here, okay, maybe 160°.  And I’m going to do the same thing.  Left arm up, right arm touches the knee, it comes up.  Do 5.


(This is kind of my little get acquainted introduction deal.)  And I’m telling you, this is worth its weight in gold, right here.


[audience member]:  Is your back flat when you do this?  That’s key?


[Wells]:  Yes.  Yeah.  Because see you want to hinge at the hip; that’s the whole key right there.  So you’re getting more bang for your buck right there yeah.


Okay so we’ve got Ys, Ts, and now we’re going to go to what I call Egyptians.  I don’t know if any of you are old enough to remember the song Walk Like an Egyptian; this is it.


So I’m going to get in this good position.  I’m going to put one hand on my low back.  The other hand is going to be over here, at about a scarecrow position, about 90°.  And all I’m going to do is lift both hands up, and back down.  So the hand on my back comes up, and this hand rotates up.


Now you can see… see my wrist start to flex?  I want to try to lock that in there.  Okay, I had an AC shoulder injury a long time ago, so I don’t have that good of a range of motion.  Over time kids can get this really-good range of motion.  So here we go, we’re going to do Egyptians.


Let’s go right arm down, left arm on your low back.  And lift both at the same time.  It doesn’t have to be fast, doesn’t have to real high.  Do 3 or 4, then switch sides.


Now, look: when I take this hand off my low back, I want to go straight up.  I don’t want to go back here, I want to go straight up.  So you get internal/external rotation.  Everybody thinks that swimmers always have poor… they always have… its rotator cuff, rotator cuff, rotator cuff, rotator cuff.


(Okay, you guys can sit down.)  So that’s a great little tool that you can use a number of different ways.


It’s not so much rotator cuff.  Alright?  And you’re going to see this again in just a second.  (And I know I’m going to have to hurry because I’m going to talk a lot.  Is there something in here after we’re done?  Okay.  Then if we go over, I’m okay, because I’ll probably go over.)


The key here, and here’s the take-home message that I can give to you guys, is this: if you have a rash of shoulder injuries in Swimming, it’s really not so much rotator-cuff issues as it is weak-spine and stiffness issues.  Because if the lats can’t pull on a good, stiff spine, the shoulder has to take the brunt of that load.  That’s how you get shoulder injuries.  Alright?  So keep that in mind, and I’ll come back to that in just a little bit in the slides.


So the purpose of this presentation today:

  • hopefully share some training methods with you and some ideas,
  • give you some understanding of what I do for functional trainings for competitive swimmers,
  • and we’re going to define the LAPS system.

Now the LAPS system is a really unique deal. it involves four components, four essential components, that swimmers should have—and actually almost every athlete.  So think outside the box right now.  I did not design this system, and I’m going give these guys credit because I learned this from them: Juan Carlos Santana and Grif Fig of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida.  They designed this system, and it works very, very well.   So I had the opportunity to meet with those guys, I learned some really cool things, and hopefully I can pass that on to you.  So they get all the credit for this.  And then I tweak it a little bit, change some things, all that good stuff; then I try to make it my own.


And then last thing:

  • hopefully give you some new ideas of workouts you can use right away.

If you’re doing dryland training; if not, hopefully this provokes you into starting to do some dryland training with swimmers.


What do we know? We know that the research… there is tons of articles—I’m not going to quote all those things and I do a lot of nerdy reading.  But we know the research says this: resistance training improves stroke rate, it improves the distance traveled per stroke, therefore performance can be improved or enhanced.  So that’s what we know.


This is my favorite all-time slide.  Why?  Because what I see here… you guys see three different animals; I see three badass athletes right here.  Look at this frog, look at those calves: those are superhuman calves.   Nice hammies, nice glutes; he’s got the works going there.  What I see here is triple extension.  For swimmers, two times it occurs—actually it happens in the water—but also at the start and on the flip turn.  Two important critical times, where times can be decreased if they have enough power.


Okay, look at this frog right here.  A frog can jump greater than 20 times its body length in one jump.  I don’t know of any human that could do that.  So if I was five feet tall, I could jump 100 feet in one jump; not possible.  Look at the cheetah: 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 3 seconds.  Look at the ant: an ant can carry 20 times its body weight—lift and carry 20 times its body weight.  Now to me that’s impressive.  This is what I want to try to achieve for our athletes, whether it is swimmers, golfers, cross-country people, doesn’t matter.  And we try to do this… and I show this to our kids actually.


This is what stiff spines can do for you.  Now, they have some innate behaviors that we don’t, but a stiff spine could do a lot of good things for you.  So keep this in the back of your mind right now.  This is what we’re trying to achieve: core stiffness.


Function in the water, what else we do know?  There’s no ground contact forces.  Alright, this is where the debate gets with a little bit of Olympic lifting, because you’re putting force into the ground to get triple extension.  But there are those two times—the flip turn and the start—where you can dramatically decrease your times.  And that’s the key; the key is to swim faster.  Just like on a track: the track is to run faster.  Okay so the key to this is core stiffness; that is the key to transfer.  Everything that we do is anchored to the core.


Now my definition of the core is a little bit different.  When I talk about core… most people talk about abdominals.  I talk about a chain-link fence, on the front side and the backside.  So everything from my armpit to my ankles, I call the core; posterior, lateral, front, anterior, all that stuff.  Everything pulls on the core.


Take-home message—and this is where I get back to what I said earlier—if you have a rash of shoulder injuries, it’s most likely due to a weak spine.  Most likely.  Why?  Because the lats can’t pull on the spine like it should, because it’s not stiff.  Due to a weak spine, the shoulder picks-up the brunt of the load, then you have chronic shoulder injuries.


So what’s the fix?  The fix is to strengthen the spine.  Work for stiffness, work for good alignment.  If you’re weak in the core and the spine, you lose alignment in the water and you lose pull and kick power.  Which you guys all know about.


This is where the LAPS system comes in.  Four essential components of the system:

  • lower body power—that’s the L,
  • alignment and core rotation—that’s the A,
  • pull and push power—that’s the P,
  • shoulder stability—that’s the S.


(Now I know you guys don’t have these notes.  I didn’t know they were going to be in a book or I’d have brought you all the notes.  You can e-mail me, and I’ll send you this.  And I believe they’re going to have it up on a site as well that you’ll have access to.  So if you don’t want to write, you want to get all this; you’ll get it.)


The goal is to be stronger and more explosive in the water while decreasing the risk of injury.  That’s what it comes down to.  And to train safely.  Technique, where we talk about technique.


And understand this: the lower body is usually the difference-maker in the breaststroke and the butterfly—the lower body.  Leg strength is critical for kicks.  If the legs die in the water, what happens?  The hip sink.  If the hip sink, more resistance, more drag.  Okay?  The freestyle and the backstroke, those generally lend-themselves more to upper body.  More pushing- and pulling-type exercises will enhance the freestyle and the backstroke.  So you can kind of see how the system falls into place.


My top four exercises.  If there’s only four exercises that you could do…. (And you’re going to see all this; you’re going to see everything that I’m getting ready to show you and talk about. Some of these I’m going to go really quick on.)  If there’s only four things that I could do, they would be:

  • reaching lunges: which would be just a lunge with a reach, in all planes of motion there—frontal plane, transverse and the sagittal plane;
  • T-rotational push-ups: doing a push-up, coming-up, T’ing out;
  • one-arm staggered band pulls: that’s with the band (yeah, we do some of that stuff); and
  • band extensions: which would be extending overhead, lengthening out your abdominals.


Those four things could be done almost anywhere; almost anywhere with little to no equipment.  So if you don’t have access to weights, there is ways you could do all this.  (We’re fortunate enough, because we’ve got a pretty nice weight room.)  So those are the things that I would try to do.  If I had no weights at all and no implements of anything, I would be making sure I can get that stuff done, somehow.  And you’ll see all that in just a little bit.


Functional dryland training for swimming, these are the exercises to try.  Remember I talked about the lower body, the L in the LAPS system—those four components.  These are the lower-body exercises that we’re going to try to include, that you’re going to see today in some of the circuits.


So when I get all the swimmers in my weight class, we try to block them all together.  We don’t always do it, but when they come into me, they’ll always do an upper-body strength movement, a lower-body strength movement, and a quick-lift.  Like some type of an Olympic lift: a hand clean, a power clean, a snatch, something; it could be even a med-ball throw, for that much—it doesn’t have to be with weights.  Then when everybody else in that group breaks-off for their supplemental work, the swimmers come and do all this stuff.  And it’s a ton of stuff.


Swim starts would be a lower-body, explosive-power exercise, alright?  Now this dude right here, I don’t know who this is but he’s got a heck of vertical jump for 52 years-old (which would be me, I guess).  So swim start jumps.  So you try to simulate some of the things that you can do in the pool; so these are the types of jumps we’ll do with swimmers.


They’ll actually go down to a two-point stance, hold it for a second or two before they jump.  Because what do they got to do?  In the blocks, you eliminate the stretch-reflex response by holding in that position; you don’t have the luxury of: boom-boom and go.  So we try to mimic this in a weight room with these different types of jumps and starts.  So in this case, we have a parallel-stance start: both feet are even, fingertips are touching the ground, exploding high up to a vertical jump, land, repeat the movement—for whatever reps or time.  Most of the stuff you’re going to see today, I love doing it for time—most of it.


So you have a parallel-stance jump.  You have what I call a track start, because it looks like a track start to me, on the swimmer block.  Which is a staggered-stance jump.  So we just take one foot, we slide it back to about the heel relation—toe-heel relation—fingers on the ground, they hold for two seconds, and then they explode up to a vertical jump.  Pretty simple, very effective.




[audience member]:  Would you recommend doing those on a concrete deck with no shoes?


[Wells]:  I would recommend doing them with no shoes, by all means.  But on concrete?  If there was something you can put down under your feet, like a towel or something that gives it a little cushion.  But the more you could do it without shoes, I would definitely do these without shoes.  Because the toe and the foot then is allowed to move like it should.  When they put shoes on, the shoe knocks all that out of the water.


[audience member]:  How many of these do you do?


[Wells]:  In a workout, it may be 20 jumps, tops.  So if they have 5 jumps in a circuit, they’re going to go four times through 20 jumps.  We’ll never do over… never, never over 60 contacts, ever.  Everybody says oh, yeah you got to do more plyometrics.  Everything we do is a plyometric, essentially; so I don’t go crazy with plyometrics, I really don’t.


So that’s a track start.


Split squat lunges.  Lower-body exercise, can be done with body weight.  If I was going to teach somebody to squat and I wanted to give them lower-body strength, this is what I start with now.  So I put them in a big split (like this).  And I just tell them to drop their hips straight down to the ground and then they come straight up.  So they work for good posture.  And then we can knock it out for reps.


If you really want to get somebody to increase their vertical jump—which swimmers are notoriously bad for jumping, alright, at least the ones I deal with.  Most of the kids I deal with, they can’t tie their shoe and chew gum at the same time.  So I put them in a split squat, like pre-work, like in our little warm-up when they come in to the weight room.  You should see them: they fall all over the place.  It’s incredible, how bad they actually are.


So what we try to do, the key to doing the split squat, is if you see this back knee here, it’s behind this hip.  That’s the key, because that opens-up your hips.  Okay.  So opening-up the hips (and I put it up here) is critical to developing more power, hip mobility.  Open-up the hip flexors is critical; back-leg knee must be behind the hip.  So it’s a good way to teach people how to squat and they get-in good posture.


Still on the lower body: anterior reaches.  Pretty simple little tool here, okay.  And here is the progression.  We just get them in like I’m taking an oath, and I take one hand up and I just go and touch in front of my other leg.  Pretty simple.  But what that teaches is to hinge at the hip.


Yes, question?


[audience member]:  On those split squats, you indicated that they progress into a jump.  Can you go over that real quick?


[Wells]:  Yeah.  So there is a number of ways we can progress this.  If I get it to a split squat and I see them start mastering this, in their workout instead of doing some of the parallel stance and the split stance jumps, they may just do a split jump and hold.  Then if you really want to really torture somebody, you get them in a split squat position, and you go down and you hold this bottom position for 4 seconds.  Now you talk about isometric leg strength—and I’m not loading this up—it’s incredible.  (And we’ll do this at the end.)  You go down there (like my leg is starting to shake already), then we come up fast, and then we go right back down and hold for 4 seconds.  And we try to get to a minute.  If they can get to a minute, they’ve got really good lower-body strength.  Maintaining good posture.   That’s one of my favorite things to do.


If I have a kid that has an ACL knee injury, I make sure….  And it’s crazy all the rehab stuff that I see and that I don’t see.  But I’ll make sure kids are doing this religiously.  Because it’s incredible, that 4 second isometric hold in the bottom with your body weight, and then movement with it and then right back down.  That’s called isodynamic.  It’s going to be a big thing in the future, so you’re hearing it here first.


(Okay, where were we?)  Anterior reaches.  That’s just a single-leg reach, trying to get them to hinge at the hip.  And you can see my back here is a little rounded, I’m not too worried about that because we’re not loaded up.


Still on the lower body: triple-threat hams.  How do we get the posterior change?  This is one of my favorite things to do, with all of our kids.  And we can progress to single leg on this.  So what they’re going to do… (and you’ll see all this in a video—I’m going to speed-up here because I think I’m over a little bit).  We’ll do long hip-ups, we’ll do a leg curl on a ball, and then we’ll do some more long hip-ups or short hip-ups.  So that’s 15-15-15. (And all these are in the description in the program.)




[audience member]:  That’s with a ball; would it be okay if they did that on a bench?


[Wells]:  Oh yeah.  And here is one thing that I would do.  (Hey, this is a very informal, by the way.  If you have questions, ask, because there’s a ton of things that I think I can help you with.)  You could put them on a bench; you can lay your upper back on a bench, feet on the ground.  And you have them hip-up to where their glutes are engaged, and it’s very effective.  You do 15 reps of that with no body weight.  And then you can start loading it up with a dumbbell, single leg, and it’s a very good exercise.


Matter of fact, we’re doing those with all of our kids right now, as their posterior chain work—all of them.  They don’t like them, but it really doesn’t…. If they don’t like it, I know it’s good; so we just keep doing it.


So this is some hamstring posterior chain work. (And I’m just going to kind of speed through some of these so we can get to the video.  And then after the video, if you want to hang around and talk about anything, hey, we’ll do whatever you need to do.)


Another lower-body exercise: one-legged kick drags.  I really like these.  So what we do is we hook a weight up and put a strap on the leg on the ankle.  And what they have to do is they have to pull this leg through and then they take a step, pull it through… and then they go down the floor. Really good hip-flexor strength, really good.


To the alignment and core—and I’ve already defined my core so I’m not going to go through that.  Dynamax Wall Series 1.  (Now I know you guys don’t have this right now, but you will have it.)  This is the whole description of this series; you’re going to see it on video.  So for time’s sake, I’m not going to go through this.  But what we try to do is we try to get 40 reps in 15 seconds.


And then on this next slide, this is still Dynamax Series 1, and it has a description of all the exercises.  Then you’ll see it on the video.  So we’re doing side-to-sides, diagonals, wood chops.  All this is just one series.  Then we go the squares.  Then we go to Dynamax Series 2 is using a med-ball for another way to work the core—which you’ll see in just a little bit.  Stability-ball rollouts to pikes, you’ll see that too; so use a stability ball a lot to do different things with for swimmers.


This is one of my favorite core-strengthening series right here.  So what we’ll do is we’ll do a stability-ball dead bug (and I have a picture in the back), and then the reps are on here.  (I won’t go through all of that.)  We do some in-and-outs, we do some single leg touches, and then we do a hold.


But here is what this looks like.  So here… contralateral is just a fancy name for opposite arm, opposite leg, okay.  So actually what I’m trying to do here, this is incredible… you try this at home, you’ll feel something in your abdominals and your core like you’ve never felt.  So this left knee and this right arm are actually trying to squeeze together; I’m trying to squeeze the ball.  And them I’m reaching with this arm and this leg.  And we’ll do 10-12 of those.  Then they’ll go to in-and-outs, where they’re just rolling the ball in and out into a pike.  Then they’ll put their feet on top of the ball, and they got to hold a good push-up position and take one foot off, put one foot on; it’s very slow.


But look at my shirt right here.  See the wrinkles in my shirt?  That’s good.  That’s called the serape effect, because your body is kind of wired in a cross-diagonal pattern.  So you can see these muscles and the force transfer, and how they have to stabilize right here.


And then we do the knee holds right here.  So that would be some core things that we would do.


We use ropes, for a number of different core exercises.  Different types of slams, in-and-outs for shoulder.  And some of these exercises actually you get double benefit.  So even though it may be a push-pull exercise, it may be a core exercise at the same time.  So we’ll do a number of different series with the ropes.  What I really like doing with swimmers with the ropes, when they get into a circuit, are a prone—where they’re actually laying down in a swimming position on a bench, prone—and supine; I really like those.  We’ll do stability-ball log rolls.


We’ll hold the bosu, which is this.  Now you can really see the wrinkles in the shirt.  So this in a log roll, where my legs are on top of each other and I’m just trying to rotate my feet over and keeping my arms straight.  And then this would be a twister, where my feet are actually going to split and I get explosive.  That takes a while to get to that point.  But look again, see what you see here.


And then this would be a specific core exercise for a swimmer, where they’re actually doing a bosu ball hold.  This is very hard to do.  When I started doing this, I couldn’t do it.  And then I kept practicing and practicing and finally I got to the point where… I hollered at my wife come take a picture, I finally got it, because it took me a while to do this.  So we’re trying to hold this streamline position, right centered on top of that ball.  And once again look at the shirt; see the wrinkles in the shirt?  It’s not because I didn’t iron it.


Alignment core: we do a number series of planks.  The T-plank, which you’ll see, I really like a lot.  The leg has to come over to the back.  They’re holding a T position.  So now you get shoulder stability and core at the same time.  A number of different T-plank reaches, where you’ve got three points of reference: opposite arm, opposite leg, one arm, one leg, another arm, other leg—it could be any combination of these.  But once again, look and see what you see here.  Alright?  So there is a lot of core work being done there, and it’s not the traditional crunch-type thing.


Push-pull exercises (and I’m going to go really quick through these).  Swimmers (and I have some pictures of these), alternating swimmers and these are using bands.  So a swimmer would be a full extension with a push back.  And then we could do those alternating arm; we could do a single arm, single leg forward.  There is a ton; whatever you come up with, whatever I could dream up, we do.  Because I’ve got to keep them challenged a little bit.


Here is an example of a swimmer right here.  See the hinge at the hip, pulling down, getting my hands past my knees.  Single-arm, alternating swimmers; and then just a single-arm, one-side swimmer.  So we’re getting into some shoulder stability and some lat strength as well.  And you want to try to develop good lat strength in swimmers.


Push pull exercises, we use XTs—our version of a TRX, okay.  I just like them better; you don’t have to move straps around all the time and all that stuff.  And we’ll do usually three cycles of this, which is about 90-105 reps.  So you can see why doing some of this stuff allows you to shrink your volume down in the pool.


And what we’ll do on these, we’ll do Ys (and you’ll see a picture here). So we’ll hold our bodyweight up here.  We’ll do rows, and then we’ll do an underhand close-grip.  And each time they do these they’re going to move their feet closer to underneath the fulcrum.  So here is a Y, keeping your wrist rigid.  Here is a row; just a bodyweight row.  And then they move their feet closer and then they do an underhand grip row.  So they do 10 of those, 10 of those, 10 of those; that’s one set.  So that’s 30 reps in a set.  And at the same time they’re trying to keep good alignment here.  If they start losing alignment then I stop them because there is no point, she can’t say aligned then stop.


Push pull exercises continue.  This is the progression of the rollout on the stability ball.  We start against the wall.  And look at this (this is a really good picture of this, the serape effect right here).  So you can see how the lats and the abdominals have to work here.  So we start up against the wall; they just rollout and not losing….  So I wouldn’t want them in an L position here; I want them nice and straight.  So they’re streamlined.  And then we progress to eventually where they can get on a ball.  And then once again look, you see here.


Some overhead med-ball slams.  I really like the slams overhead.  It get shoulder, lats; most people think it’s a core exercise but it’s really… we do it for our lats.  So we take a med-ball overhead, and we slam it right into the ground.  We do rainbow slams also, where they’re coming over the top and they’re pivoting on the back foot coming over the front side.


We do a metabolic back circuit that I really like.  Which in this case, metabolic back, we do 20 rows on those bands.  We go 20 rows, 20 alternating rows—where they are bent over—and then they go to 20 swimmers and finish with 10 slams.  So look at the volume here: 70 reps.  And they get your heart-rate jacked-up.  So I can actually condition the same time.  And high school kids, they need that.


I don’t think I can over-train a high school kid, unless I have somebody that has a shoulder injury.  Like I have one swimmer right now that she injured her shoulder last year and she is a really good swimmer.  So like when she does all of her presses and overhead stuff, they’re modified.  I’ll block her; I’ll put a block of wood, full board, in there and she won’t do a press but only a small range of motion.  And she feels great now.  So some of those really long-limbed, long-arm people, you got to be careful of.  That’s metabolic back, which you’ll see all this in video.


Shoulder stability.  We do a three-position shoulder stability, where they’re sitting on a ball.  They start-out here, palm up, overhead, back down.  This is incredibly challenging—incredibly challenging.  So there’s three exercises, and they repeat the pattern.  Where they’ll go here, thumbs up, back overhead, back down; and then they’ll do it thumbs down.  This is one of the hardest things to do right there.


T-push-ups.  We do a lot of T push-ups, especially in our pre-work stuff that we do.  The ropes, like I talked about: lying on a bench, backstroke, all that stuff.  So here is what the ropes actually look like (and then you’ll see it in a video here a little bit).  So this will be a prone rope slam; actually it’s alternating ways.  This is a shoulder T-stability push-up, and this would be a supine, incline rope slam.


Now, when you get all this stuff, you’re going to see all these different circuits.  Don’t be alarmed by this, because you’ll see all this.  I have about 15 videos up here.  So these are circuits that I like to put the swimmer through as their supplemental work.  And I’m not going to go through all these, but you’re going to see most of these—that’s why I want to get to the video as fast as I can.  Now notice in here I put in LB, LB is Lower Body, PP is Push Pull, lower body power of push pull, lower body power alignment core rotation, shoulder stability, shoulder stability, shoulder stability; and then you can mix them anyway you want.


Circuit 2, in this case, notice this is set up by reps.  So 5 reps of an RDL [Romanian dead lift], 3 reps of a track start long jump, 12 reps of a T-rotation push-up, and 20 stability ball twisters or log rolls—because most of them can’t do the twisters yet.  And then somebody asked the question about how many jumps do you do? Well in this case we’ll do 4 rounds of this circuit so there’s 12 jumps.  So it’s not a ton.


Start-turn circuit.  This is our start-turn circuit: stability ball the triple threat ham stuff, and this is usually for time on this: 30 seconds on, 15 second off and rotate.  Jump squats with staggered track starts, med ball lunges, split jumps.


Stroke and power circuit.  Basically this whole thing right here for the lats and upper back.  Now notice right here I put in a little description.  When we do this we’ll do four rounds of it; of 30 seconds on, 15 seconds of rest.  So they’re going 30 seconds here, 15 seconds of rest in transition, 30 seconds here, 15 in between, 30 here, 30 here.  And then 1 minute of rest after a round, and then they start back over.


Lower body mini-circuit.  And this is reps now.  5 reps of a parallel squat, 5 reps of hurdle jumps, one-arm-band swimmers, stability ball rollouts.  Then I’ll just tell them how many reps are doing.


And then another circuit: reaching lunges, three-point planks, med-ball slams, band extensions.


So like I said: you don’t need a lot of equipment to do all this stuff, or a fancy weight room.  It could be anywhere; it could be on the deck of your pool.


[audience member]:  How long do you give them, the time period?


[Wells]:  Usually it’s 30-15 or 20-15.  I just like doing everything with time.


Circuit 7.  Now these are reps here; if you notice these are reps.  So dumbbell lunges, 5 reps per leg; split jumps, 5 reps per leg; rows, 12 reps; band rotations.  You’ll see these circuits in just a little bit.


This is the most painful thing in the world right here; this is what we call super legs.  So they do: 24 bodyweight squats, 24 lunges, 24 split jumps, and then 12 rocket jumps.  All in a sequence.  If you want to develop leg strength.  And this is not loaded; this is just bodyweight.  It’ll do it, and then whey get really good, they can use dumbbells.


Some other circuit examples.  These are just other examples of things that you could do.  For time: 30 seconds on, 15 seconds rest.  Med-ball squat-and-press, rope slams, swimmers using a flexi-bar—I have a little bar that looks like a bow and arrow where they do some shoulder stability work, it’s cool and they kind of like it.


And then here is an example of how you can put a whole team—a twenty-person team—circuit together.  (Which I don’t have this one on the video, we just didn’t have enough video space.  And the video is not professional by any means, it’s just kids going is what it is).


Okay, questions before we start the video?  (Because the video is about 28 minutes.)




[audience member]:  This is for high school athletes, obviously.  I’m also coach Age Group athletes; so how early would you start?


[Wells]:  Here is how you determine what age to start them: if they can handle coaching and a little bit of criticism, they’re ready.  Somebody always told me: praise loudly, criticize softly.  So just keep that in my mind.  Question right there.


[audience member]:  What do you recommend for spine strengthening?


[Wells]:  You’re going to see some in just a second.  And then when we get done if you want to see some other stuff, we’ll go up here and go to work.


Like I said, the video is not professional.  Actually it’s me doing a lot of the video, and while I’m yelling at kids.  So you won’t hear the volume, I hope.  (Actually, I’m going to mute it.)  In the video, I do narrate what’s going on—at least, I’m trying to.


Okay now this actually starts with an example of some power work.  So we’re doing hang cleans right here, to actually a dumb-bell/bodyweight power jump.  So we do those Olympic movements, but all their supplemental stuff is all the stuff that I just showed you.  And then we combo those and go right to some jumps.  Just so you can see some… (and those two girls are actually swimmers; these two girls going right here are swimmers).  So she does 5 hand cleans, she goes right to a dumb-bell bodyweight jump; so she is working for triple extension.


[audience member]:  So do any of those start with freshman?


[Wells]:  Yeah.


Okay, here is a mini circuit; this is the first circuit.  Now this is the first times these girls did this.  I think there’s 12 girls in here.  So you’re going to see they’re doing all kinds of stuff.  They’re doing log rolls, they’re doing med-ball squats, here’s the overhead slam (right here, the girl in the green).  They’re doing shoulder and T-push-ups.  If they can’t do a T-push-up, we just do a bodyweight shoulder touch.   There’s a swimmer, right there.  There’s my proctor (sitting down); she is watching them all.


And then they’ll rotate through this circuit here.  There’s a med-ball squat.  Like I said, there’s no weight.  (I know it is a little dark from my point of view.)  There’s some slams, there’s some flexi-bar in there.  So you can see all this is flowing through.  Bodyweight squat jumps.  Actually (right here) they’re trying to do one-arm rope slams.  Now, this is the first time these girls have ever done this, so it’s a little tricky.  Here’s the log roll on the stability ball.  (And I think I zero-in on some of these.)  There is a med-ball squat-and-press.  In the background over there you can see the girl doing the shoulder-touch instead of a T-push-up—she is just not strong enough yet to do a T push-up.  Flexi-bar for shoulder stability going over their head


So essentially what you have here is you have a 10-station circuit.  And that’s how many girls I had in this particular class of swimmers; so these are all the swimmers.  So while this is going on, I have another group in the other side of our weight room doing their stuff.  So this is specific for the swimmers.


Bodyweight squat jumps, there is the overhead slam, there is the one-arm rope slam, there is the swimmers.  And you’ll see in a little more explosive here in a little bit.  There is a one-arm rope slam—and I think I get a video.  (There we go.)  So she is actually trying to get some wave in a rope.


And I think this one was 30 seconds on, 15 second off.  So they get some rest time in between there.  There is a shoulder touch you.  (See how high she is?)  So you’re going to see a lot of good things, you’ll see a lot of poor technique too, which is what you guys would be faced with.  So you just coach them over time; you get better, you get better, you get better.  And that’s a hard thing for a high school kids to understand is: it’s consistency over time.  Because training is a cumulative effect, and they can’t usually see till tomorrow.


There’s a T-rotation push-up, right here.  Now if we have time at the end somebody remind me to show you the correct way to do a push-up.  Because there is actually some secrets to do a really good push-up, and you can develop a lot of upper-body strength just doing push-ups.


And then I think we’re getting ready to go on here to the next sequence here.  There is a log roll, where they’re trying to lock it in.  See how she is breaking at the waist.  There are shoulder touches: just another way to do upper-body shoulder-stability work.  So we’re just touching the shoulder.  See how her hips turn-off to the side there?  Now if she were doing this now, she would not be turning those hips—that’s how much she has progressed at this.


Alright, here is the next sequence.  Okay these are RDLs; so in this case she is going to do 5 RDLs.  She is going to go to the track-start jumps.  And in this case they’re just doing reps.  So all these girls, they have all the stuff set up (as you can see) and then they’re just moving-through for reps.


There is a staggered stance jump.  (Like I said, this is the first time she has done it; I’d rather see her get her butt up in the air, instead of her head up, because that’s not how she is going to be on the blocks.)


T-rotation push-up.  Remember I said if there are only four things I could do, this would be one of them.  Because you get an incredible strength in shoulder stability and core work at the same time.  To they try to turn their feet and T-out at the same time.


There is the bosu-ball hold in the background.  See them holding it there.  And a couple of these girls are really good at this; I mean, you can tell they’ve got some really good, stiff spines and they can lock it in there.


Then after this then we’re going to go the start-turn circuit, so you’ll see that on here.  (Like I said, the video is fairly long so we’ve got some time.)  There’s a log roll.  See how her right elbow collapses in?  So we’re actually trying to lock that out, with no elbow bend.


And I was a little leery about these, about L5 vertebrate.  Because in your body, your low back is only meant to rotate 15°, but yet everybody trains it to rotate more.  And that’s why people get low-back injuries.  And then your upper back really is supposed to have all the mobility in it, and yet it’s the one that’s always locked up and nobody works for a mobility in it.  So it doesn’t make sense.  But as you notice on those log rolls, the low back isn’t even moving; it’s just the hips that move around.


And this is in real-time, so you’re actually seeing them do the work for the time or the reps.  Those are RDLs, Romanian Dead Lifts—although the Romanians didn’t invent it, I don’t know why we call it that.


[audience member]:  Is this video available on your website?


[Wells]:  No, but I have 15 copies with me if you want one.


Okay here is the start-turn circuit.  So they’re doing stability-ball bridges, or hip ups; they’re doing jump squat with staggered starts; and then they’re going to do a med-ball lunges; and then they’re going to go to split jumps.




[audience member]:  They don’t look like they’re holding for more than two seconds.


[Wells]:  No, this was the first time we’ve done this.  Yeah.  I want them to hold, it in the bottom.  This is just a lunge with a twist over the front leg.


This girl right here, she’s not too enthused to be doing this. [laughter]  And you’ll have some of those.  Neither is this girl.  These two don’t work very hard.  The other ones that I have, they work pretty hard, they’re pretty motivated.


There is the split jumps, just bodyweight split jumps.  And like I said this is the first time; eventually they’ll start getting higher and they’ll start dropping deeper.


Now this goes into the stroke circuit, the power circuit; so these are swimmers.  Now this girl is a pretty decent swimmer.  And we’ll fix her: she is a lot better at this now.  I wish I had a before-and-after picture, because when she does this now, she gets full extension over the top, comes back behind the ears.  You can see how she is a little bit in front of her face here, and she hinges at the hip a lot better now.  So I know this stuff works.


So she’s resting right now.  So what she is going to do is: she is doing swimmers, she is going to do bent-over rows with the bands, she is going to do an overhead med-ball slam, and then she is going to do a stability-ball rollout.  So this would all be for the lats and the upper back.  So you can target areas or you could train total body; you can mix-and-match it however you want to do it—that’s a whole another topic.


See how she is not real explosive here, yet.  You should see her now, after a year of training.  Now she is going to go to a stability-ball rollout.  Now watch… watch and see if she keeps this hip lined-up with this shoulder.  Okay.  See how she gives a little bit at the end?  And eventually progress up to where they’re on their toes and they’re just going out with their arms.  And then eventually we take some valslides and put them under their hands, and then they do a rollout with a lot of friction so they have to pull on the way back.


Okay, now she is going to go through it again.  These are alternating swimmers this time; so she’s alternating.  And I’d like to see her get a little more extension with her arms and a lot more row.  Then we just hook our bands onto our platforms, a little caribiner clip that I bolted on there that we can just take them on and off.


And these are what we call JC bands, so they are a double band, they have a little loop on the end, and there is a band that comes off into a T, so it’s two bands.  A very versatile piece of equipment.  So if you don’t have a weight room and you have some money to buy something, these would be the things to buy.  They’re not real expensive.  If you ever want equipment go to Perform Better, ( and ask for Chris Poier and you’ll get a big discount on equipment.  It’s spelled P-O-I-E-R, but it’s pronounced poy-yay.


So once again all these swimmers are doing this little stroke circuit here.  Okay, this is a lower-body mini-circuit.  So what she is going to do is: 5 reps of a good squat, then she is going to go to 5 hurdle jumps.  Now this is the first time she has jumped what I call a repeat jump, so it’s going to be a little ugly.  (It’s not too bad.)  See she should stick that last landing and see how slow she is off the floor.  So she is doing 5 squats, 5 jumps, one-arm-band swimmers—so she is just do a one arm on the swimmer now—and then she’ll finish with a stability-ball rollout.


So usually I have about 48 kids at one time; I think my smallest group is 33.  So I’ve got to stay on-top of stuff.  But once I teach this to the swimmers—and now they know it all—then I just program it up on the board, okay this is your supplemental work, and they go right to it.  I don’t have to worry about them; for the most part, they’re pretty self-motivated.


Okay here is the rollout.  Now she is doing a lot better job here.  Then eventually we get her to go out a little bit further.


[audience member]:  Do you want the lower back to arch like that?


[Wells]:  Nah. She has just got a natural… this girl has a really natural lordotic curve in her back.


Okay, this is another circuit where they’re doing reaching lunges—these are reaching lunges.  And then they’re going to go to a three-point plank.  And this is what I call a lunge complex.  So they do 6 lunges to the front, they do 6 lateral lunges. (See how this girl turns her foot; we don’t want her to turn her foot.)  And then they go into the transverse plane and they do a transverse lunge; where they’re trying to keep that front foot at twelve o’clock and that back foot at five o’clock.  This is a great, great ACL knee prevention program right here.


And then you’re going to go to… there is a three-point plank.  Trying to lock-in, with no hip-shift—that’s what I tell them. Actually, what I tell them is this: you’ve got a quarter between your ass cheeks, try to bend it.  That’s what I tell them.  I tell them to hold their money.  And they just do this for time.


Then they’re going to the med-ball slams overhead.


Also know, see how this girl’s little ponytail flips-up in the back?  That’s why I like training girls because I get immediate feedback.  I know they’re developing some force; there is force transfer going through the ground, through their body, up through their head.


And these are what we call band extensions.  See how they’re rotating, they’re pivoting, on that opposite foot?  So what they do is reaching down the middle, they’re going outside one knee, back to the middle, outside the other knee.  This is one of my favorite core exercises too—actually there is a ton of them, but this is one my favorite.  And she makes it look easy, but she’s done this a couple of times.


Okay, here is the split squat.  Just so you can see what the spit squat actually looks like.  Here is the split jump.  See how she drops deep.  I really don’t care how high she gets, I just want her to drop deep.  So all those things that we talk about.


There is a progression of an anterior reach, pretty simple.  Then she is going to progress to… (I don’t know if we put it on here).  So she is just taking her opposite hand, touching her opposite toe.  Now we progress to one leg; so we now we’re balancing on one leg.  So we start on two legs, because their balance is very poor—remember I said they can’t chew gum and tie their shoes at the same time.  And then we actually have more progressions off of that.


Here’s a double-leg hip0up on the stability ball.  Very good hamstring/low back/glute tie-in.  Leg curl on the ball; so you hip-up, hold that hip-up, in-and-out.  And then they could progress to the single leg.  This girl can actually do this 15 reps on each leg, three times through, with no rest now.  And then she does the hip-up within a long a longer level.


This is the Dynamax Series 1.  Okay she is doing side-to-side touches.  Remember I said we want core stiffness?  This is one of my favorites.  She is touching the wall as fast as she can go, with no rotation.  She’s trying to resist the rotation that the ball is putting on her.  These are diagonals.  So she is trying to get 40 of those contacts in 15 seconds, then she rests or her partner goes—in this case we’re just showing you the video.  Very good core stuff here, very good core stuff.  Every time the ball touches the wall, counts as one rep.  Diagonals the other way.


(We’re getting close to the end here, so just hang on, stay with me.)


Wood chops.  Nothing touches the wall but the ball.


That ball is actually a 12-pound ball; now this girl is really advanced.  I usually start them with 4-pound balls.  So I have 4s, 6s and 8s.  If you’re going to get some of these, I would definitely get 4s, 6s and 8s.  But this is a 12-pounder, and she’s knocking this out pretty good.  This is a square so she is going: up, down right, up left, down left, and back across.


This is Dynamax Series 2.  Knee punch, knee punch, come up throwing.  10 punches, right back to it.  Knee punch, knee punch, between the legs, back overhead, come up throwing, right back to it.  Repeat it, and that’s one set.  Very good core stuff.


There is the progression for the rollouts.  Then we go to the floor.  Then we go to a push-up position.  Then we can go on to the ball.  Actually, another really good one that I like is when they’re holding themselves in the push-up position on the ball, and all they do is just roll the ball a little bit to one direction.  So they go clockwise, counterclockwise, and then small in-and-outs.  It’ll tear your abs up.


There is the dead-bug series.  Then she is going to go to the touches.  And she is trying to go… see how deliberate she is here.  It’s not a fast thing.  Then she’ll go to the in-and-outs.


(We’re on the core stuff right now we got a little bit shoulder stuff left then we’ll be done.)


There’s the holds.  Look at this position, right here.  See that?  What does that look like to you guys?  Out of the blocks.  Flip turn on the wall.  That’s what you want to try to get to.


Here is an example of drummers on the ropes.  Very good shoulder work, arm work, core work.  Here is double slams.  So we use a lot of tools.


[audience member]:  What kind of ropes are those?


[Wells]:  These ropes are actually 25-pound ropes, I believe.  And I think they’re 40 footers.


In-and-outs, trying to make waves on the floor.  Squat-and-lunge or squat-and-drummers at the same time; you could do any combination of these you wanted.  Here we go on to bench.  I love that exercise; there is a lot of things going on there.  Then supine on an incline.


There’s a start plank.  See how the top leg has to come over and touch, and she holds that T-push-up position.  That’s one of my favorite core exercises, because there is a ton of stuff going on right there—a ton.  So what we’re trying to do here is… (see this?).  Look at this, this is pretty good.  See that alignment.  And she’s looking right up at this top hand the whole time.  And she takes this back leg over to back, holds it, tries to keep the hips up high.  When you go home try that.


There is a three-point planks—you can mix it up anyway you want it.  You see how when she goes opposite arm or in left arm, she has got a little bit of a hip-shift.  This girl is really strong.


Okay here is the triple threat back.  There is the Ys.  Moves her feet in a little closer, she does some rows—the rows aren’t very good.  Then she got to move her feet even closer, slides it right in, tries to keep… now see how she is bending here?  We don’t want that; we want to keep everything nice and straight.  And then she does 10 more palms-up rows.


Here is the metabolic back in real time.  So she is doing 20 of these.  Look at the extension in the top; now it is happening real fast, so it’s kind of hard to see.  20 rows.  (She needs to back-up a little bit more, the band is too light for her.)  20 alternating rows.  So right now, she is getting ready to complete 60 reps.  Then she finishes off with 10 overhead med-ball slams, so that’s 70 reps.  And then she is going to do the same sequence, so you can see it again.  This is our metabolic back circuit.


And there is alternating one arm.  There is single-arm swimmers.  This is hard to do, because the band actually wants to pull you back.  Overhead med-ball slam, that she is going to show you.  Here’s a diagonal slam coming up.  Now she’s is really slowed it down, because I told her slow down for a video.  See how she’s turning her feet and coming over to top, that’s one of my favorite core exercise.


Here is the shoulder workout that I told you about; shoulder stability.  These are palms-up, horizontal flies.  She’ll do 5 each of these.  And I like them on a stability ball on this.  Just gives a little variation, where they’ve got to be a little bit unstable.  I’m not big on that stuff, but I like it on a stability ball.  So now she’s in a thumbs-up position.  And this is real-time, she’s actually doing a whole bang here.  And then its thumbs down, palms down.


(Okay we’re almost done; we’ll be done in 5 minutes.)  I knew I had a lot of stuff and there’s so much we could talk about.


T push-ups.  (And we’re on the last part of this anyway.)  Here is what a T push-up looks like. A lot of bang for your buck right there.


[audience member]:  Is that a push-up that you normally do?


[Wells]:  Well, fairly close.  Here is what I teach on push-ups.  (I’ll just let this roll; there is stability-ball pike.)


On push-ups here is what I try to do.  I want everybody to know this.  I teach: you draw a midline with the midline of your body.  And you want your arm somewhere… make an arrow with your arms, so somewhere here.  I don’t like them here, I don’t like them at 90-90.  I try to stay away from as much 90-90 position, here, overhead pressing, and here, as I can.  Alright?  So we try to get them in an arrow: arrow with this arm, arrow with this arm, midline.  And then I try to get their fingers to slightly point out, because you’ve got more receptors in this part of your hand than just about the rest of your body.  So if they can learn to develop strength that way, you could increase strength in your presses quite a bit.


One of my favorite push-up routines is this, now.  I don’t remember where I picked it up, so I can’t give the person credit.  We’ll get in a push-up position and we’ll do three push-ups in the very bottom; I mean 1, 2, 3.   Then we’ll go to the middle of that push-up, do 3.  And then we do 3 full.  And then we repeat that 3 more times.  That’s one set, so that’s 27 reps in a set.  Alright?


I don’t even care if… girls will always ask me: can I do a push up on my knee?  No.  I don’t care if your range of motion is this far.  Just get yourself in the right position, and over time you’re going to get better and better and better.


Okay, I think I’m running out of time.  I certainly appreciate the opportunity to share some ideas with you, because like I said: everything I’ve learned I’ve learned from some other really good people and just tweaked it a little bit and made my own system out of it.  If I can help you in anyway, my e-mail is up there, just e-mail me.


Appreciate your time.



##### end #####




New ASCA members for the week of November 18, 2016

New ASCA members for the week of November 18, 2016
Congratulations to ASCA’s new members from November 12-18, 2016:
• Greg Colby – Eagle, ID
• Amy Hadley – Cocoa, FL
• Trevor Moore – Scottsdale, AZ
• Michael Roche – Moline, IL
• Kevin Saatler – Marseilles, IL
• Natasha Singleton – Danville, KY
• Mike Smela – Calgary, AB  CANADA
• Connor Watson – Sudbury, ON  CANADA
• Dana Bearinger – Shanghai, CHINA
• Muneera Al-Hajery – Kuwait City, KUWAIT
• Saber Hassan – Kuwait, KUWAIT
• Marcus Callender – Harmony Hall, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Stephan Clapperton – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Kaarin Shade – Crosby, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Monique de Fance – San Fernando, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Natasha Goroon – Roxborough, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Dexter Gunns – Scarborough, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Sheryl Henry – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Sehryn Ihlle – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Kimberly Joseph – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Deneisha Julien – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Nathan Louis – Plymouth, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Joel Mungroo – Gasparillo, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Nekerlon Nedd – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Lec Armando Quan Chan – Marabella, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Nigel Ramharack – Williamsville, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Kineta Richards – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Atiba Keon – Roberts, Buccoo Point, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Kyle Smith – Princes Town, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Aileeni Spencer – Gasparillo, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
• Tracy-Ann Waldron – Dobers Trace, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Certification Changes for the Week of November 14, 2016

Certification Changes for the Week of November 14, 2016

Darlys Ankeny from Corona CA
Level 3 High School

Logan Arnold from Raleigh NC

Chi Nam Angus AU from Hong kong Island Hk HKG
Original Application Approved; Need Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Nissanka Bandara from Kanthale SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Kyle Bedalov from Waukesha WI
World Clinic & High School Clinic 2016 OK

Missy Berry-Nath from Plattsmouth NE
Completed Level 3 School Test; Needs Achievement to be Certified

Lauren Bethel from Nassau BAHAMAS
Original Application Approved; Need Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Oleksandr Bezuglyy from Brooklyn NY
Level 1 USA Swimming

Beverly Buysse from Mishawaka IN
Level 2 Age Group; High School

Akeem Daley from St. Johns ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
Original Application Approved; Need Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Debra Dieter from Carroll IA
Level 2 USA Swimming; Age Group

Leah Ferrassoli from Palmdale CA
File Reviewed

Christine Elizabeth Fields from RAS TANURA SAUDI ARABIA
Level 2 International Age Group

Ilias Filopoulos from KUWAIT
Level 2 International Age Group

Jordan Fletcher from Orem UT
Level 2 USA Swimming

John Fodell from Grosse Pointe Farms MI
File Reviewed

Michael French from Santa Clara CA
Original Application Approved; Needs Levels 1-3 School Tests to be Certified

Jared Gilbert from Stockton CA
Completed Level 3 School Test; Needs Achievement to be Certified

Megan Gima from Walkerton IN
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Stefan Greendyk from West Milford NJ
Level 2 USA Swimming; YMCA; Age Group

Anthony Grice from Mount Clemens MI
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Ashleigh Guidoux from Moorpark CA
Original Application Approved; Need Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Vivian Gundzick from Santa Fe NM
Level 2 Age Group; International Masters

Franklin Halley from Yellow Springs OH
Updated EDU as Submitted

Tim Hannan from Farmington NY
Online EDU – Robinson OK

Harsha Hatti from Charles Town WV
Level 1 USA Swimming

Dan Hennebry from La Grange Park IL
Level 1 High School

Brian Holm from Reno NV
File Reviewed

Ruth Hubner from Midway GA
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Grant Johnson from Sherman Oaks CA
Level 1 USA Swimming

Jane Karajovanov from Skopje MACEDONIA
Original Application Approved; Needs Levels 1-3 School Tests to be Certified

K.H. Karunarathna from Udumulla Wathta SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Shirly Kumara from Ganewatta SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

G.K. Lakshman from Thalahena SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Emmanuel Lanzo from Ridgefield CT
Level 4 USA Swimming

Emmanuel Lanzo from Ridgefield CT
Level 4 USA Swimming

Sumudu Liyanage from Colombo SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Menaka Liyanage from Mt Lavinia SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Elizabeth Long from St. James TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Original Application Approved; Need Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Rachel Lyon from Louisville CO
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Ruwan Madumal from Maala Mulla West SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Inoka Malawanna Gamage from Galle SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Mhommed Malik from Kollonnawa SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Matthew Martinez from St. Louis MO
Level 1 NCAA I

Kirstin McCoy from Enoch UT
Level 2 USA Swimming

Paul Merritt from Vista CA
2014 World Clinic

Andra Miller from Spring TX
Level 2 USA Swimming

Pamith Miyulara from Pubudugama SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Perez Moss from Miami FL
Level 1 International Age Group

Mohamed Najmee from Cripps Rd Sri Lanka
Level 2 International Age Group

H.K.N. Nissanka from Palwehera SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Mihira Pasan from Nugegoda SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Achala Pathirana from Gorakana SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Ricardo Pina from Fort Lauderdale FL
Level 1 USA Swimming; International Masters

Chanaka Prasanna from Ihalagama SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Jesse Raskauskas from Portland OR
Level 3 E&E

Bandara Rasnayaka from Monnekulama SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Sunanda Rathnayaka from Ipalogama SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

R.M.N.G. Rathnayake from Ampara SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

D A W M N D B Rathnayake from Gampaha SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Greta Reichert from Philadelphia PA
Level 1 USA Swimming

Susan Scanlan from Oakwood Hills IL
Level 2 USA Swimming

Aimee Schmitt from Fulshear TX
Level 1 USA Swimming; Age Group

Pradeep Senanayake from Sri Lanka Air Forse SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Samitha Senevirathne from Mirihana SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Lynnette Smith from Sandy UT
Level 1 USA Swimming

WanJia Sng from singapore
Level 1 International Age Group

Gabrielle Terzano from West Hempstead NY
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

J.A. Thilina from Makawita SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Nishara Thishari from Pinwatta SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Alfred Torok from Mexico City Mexico
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

K.J.N. Udayanga from Bopitiya West SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Walter Ulwishewa from Paramulla SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Yajun Wang from Forest Hills NY
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 School Test to be Certified

Ariel Weech from Miami FL
Level 1 International Age Group

Harshani Weerasinghe from Kapugoda SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Tilak Wellappili from Mount Lavinia SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Level 1 USA Swimming

Cassian Wickrama from Nagoda SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Isuri Wijesinghe from Livanagedara SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Lalani Wimalarathna from Mario SRI LANKA
Level 2 International Age Group

Phillip S. Wood from Hoover AL
Completed Level 4 School Test; Needs Achievement to be Certified

Ben Zajic from Greenville NC
Level 1 USA Swimming

Michael Jiang Zhan from Katy TX
Updated EXP as Submitted

Jonathan Zuchowski from Jupiter FL
Level 3 Age Group


New Members for the week of November 11, 2016.

New Members for the week of November 11, 2016.
First Last City State Country
Karen Van Gilder Cody WY
Loren Macdonald Las Cruces NM
Alexander Martinek Durango CO
Greg Sullivan Germantown MD
Christopher Purdy Sublimity OR
Colby Price Pittsburg CA
Devon DuMont CA
Jonathan Parker Manassas VA
Jodi Fisher Ranson WV
Elan Duensing Staten Island NY
Eric Courtemanche Lac des Ecorces CANADA
Anika Ferraro Uxbridge CANADA
Ronald Jacks Victoria CANADA
Jin Yu Chen Beijing CHINA
Wen Gu CHAI Beijing CHINA
Shi Jun DU Beijing CHINA
Dong Feng DUAN Beijing CHINA
Dong HAN Beijing CHINA
Yu HAO Beijing CHINA
Hui Wei JIA Beijing CHINA
Ming LI Beijing CHINA
Ni Na LI Beijing CHINA
Xiao Chun LI Beijing CHINA
Jun Wu LIU Beijing CHINA
Shi Chang LIU Beijing CHINA
Xue Liang LIU Beijing CHINA
Yi Ran LIU Beijing CHINA
Chun Guang MA Beijing CHINA
Ling Qiang MENG Beijing CHINA
Pei PEI Beijing CHINA
Bao Ze QI Beijing CHINA
Jian SHI Beijing CHINA
Xin Sheng SHI Beijing CHINA
Bai TAO Beijing CHINA
Bing WANG Beijing CHINA
Chen WANG Beijing CHINA
Jia WANG Beijing CHINA
Jia Hui WANG Beijing CHINA
Ran WANG Beijing CHINA
Wei WANG Beijing CHINA
Zi Bin WEI Beijing CHINA
Bo WU Beijing CHINA
Hao WU Beijing CHINA
Juan Juan WU Beijing CHINA
Yu Fan WU Beijing CHINA
Jie XI Beijing CHINA
Zi Yang XIA Beijing CHINA
Hou Quing XIE Beijing CHINA
Hua XIE Beijing CHINA
Sheng Wei XING Beijing CHINA
Tain Long Zi XU Beijing CHINA
Yi Wei YAO Beijing CHINA
Xing YI Beijing CHINA
Ning ZHANG Beijing CHINA
Yang Yang ZHANG Beijing CHINA
Bao Fa ZHOU Beijing CHINA
Guo Qi ZHOU Beijing CHINA
Ma ZHU Beijing CHINA
Ivana Talijanov Kikinda SERBIA
Eloy Gomez Albareda Sabadell SPAIN
Veronica de la Rocha Manchon Bangkok THAILAND

Self-Evaluation, Goals, and Objectives by Don Jacklin, Swim Coach David Douglas Swim Club, Portland, Oregon (1972)

In order to find out more about how we coaches function, what motivates us, I prepared an article some time ago which asked a series of questions about the coach and the program. There were no answers, just questions.

The article was divided into the following parts: facilities, training time, and number of swimmers, responsibilities, personal goals, coaching staff, other personnel, program, parent organization, and booster group and coaching.

The questions were as follows:

FACILITIES – What kind of facilities do you have? Are they adequate: Do you have to travel to get to your facility? Do you have to rent your facility?

TRAINING TIME – How much time can you get a swimmer in the pool? How much per day? Do you share your time with diving, synchronized, water polo, scuba, etc.? Do you have a weight program?

NUMBERS OF SWIMMERS – How many swimmers can you carry in your program? 20, 50, 100, 200 or 400?

RESPONSIBILITIES – What are your responsibilities? Do you coach a high school team? Boys and girls? Do you coach a diving team?

What other responsibilities do you have? Do you have a good base for an instructional program? Does your availability limit you from individual and group consultations with team members?

IF INVOLVED IN HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM – Will you have sufficient student body to draw a team from? Do you have to share the available boys with other sports like football or basketball? (In Oregon our swimming season is in the Fall). Do you have separate coaches for the boys and the girls? If not, why not? Will you provide for all levels of competition in your age group program? Are your meets too large? Should you provide for Band novice competition in your area?

PERSONAL GOALS – Consider your own goals, are they age group rather than high school level or senior? Does your age group program push out older kids so that they drop out of the program? Do you emphasize national level competition? Do you provide for the average or poor swimmer to stay in your program? Do you have a pre-competitive program? Do you provide pre-season work prior to the start of the regular high school?

COACHING STAFF – Have you thought about the relationship of coaches in the football or basketball program compared to yours? What is your coach to athlete ratio? Is it one coach for 50 or one to 100 swimmers? Do you have separate coaches for water polo, diving, synchronized, etc.?

OTHER PERSONNEL – Do you have a paid secretary to handle routine club matters? What is your relationship with the pool personnel? Have you control of the Water conditions?

PROGRAM – Will you demand certain things from your program? What is your relationship with agency controlling your facility?

PARENT ORGANIZATIONS – Do you have a parent organization? Is it run by responsible persons? Do they work in the area of fund raising, meet management, and stay out of coaching responsibilities? Do your parents have similar goals to yours?

BOOSTER GROUPS – Will you have a booster group? In the high school do you have a student booster group? Do you have your own group of student supports at your home dual meets? Do you have a band or some form of entertainment at your home meets?

COACHING – Do you have a filing system on technique, strokes, coaches associations, college programs, personnel, income, expenses, parent organizations and new equipment? Are your meets well planned in advance? Are the schedules handed out early in the season to swimmers and parents? Do you schedule tough meets to prepare for a championship or do you have your team meet easy opponents so that you will have good won-lost record? Do you stay current on technique? Do you purchase films? Do you attend high caliber meets? Do you get swimmers into condition?*

By answering these questions, your own goals will be clarified. Try it, it really works.

As far as my relationship with my parents, I would like to make a few remarks. I like to be with them.  Sometimes I’ll even play golf with some of them. I allow them into the workouts any time. I usually have some coffee brewing for them. However, at a meet I never spend time with them, I would just never go away drinking with them at that point. Because of my open door relationship with the parents, I never have any problems with them.

With my swimmers I have a few squad meetings. I don’t like group meetings so I have as few as possible. When I do, I want all eyes on me so I can determine how they feel and react to my talk. I am at the pool all day so that if any swimmer wants to talk, I am available. This way I am not bothered at home or after hours. I am involved in several outside activities, one being the Kiwanis and I also have done some work with handicapped children.

This past season I had my team involved with the explorer post. We formed a branch at the David Douglas High School in the Fall of 1971. The ultimate incentive was the explorer post Olympic Championships. Several of my younger swimmers made that their season’s goal. As it turned out, we won the Oregon title and later the National one. This meant that our team would be sent to Munich to represent the U. S. youth and the President in the World Youth Games.

So instead of one girl swimmer at Munich, we had a total of 31 from our team. They were able to spend time with 1800 other youngsters from around the world. I can tell you that they have been completely turned on, totally excited and committed to do a better job in the water.

When it comes to setting your own personal goals, remember not to set goals that you have already achieved or are certain of achieving. Aim for long term goals, one that will challenge you for a very long time, maybe forever.

My own personal philosophy-my long term goals:

  1. To encourage youngsters of all abilities to compete in the program, allowing for each individual to develop into his or her full potential.

2.  To run the kind of program that causes self-motivation and goal setting within each individual.

3. To spend as much time as possible on a one to-one basis with each youngster in the program on goal setting, long and short term-future plans in life or anything they want to discuss.       Emphasizing that the “whole” person is one who is physically, mentally, spiritually and morally sound.


Middle Distance Training by Don LaMont, El Monte Swim Club, California (1972)

My topic is on “Middle Distance and Distance Training” and I would like to break it down into four  sections:

  1. Conditioning
  2. Pace
  3. Strategy
  4. Tapering


Conditioning for a distance swimmer is sometimes very lonely and very boring and I think that variety is  an important  part  of their  program… For instance, sharing a Workout with the rest of  the team can sometimes provide a lift. Working different strokes even though over a longer distance, can achieve variety… but you have to remember  – there is  no  substitute for mileage.


Total yardage will depend on certain variables: Pool size,  time available  for  workouts,  number of swimmers training, etc.


I don’t believe there is any set amount of yardage that a distance swimmer must cover in order to excel as that type of swimmer, because some train as little as 12,000 mtrs. a day, while others go 16,000 – 17,000,


Rick DeMont is a classic example of a cycle swimmer and who can argue with success. While Doug Northway, a surprise Bronze Medal winner at Munich, is a 15,00 mtrs. a day man whose times have improved so fast over the last six months that it scares you. In our program, we average around 15-16,000 a day and that’s going 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.


The stresses or demands of practice must, as closely as possible, reflect the stresses that a competitor will face in an actual racing situation.


In short, this means that if you expect a swimmer to swim fast in a competitive race, you should train him under conditions that approximate actual competition.


Now, I know that sometimes this is hard to do, and I think motivation must be maintained at a high level throughout the training period,


I am not going into the concepts of motivation, but basically, it means that a swimmer must feel that the rewards outweigh the pain,  hurt and agony of his efforts,


No matter who the coach might be.    I think they all agree on one basic concept – MILEAGE. For a distance swimmer, there is no substitute for mileage!


Some of the main series that might be used during workouts would be:


  1. 10 X 500 @ 5:30

2, 30 x 200 10 R.I.

3, 8×800 @10:00


4, 4-5×1650 @ 22:00

5, 60 X 100 @ 1:10

  1. And on occasion, a 3,000 for time – As a constant improvement in 3000 times would indicate improvement in physical condition.


The problem of how to pace distance events is sometimes a constant worry to swimmers in this category.,. “Should I go out hard and hope to finish well, or should I take it easy over the first couple of hundred and swim hard over the rest of the race?”


There are arguments in favor of both race plans…and yet, some swimmers have a great ability to swim each 100 at an even pace.


The best exhibition of pace that I have ever read about was a while back when Kare Moras set a world record for 800 mtrs. Free, her times were: 1:05.6; 1:08.5; 1:08.7; 1:08.3; 1:08.0; 1:08.4 and 1:06.5 , Her second 400 mtr was swam in 4:31.4, Which was three-tenths slower than her first 400 meters.


It could be said that the person who has the courage to go out hard and seems to enjoy the pain of holding on at an even pace after that is likely to be a great distance swimmer. I don’t believe there is any stereotyped plan of action to suit all swimmers.


Mike Burton, I think is the greatest example of someone who endures pain both in workouts and in a race. Mike is not afraid to hurt! Some great times have been done by swimmers doing a negative split – i.e. The second half of the race is swum faster than the first half of the race.


Two examples of this would be in the Olympic Trials in the 400 meter free where both Rick DeMont and Tom McBreen were 2:01+ on the first 200 and 2:00+ on the second 100.


I think a common mistake for many inexperienced middle distance and distance swimmers is to go out at a terrific speed and then not be able to hold on for the second half of the race, I recently read an article on a swimmer who in


in the heats of a 260 meter freestyle went 56 for the first 100 and 70 for the second 100,,, simply because his coach told him to go out fast, His best time was therefore 2:06. In the finals, he decided to ignore instructions and went out in 59,1 and came back in 62.3 for a total time of 2:01,4.

What had happened, of course, was that the swimmer had tried to swim a 200 at his best


100 pace (and had gone into oxygen debt too early) consequently, his capacity to perform had decreased to a minimum.


Experts say that when the heart-rate gets around 200 or more beats per minute, it is close to being in a state of failure. The heart, therefore, does not have time to fill after each contraction. It is now believed that the most efficient heart rate for prolonged work is around 160-170 beats per minute.



The swimmer should build his oxygen debt slowly as he swims the race and then only go into extreme oxygen debt in the final stages of the race.


There are several methods for learning pace – Fartlek Swimming is one method of acquiring it. This requires the swimmer to return to the original pace after he has made a break in speed.


This can also develop a good fast break skill. Interval training is another method of acquiring pace. The amount of rest should be minimal 30 sec, to 60 sec. rest period for longer repeats and as little as 5 sec, or 10 sec. rest for shorter distances is a good starting point.


Pace must be practiced in workout and should be learned as soon as possible. This knowledge will enhance the learning of strategy.


Third, we have strategy! Without some form of strategy, the swimmer is vulnerable. Strategy should be taught at all levels of swimming, from the age· group swimmer to the national swimmer.


Basically, there are three types of strategy and all others would be variations of these:


  1. One strategy is to work early in the race and break up the field.
  2. A second strategy is to swim with the field at the beginning and work the middle of the race.
  3. The third strategy is to swim with the field the first 3/4’s of the race and work the last part.


I would probably have to add the negative split strategy which involves swimming the second half of the race faster than the first half of the race. This strategy is definitely on the increase, as judged by the Olympic Trials. This sounds simple, but is hard to do.


All strategies require making a move at a certain point. It is vital that once the decision has been made to make a move, it should be done without hesitation. The best way to develop strategy is to work on it in workouts. Each repeat can be done at a different pace can be practiced. You can work on negative splitting as well as Fartlek or broken swims.


Strategy for a race should be an individual effort, not a team effort. Above all, coach and swimmer should get together as the final decision for strategy lies between these two. And the best strategy for any swimmer is the one that the individual can do most effectively.


Tapering: The final two or three weeks of the long or short course seasons are the ones which ‘tell the story’ of a swimmer’ s success.••and will sometimes drive a coach right out of his mind. He wonders once in a while if he is doing the correct thing for his team’s taper.


Peaking or tapering really mea s to decrease quantity and increase quality. You may have several peaks through the year. The final peak is for the Big One, the Nationals, and for this, swimmers will normally take a two to four week preparation.


If you have been going mileage, the distance swimmer is able to handle tapering easily while a sprinter may tend to get beaten up and would require a little more rest. Too much rest or taper may be harmful to a distance swimmer. It may impair his ability to swim steady 100 1 s or even splits and may hinder his feeling for pace.


Along with “Physical Peaking” there is “Psychological Peaking” that goes on and this is written or spoken propaganda. It is with this use of words that you can get a swimmer mentally ready for the Big Meet.


To summarize: You should think of how to combine quality and quantity and I recommend you to start with quantity followed by quantity quality and finally quality.


By the use of interval training you can have a multitude of training possibilities. The number of series that are possible are uncountable so there is no excuse for repeating the same workout on two consecutive days.

Hard work has been, is, and always will be, the number one reason for success and, by the same. token, almost nobody has reached the top without it.


Motivation for the High School Swimmer by Dick Hannula, Coach Wilson High & The Tacoma Swim Club (1972)

Motivation For The High School Swimmer

By Dick Hannula, Swim Coach,

Wilson High, Tacoma Swim Club, Tacoma, Washington

(From a talk given at ASCA World Swim Clinic, Montreal, 1972)



How do you approach this problem of motivation? To motivate is to provide with a motive (that within an individual which incites him to action). Now that I had it defined, I called a good coaching friend of mine for help. I asked him for all of the things that he does to motivate swimmers. His answer provided four major motivational methods. They were bribes, profanity, lies, and threats.  This was the kind of stuff that I needed, now I had a start on this problem of motivation.


For years I had been coaching and had never really considered motivation. We did what we did because it was fund to do and it wasn’t necessary what everybody else was doing. If I fall into a trap, and I do, it is conforming to a certain number of yards a day or week, a certain percentage of kicking or pulling in each workout, or keeping up with the Jones’ in coaching. They do it, so we do it, and I believe that this conformity can lead to monotony and boredom, especially when we get locked into the battle for top mileage.


A retired coach who is a close friend and about 70 years old, was talking to me about coaching this summer. He was a baseball coach and he was never an old coach, and he isn’t old now. He never lost his enthusiasm for the game of baseball or for life. He told me that a coach must know the fundamentals of his sport but just as important he must have enthusiasm. What he was saying was that we have to motivate. Tom Landry is written up as one of the great brains of pro football. He is supposed to be a football genius. Tom Landry has been reported as stating that he does not consider the motivation of paid professional athletes as part of his job. The Dallas Cowboys began to live up to their press notices only when a few members of the team took the job of motivating the team. Vince Lombardi was a motivator and it will be a long time before any football coach betters his record.


How important is motivation? How good is a swimmer without a motivating force? How good is a team without a motivating force? Motivation may take a variety of forms. Two coaches may be completely unlike in personality and methods, yet each may be extremely successful motivators. I believe that a team without a motivating force, a motivating coach, is a team without the spirit, the dedication and the drive that are so necessary for success. A team that fails to challenge the swimmer is a dull experience.


Very few completely dedicated swimmers will live through this experience without becoming disillusioned with the sport of swimming. Their participation either ends up in a physical withdrawal  quitting the team, or a mental withdrawal  just a body participating but without the fire necessary for any degree of success. This swimmer is worse than having a swimmer quit the squad completely. He is even a greater liability to your team. Every team has or has had this swimmer. The more you have, the poorer will be your team. This swimmer affects other swimmers, and the deterioration of team purpose is accelerated. The problem is not to allow this situation to develop for a swimmer, and if it does develop, how do you relight his fire.


How important is motivation? The great Bob Kiphuth was quoted in a 1961 SWIMMING WORLD that swimming is 25 per cent mental attitude and mental conditioning. Dr. Otto stated at the 1969 American Swimming Coaches Association’s clinic that man only reaches about eight to 12 per cent of his potential. A former swimmer of mine who had just completed 14 year swimming career, and had one year of freshman coaching at the college level, wrote the following about motivation. Competitive swimming has become one of the most prominent sports in the amateur athletic world. The increase in the number of swimming pools, the expanding age group program, and the fantastic achievements of the Olympic swimmers have transformed competitive swimming from a relatively minor sport concentrated in a few centers to a worldwide favorite. Nevertheless, swimming does remain primarily a sport and not a business. There are no $200,000 bonuses or fees for shaving commercials (Mark Spitz may have changed even this). The rewards of swimming are usually intangible and the work, dedication, and effort required to obtain these rewards is great.


Why does an age group swimmer give up TV or sand lot baseball, to swim up and down a pool. How can a college swimmer find satisfaction giving up part of his social life and put a severe strain on his study time, in the seemingly boring routine of swimming training. How does a swimmer who seems to have reached the limit of his capabilities by doing consistent times in workouts and meets, all of a sudden repeat much faster during a particular workout, swim much faster in an important dual meet, or in the championship meet for no apparent physical reason? And, finally, with over a million competitive swimmers in the world today, most of whom train much the same way with like amounts of effort, why do some end up champions and others just swimmers?

The answer seems to be in motivation. Motivation then has to be extremely important, probably much more important than most of us even suspect.

What role does motivation and mental determination play in successful racing? Fred Wilt has written in his book, run, run, run, that motivation and determination play a major role in successful racing. Correct training makes successful racing but the possibility can be transformed to reality only by adding mental determination. Even the greatest runners suffer extreme feelings of anxiety and helplessness prior to racing and are often obsessed with the desire to withdraw from competition. Sherm Chavoor told me in Munich that Mark Spitz wanted to quit swimming in May of this year. Frequently, they seek socially acceptable excuses for withdrawing or quitting such as an injury or illness. The winner is able to control himself and overcome these feelings. The greater the motivation and determination, the less difficulty the athlete will experience in performing in accordance with his racing potential.

Who is the important motivator? Is it the coach? Is it the parents? Is it the swimmer? Is it the swimmer’s peers (his teammates and friends). I tried to form a conclusion about this so I gave my high school team a questionnaire. This was given to 17 boys, members of the Wilson High School team and the Tacoma Swim Club. I asked the questions on a written and unsigned questionnaire. Questions like, who probably most motivates you as a swimmer. Then Specifically, who most motivates you in workouts, meets, and in the “hidden” training (rest, sleep and nutrition).  We offered seven answers to these questions. They were to rank the choices in order of importance, first, second and third, etc. The choices were parents, teammates, opposing swimmers, coach, the swimmer himself, school and girls.

I was prepared for almost anything. I didn’t know what high school boys believed motivated them as swimmers. Who most motivates you as a swimmer? The swimmers picked the coach as number one and the swimmer himself was picked a very close second, almost in a tie with the coach. Teammates and opposing swimmers ranked somewhat at the back. Parents, school and girls were in the bottom half of the scale. Eight boys picked the swimmer himself as number one, and five picked the coach as number one. The coach then and the swimmer himself are very important motivators.

Who most motivates you in the workouts? I was surprised a little to find the coach ranked number one again with teammates number two and the swimmer himself as number three. There was no significant difference in these three. They were virtually tied as equally important. Opposing swimmers, school, parents and girls finished in that order in the bottom half of the scale.

Who most motivates you in meets? The swimmer picked himself as number one, and a solid number one. The coach ranked a strong number two with the teammates and opposing swimmers still in the top half. School, girls and parents finished in that order. I was somewhat surprised to have the parents finish dead last.

Who most motivates you in the “hidden training?” The swimmer picked himself as number one by the largest margin in the survey. Parents ranked number two, coach number three and teammates number four. Opposing swimmers, school, and girls were not a motivating factor. The parents finally got into the picture as motivators of the high school boy swimmer. It appears that Dad’s pep talk before a meet, and his stroke or race advice after the meet is totally turned off if the seventh place ranking of parents as motivating factors in meets is correct. He may resent Mom and Dad’s advice to go to bed, or to eat his spinach but he does consider it a motivating force.

Who then is the motivator? If the results of my questionnaire are accurate then the coach, the swimmer himself, his teammates and occasionally opposing swimmers, are important motivators. To a much lesser extent and in a very limited way, the parent is a motivator. We then have to consider how you motivate the motivator. How do you motivate the coach?

How does the coach motivate the swimmer to motivate himself? How does the coach influence his team to motivate each other? How does the coach use opposing swimmers to motivate his team, and how does the coach communicate with parents as to their role as motivators.

How do you motivate the motivator? Let’s talk about the coach as a motivator. How do you keep him motivated? Will ambition sustain his motivation? How many years will a high school coach be motivated if his ambition is to be the Olympic coach for example. How many years will a high school swimming coach be motivated if his ambition is to acquire a $25,000 a year college coaching position? Money has not been the most traditional method of rewarding a successful swimming coach. Some goals could soon become realistic. What then will motivate our motivator? It is most likely that many of the forces that continue to sustain you will. be intangibles.  The respect and appreciation of your swimmers, parents, school and the community.


Former world record holder Steve Clark has written in his book, “Competitive Swimming As I See It,” that coaching is not a material rewarding career. The man who enters the sport to make money or to gain the prestige of directing a group of swimmers is not a coach. Only the men who voluntarily become coaches because of a basic love and interest for the sport and young people, only those whose chief interest is the swimmers are the real lasting coaches. He writes that the coach must make swimming fun and satisfying.


If you measure success only in records and gold medals, you may lose sight of some of your greatest accomplishments. This summer I was at the toughest meet that I have experienced. This was my second Olympic Trials. The Olympic Games and Olympic Trials are a great motivation for swimmers and coaches, There were few relaxed coaches in Chicago. It is quite possible that the most relaxed were the most successful, but I don’t know this.  Swimmers were in various states of despair with many of the girls crying and coaches were probably drinking more. I heard that one coach quit coaching after his swimmer failed to qualify for the finals in her particular event. He didn’t wait around for

the second event but went home. You can be real high and real low in this particular meet. I was high because we did qualify one swimmer for the Olympic team. I was real low because we didn’t swim as well as we wanted in some other races. From Chicago we went to Hershey for the National Open. If you were a contender or a coach at the Olympic Trials you had the greatest challenge of your life to psych up for Hershey. It was a mistake as I don’t think we succeeded.

Things were going poorly at Hershey and I was lamenting to a close coaching friend that I had really failed, that I hadn’t accomplished a thing. My friend answered, “Hell Dick, look how many kids you have kept off of the street.”

That was great, 21 years of coaching into the success package of keeping the kids off of the street. It was pretty funny and maybe true. I thanked him. Maybe he had something.••something more than just the records and champions even if it was a rock bottom proclamation that at least we were keeping the kids off the street.

We can’t forget records and championships as our goals but we should see the many benefits derived from the attempt to swim to the top of the world. The lesson in self-discipline, dedication, handling disappointment, subordination of self to the needs of a team, physical wellbeing, and travel experience are just a few of the benefits of swimming.

I want to comment on winning a championship tradition as a method of motivation. At Wilson High School we have built a winning tradition. In a school that is 14 years old, we have won 13 straight state championship titles, and a total of 185 straight high school meet victories. This tradition will soon be challenged as next year we will open a new high school in our district and will split our swim team in about half.

Winning is better than losing. I was a member of a losing high school team, a losing college swimming team and when I started coaching, our high school swimming team was a loser, so I know what it is to lose. It is easier to be a winner.  There are more happy team members, parents, fans arid school administrators when you are winning. I recommend winning as a method of motivation. It can be self motivating.. I asked my team members in that same questionnaire if there is pride on our team and why.  A hundred percent said that we have pride and about seventy-five percent gave our winning tradition, that we are the best, as the reason. The only other reasons given for our pride were our ability to work and to take swimming seriously.. Winning then is a great motivating force, it can be self-sustaining.. Every team can’t win every time out but there can be winning in losing and losing in winning. Learn to recognize it.

You may be familiar with Earl Nightingale. Businessmen use his a motivational device for salesmen.  He had made a fortune by the time he was 35 and retired with a very high annual income. He has a recording that is entitled the “Strangest Secret,” On the advice of a salesman friend, I listened to his recording just a couple of weeks ago for the first time. I wanted to see how it applied to a swimming coach and how it applied to swimmers.

One of the first points which Mr. Nightingale makes is that out of a hundred young businessmen at age 25, all who are eager, confident, each believing that he will be successful. At age 65, about the end of their business career, one per cent are rich, four per cent are self-sufficient, a certain percent are still working, and well over half are broke. Why are only five per cent successful? What about a hundred age group swimmers? Are they eager, excited and confident that they will be successful? I believe that they are. Do more than one per cent become champions, four per cent very good, what percent will still be working at it and what percent will be disillusioned and will be out of the sport by say, age 20, or the college years when they should be at the peak of their swimming career. I would guess, that we would probably have about the same success and failure percentages for swimming. How can we measure success? Mr., Nightingale defines success as the progressive realization of a predetermined worthy ideal. Ninety-five per cent do not succeed. These people believe that their lives are influenced by outside forces. Five per cent succeed.  Why do people succeed? Is there a key of guaranteeing success? This is where I believe that his plan for success in the business world carries over to the athletic or swimming world. He says that people with goals succeed because they know where they are going. People without goals will fail because they do not know where they are going. Backing this up was an experiment that I heard about. The researchers set hard specific goals for half of the subjects by adding a fixed increment to the subjects best previous score on a task.  The other half were told to do their best but not given specific goals. The results were highly significant in favor of the group with specific hard goals.


Secondly, the key to success is believing. Quotes from successful men through history and the bible back this up. We become what we think about. A man’s life is what he makes it. All things are possible to those who believe. As you believe, so shall it be done to you. If you think negative, you will get negative results. If you think positive, you will get positive results. This has been known by a few, the successful few all through history.


Believe and succeed. I was asked by the local Rotary Club to comment on our winning tradition at a luncheon meeting a year or two ago. The following is from part of my notes. To me, winning our championships is built on believing. Believe, we had a poster on our bulletin board with the word believe on it through the season. A couple of weeks before our State championship, I got out a huge sheet of paper and spelled out in large letters, BELIEVE. Then every boy wrote the word believe on that poster. Well, actually almost every boy, one boy wrote “believe.” This was good too, because it gave us a couple of laughs and loosened us up a bit. Believing is what it is all about.  Believe in yourself, your teammates, and your coaches.

We have to define our goals, make them realistic, then believe that we could attain them. When Wilson opened, our goals were to be state champions. We didn’t make it the first year, but we did in the second year and have continued to win for 13 years. We have continued to adjust our goals upward. We started shooting for All America honors. Two years ago our team was second or third in the U. S. in the number of high school All America positions. Last year, we had two boys listed as number one in their interscholastic events for the United States.

We started to shoot for national qualifiers and we qualified a record of 23 swimmers last summer. I think this is the way anything worthwhile is done. Define the goal, determine how to reach that goal, then believe. Believe that you can do the work. Believe that you will stick with it. Believe that you will accomplish your goal. In order to maintain our winning tradition, it has meant not becoming satisfied and continuing to set our goals higher when it became obvious that we had reached a goal. All of these notes of mine were made long before I heard Earl Nightingale, so when I listened to his recording, I couldn’t help but think, that this guy knew what he was talking about.


He says that you look for the circumstances you want and then if you can’t find them, you make them. He likens the planting of a seed in the land to the planting of success in your mind. If you plant corn in the land, you get corn. If you plant success in your mind, you will get success. Plant your goal in your mind, care for it, and work steady for it, and it will become a reality.Picture yourself achieving the goal. Think of it in a relaxed positive way. You must control your thinking. Life should be exciting, never a bore. We should be doing something that we like to do. It should be an exciting adventure, He is your basic challenge in swimming. Earl Nightingale has a 30 day test that he uses to prove to yourself that you can succeed if you believe. There may be a value in a coach doing this for himself. There may be a value in swimmers doing this for themselves. As an experiment, I have a group of my swimmers trying this. Some boys who wanted to try it,

The Test: No. 1. Write your specific goal on a card and carry it with you and look at it several times a day, No, 2. Stop thinking about what you fear. Replace every negative thought with a positive thought. Take control of your mind for a 30 day period, You need, number one, a purpose or a goal, and two, faith or believe. For 30 days act as though it were impossible to fail.  Keep calm and cheerful and above all, don’t worry.

Psych cybernetics is even more detailed. Cybernetics has to do with goal striving, goal oriented behavior. How you can achieve goals that are important to you. The book sets up a minimum of 21 days of mental practice to change your self-image and develop a new mental image of yourself, This book should be read by all coaches and swimmers. It has one chapter entitled “That Winning Feeling” that is particularly valuable, Forbes Carlile’s book on “Swimming” has a section on tapering. On that subject Forbes quotes from a memorandum that he gave to the Dutch National team before a championship meet. It is a motivational message on positive thinking for a championship effort, If you haven’t read it, you should.

Success can be built on disappointment. Success by itself breeds satisfaction,  Some have experienced success and without admitting it or probably without realizing it and have become satisfied. Success must be earned. No one can achieve an ambition for you. No one can do the work for you. You must understand this before you can take one step on the ladder to success. Success has four essentials: 1. Dedication; 2.Patience, no short run time table; Persistence, failure is only a temporary nonsuccess and no setback will deter you; 4. Experience, gradually tougher competitive situations.

The great Australian track coach, Percy Cerutty, is quoted as defining the Law of Success. It is much the same as our other sources. When a person conceives a goal that is within his capacity to achieve and when that goal becomes an integrated part of that person, someday the goal must be satisfied, The greater the desire for a goal, the greater the belief in one’s capacity to achieve that goal, then the greater the success. He gives a warning that could easily apply to swimming coaches. To feel satisfied, to receive the commendations, the honors, the rewards  is to spell one word  finis. The wise man, the truly successful man, never reaches the end of his road. The equation of one goal is but the step on the ladder to equating another goal, Percy Cerutty’s book, “Success In Sport and Life,” is another good book for the coach.

How do you motivate the motivator? Probably you will have to create the circumstances yourself. Establish your own goals in coaching and believe. Reward yourself and your wife with a major trip or vacation after the season. If you are married your wife has sacrificed too. Reward her with a special gift, Establish goals, reach goals and reward yourself (a new suit, a special dinner, a weekend trip) and then start all over again, I don’t necessarily do these things but I am learning, If my wife heard this, she would go in shock, but anyway, I think it should be done,

If your goal is to get a swimmer on the Olympic team, build a motivating reward. Sell your club on the idea that if you qualify a swimmer on the Olympic team that the club should pay your way to the Games. Twice I have had the Olympic team members and twice I wondered how I could afford to go. On both occasions, a parent spearheaded a drive and raised funds to send me. It wasn’t something that I expected. The last time it

happened after I had left for Germany, I believe that it should be part of our long range club budget, Our club has already set aside funds for the 1976 Olympics for that purpose. If we win a championship, we usually do something special with the team, Try doing something special for yourself and your wife. Set the money aside and take the reward when you reach your goal,

How do you motivate the swimmer to motivate himself? Form goals and believe as already discussed. My questionnaire provided a few answers from the swimmers themselves. The swimmer should be doing something exciting, something that he wants to do. I asked them what is monotonous in workouts. The same workouts, the long series of the same distance, the same warm up, long kicking, long swimming and the same repeat series were the most frequent answers.

One boy answered nothing, nothing is monotonous in workout. This guy is one in a million.

Every boy questioned, wanted variety in his workout. I asked what is challenging in workouts. Hard repeats within a short rest time limit, or hard fast repeats, to beat a teammate in repeats, the work itself and distance swims were the most frequent answers. Individual medleys, new series, reference series and sprints were all listed as challenges,

What did the swimmers believe to be necessary and purposeful in the workouts? Long swims and hard repeat series were most frequently listed. Stroke work was also listed but not as frequently. Almost every other phase of swimming was mentioned to a lesser extent. They understand that the work is necessary.

What is time wasted in workouts. A surprising number, almost forty per cent thought nothing is wasted in our workouts. Too much kicking, goofing off, waiting around for coach to start the next series, and long stroke building series were listed as time wasters.

The swimmers recognize that it takes hard work and some long swimming. The problem is to make it interesting. Keep away from the monotony.

This is the coaching miracle that probably no coach has completely solved. The swimmers suggested the following methods to motivate our workouts. Specific goals discussed before practice. Team meetings, separate goals for each swimmer, prizes for good times and variety. Examples like 5 x 100 kick on 2, one swimmer shoots for a very fast time. If he makes it, everyone does only four. Build team spirit.

Swimmers recognize the need for exciting and meaningful Workouts. Yet when I have had the swimmers plan the workout, it is usually a very boring workout.

There are about 300 to 320 swimming days in the swimming year. Most of these may be double workout days. You will probably have five or 600 workouts to run each year. You will probably coach 20 years for 10 to 12,000 workouts. If you make 40 years, you could hit 25,000 workouts, Now make them different, exciting, meaningful, fun and still get the 9000 to maybe over 15,000 yards or meters of work per day, that we have come to accept as necessary. Give them different goals and individual workouts, George Haines told me that he has had 15 or more different workout groups at the same time. I have had eight that is why I say this is a coaching miracle that probably no one has completely solved.


I think that every coach has tried a great number of things to break the monotony. I consider the chlorine water temperature, air temperature, humidity, water clarity arid water level important. I try to have some control of those factors. The swimmers want variety in workouts. Some coaches never give the same workout twice, others will use a reference series for measuring progress. Others will use previous years times of either other swimmers or the same swimmers as goals. Interval training can offer a great number of examples of variation. Ron Ballatore gave examples yesterday of variation that included series such as 20 x 200; 10 on 3 minutes; 10 on 10 seconds, or 5 on 10 seconds R.I., 5 on 20 R.I., 5 on 3 minutes; 5 on 3½, and this could be changed any number of ways. I keep a record of all of my workouts and have done so for quite a few years. Here are some examples of workout variety from my workout book:

6 sets  400  200  100

(each set in that order)

Odd sets  1/3/5  400 on 5, 200 on 2½ and 100 on l½

Even sets  2/4/6  broken by 100’s in 400, 50 in 200, and in 100 all w/10 second R.I.  broken set  400 on 5½, 200 on 23/4 and 100 on 13/4,


Some of the motivational items and gimmicks that I have used to relieve monotony and boredom would include the following: an ever changing bulletin board, pool records board, team records board, honor roll of state champions, honor roll of All Americans, the milk shake  popcorn ball motivation chart. This is a long range motivation chart I have used through the season, Each swimmer starts out with so many minus points scaled anyway that I decide. Swimmers earn points during the season for personal best times in practice, meets, and anything else we want to use. Near the end of the season, we have a milk shake and popcorn ball party at my house and they collect according to the points earned, Coincidentally, we usually have this party just a couple of weeks before the State swimming championship and show the State meet film from the year before, We also have used special posters, handicap sponges, mirrors (in and out of the water), poems, and cartoons, We used mini-posters one season. Last year, the team brought in mini-posters for our mini-board.

Every Christmas we have a special workout. The day before Christmas we have a number of workout and series choices on individual cards. We put them all in a Christmas stocking and have various team members select a card for each new section of that workout, I title each card and examples would include:

  1. “Joy To The World” 4 x 25 on 1
  2. “Scrooge Strikes Again” 3 x 1650 on 20
  3. “Rudolph Rides Tonight” Everyone sings one stanza of “Rudolph The Red nosed Reindeer” and then the team lines up in two lines, the length of the pool, making waves with kickboards while the smallest swimmer on the team takes a time trial for 50 yard butterfly or free.


The tension is terrific as each card is drawn and they know that there is at least one Scrooge card that could be drawn. The swimmers select the cards. Where a swimmer draws a lemon like Scrooge, they nearly drown him, We finish that workout with team Christmas carols led by our team captains, They usually write and print up a Christmas carol with words to fit our swim team. If several alumni are home for practice, we put them on our side of the pool and the present team on the other side and we have a caroling contest. I don’t know about the team, but I have more fun with this workout and I really look forward to it, We finish the workout off with a candy cane for everyone.


The point is that there are many methods to relieve the monotony and each of us should try to implement them. Repeat series should change enough to create challenges and not monotony and still get the job done. Go home swims, relays, handicap races, and innumerable other methods can keep workouts exciting and challenging.

About a year ago we started pep rallies before an important meet, They started by accident with kickboard noise making. Slapping kickboards on the water. Someone on the team got it organized and the whole team developed a rhythm of beating the kickboards on the deck or bleachers, starting slow and building up.

The pool really rocks and they yell, scream and raise hell. Our kickboards may be a little shabby, but we have never swam poorly after a pep rally. I also stay late for water volleyball after practice. They play this over our backstroke flags in the shallow end and they love it. I don’t hang around every night but the game builds team spirit. The kids get to know each other a lot better and it seems to spark them up before going home.

Each year our team designs and sells a new Wilson Swimming shirt. Last year we were shooting for our 13th straight State championship so we put “Lucky 13” on the back of our shirts, We also sold big buttons with Wilson Swimming and Lucky 13 on them. This was our motto all year and our Wilson Swim Club even took out a half page ad in the State meet program with Lucky 13 on it.

Motivation of the swimmer can be long range goals and short run immediate goals. Motivation may need to be planned for preseason, in season, and taper periods. It probably has to be used in dryland training for certain meets, for start and turn practice, for stroke drills, kicking, pulling, and you could go on and on. Motivation must be paced or you will start out too fast and over motivate at the start of a season and have nothing left for the second half of the season when it may be most needed.

If you do nothing but use motivational methods, they can become boring, and will lose their effect and purpose. The routine of swimming sets the stage for many motivational methods.

You probably need some routine to make some motivational steps work. You need to get the work done. If you are getting the work done and everything is going well, you don’t need to work at motivation, you have it.

Distance swimming charts are frequently used by coaches to motivate the swimmers in early season to accept long distances of swimming. The English channel swims were some of the first charts that I had heard about. That distance is too short for any long range effect in today’s swimming, I believe in a distance base before we start our hard repeat training. Last year we had a chart on our board that took us along the highway from Tacoma, Washington, to Salem, Oregon, a distance of about 190 miles. We had each city on that chart along the way. I told the team that we wouldn’t swim one timed repeat until we got to Salem. This included all of our preseason and early season distance swims. We really tried hard to find acceptable ways to swim long distances without timed series work.

When we hit Salem we had a root beer party and a team meeting outlining the next phase of our training.

Last year in our preseason training, we worked on starts and time cross pool swims for various methods of starting and we had starting champions. Dryland work needs variety too, and I’ve used progress charts and time circuit training.

Your poolside work can control the enthusiasm of a workout. Posted workouts with the coach physically withdrawn (in. his office) or mentally withdrawn (reading or talking somewhere else on the deck to another coach or spectator) are not the way to get the best work out of your swimmer. This type of work may be very good at certain stages of the training. The coach at poolside talking to swimmers showing an interest in their turns or in their strokes is more motivating. I watch our swimmers from the deck, from the ceiling, from the bottom of the pool and upside down. Occasionally I will take a few repeats with the swimmers. I said a few. I can stand in the

water or wait at the pool wall and listen to these kids. I hear what I can’t hear on the deck. Much of the time they don’t realize you are there and you get a valuable insight as to what the swimmers are thinking about in your workout. You can also communicate easier. I believe you should make eye contact with every swimmer every day during his later work out.

This lets him know you care. If you follow this up with a word or two about his swimming, it is even better. I saw a listing of coaching types as described by the athletes themselves. The negative classification of coaches by athletes should be avoided. Most are self-explanatory. The insulter, the shouter, the avenger, the choker (ties up and chokes himself under pressure), shaky, tough guy, Rocky ( one inspirational talk after another), the whiner, fast mouth ( always giving directions), General Custer (he sticks with a way of doing or position on things no matter how wrong), critic, super friend, joker, or Hitler.

The positive classification of coaches by athletes should be a goal for us. This includes the counsellor (he is available to the athletes), the supporter (he is on our side), Mr. Cool (he is calm and relaxed  I can’t help but think of Flip Darr and that pipe), the shrink (an observant, perceptive coach), the tourist (he spreads himself around to all of the team) the salesman and the explainer.

Coaches should be more person minded and a little less performance minded, according to the athletes.

What can be done to motivate at swim meets? The swimmers stated that cheers and more spectators, especially those from their own school were most needed to motivate at meets. We need to promote student participation at our swim meets. The Wilson Swim Club will get that job at our school. We try to get our band out two times a year,

What can be done to motivate our team spirit? Our team answered with team psych up meetings, pep rallies, games. I received one negative statement to this question, the only negative answer in the entire questionnaire. One boy answered that the coach should not cut any one person down. Someone was trying to tell me something and I can’t relate it to any specific action by me. Nevertheless, I must have hurt some swimmer at some time and he hadn’t forgotten it. Actually I think I know which boy wrote this and that “turkey” did deserve it. I want to go back to the team questionnaire that we did a couple of weeks ago. We asked the question, why do you turn out for swimming? We provided the following answers and they were to rank them in order of importance:  First choice was the swimmer’s drive to be a champion. Second choice was the swimmer’s desire to improve himself. Far behind was a tie between coach approval and parent approval. School and co-unity recognition and social or friendships were lost.


We can most motivate swimmers if we work on the swimmer’s own desire to be a champion and to improve himself. Recognize his own personal progress toward these goals and he will remain enthusiastic about swimming.

I know coaches who work five, six, and seven days a week.  Success doesn’t seem to be based on the number of days per week. One of the most successful worked seven days a week. Another very successful coach worked only five and a half days a week. Both had great success at the Olympic Trials. That success was built on motivation. One of those coaches told me of swimming repeat S’s and R’s  the letters of the alphabet in workouts. They spelled out Olympics on the final workout before leaving for the Olympic Trials. He said the kids loved it. Swimming is individual, but team championships are the goal of high school teams. High team spirit will encourage greater individual efforts and results to make a team championship possible.



(Used at Hilson High School)

We have a chart of all of our swimmers on the pool wall to record points, plus photo static enlargements, table A and table B.

Each swimmer is assigned so many minus points (in the hole) at the start of the season.


Varsity lettermen 100
Reserve lettermen  50
New swimmers  25
National competitors 50
State record holders  25


Near the end of the season, the coaches pay off.

1 milk shake for 50 plus points

1 popcorn ball for 50 plus points

Or the swimmers pay off.

1 car wash for 50 minus points

1 floor scrubbed for 50 minus points


I treat the high school season as a coming battle. We build up our foes, our opponents before a season starts. We try to make a case or our particular cause.  Our winning tradition, the defeat of a particular team, the defeat of a particular swimmer, scoring at a certain level in a championship meet. Then we concentrate on working together to win our team battle.


Each swimmer’s goal and individual effort is given importance in progressing toward this goal. The swimmer who wins and scores is important to the realization of our team goal. The swimmer who improves and inspires his teammates with his courage and determination, even if his goal cannot achieve points at the championship, is important to the realization of our team goals.


I’d like to direct a few thoughts to the new coach the young coach. I am defining young in this case to be the hungry, motivated coach. In 1966 I saw my first nationals, it was dominated by about five teams and there was representation from only a few teams. At the Olympic Trials in Chicago, there were just over 400 swimmers and 112 teams. One hundred twelve teams, that means at least 112 coaches. There are more good coaches than ever before. You are coaching better. Champions are emerging from relatively new and small clubs. You’ve got everything you need to succeed, if you are willing to pay the price. Any coach, any team club, anywhere.


Certification for the Week of October 24, 2016

Certification for the Week of October 24,  2016

Sydnee Alexander from Johannesburg South africa
Original Application OK, Needs Level 1 school test to be certified

Darlys Ankeny from Corona CA
Completed Level 4 school test; Needs Achievement to be Certified

Wendy Asnault from Chico CA
Level 2 Masters

Kibum Cho from Morgantown VW
Level 1 International Age Group

Heidi Cuticchia from Hamilton OH
Level 2 USA Swimming; Masters

Peggy DeNio from Charlevoix MI
Completed Level 3 School test; Needs Achievement to Certified

Dennis Eggert from Webster NY
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 school test to be certified

Mihail Gavrilchin from Fresh Meadows NY
Level 3 Age Group

Cara Gordon from Holly Springs GA
Level 2 USA Swimming

Jessica Grifaldo from South Gate CA
Level 1 USA Swimming

Dana Handley from Louisville KY
2016 Regional Clinic

Tim Hannan from Farmington NY
Online EDU Swim Mac Ok

Callan Heidkamp from Vienna VA
Needs Level 1 and 2 Schools to be Certified

Shelby Hernandez from Yucaipa CA
Level 3 USA Swimming

Kristina Hitzke from Rockford IL
Original Application OK, Needs Level 1 school test to be certified

David Horton from York Haven PA
Updated EXP as Submitted

Robert Howell from East Windsor NJ
Original Application OK, Needs Level 1 school test to be certified

Frederik Hviid from Frederick MD
Level 2 USA Swimming

Khaled Ibrahim Khalil from Alexandria EGYPT
Level 3 International Age Group

Alexandra Malanina from New York NY
Level 1 USA Swimming; Age Group

Jesse Raskauskas from Portland OR
Completed Level 5 school test; Needs Achievement to be Certified

Holly Rickman from Aiken SC
Level 1 USA Swimming; High School

Sherry Sill from Edwardsburg MI
Level 1 Masters

Ratapong Sirisanont from Bangkok THAILAND
Level 2 International Age Group

Steven Smith from Matawan NJ
Needs Level 1 school test

Manuel Sosa from Oakland Park FL
Level 2 Age Group

Ginger Spansel from Tuscaloosa AL
Level 2;1 Masters; USA Swimming

Elizabeth Struble from Columbia SC
Original Application Approved; Needs Level 1 school test to be certified

Amanda Terray from Dover DE
Level 2 USA Swimming; Age Group

Verneque Thompson from Miami FL
Level 1 Age Group

Will Wang from Moraga CA
Completed Level 5 school test; Needs Achievement to be Certified

Kristin Watson from Annapolis MD
Level 1 USA Swimming; Age Group

Seana Westcarr-Gray from Great Falls MT
Level 2 USA Swimming; High School

Nicholas Wyllie from SAN DIEGO CA
Level 1 High School