Good morning. I want to welcome everybody to the swimming conference, and our next talk is your first swimming lesson. Okay, that got your attention. [laughing] If David Salo didn’t need any introduction, you would not all be here and you will not be out there standing only for these talks. So, we are going to skip right over the introduction. I just want to let you know that in addition to being a great coach and really a business pioneer assuming that what he did with Irvine Nova, David is somebody who has been sort of a Mel Gibson, sort of freedom fighter for us in swimming, for himself and for everyone else.
He pictures himself as looking like Mel Gibson, I just picture himself as acting like Mel Gibson. He stood up for his own way of doing things early in his career as a member of the USA Swimming Board. He stood up for your way of doing things, to allow you the freedom to coach the way you want to coach. He still stands up for being able to do things the way he wants to do and be able to coach whoever he wants to coach and whoever wants to swim with him. He is willing to make whatever sacrifices that are necessary to maintain the freedom to coach and I respect him immensely for that. David has success. Now, every place he has been with men and women in every distance and every stroke, and much the coach he brews consternation with every nation. Coach Salo, we welcome you. We thank you.
I wish I had you give my speech last night. You would have done me much, much better. Is Mark in the room? No. He has inside jokes. Thanks! I was asked to talk about World Championships in 2009 and as I have given thought to 2009, it is so far removed from what I’m doing now that I had to really spent the last night I have trying to put this altogether. This is probably going to be the shortest hour and a half talk that you have ever listened to. I’ve been going to the clinics for a while and one of the things that have always bothered me about giving talks is, I will be giving my talk and it is a lot about theory and principles and ideas and somebody will raise their hand half way through the commentary and say “So, what do you do on Tuesday? What do you do on Wednesday?”
I’m a conceptual guy. I’m not kind of giving you my workout plan. I will give you my ideas on how I do things and as George said, I’m sometimes sort of different drummer. But we are going to talk about three athletes I coached to world championship titles in 2009: Ous Mellouli, Rebecca Soni and Katinka Hosszú. The real only common trademark of the three of them is that I coached them. But as you see, there is a lot of differentiation between the three athletes that we are talking about.
Ous Mellouli as a college athlete, I put this up here because I think it distinguishes the three of them and how different they are. Ous was a member of class 2006 at the University of Southern California, swam under Coach Schubert for that entire collegiate career. And then I appeared on the scene in 2006, spring of 2006 once it was completed.
Rebecca Soni was graduating class of 2009 so I got there just after her freshmen year and coached her since. And Katinka Hosszú is a student from Hungary who basically just completed her second year at the University of Southern California with me. I’ll keep using that University of Southern California. We are in the midst of the recruiting season and I coach at the University of Southern California, just in case you didn’t know that. [Laugh]
As George just said and pointed out, one of the things that I’m most proud about is that there is not an event that’s won be it from the 15-meter to the 25-kilometer event that I have not coached an athlete to distinction, international or national. And I’m really proud of that. Be it man, be it woman, be it breast stroke, butterfly, back stroke, free style, I’ve been able to coach those athletes.
I think I’m probably if I’m not one of the best coaches in the country, I’m probably the luckiest coach in the country to have some really great athletes to work with. What I tried to do when I give presentations is just say my ways are not the only way, my way is a way and I’m proud of the way I do things. But you can see from the three athletes that I coached through 2009 to gold medals, they have a broad spectrum of events that they swam. Ous swam the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter freestyles. Rebecca Soni primarily 50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast and Katinka Hosszú, 200 fly, 200-400 IM. So, it’s a pretty broad spectrum of the athletes that I coached at the world championships.
During the training period at the University of Southern California, Ous began swimming with me in the spring of 2006 as with Rebecca Soni through this period of time through 2009. Katinka joined me in September of 2008, so it’s really only about a year’s time, less than a year’s time that she trained with me in preparation for the world championships last year. And just to give a little bit of perspective, in 2008, it is really the setup for a lot of the results in 2009, I think. Ous won the gold medal in the 1500 freestyle, Rebecca was the silver medalist in the 100 breast and gold medalist in the 200 breast stroke breaking the world record and Katinka was just outside the top-8 in the 400 IM. And I don’t recall her time. So, again I think that distinguishes the three very, very different athletes in preparation for world championships last year.
Now, these are defining moments and a little bit of story and background about each one of these athletes. Ous, as I said I got to USC in the spring of 2006 and I was to freak out what I was doing, how I was going to train this collegiate team into my team and those of you who have been through this process, the first year of taking over a team and I think it’s not just the college team but any team. First year, you have there, it’s their team and they let me know it. It was their team, their way. It wasn’t my team.
I can finally say after four years that it is now my team. I got rid of all the kids who were there before and like Bob Bowman said last night, “I got rid of the first class, I recruited pretty, pretty effectively.” Anyway, the first years of training Ous Mellouli, it was one of these coming in Monday, Tuesday, coming in Wednesday, coming in Thursday, and Friday, coming late on Saturday and repeat that kind of routine for a few weeks. And he was about ready to jump into practice on a Saturday morning and everybody was in, and was about ready to get in and I said, “No.” “What do you mean?” “You are no longer on the team.” He said, “What do you mean? I am Ous Mellouli.” I said, “I like you, you are a good athlete. I love to coach you but you got to swim my way. And that means you have to be at practice and you got to be on time.” And he was about to get in and I said, “No.” He said, “You’re serious?” “Yeah, I’m serious. You see you can’t swim with me anymore.”
He came in on Monday afternoon and said, “You are really serious about this, aren’t you?” I said, “Yeah, I’d love to coach you but you got to swim my way and you’re going to just have to deal the way I coach and you’re just going to have to trust me. I didn’t realize how significant that moment was until I have him give recruits, tours of campus and he… I’ve heard this over the last couple of years that when he was talking with the athletes, he talks about the story where I said, “Just trust me.” He had no reason to trust me. I wasn’t considered as distance coach at that time. When I got to USC, I was considered as spring coach and so he had no reason to trust me but I asked him to trust me and I think the result kind of pave that pathway towards a tremendous amount of trust between the two of us.
Rebecca Soni, in my first year as I tell the story a lot of times, I was her third coach in the year’s time. She left home speedily, then got to college, wound up the USC. She was then to become a champion on the 200 yard breast stroke in her freshman year and also Coach Schubert was leaving and I was coming in to the next and so in a year’s time, she had three coaches. I was a spring coach. I knew something about breast stroke. I was a new coach on the block and she was the antithesis of everything I was. Her breaststroke was unique and different. She has been told that for years. Her training was more of a distance orientation with times speedily back east in New Jersey and here I was spring coach and knew something about breaststroke. In about two weeks into training her, we are going long course, she was down on the far end of the pool. She would stop in the middle of the set and I went down to see what was the matter and she looked up at me with tears and said, “I hate your drill. I hate your workout.”
That’s my first couple of weeks of coaching USC and by far she is our best athlete and she didn’t like anything that I’d like to offer. And I vowed not to do this ever in my career but I looked at her and I said, “Calm down.” And I said, “Frankly, I know something about pressure. I coached Amanda Beard, Stacy Stitts Winfield, Jessica Hardy and I’ll coach you, too. I understand your stroke. You just can’t bear with me and we’re going to be okay. First year was tough and now in 2009, it’s getting a lot better.
I actually convinced her this year to swim once a day. So, through these years she swim once a day just in the morning and so I’ll go with that a little bit later but that was a huge change for her. And there is strategy in why I’ve done that and hopefully that will become a little bit more clear. Katinka Hosszú, I saw her at the Olympic games in 2008 and I wasn’t very impressed. The strokes aren’t very good, she was a little out of shape. Her background in Hungarian swimming as anybody that knows Hungarian swimming, it’s about just drive, drive, drive, drive, drive, workout, workout, workout, workout, swim, swim, swim, swim, swim.
And I thought, “Give a full ride to this.” Oh, oh. But on the first couple of weeks, we are training in 2008 with their team coming off the Olympic games, I began to realize that there is something special about her. One of the toughest workout swimmers I’ve ever coached. I saw her ignite an enthusiasm for swimming and I think in large part by the way we trained, to a lot of race pace type work. I don’t do a lot of yardage and I value the dry land training and I think as she got in a better shape and she began to understand the American system of training and competing, she found that this was going to work for her.
The rice cooker refers to the kind of way I strategize with my lead athletes and we started calling her the rice cooker as it became evident that she was going to be trained for the world championship with me and in preparation for that and knowing that her best event was probably the 400 IM. So, we used to call her the rice cooker. Rice cooker means Stephanie Rice. So, in practice, it was about, “You’re going to win.” You are going to be Stephanie Rice. You are the rice cooker. That goes a long way to a lot of things that I do in my practice. We rehearsed everything. Our training is about rehearsing. It is about race pace.
I’ve stopped into somebody’s talks today. I listened to Brenton Rickard’s coach this morning a little bit. I’ve had conversation with coaches who asked me questions about the way I coached and trained my athletes and they always talk about things about like EN1 and SP3s and SP4s and EN3s. And I have a PhD in Physiology. I know what those things mean and I tell people and I tell recruits for the University of Southern California.
I said I don’t use terms like aerobic base. I don’t use terms like threshold. I don’t use terms as MACH U2. So, you’re not going to get into that talk. I used the term fast, faster and fastest. And that’s it. You go faster, go faster, go fast, go fastest. I don’t talk about EN3s and EN1s. Once in a while, I pull out Johnny Bench’s X-Color Charts. If anybody of you have seen… Have you ever been through with presentation by Johnny Bench and he puts up a lot of charts and I swam for John so I remember the charts but all kinds of charts and color coded and things like that.
And I found myself sometimes in training that I will bring out the charts because I could not get the kids to train as fast as I want them to go. And so I bring up the charts and in my fetter frustration, I bring them out, put them down the deck and say, “Okay, you need to hold these times.” And the kids would struggle trying to hold the times and I just look at them and say, “Don’t blame me. It says it’s on the chart. You got to go this fast. It’s not my fault.” So, I love things like charts. I don’t do test swims, if you ask me those questions. But I do not use the charts that oftentimes. It’s really frustrating that they’re not going fast enough and I bring out the charts and just blame the charts and Johnny Bench’s charts and then I wash it at all.
I wrote the word: trust. I asked Katinka who is she to come to America. She didn’t know a lot of English, not very well anyway, and immersed herself in the University of Southern California where the academic standards continue to rise. And she didn’t know the language all that well and say, “Come out here, trust us and you’ll swim fast.” And I asked Rebecca Soni to trust me. “I won’t screw up your stroke, I understand your stroke. I understand what your background in training is. Don’t worry about that. I’m really flexible.” And I told Ous Mellouli although I knew nothing all about distance swimming, “Trust me. I’ll figure it out.”
Actually, I’ve always wanted the distance swimmers. Actually, I had one distance swimmer briefly for about year and a half, Haley Peirsol. And she trained with one of my assistant coaches for a while then he left and I coached her to Pan Pacific silver medal in a mile, then I knew I could coach distance kids. An interesting side story to Haley Peirsol, she would comply with I thought I needed to do like my assistant coaches are doing which was more yardage than I liked and she would complain. Anything that was over a thousand of yards, she would have a shoulder problem. So, I said, “Okay, a thousand yards we stop. We go 25s. So, we go a thousand when we go 25s. So, she learned how to sprint.
So, trust is really an important issue here. I don’t care what you do. I don’t care if you think you’re a distance coach or a yardage monger or you like sprints. Anyway, like I said, trust is the most important thing that you have with your athletes and again, I don’t think it really matters if you consider yourself a spring coach, distance coach, you like to do yardage, you like to do sprints or short things.
At the conversation with the coaches yesterday about it’s only about 5 workouts a week, it’s got two hours a day, and he’s being told, “You got to get 10 workouts per week” and he’s sitting in the front right now. And I said, “Don’t worry about that. Just train really well for two hours a day, 5 days a week and that’s all you’ve got.” The American system sometimes we get too lax and because we have a lot of ample time, ample space, we can do all these things and when you got two and a half hours, you used two and a half hours. And I think you need to learn how to be really efficient with all the limited amount of time that you have and believe, you’ve got to believe more than anything else. You have to believe that you can do it. I believe I can coach Ous Mellouli to get a medal in a mile. And it was important that he trust so that I could help him achieve that accomplishment.
So, trust is really huge. I recall Rebecca Soni down in the middle of the workout and I said, “Trust me. You will be alright and I’m not going to screw you up and you are going to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games.” Same thing with Katinka, “Trust me, come to America and we’ll help you win a gold medal on world championships.’
In the fall of 2008, we really again kind of start a lot of sequence of events that took place and leading up to 2009. Rebecca and all three of them come up with the Olympic Games in 2008 and I’m a big believer that sometimes you need to get away from this stuff to really be reenergized and get back after it.
One of my athletes like coach growing up is Amanda Beard and one of the things I’m most proud about Amanda over the years is, she has been able to take the time off when she needs to take the time off. She has been able to turn down the trips to world championship because she has other things planned. She was able to go, have a baby and come back and I think she looks better than she ever looks in her swimming.
And so I encouraged our athletes when they came back from the Olympics in 2008 to take all over a little time away. I encouraged Rebecca to take some time off, don’t get back started in the collegiate scene until you’re ready to go. And she came back and didn’t get back under the water for about two weeks, three weeks after the Olympics but she got engaged for a team in dry land. So, everyday she is doing dry land stuff and I said, “Look, I trust you. When you’re ready to get back in the water and get going, I trust you because you worked hard.” There’s no… All these kids work really hard. Okay, all of you can take these kids and make them Olympic champions I’m sure because they work hard. They do what we ask them to do.
But I asked Rebecca to take a little bit of time away from the water after the 2008 Olympic Games and get refocused and get reenergized, get back into the classroom, get going you’re your studies and she’s back in the whole college scene. She did that. Well, Ous Mellouli, our decision was to… join the World Cup circuit, get out from California, join the World Cup circuit, goes from all of it and raise yourself in a pretty good shape. And he did that. He went to every single World Cup Meet that year, swam probably 6-7 events every single meet from the 200 all the way to 1500, 200 IM, 400 IM and raised himself to a pretty good shape, pretty good position and he’s mine to get ready for the 2009 world championships.
With Katinka, she literally doesn’t have a choice. She was coming in to college, she had to get immersed in the collegiate scene, she has to begin training with my college squad. I did not know much about her and I know she needs to get a better conditioning so we didn’t really allow her to take a break from the Olympic thing. I think she is ready to get going and the new experience was new and challenging and one of which I think she was able to embrace and get right back and get after the effort ahead of her.
In the spring of 2009, the focus on training for Ous was the Mediterranean Games which he was obligated to with his country Tunisia. It was kind of a complicated situation that the Mediterranean Games were about two weeks before the World Championships. Both were in Italy which was good. So, our focus on training was all about trying to get through the Mediterranean Games or he’s going to the national hero for Tunisia and then try to match that effort going into the World Championships in Rome.
With Rebecca, through the course of the year and the collegiate season, I knew that the things were not right. I knew that she just, her head was not into it. You can tell that she was kind of reluctantly going through it. It was just too real, real tough time mentally for her. And my job at that point in time was to not push anymore. I just kind of back off, let her go through it and take a calming approach to it and again having a trust in her as an athlete, my focus was on what can we do for the long term.
She is an Olympic gold medalist and a world champion finishing up her last year in college. She didn’t take a break from college through 2008, she keeps streaming through her class work but I knew that she needed some kind of a break. As we were coming off to an entry in championships in which she won a 100 in breaststroke, I said, “Take the time off. Don’t go into world championship trials. It’s okay.” And she kind of hmmm and huh and said, “Don’t go. You don’t have to go. It’s alright. Don’t go. It’s okay.” And then she hmmm and hug and so few weeks before world championship trials, I said, “Look if you got to go to meet, that’s okay, but you don’t have to go to world championships. That’s okay, too. You don’t have to go. You go to trials, swim because you feel obligated to somebody or something but if you do not want to go to world championship, that’s okay, no problem.
She makes the team, has really great World Championship Trials and decides to go which I didn’t discourage and that’s how I cannot prepare the right… one of the things I think I’m good at in this sports is to know when to push and when not to push. I’m thinking about the long term and short term. And I think she can have a really lengthy career but it’s going to be on her terms but she needs to understand what her terms are.
Going back to why we really kind of encourage to do one work out a day, this season was to be able to determine for herself based on her successes or her lack thereof this year on what she decides to do in preparation for 2012. I am a big believer that you can do this on one swimming workout a day but I’ve got athletes coming from all over the country, all over the world to come and swim for me at USC. And they come with different kinds of mindset and good examples, my workout in summer where every morning, Monday thru Saturday and then Tuesday, Thursday afternoons and those who came in one day and said, “I need more workouts, I need more work. I said, “Okay, you come in on Monday and Friday. I will give you more work.” It’s not that I thought I needed to do that but he thought he needed to do that.
You could tell that impact how well it did because he went and now he is with his family like a crab. But that was not about work, it was really about his suffering, getting old but he swam in the Olympic Games in 2008 to a herniated disk and he has got bad shoulders, he has got a tear, something going on with his shoulder and I keep trying to tell him to take this summer off because it really was not important. But he kept insisting on, he’s got to keep pushing through. So, the results spoke for themselves.
Going back to spring of 2009, it was Katinka’s first entry to a championship and for the Europeans who come to the United States to swim, that first time they go into an NCAA championship, it was a weird, weird experience. They’re used to go the regional championships, European Championships, and swim 1 or 2 events. It’s like spread out over 7 or 8 days and swim 3 times in their great performances. And all these things, I saw this issue not so much for Katinka but this she has a boyfriend from France and it’s like she had 14 times in 3 days because I don’t have to deepen up the team to have subs coming in for him in the relay, so it’s like, “Okay, get ready to go. You have to get up and fit in to fly and then you have to go in swimming and learn to fly/go to the plunge. Okay, ready, take one….
So, Katinka have to go to the NC III experiences and swimming 14 times at a very high intensity and we finally have a team, since I have taken over and have gone from worse to almost okay. We’re getting to a point where we are more competitive, so we were more relaxed with athletes like Katinka to help us drive the performance higher and score more points. But she had to go through the NC III at Chomps and then prepare for the world championship. The reason I put internet training out there is that she was with me through about mid June and then she had to go back to Hungary to train and be back home and get ready for world championships.
And what is she entrusting me and one of things I tried to teach the kid is, “Don’t become reliant on me. Trust me but don’t become reliant on me.” And when she went back to Hungary and she was little bit more reliant on me than I would have her be but she said you need the semi workouts. Now, the nice thing about the situation for her and in Hungary was her coach was really okay with that. And he said, “Please send me the workouts. I’ll run them as you design them and we’ll get through this really well.” And so, she wasn’t at all offended that I was sending workouts and I would dutifully send workouts, try to get them there in time spent to get work after her and her coach and they will do all these workouts and he was real receptive to the ideas of what was going on.
I’ll give you a little side story of the World Championships and I got the chance to finally meet her coach and he was just very thoughtful and pleased with the performance and how things were going. And but two days into the meet, they want her to swim the 800 free relay which had no chance for meddling last 2009. He comes up to me frantic and they want her to swim the relay just before the 200 flyer or something and then goes, what do you think in a broken English, because I don’t know Hungarian. And I said, “Absolutely not” And I said, you need to go over there and tell those guys, no, and he goes over and tell them no she will not swim this relay [laughs]. “No, she will not swim this relay.” Yes, pretty funny. I said, “Don’t you want to win a medal?” “Yes.” So, he was able to come and influence the decision by the hierarchy of Hungarian swimming which Katinka was not a star.
Allow me to share, she was not a star. Dániel Gyurta was a star and all the stars get all the perks. They don’t have to do relays and they can come in when they want, they get their own coaches, they get their own system going. And she was just kind of one of the pretty good kids, she was good, she was a silver medalist in 2008 at the European Championships but she was not a star yet. And so for her to go over and tell them that she would not swim that the individual gold medal was more important in preparation than swimming in kind of okay 800-free relay, so that was a good thing. So, it was a different challenge for her and for me to not see her. Again, as I told you before we call her the rice cooker and every day in practice was about, “You’re the rice cooker, you’re the rice cooker.”
I’ll tell you a little side story about Ous. A lot of times when I show Ous set a little bit later. I don’t do traditional type sets for distance athletes, where we go 16×400, descend 1-3-4, anything like that. But I do some volume but the volume is not the volume that is critical. But I do sets periodically where we go 800, 3×1, 600, 3×1, 400, 3×1, something like that. And the 800, 600, 400 are really strategic. It’s negative split and there are no big intervals, like 30 seconds rest because the meat of it is that the 3×100 is faster than race pace. And when I ask him to do a lot of times the last 50 day 800, 600 and 400, “I want you to just go full speed.” And what I do with my athletes when I know in particular the races that they are swimming and the competition that they are going to face then I’ll get into their head about that workout on how it relates to the competitions. So, for Ous, it’s like the last fifteen minutes before speed, needs before speed.
Because you are going to be racing Paul Biedermann in the last 15, he comes back really fast on the 400. And when I’m talking about the mile at 800, I’m talking about Zhang Lin from China, so it’s got, in that last fifty, it’s got to be all out, it’s got to be like 25, 26 seconds on that last fifty long course. It has to be full speed. Well, he never would do in full speed and there were never quite as full speed as I would like him to be. And what I have do with my kids, I’d do this all the time, like running, dive, sprints, while you do that if you got in trouble from your superiors. I warn the kids, “Don’t slip or fall because if you do, what will I do?” And the kids all know the answer, “I’ll laugh.” Because I warned you. I warned you, don’t slip and fall or I’ll laugh. So, we’d do that with Ous, so it’s got to be full speed, you are going to be run down by Paul Bitterman and if you do, I’m just going to laugh because I told, “Are you going to be rundown by Zhang Lin? I told you.
So, I do that kind of strategy, that kind of preparation. It’s like an actor rehearsing for the play. It’s like you’ve got to rehearse on actualities and never quite put it down the way I want it to be. It will be a little slower than I want it to be and what happens at the world championship, he’s winning the 400 meter free style, he looks like he’s going to have a great swim, he looks like it’s going to be a 341 swim and that’s about what we thought we take and what happens? Paul Biedermann comes back and pair Ous down the last fifty, goes like twenty five four and Ous gets beat in the 400 freestyle to win the silver medal. Soon as he win in the free style, he is winning it, he’s going to break the world record, he’s right on target for the time we expected and the last fifty meters, Zhang Lin from China runs him down, goes 25.5 and 25.4, wins the silver medal. If he gets down and I’d just go to laugh at him.
So, I said, “Two silver medals are pretty good, lifetime, best times, look good, you run for the world record and the 800 freestyle so what are you going to do in the mile?” So, the mile comes up few days later and I was convinced he was going to break the world record, he was going to win the gold medal, that was the plan, we knew the time that it was kind of go and he’s swimming a race that I really didn’t like. He gets out there and he’s running behind, he is swimming in like 600 meters, he is swimming in third or fourth place and if he’s ever seen me underneath when I whistle really loud and I’m up in the stand whistling and about 600, I said, “Forget it, he’s doing his own thing. He’s not doing what we’d strategized. He’s not doing what we’d planned on.”
And he ends up winning the 1500 meter freestyle and he gets out and he talks about it and he goes, he was so worried about how the Chinese were going to perform that he just sat back and kind of waited, kind of gauge what was going on in the race and once he kind of realize what the chances were on the field, primarily Chinese kids, he felt that he had a race won and he was just going to take off in there. But it wasn’t quite the race that I had planned. But if he did my planned, he’d probably gotten silver again. So, that’s why I get to speak this week, I guess. [Laugh]
But like I said, there’s a lot of kind of mental rehearsal. With Katinka, we were prescribed the very specific splits for the 400 IM to go 430, for 429 and change. And they’re very specific splits and reached 100. During practices when set with setup like that I remind her, “Okay. You’re going to beat the rights to the rice cooker. You’re going beat step on the rice and here’s how you’re going to do it. This is where you’re going to split, this is where you’re going to hold and she would be really good at it and hold those times to its perfection when you’re giving the ten seconds rest, your fifteen seconds rest or whatever might be.
I got a conversation with Sean Hutchison at World Championship. It was a kind of…. Sean and I have one of the most interesting relationships when we invented Twitter or Twitter Light actually. And Twitter Light is you get on your texting and you like 24-letter-long messages and if you never have known, Sean, it’s a very intense 24 letters. So I would have to come back with another 24 letters of something that really means, something that is really intense.
Well, we get into this conversation at the world championships as the mist is going along and my athletes were swimming erratic, cookers swimming and we’re talking about very specific times. And I was telling him that I picked the wrong time and the tournament I am. I picked Katinka to go to 2:09 or 2:08 and she went 2:08; and Ariana Kukors goes to 2:06, breaks the World Record. And Sean goes, “Well, I picked 2:06.” I said, “Damn, I picked the wrong number.” So, we had this vow going on about the number you picked.
And sometimes that number you’ve picked is really crucial but not, you’ve got to have the right athlete I think. I’m somewhat convinced to that. But Katinka, she is one of the kids who is the right athlete. You pick the right number, you strategize what that number might be, how does it relate to swimming and she gets it ingrained in her mind how that is going to work. She won the 400 IM and with 430, did a really good swim but she didn’t break the world record. And she won the gold medal, I thought she would be excited. I saw her a little bit later after the race, she said, “I didn’t go 29, I went for 430.” But she won the gold but she said, “But I didn’t break the record.” So, we worked on that one. But that’s a… Again, the idea in the training plan I guess is where people really want to look at. I just like telling stories. This is the training plan. There’s nothing magical about my training plan.
I’ll tell you how my training plan came about. I go to the college rinks, having coached with Irvine Nova for twenty odd years ago. I’d go to the college rinks and I knew one of the biggest problems in college campuses was drinking. It’s a problem everywhere in this country. Don’t let that fool you. Kids like to go out and drink like you guys, you like to go out and drink. [Laughing] It doesn’t change. And I felt the way I could kind of control some of their behaviors is to run practice every single morning. Several practice every single morning. This is also schedule. This is my first grad group to train in the morning after my college team swims and this is basically what it looks like for him through the course for year what course grad group at the center of international excellence on the campus of the University of Southern California. [Laughing]
Is Todd Schmitz around? I was talking to Todd Schmitz, he is the coach of Colorado Stars. He was saying that he was going to get t-shirts and start his own center. He is going to call the Center of Awesomeness. [laugh] That is cool; I think that’s good. I’m going to give him a 100 of fund. [laugh] I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. I’m not going to get in trouble.
So, certainly, this is the training plan for a post-grad group we chose as a part of. It’s about 25 athletes now. Every single morning starts at 7:30 in the morning and goes from hour, right now it’s been an hour and fifteen minutes but it goes up to about two hours per session. Those are a long course in the mornings generally and then in the afternoon schedules because usually at 2:00 o’clock with the college team which was trained with a short course and this is kind of from September to May as a basic schedule. Saturday is single workout. 7:30 in the morning generally long course. I’m not…I don’t care if it’s long course or a short course but in 2008, I had a number of athletes trained with me from different programs like Klete Keller and Larsen Jensen and they’re coming up with….
Because I love short course. And so, they came up and asked, “When do we get a long course?” I said, “Look, I’m tired of changing lane line, long course, short course, long course, short course because it takes too much time and I think you use it to take up too much time so we get in late. So, I said one single long course, that’s to stay a long course. And I will adjust my philosophies of coaching based on the pool because I love going 25 and 50s and75s and 125s and things like that. So, generally when we go a long course in the summer, we’re just going a long course and I just adopt my, the way I coach to the fact that that’s a long course and I don’t mind stopping in whirlpool so that’s kind of basic schedule of what we do. There’s nothing on here about volume or yardage. Anybody who knows me who has ever come to the talk that I give, I never added that. I don’t know how far we go, we go for two hours, generally it’s a two-hour workout. And that’s just the way it is and like I said, it’s either fast or faster or fastest. It’s not really slow off. Weights and dry land, for my post graduate, it was on their own. Generally, we’ll run some dry land stuff for about two or three mornings a week after practice about 35-40 minutes. But generally, it is on their own. Part of that is, lots of collegiate types or post-grad types who come in to my program, they have a program, dryland program that are comfortable with rather than trying to influence that. I like and used that kind of dryland program that came from college programs. And just had where we think we can have based on what their responses to our program on Ous Melluoli’s plan.
Training plan for Rebecca and Katinka were based on the collegiate season. So, you can see that that Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:00 o’clock, they are in the weight room and then it says swim. Right after being in the weight room for about an hour, they are come to the pool and swim for about 30-35 minutes. Lots of times, they just warm up, warm down, sets, just gets ready for class. If there’s a particular set that I want to get accomplished, maybe it’s just a simple kicking set, truly something fast, might be a relay exchange type set that will do again pretty quick. It’s just a very short 35 minutes and my rationale is that I want to, immediately I want them to get into the water after the weight room circuit to have that weight room period have some kind of effect on swimming. But I don’t want to go two-hour workout. I don’t want to go from one exhaustive state to another exhaustive state.
So, dryland is the most important priority in that and when they come in and swim, it’s about some detail as opposed to something training wise and like trying to put in more yard into something. On Tuesday and Thursdays, it says dry. Well, it’s dry to the extent that they start out dry but at the end of it they’re pretty sweaty because they will do about 40 minutes of sweat of spin bike with the kids will do and then they will spend another 35 or 40 minutes doing modified bloodies, core work, medicine balls, stretch cords, jump rope, just a dryland thing. And then afternoons are workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons at 2:00 o’clock generally a short course. And this again, it’s all a college program. And Saturdays at 7:30 generally short course and this is true about May 11.
So, swimming-wise, they are not swimming as much as a lot of people probably expect. The summer schedule, once we go to the summer schedule, goes the schedule that will show which is 7:30 in the morning, generally Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, dryland where Rebecca, she works specifically with one of our training coaches on campus at USC that she’s got a very good relationship with. She kind of out there. She was actually in Nebraska for a while working in a swimming team there and she has been at USC for a number of years and she is just great with somebody is really interesting core, strength, work, and I think Rebecca’s stroke was really a core strength issue as supposed to some phenomenal stroke that she has. She’s really good strength-wise in her know core, you know, it’s dependent upon that for her success on breast stroke.
Actually, this is defining sets, when I came in to watch Rickard’s coach talk, I felt I need to go put together a quick slide on defining sets. But these are the kind of sets that kind of define some of the things that the kids do, they’re really specific to them. And you know these kids as I said before was a kind of typical set that I might do at distance athletes, the 800 3x1s, 600 3x1s, 400 3x1s. The 8, 6, 4 is, there are no inner rules on this particular set as I have it designed but the 800, 600, 400 are generally when I do something long, when it requires technique, I used to say negative split and you just say the last 50, you go as fast as you can, holding that stroke like you’re raising when you come home. 300 are raised specific, so with Ous saying, “Look, I need you to hold, maybe descend that downward first round is 58, the second round is 56 and the third round is 54. And say I want 30 and once again that’s a long course. Ous like I said before, his really talented and he’s been able I know in preparation for 2008, we did something, maybe similar to that at the library last 100 and I think we had suits on at a time cause we would use suits that cannot mimic that speed. He was able to go like 51 or 50.3 in the last 100, so he got some speed but he also gets some endurance. Rebecca that’s a kind of defining set that I think over the years, I can’t done this with breast stroke that I have had and it seems to kind of help find for them their ability, the kind of endure, the speeds that I want them to hold, so in this case, it’s 550s on a minute, 450s on 50, 350s on 40, just in that sequence, there’s no breaking between each one and hold 34 seconds. And when I met Tom Speed in the first week that I got to USC, he came by campus and Is Tom in the room? He deserves all the credit for Rebecca but he is –I’m scientifically trained but I’m really an artful coach, he come and starts telling about her stroke rates and stroke temples and stroke counts and some like, “Oh, I’m not very good on that”. But I kept it on the back of my mind because that’s a comfort zone for Rebecca. So, Rebecca was probably the only athlete that I coach where I would do pace work whether the need and get the stroke count cause generally I’m just kind of looking at the stroke and going out, there’s a final details that I look at in a stroke that I want her to really focus in on, but I need to count her stroke count cause I have to count to level for her, and sometimes I make it up, but anyway, we will do a set like this and as you get down the 40 second rest for 350 that’s extremely intense and try to hold the stroke count that she’s holding and that’s about 19 to 20 strokes in a 50 meter length and hold 34 seconds and that gives the count, they count the first time we ever did this has a little struggle and then when she do it a couple of times to the course of the season. It helps to find that the ability that to be pretty fast on consistent basis. But I think, this is nothing magic about, you say, you proud, you done something like this but it’s 250, 3-100, 250 flight, 3-100s. One of each stroke, fly back press or back press, oh, this is wrong, it should be 2,100s, not 3-100s. Let us go 3, let’s make it 3, anyway. We’ll going to extra one fly or something. With defining sets like this, breaking up the 400, I am in hold the exact splits that I want to hold for the race and she was able to hold the times on a very tight in a row like 10 seconds rest to go 430 and I think those the kind of defining sets that I think help the athletes in our program.
Now, bringing the team together, I showed this at the clinic in April and a few coaches took a home with them and so, I’m going to bring it to this body, I struggle – one of things you have to understand in majority of my career in Irvine, I had anywhere from 30 to 40 athletes in my group. In 2004, I had 25 athletes going to Olympic Trials in a group plus another 15 kids that were going to Olympic Trials and during that phase of training where we cannot get them all together in the training environment. I couldn’t figure out, because what I want to do is, I have like 5 different workouts going on, it’s like three ring in a circus. And I tell in the spring you’re going to do this, and this is the schedule in this, and breaststroke is you’re going to do this, and backstroke is you’re going to do this and then I send them off and they go. I’ve been running around at the back. The way my program works only a few if the kids worked it because my back is turn to them most of the time because I’m running round on the next group, the next group and reminding them what to do. And I just to remind them of the stroke details and I don’t use a stopwatch very often. “Go faster, go faster. Work on the stroke. Keep your back straight. Keep on the line backs”. I’m giving a lot of instructions, so I try to figure out the way, how can I put them all on the same sets but it be individualized and so, I throw this in the workouts periodically, we’ll see this probably, at least two or three times a month and it’s not — didn’t have to be exactly the x+2y+z it can be, 3x +y+4z that matter. I call them audio break sets and in this instance, it’s your choice. What I’ve defined for them is the set. What I generally defined for them is the specific of the set, they decide how far they going to go on each set. They decide what stroke their going to swim. Sometimes, I let them decide what equipment they’re going to use, but generally defining things, here the set, 5 rounds that’s 2y + z on one minutes, two minutes, and three minutes. That’s one minute for the x, 2 minutes for the y, 3 minutes for z. You decide I just want that all fast. Whenever you decide to do, you go for speed. So, you’re an X, you going to choice of anywhere from 25 or 100 yards or meters that matter. On Y, you think from 50, up to 200 and on Z, it’s anywhere from 75 to 300. And so when I was having athletes, that I was training the diversity of a Haley Peirsol and Jason Lezak, ad all everything in between
When I was in Irvine, obviously Hilly, I would see what she would do and be encouraging when I go there that close to the 100, 200, or 300. With Jason, I knew what I was going to get 25, 50, and 75. And 75 were very really all out but that’s beside the point. Jason finds the side story and he’s never thought that I rest him enough and he’s finally getting the rest I never gave him. And I am spring coach, so, I’ll tell what and he still doing well. So that’s kind of design I said, it’s the same for everybody and whether you’re going 25 all out, you’re going to 100 all out, then you’re all on the same interval all set is on the same set. And it makes it nice for music coach because I can’t bring me my watch. It’s really easy. We’re leading on the top. We’re always leading on the top and so if I’ve start my watch although I’m not we have big clocks up in the wall, and okay we’re leaving in 20 seconds because we’re always leading on the top. You get some interesting results and this is where I think what I do as a coach, I modify some of the decisions the kids make. Because inevitably you’re going to have that distance kids really you’re convince their spinners okay. Okay, this round, you go 25, 50, 75, but the rest you better go 100, 200, 300, that’s the way to do it. So that’s kind of bringing them all together to a type of a set. Okay. That really concludes the preparation for 2009. I’d rather just answer questions that can really be specific related to what your interests are but that’s our preparation for 2009. It worked out pretty well, I was very proud of it. University of Southern California did I mentioned that? . Just to get questions.
(Questions from the gallery, maybe) Yes, the coverage sent out and the coverage of their decision that they make in terms of the distance that they go, the can change the distances for that set. So sometimes when the kids go 25, 50, 75 on all the rounds and then they’ll go to 100, 200, 300 in a round. I just want to go it fast. That’s kind …. ‘Go it fast, that’s I want, I gonna come around, watch your stroke and your technique and make sure that’s gonna right’, but it’s really get result from kids when they get to make some decisions? And I think when they become — I think that’s really important when they get off like these kids a lot of times will go off to a world cup or [Inaudible] [ 00:55:23] or international meet and they got to rely on themselves. I want to teach them to be self-reliant and not always depend upon me to be there.
(Questions) Hahaha, Rebecca’s 200 breaststroke in World Championships. It’s a bigger story about that, Rebecca is a very intense person and a very self-critical and she come along way, she really grown up as an athlete. If I had suggested to her 4 years ago going one workout at a day, she would just know how to fit and there’s no way she would done anything like that. And I give you the big story too. I think Rebecca can have a long curve but she needs be able to define for herself what she needs to do to be successful. She’s had the spectrum of going doubles every day, lots of yarded to, one workout at a day, training with the trainer. And now in preparation for 2012, she’s going to – we’re going to sit down and go, what do you need? You seen the results across the spectrum, what do you need? Because I’m going to come every practice. I’m in there in the morning and in the afternoon, I just coaches there and I just want to make a plan, the strategic plan but they have to abide to that plan. I think the more the plan becomes there, I think better athlete that they can be. You can do that with every athlete.
The 200 breaststroke, you should aim about 218. She is aiming for 212. I’d never seen her do that, nobody’s ever seen her do that. Where she went out way too fast, she felt good. She felt really good. She felt great going out. She didn’t feel like she was too tired. She didn’t felt like too hard but it was. My fear when it happen was just she was be so devastated. I got to her after her swim. She finished fourth instead of one, breaking world record and I go over, see her where the team was, she was just kind of standing there, just didn’t have really have much expression on her face, I got closer-closer to her and she kind of smile on her face, which I thought was weird and she can’t look at me. She just, ‘I won the medal if I gonna up that fast in a hundred breaststroke.’ And yes, I think you’re okay. So, she kind of laugh and it wasn’t a big deal. She swim out too fast and just felt great swimming it, and just swim out too fast but I think the best thing that was happened that she survived, that it wasn’t a big deal, she didn’t won the gold on a 100 breaststroke.
Again, I think sometimes, we made a correction, she didn’t — the problem with her back is, she can’t swim slowly, when she swim slowly, I think she sinks in the water a little bit and she has worked harder for that and she did that in 200 semi-finals, whatever, was semi-finals. I can’t remember the exact sequence of events but we try to say, just kind of relax on a semi-final swim, just kind of across through it. She crossed through but it was harder for her because she wasn’t raised her speed, hurry speed, and I think it was actually, she was more inefficient and so she felt that. So, to kind of correct that when she went to the finals, she went into her raise mode instead of a controlled mode. She’s not really good controlled swimmer. She’s better but just can’t get out and go race and then she is more efficient so, I think she just now overcorrected and she was not anything that we rehearse, we don’t rehearse like that but she survived in the real world because of it.
No, it’s… again it’s one of those things, after years of coaching, I’ve been coaching for 32 years and you all can kind of get it. You’re all can figure out it. It takes that bad. If you’re not confined to a specifies of something, if you’re not confine, ‘Oh, I got to go on 100 thousand meters as we go, 30 thousand meters as we go, I have to do this, I have to do this set, if I don’t this set, I’m not confined by those things.’ Look, I come in, kids will tell you that they don’t know workouts are going to be like in a given day other than it’s going to be fast. There’s going to be lots of techniques and drills and I’m not sure until I get on the deck. And I register what I’m going to do. I know what I’m going to do. Every day is the same kind of (pause) but when I look at the kids, I’d think, you know I told somebody the other day, there was a day and I do this periodically where they just didn’t look like I was going to get out of them what I want to get out of them. So, I took them over the diving tank which is like 91 degrees, it’s really hot and I said, “Get on your backs, just lay there.” And they laid there and they thought it’s going to be like a five-minute thing and it turned into a 40- minutes just kind of laying there, snoring and thinking. And it was just what we needed to do. And I’ve always, I just can’t judge based on what I see. Sometimes it’s raining and I hate the rain and so I’d say, “Let’s go play soccer or just something.”
So, I am not kind of with a particular… It has to be this way every day. My workouts, I pride myself on workouts being interesting and I try to make them interesting. And when the kids do bat dives for the first time, they get out and go. How that get me fast. I don’t know but it’s really funny. It’s really funny to watch. My existing coaches, I’m not sure if they like their roles but they have a lot of autonomy but its control the autonomy and let me explain that.
I came to USC to coach and I love coaching. And I don’t identify myself as any particular kind of coach breaststroke, butterfly coach and so I want to coach distant kids the milers and the breaststrokers in the 25 case swimmers. And so first half of practice I ran every day. I ran it, I design it, we’ll just go about business and then the second half of practice I’ll break the team up into groups. Let’s go college group, so we break it out into its particular groups and might be short access, long access, men, women distance and I am. And I don’t come distance, I come long spinners. We have t-shirts made up in University of Southern California, short sprint, long sprint, and middle sprint. So, the second-half of practice, I figure out who I want to coach. I always get my first pick and then I saw my assistant coaches their responsibility for a group. So, the autonomy comes that I don’t tell them what to do, it’s just like okay Catherine, is one of my assistant coaches and I said, ‘Catherine I want you to take sprinters today and she’ll go and what you have in minds. I don’t know pair of shoes with some resistant stuff’. And she figure out what she going to do. Jeremy kept, one of my assistant coach, ‘Jeremy I wants you to take the distant kids. I’m gonna take the sprinters today and breaststrokers.’ And he goes and does his deal with the distant kids. I like to give them the autonomy that they can figure out what they’re going to do. So that they’ve got some by and do to what’s going on and you see someone really creative stuff. I watch the things that they’re doing, ‘that’s cool. I wish I thought about that.’ So they’ve got the autonomy but its control. I’ll give them some ideas what I have in mind with that particular group. But we do a lot of – its not like I said the first half will going to fall things together and the second half was very, very different, very separate and the coaches will go out do their thing. And because I don’t define by how far we go, it’s like we’re done at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. We got to be donebecause waterfalls is coming in and we’re going to just do some really good work. The coaches were asking, ‘what are you gonna do? I said, just make him fast, just make him fast. I don’t care what you do to make him fast real quick.
One of my favorite shows…this is on training thing, one of my favorite shows in TV now is a Minute to Win It, have you seen that show? Okay, the sub-plot of Minute to Win It is there beer games or the drinking games…come on you know they are.(laugh). So I saw, I stumbled on the show when they and their doing this challenge anybody has not see he got 60 seconds to do the challenge and you win money. So, the challenge was to take a pizza box and wave it at an egg and you have to move the eggs to a confined area across the stage on TV. I thought that’s really cool…(laugh) I really like that. So, the next day of practice, were going a long course and I said okay, every get out of water, get your kickboard and get your water bottle, okay, get your water bottle and when we get one into the pool and said, ‘Okay you have to move your water bottle by only the waving of your Kickboard 15 meters and then you’ll comeback full speed 15 meters kick and you’re gonna do that six times’, what’s funny about it, they find its ways with like this. So the water bottles are going over you and I think we have like 40 kids of the times they are going down different sides but. So moving his water bottle down the way and water bottle is going all over the place and it was really funny, I know it’s funny and it’s really kind of fun to watch and they just, ‘how this making me faster?’ Actually, I’ll go back there but so in the next day kids are coming going “my four arms is so sore” (laughing) kids really are so awesome, and but it’s funny. My assisting coach came in the next day and said, ‘You know one of your swimmer is really complaining about you. We just waste all that morning practice because of that.’ I kind of got mad and offended at first and then I just whatever and then show it to win four gold medals to world championships, I said, complain about that …(laugh) that’s why. So in Minute to Win It if you’re watching it’s really cool. There were some funny things that you can do anything without questions.
No. I think a lot it was not about — it’s just show up in the air about here’s new guy and he is considered breaststroke coach and my breaststroke is different because he’s been told that forever breaststroke is different. Breaststroke coach I’ve been all kind of similarly based technique and she worried about that. She’s worried I think that I was considered sprint coach so all she’s going to have to going 25 all the day and there’s a lot of flexibility in my program. She learned over the couple years with me that whereas…like I’ve said, we have the short sprints, middle sprint, long sprint and when I say, ‘Okay get in the lanes’ I don’t tell kids what lanes to get in. It’s really interesting and I said, ‘Okay, short sprint, middle sprint and long sprint here.’ Casey where were it kind of goes and I’ll redefine and okay, ‘You’re gonna over there. You’re gonna wait here’ but I let them define for themselves and they’re pretty good at that. They’re pretty honest at that level. They want to successful so they just assume, ‘Okay I just swim a mile. I should be the long sprint’ and were back to where all kinds of long sprint. She would do more IM type things 400 IM type work we can think of, but then as things would kind of go to the last few years. She would first go, where doyou want to be. And I said, well, I want you to go middle sprint today and she go over there and then sometimes you just kind of go into the lane and wouldn’t asked. I would just kind of, ‘Okay, that’s good.’ She’s learning were she needs to be. So, she learned that there’s a flexibility that I’m not going to make her go to do distant sprint but I’m not going to make to go in the middle sprint or be there it’s… Ous, when she ask then tell her, when she doesn’t ask I think she got to pretty handle on it. The drill thing…she’s doing my drills. I think she adapt it. She just reticent this whole new unknown and wasn’t really prepared for that but thinks now she does the drill that I asked her and I’ve learned how to work with her. She’s an interesting character and it’s really taking me sometime that get to know her and her to know me and it’s still evolving, it’s not perfect, when it gets perfect she’ll be going 16 I think to 12.
Yeah, most of my drills are fast. I don’t do very, very slow drills unless to relieve. Others some slow drills –it’s like I’ll do slow free style arm stroke but I really fast kick. So, they’re always some kind of fast component to it, but most of my drills are more than higher rate speed. If I’m working body position maybe not so much but I use it most of my drills are pretty fast.
Well, I don’t know where the direction of USC swimming is going. I said last night one of my brightest moments to be the man like Jason, his active and appears older but not that old. He’s in the late 20s and early 30s and they’re still swimming. I think burning injury, lack of interest and motivation I thinks allow this kids to keep swimming but it’s really depend upon them. I don’t think my programs can drive them out. I think my programs works well for that athlete that they can manage their professional careers within the—but then I think somebody’s philosophy, I listened Gregg Troy last night when I talked about a lot of preparations and I kind of struggle with this professional relationships and they think he needs to train like this to be successful and that’s been successful but they’re trying to balance between that and the professional obligations. I think my athletes because my philosophy is this differently. I think they were able to manage some of that professional obligations would be better that they can go on the road for professional thing and okay I only got an hour of time—they think now a time is fine as long as they really fast, I do it really fast and be really efficient with my training versus ‘oh you got to go 9 thousand or 7 thousand or something like that. So, I think they could hang at all
With Rebecca her stroke hasn’t change. There’s a couple key components that I look forward in all my breaststrokes one in the lower back doing recovery and I like that just like – I call that riding a surface of the water. I don’t want to bounce up and down’. You could see the lower back –the top parachute is going to ride the surface of the water and some looking there, I am looking the head position. With Rebecca I’m looking two positions on her stroke and that’s so, she’ll tensed sometimes to have of what I think is a lesser recovery where little fingers down and when I see that I just correct her by remember that the elbows up and where the hands in the extension. She tends also to kind of keep a little too wide sometimes so I have to remind her to bring the elbows a little bit more going into recovery. So, there is no design modifications to her strokes. So, I don’t know if I see her everyday where I don’t see a of sudden changes where somebody might see her only once a year or might see something might be different but there is no plan modifications to her strokes.
The keypoint strokes that I am really big like a lot of coaching now body positions and head position. I look a lot at the back and really make sure that the back is really straight and the thigh and I think again it goes to the core . We still in some of our trainings we put on the hi-tech suits just to feel the speed, just t feel the posture that I think really… the hi-tech suits allowed for. So those are the things I am looking for in particular just body positioning and body posture.
Sometimes well and sometimes not so well. I’m honest. I have two girls this year at the LA Grand Prix- Invitational Tour Agency to name of… George is in here… They were 292872 in butterfliers in LA Grand Prix and they were not very good they have 29 at the pacific trials and I though should have been better. In one case, I think one of the girls probably doesn’t need to rest at all. She needed to go right in the mid and swim. I think her confidence sometimes built around her belly just to keep hunkering down. The other one, I think she just kind of misjudge things a little bit. She would have been fast. She won consoles in 2009 but I think if she have been in final she would probably been in the race and just to be in the top 3. With Mellouli, Mellouli is comfortable with the graded drop in volume. So probably the last month of her preparation, I’ll become a little bit more consciously aware of the shortage – and then we drop it down that’s what he likes so that’s what I give him. The other kids, I look like a ten-day window and then come just between there. Some kids I think maybe need more 2 or 3 days and some kids might need more. With all the kids they tell us they don’t get enough rest and I was guilty of that if there’s anybody we’ve know I don’t think we go that for – but I’m just conscious about doing more recovery type work the less intensity shoulder type, sprint type sets like maybe 200 easy to 25 fast that kind of stuff, but I don’t think we really have good sense of how rest just say Jason and Liza has been resting four years since I left. I saw him after pan bags because I’m just amazed I’m going that fast because he’s probably trained four times a week. He still doing really good job in the weight room but his in the water four times a week. So I don’t know if we know the limits of our athletes really but anyway.
Yeah. Every day, yeah I’ve been around very long. No, I don’t know how far we go the workouts generally, we have 2 hours and don’t usually go on beyond 3 hours. We do race pace works every day. Generally, there is large amount of components that we do. We call it race pace. We call intensity and the intensity is pretty high. I will give you an example some of things that I do it on a set on deepened in the pool at the University of Southern California. We I called it triangles. I’m always trying to make things interesting. Some coach, ‘Oh you’re just having fun’ and I said, ‘Hmm…okay I’m just having fun’, but we do this things called triangles where we started at the wall, we push off, streamline, dolphin kick deep down to about 12 meters. So we go straight on down to 12 meter mark and you do three flip turns and you push offs. You go 10 seconds vertical kick really fast and then you sprints swim into the wall and that’s what I called triangle. It’s like I can’t define that how far that is. I guess it could be a easy one but it’s not relatable to 200, 1500 —it’s just an intense work.
I’ve often describe my training as a component training. We take the component on a race and then we take those components and we work on those components so the triangle type set, maybe we do three triangles followed by 50 race paces or something. The triangle set you’re doing controlled breathing, better control in the water. So controlled breathing, working on body position, working on the abs kick, I called it the ab kick instead of a dolphin kick. On a flip turn working on breathe control and trying to be fast against resistance and some turn punching it up working again on body positioning and vertical kick for 10 seconds and then, you’re working on sprint speed and working on the finishing part of the race. So you look all those little pieces and those components, you string enough together and you’re getting all the things that…I don’t care on how you define yourself as a coach if you do 30 above your heart rate is raising very, very high, you’re at 90% intensity or 100% intensity — and then you’re backing enough for the 50 race pace, may we go to 100 mile pace or something like that. You throwing some called gimmick called games I don’t care what it is. I create a little bit more interesting dynamics in workouts. So, that’s how I can elaborate.
Ah, when it gets a pattern or something else is going on in their life and we tried to figure out what that is. With Mellouli 2 weeks before [Indiscernible] [01:20:15], ‘Don’t go. You’ll embarrass yourself. Don’t go.’ His game pretty well through June and it just, it got very bad. Training was not good and really inconsistent. I tried to figure out what was going on and there was some issues going in a relationship and he borrow 1.2 million dollars house, it’s like you know it must be nice. So he was dealing with that. He was dealing with a lot of things and he was really, really distracted. Though I can’t build in the fact that there is always going to be some kids having a good day and as the head coach my program, I can just move over from the guys that haven’t a good day and some guys have a good day take charge.
He wants to know where I coach in the University in California. Rebecca does some – the question is how much or does Rebecca do breaststroke every day. She does breaststroke every day but she doesn’t do a lot of breaststroke. I don’t – with Rebecca it’s more – she’ll do free style such. She’s not really good this freestylers. It’s a kind of weird thing. You’re not really that good . She wants to develop butterfly so we do IM type stuff and when she does the breaststroke lot times she make that cool. She’ll make that decision, all modified decision I think. I really wanted to be really intense break. She works hard I rely on that I don’t have to — if any of you work hard you work harder it doesn’t matter has to be done. It didn’t have to be always breaststroke. Jessica Hartley is another one of our breastrokers. She doesn’t do a lot of breaststroke either and this year, it has been really a struggle probably this year for breaststroke and so we went and focus more on freestyle that we can’t get a head out on breaststroke game because there is more psychology to it, there was actually physical things. Freestyle is pretty good this year and our 50 breaststroke was fine. I think 100 were have been alright but she let mental demons get into her head.
A lots of my workouts aren’t designed specifically to a stroke and that my athletes make a choice — for that call and I come out by that decision. Going back to the other question about when the kids having a bad day, Coach Rose and I both coach Larsen Johnson and he’ll test the challenge that could be. I was force as a coach Larsen last year in college and then 2008. There are times he come in and he goes, ‘coach I wanna go 16400’ and I just said I think you did it with Bill and you like that set and says, ‘Okay let’s do it tomorrow. Let me get a couple guys that I do with you up to the little stuff to it and maybe in the row or whatever. Give some guidance to it and he do that and he defined with that.
For sometimes his been having a terrible days and wasn’t working all out great and kind of just go over lane one and just swim and I just say, ‘I’ll go ahead and just swim.’ He goes swimming 3000 straight and then he goes 3000 straight. You know taking that consideration with the kids having bad day just kind of – well it’s an individual, you focus on that individual and when you think the whole teams just fading off on you and then it’s bring out sucked them all stuff like that.
Ah…people asked me – I used to joke and should be joking because people taking serious. I use to joke in the beginning of the season, I will open up a handbook to see when interest do for nationals and was my season plan. It’s just, “I have to make sure the entries on time.’ Another season, I’m a day to day coach. I’m just everyday as basic going to be the same. I’m not strategic in my planning in terms of workouts. I don’t have money more inspectors plan. My assisting coach – somebody asked my assisting coach, they come on board for the first time and they’re like, “What the hell is going on?” so the kids will go, “What are we going to do? and they’re like, “I don’t know either.”
I’m really function of the environment and I really think environment is really crucial to success in properly performance and so I’m getting into the environment. I know we’re going to work hard and I know we’re going to work fast. I know we’re going to a lot of stroke work. We are going to talk about drills and body position. We’re going to do all those things. I just don’t get a psycho will do recovery day, and recovery day is Wednesday afternoon off. The college kids have Wednesday afternoon off so their done. They don’t have to worry about because those kind of build in there. I go by energy of the team. We’re going to work faster every day. We’re going to be fast and then I back off when I think we need a back off . I got some feedback that gives me the impulse to back off or push pull. I will give you a real quick story, how much time I have? Dragging us out. In my club days, where I know the [Indiscernible] [01:26:01]. A lot of Fridays we go play soccer and then we go into 35 to 40 minutes and swim and do whatever we going to do. One Friday come in and there’s a specific work that I wanted to do, I don’t remember why, it doesn’t really matter but I’m tight in the lanelines. I’m down tightening all the lanelines, the kids were kind of assembling in behind me and they go, ‘Coach were gonna play soccer’ and I said, ‘No, no, no. We’re gonna in. We got some things I really wanna do today and let’s get it done and we’ll get out early but I really want to get some swimming stuff done.’ I’m tightening lanelines and I turn around and the kids gone out and going to the vending machine and got a pyramid stock of diet cokes out of vending machine stock them all up and said, “Coach, common, common. Can we play soccer. Here’s your diet coke.” “Am I big diet coke fan? I said, “No. it’s funny. The thoughts are fine but no I really wanna get some work done.” And I said, “Go get ready, go.” I’m taking the laneline and as I’m tightening the lanelines, “Oh God, my diet coke is awesome. My diet coke.” So I’m tightening the lanelines, the kids are all going to the locker and get ready on tightening the lanelines and I’m going l looking forward to this diet coke. I turn around and everyone’s diet code is gone. But what’s worst that I went to the vending machine and get diet coke they’re empty. I still to this day I don’t know what happened to those diet cokes. Any other quick questions anyone at the back.
No, no. Age group kids need structure. Age group kids needs planning. Age group kids needs repetition. When I talk about our race pace type work other age group kids need to, you need to really have a good strong balance between technique and methodology, wherein you got the temper with the fast stuff but with the little kids they need the skills. They need to learn to develop the skill so with our age group coaches that know were still general manager, their emphasis on technique. They got the racing and competitions but I think the techniques are really, really important and so I wouldn’t have those little – in fact, one of my age group coaches criticize because I told them about the drill I do with my college kids in which I call human dart, which I actually learned when I was teachings other swim school. I get in with 3 year old and get him lined up in a really tight streamline position and I throw him to the water and it was cool. When I started in the swim school, this school is like how can you teach with a 3 year old and being 17 year old phenomenon and so I do all this things with kids and thrown to the water. They’ve nice streamline and they kind of roll their back and it’s really cool. So I started with the college kids when I got to college as we line them up and we grab by the ankles and push him towards the wall. They could find their ideal most efficient body position and they got really keep tight core. So I have my age group coaches were doing that in the pool where they pull 7, 8, 9 year old and pushing. The parents got piss off, ‘Enough swimming, enough. Go join [Inaudible] [01:29:36]. So we kind of focusing on the technical thing that there wasn’t look like swimming. You know parents. They’re all the same. They’re the same in college they’re worst they are worst in college. Don’t even think that those college coaches haven’t made because you have to have a conference call with your sports administrator to have one of the parents call you a boy. ‘I’m not a boy. I want the nicest guy in the world.’ I kicked the kid out a team as a scholarship kid. I am telling now a story. I kicked that college kid get out of the team and his parents calls me, ‘why didn’t you tell us.’ I said, ‘your kids are 20. What we gonna do take the car?’ are you kidding me, it’s funny.
I answer that question into ways. Yeah, I have stopwatches. I probably more stopwatches anybody in this room and I find the started but never stop them. What was the timing? The kids like, ‘Where’s my time?’ I said that’s your timing. And then I’ll make it up. Jerry do you have a kind in your program that you’ve never seen race? I have a kid for two years and never saw race. He come up every after every race go, ‘What do you thing?’ I said, ‘well, like I said you’ve got to keep that hemline, your back.’ For two years, I felt bad. I felt bad because this kid was driving 2.5 hours a day to practice. He was coming up from the way in the valley up and seen a river and driving 2 ½ hours and ‘Oh God, I don’t see him swim in two years.’
So what’s your question? Oh, the stopwatches. I started him and then I stop him. I buy them all pace clocks. Interesting situation, this is going to a funny story in the training camp for those really world cup, world championships wherein at a pool that breathing was also using. One day, we get there to practice in the morning and I got to tap on my shoulder from Dennis Purses said, ‘You have to get out. Rips are coming in’ and I said, ‘Okay. I didn’t know you’re British.’ So we were kicked out of a pool and I said, ‘Okay, let’s go now to the ocean and we’ll swim in the ocean’ and so there’s a lot of waves but we were in. So we get down there and I didn’t stop. I didn’t have a clock and we didn’t have really core setup and I said, ‘Okay, you’re going to’ – I got on those kick I want them to just go all out 2 minutes swim. So you got 2 minutes straight out. You just go hard as you can. You just can go as fast as you can. I have a whistled. I have a very loud whistle and so he would have heard it and so that kind of we did. It’s just like you just go full speed. I really like that idea. Just go really fast. I come across kind of article about biking and so I like that idea – just don’t worry how far you get just go really fast, go fast. Just keep going, just keep going, keep going, keep going I’ll blow the whistle in 2 minutes and then you come back and easy we do it again. There were occasions were I’ll do that – Anybody here from Colorado time system? Here’s our secret, I want Colorado timing system is to develop a clock that we can change its rate without the kids knowing. Last week we able to do that so in a minute and so how about we can do it now because the clock really says 57 seconds but you don’t know it. I love that idea but nobody has ever been able to — it should be easy but that’s our secret don’t tell the kids otherwise, your screw.
… and now, Ben [Titley] is going to come up here. He is more entertaining than me because he has an accent. Thanks a lot for appreciating.