Bill Rose: I’m Coach Rose and I’m with Mission Viejo Nadadores. And it gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce you to Todd Schmitz. Todd is 33 years old. I do remember when I was 33 by the way. No, I don’t. [laughter] But at 33 he has done so much more than all of us when we were 33 and has done it the right way, and has taken any particular task that is in front of him and makes the very best of it. He does have a very famous swimmer, there’s no question about it. Now where we’re calling her “Missile Missy” or something I don’t even know. But boy does she have a year in front of her. But the fact is in fact she came to the Nadadores for three days. I think four years ago when she was 12, she was 6’3’’ at the time. But the fact is that he has done an unbelievable job with not only her but every swimmer that he’s had along the way. And we can be quite proud to have him here. And you’re going to not only hear from him this morning, hear from him now. Get ready, you’re going to be hearing from Todd Schmitz for years and years to come. I was on the way out of his talk this morning. And I ran into, he’s over 33, but Peter Dowling. And Peter looked at him and he says “My god! That young boy, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. He is the most interesting man I’ve ever met.” I said well he’d love those [inaudible] [00:01:45] too. But the fact is that like I say we’re really, really proud. I am proud to have known him for just a few years. And I already want to learn more from him Todd Schmitz.
Todd Schmitz: Well thank you Bill that’s – I tell you what, just listening to Bill right there talk and listening to Jack Bauerle earlier. Say the things that they’re saying about me. It’s kind of surreal, like I want to pinch myself. Because what an awesome ride it is for our job. And the reality of this is is that if I did this to coach an Olympian. Or to coach even a kid sometimes to Olympic Trials, I probably wouldn’t have gotten in to this profession, because that’s never what my goals have been until probably the last couple years. And then that’s gone on my goal sheet. Just like when we talk about kids. You know maybe that was one of my dream goals at the bottom of the sheet of paper that we talked about with my kids of all ages. That was maybe my dream goal. Hey, yeah, I’d love to be on an Olympic staff, which means I got an Olympic kid on the team and or world staff or Pan-Pacific staff. Or go to a World Cup trip. Make even a trip anywhere.
Like that was five years ago; if somebody would have told me that, I would have looked at him and said are you kidding me? I’m coaching 12 and unders and helping with seniors like two days a week. The crazy story is that Missy at ‘08 in the trials had actually just moved in to our senior program. I was just an assistant coach in the senior program and she was our only Trials qualifier. So I didn’t get to be coach of record of the meet, I was not on deck as a coach at ’08 Trials. But I got to cover workouts. And I remember thinking to myself Cassie was coming up and I was like, you know what, I made it happen. I drove all night to Omaha to watch Missy swim the hundred free. And I remember standing in the stands and just thinking to myself as I’m watching the warm ups finish up. Not knowing what anything would bring to me in my life. Just thinking of myself like I don’t care what happens, but in 2012, I want to be standing on that deck coaching my kids.
Maybe it’s one, maybe it’s five, maybe it’s however many and I didn’t know where I would be. Lo and behold, two months later the head coach is done. And he’s like hey I want you to take over the team. Four days before we’re going to start, I remember looking at him and going, I sat there in shock for a few minutes. And then I said okay don’t we have a staff meeting in two hours. And he’s like yup. I was like alright I think I may need to go to Starbucks. And I went to Starbucks and I called my buddy and I said hey you want a job coaching age group kids? And he’s like what!? And I was like I have no idea how much I could pay you, but I just know I need a coach. And he starts laughing. But things happened, and everybody asked me like are you enjoying yourself? I love my job. And what I tell everybody is Missy Franklin and a kid like that or Michael Phelps or whoever it is. They’re a once in a lifetime opportunity, they really are.
I want to continually have kids at 2012 Trials and 2016 Trials so that I’m always cultivating that seed. So that when it does sprout and it takes off, I already have the culture set up to do that. I remember being an assistant going to the SMOC meet. For three years in a row. The Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo. And I learn more in a warm up at a swim meet than almost any other setting. I watch other coaches, I watch athletes that I know. What do they do during warm up? What’s their routine? You know I watch my own kids. But mainly I watch other coaches. And I see what they’re doing. I watch other coaches in a meet. I love to sit next to a new coach every swim meet I go to. If you’ve been seeing me at Nationals, to some I don’t sit down, but like they had to call me where I’m there for 18 hours and two and a half days. Then we’ll have a table or something. And I sit by somebody else. Because I want to see how they deal with their kids when they’re having good races. And I want to see how they’re dealing with their kids when they have bad races. Because like I said before, I don’t profess to know it all. And I think that when I go on international trips, there’s nothing better than watching Bill Rose being at Chula Vista training camp in March or at Pan-Pacs, watching how he interacts with the athletes. And he’s been around a lot longer than me and indeed there’s a heck of a lot I can learn from every one of those people.
And so I’m just a sponge. Honestly, I just go to the — I’m such a geek that I just go to swim meets just to go to swim meets. They’re like, don’t you have the day off? And I say yeah, yeah but this league championship’s going on over here and whatever. And I might have like two kids swimming. But it’s fun for me. Like who’s the next name that’s going to pop up? Maybe they will swim for me. But who’s the next name? As age group chair of Colorado swimming, I got to know for four years in a row all the up and coming kids. I got to coach them all. There’s nothing — I tell kids all the time, it doesn’t matter if I have a USA swimming shirt on right now and I meet you that way. Or have a star shirt on, or a Colorado swimming. If you see me at a meet, I want you to say hi to me. I want to talk to you. Who knows? I have kids too that come up to me all the time and they say “you know what when you’re at a meet and you’re cheering for your kids, I just pretend you’re cheering for me.” And I look at them and I go you can do that, it’s fine. I want everybody to succeed; at the end of the day I want my kid to succeed, yeah. And I want probably their hand on the wall first. But I don’t wish ill will upon anybody. You’ve got to want it more than the person next to you.
Please, I want this to be a little more interactive than the last talk. Please if you have any questions, please ask. I’m an open book. I think you guys can teach me as much as I can teach you, if I can teach you anything. What we’re doing on a daily basis, we’re training at 6,000 feet. Almost every one of our pools is between 5900 and 6100 feet. So about 1600 meters I believe. I didn’t do the exact calculation on that. But well really I am base training. I’ll show you workouts as we go through here and like I showed this morning. We try and work on all the strokes. When we do some specialty stuff I give them choice for stroke, I give them choice for free. And most of the time I let them switch it up. We’re doing 850s and Missy says or Carrie says that — Carrie’s more not to go all 850s free actually. But like Missy will look at me and go on and go four back, four free. Sure, the interval is not going to change. But that’s certainly an option. That’s taking ownership on them. And then the best meeting is when I have a goal meeting with a kid and then they talk about, I’m going to break a minute in the hundred fly coach. Awesome!
Okay. And then we’ll get to the end of the season and then they’re like I didn’t break a minute in the hundred fly. I know. But when it says choice because never in my — I don’t think I’ve — maybe one workout I wrote coach’s choice. But most of the time it just says choice. It doesn’t say anything about my choice, that’s your choice. And if you want to be a good 200 flyer or a 100 flyer, you need to feel 4×50, 6×50, 8×50 fly in there. Are you kidding me? Like you need to do some 100s fly. You need to fatigue yourself in fly so you can finish the 200 fly in season and get better and all those things. And so I put a lot of the owners hip on them so that they’ve got to own it, especially at those older levels. You know 14 years old, I mean we make kids responsible for their homework at 8, 9, 10 years old. Why shouldn’t they be accountable for work outs the same way? Like knowing what their intervals are. I think it’s good for an age group coach to make — at first track it on a board or something. My ten and under coach is phenomenal. At Wednesdays they do these time swims and they change throughout the year. And she hands them this piece of paper with their splits from the first time they did it. And then they have a last time, it is ridiculously awesome! But these kids walk home and then the parents see it. Most parents are going to look at it and they’re like oh that’s — they don’t understand it at all. But that’s like the first — those are those building blocks to those kids taking that ownership.
And I love digital clocks. But kids can’t read a manual clock now. What? Dude there’s a hand going around. Come on! Like five and zero. But you know what? Our digital clock now doesn’t work and we’re getting new ones. But we’re on a manual clock, it’s a good skill. At our pool we used to have all digital clocks, I used to make my ten and under coach, especially at the beginning of the season like bust out the manual clock; it’s going to be on the side of the pool. And they’ve got to learn to do that. The kids just watch these digits flip because I’m sure we’ve all had it. Henry, I’m like, what do you mean? Go on the five. No that was five right there. You know?
A lot of people ask me my season plan. Season plan is individual. For your group, your team, your coaching style. Obviously they all have to have the same basic parts. But what I do is not by any means a cookie-cutter recipe to success, because it’s not. My program is not for everybody. Just like every single one of you, kids leave my team every season. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Three or four years ago, it was like a dagger to my heart every single time somebody left my team. What did I do wrong? The reality is is that we’re all coaching a lot of kids. And our personalities are not going to jive with every kid that gets into our pool. That’s okay, that’s life! That’s one of those life lessons that we get to teach.
And my best story is that I swam in Metro State. And I swam for four years for four different coaches. But I swam with a Turkish Olympian named Khan. Khan was without a doubt one of the most talented kids I’d ever met in my life at that point. And Khan would dive in and literally do about 500 or 600 yards for warm up. And then he would sit in the corner of the lane. And I’d come in and I’m like hey, Khan come on let’s go. And he’d be like Todd 50 anything right now I beat you. Well that’s awesome, dude! But when we go to Nationals the guy couldn’t even make finals, but his claim to fame was he was in the 96 Olympics in Atlanta and he swam three lanes over from Alexander Popov in prelims. Okay, dude. Then why are you here? Like if that’s going to be the highlight of your career and that’s all you’re going to talk about, why are you swimming in college? But the kid anchored a relay at Nationals in the 19.8. The kid was ridiculously talented. But he didn’t have that mix of talent and hard work. And we all know the kid. But if you could just take this kid’s personality and mentality and just overall put work with that kid’s talent, wow! It’s scary sometimes when we think about those things.
But you know what? Dealing with each kid individually and being able to figure out the button to push for each kid. I think that that’s key too. And as much as we’re alright to work out for our 20 to 30 kids in the water, you still have got to have those personal touches. I try and talk to every kid in my group everyday. It is may be stroke related. It may be when they walk in the door and I go hey how was school today? Who’s going to homecoming with you? Who’s playing football on Friday night? Just that little interaction every day, I need to set boundaries, like Terry said to not have meetings with parents before my work out, because that’s the time where the kids are kind of relaxed and they’re coming in. And you can have a little better conversation than when they’re getting out. And trying to get home and eat dinner and get homework going.
And so those times prior to work outs, I love it, like we don’t start work outs until 3:45 in the afternoon. So most of my kids are there by 3:15, so we have 15 minutes to just hang out and we all just — we all kind of sit around the table. And everybody just kind of chats about the day, and there are maybe a couple of different groups going on and the other day was the first day, so everybody’s you know it’s like the first day of school. But that’s what’s going to keep them coming back. I told somebody at lunch today, Missy doesn’t want to swim in her own lane. Missy doesn’t want to lead every set everyday. I’ve never met a kid that wants to lead every set every single day from now until they’re done swimming. Now that doesn’t mean that Missy’s not extremely competitive and like that’s not what I’m saying, but sometimes it’s okay if you’re having a rough day to go second. And to be pushed maybe a little more, because we all know it’s harder to lead the train than be in the middle. Or even it can boost. And that’s okay.
And I’ve learned it like I can’t ride or like — a thoroughbred doesn’t perform every single day. Our kids are not going to perform every single day as much as we want them to. I tell my guys all the time. I was like the girls are going to swim faster than you in season. What do you mean? That’s just the way it is. Like the girls, from my experience, can show up day after day after day. And throw down if they have the right mindset. Guys, from my experience don’t necessarily. They can’t, they don’t bounce back like that as much. And so you’ve got to coach them a little different. And you’ve got to make sure like my guys understand it. Like — and I told them when I was coaching 12 and under. So I used to tell my girls that if you think I’m harder than you on the guys, because I am. What do you mean, coach? Because they’re not hits. And I go if I yell at them too much they’re going to quit swimming. And they’re not going to be around. And believe me when we get to high school you’re going to want them around. Because a co-ed training environment at the older level, I think is good girls get too darn catty and they get too serious, and guys can be kind of idiots most of the time. And so they balance each other, that’s my experience. And so I think that they balance each other out a little bit.
Our average is I’d say about 6400 yards for about a 2-hour work out. That’s mainly during the school year. About 6200 meters in the summer for a 2-hour work out. We very rarely hit right on those. Let’s see here, let me get some. So this is an end season work out, this is probably during the winter. Just based on the time, 6:30 to 8:30, 6150 yards, actually that looks like a little better picture than it was in there. If you can’t see that, feel free to move up please. But this is a really good 2300 yards. But if you look, what I’m trying to do is make them think about things all the time. Have their minds engaged so that even if we’re going to do a distance set, I try and give them a focus for it. Like I want you descending one to four, five to eight and we’re going to breathe by fives or whatever it is. Now my experience and maybe it’s not all of yours, is that most of my kids take a long long, long time to figure out how to descend correctly. So you know what I do? Is I actually make my kids swim slow to swim fast. And what I make them do is I give them a interval and I say you can’t beat this interval. Try it sometime. Give your kids 4x50s and you cannot come in before 55 seconds. And you’re going to have some kid that kind of poise a game out of it or whatever. But then you throw it down the road, okay I want you to be swimming. But like really just try and go as easy as possible. And then we talk a lot about heart rates. And so a point with that heart rate game.
Okay. Can we do three 100s right now on 1:40? Trying to keep our heart rate at 13 or lower. Almost the first time, not one person can do it, because they don’t even know. And I’m like it’s got to be an innate ability when you’re in the middle of the season. To come in on an interval and not have to check your pulse every time. You know what effort you’re at. Just like all of us coaches can usually look at a kid and go dude your heart rate’s 17 right now. I think you’re working a little too hard on this. Like let’s get 7 seconds of rest instead of 15. Like I know that you’re throwing down some repeats and you’re like going to jump out of the pool right now. But that’s not quite where we’re going for right now.
But so yeah just stimulating them all the way through. And really if you look at that, really about the first 3400 of that is warm up. Just doing a lot of body awareness. Axle kick roll. If I did two rounds, it probably did one round freestyle. And it’s just like it sounds. 8 kicks, stroke, eight kicks. Two of that, six kick, four kick. Kind of a freestyle progression. And do it and then we’ll do the same thing backstroke. Just holding that line, eight kicks, six kicks, four kicks, into a full stroke. Then we go into a pool set. Really this is last year, it was the first year that I really emphasized paddles with my group. I felt finally since I’ve taken the program over and implemented dry lands for three years now. I felt that finally my group’s core awareness and core strength was finally able to implement paddles for most of my kids. Now when I talk about paddles, I’m not talking about the half basketballs that kid’s throw on their hands and like it’s ridiculous. I want paddles that are barely bigger than their hands. Just so it gives them a little awareness. There’re many trains of thought out there. But I just want that, just a little bit more of awareness and that catch and that anchor out front.
But so most of my older kids use paddles. Our age group program does not have paddles whatsoever. We do not allow that. We might — like my age group coach might come to me and he’ll be like hey will you look at this kid’s freestyle. What do you think we throw some paddles on them today? So that they feel this. And then we might implement them like here and there during a drill or something. But other than that we don’t use paddles until they’re older. Then even then, most 14 year olds are not going to use paddles in my group. Until they’ve been in my group for probably a season. And then I want to just see how they train on a daily basis before we kind of add that stress to their shoulders. Yeah?
Male Speaker: Can you explain a little about your energy water. [inaudible] [00:22:25]
Todd Schmitz: EN1, EN2, EN3, if you guys use — our team manager, work out manager, they use all that. I really just throw that in. And actually there’s a little number that pops up the earth called stress value. I use to leave that on my work outs. And my kids would get like enamored on this number. And it’s just some mathematical formula based on your yardage, your intervals and your energy group that you put in. Some work outs, I’m so lazy I don’t even throw those energy groups in, but if I really — so EN1 is really heart rate 15, 14 – 15 kind of just kind of that, base aerobic. EN2, I go heart rate 16 – 17-ish. EN3, more heart rate 17 plus. Not quite getting into any kind of lactate or anything like that. That’s kind of the way I go. But if you’ll see, there’s no real emphasis on a heart rate here. Right here, choice 10×50 on 45 pull choice, heart rate is 17. If I really want an emphasis on heart rate, I throw it right in there. And usually I don’t — I try not to be like exact like that. I’ll usually say 16 – 17. Or sometimes I’ll say nobody above 18.
Male Speaker: Will you adjust the heart rate based on a kid? I mean if you have [inaudible] [00:23:37] might be to take their max heart rate a little bit higher and for safety reasons.
Todd Schmitz: You know what my experience is, no. I used to kind of experiment with change in intervals and heart rates, based on different kid. I don’t, but that’s also why I’m not a big chart guy. I know there’re people out there that if coached by charts and blue and pink pace and all those things. And you bust it out and you do your T2000 or T20. And you get that chart out and that’s fine. And we used to do that a lot. My experience with T2000s, T20s; it depended on the mood the kid was in that day when they walked in. What their mindset was. And I saw some ridiculously awesome things in the T20 or a T2000. And I saw some things that make me want to puke and walk off the pool. Then I can, go why did you just do that? You just wasted my time and yours. And so that’s why I don’t do that. I’m more out to do — when I’m going for something like that. I throw base pace 100s at them all the time, that’s what I call it.
Starting off the season it might be like eight 100s on a 105, 110, 115, 120. And at the start, I kind of give them autonomy and I let them go to where they want to go. And then like as we get into shape, then I’ll look at a kid — and they know. They’re kind of trying to hide behind somebody. Like in that I’m like what? You go 52 in the 100 back and you’re not going to go a 105 100 free right now? Dude get over there! But sometimes what I’ve learned is they just want a little attention. They want to see that you saw. And then you’re like oh dude come on, 110? Get over there! And then they’re like alright, coach saw me. Sometimes I’m not as good as that. All of a sudden they kind of — they sneak over here because they might be having a rough day or something. And then like three in to it. I walk to the other side of the pool and I’m kind of looking at them. And then I just kind of light them up on the next interval. Like I come over and I’m like what are you doing over here at 115? Dude you’re getting 12 seconds of rest! You’re going to run the kids over at the back of the lane here! And then they usually grab their water bottles. And depending on the set, I’ll either make a move or I’ll expect no finish here. But remember this next time, you got to challenge yourself. Like if you never stepped outside of the comfort zone, how do you get better? You don’t.
Kicking, I sucked at kicking when I was a kid. I literally could not break a minute in 50 kick yards until I was in college. That’s how bad I sucked at kicking and so the first work out of the year on Tuesday, we started with five 100s kick on 1:55. And a bunch of the kind of bottom-end kids were like oh my gosh and they go, you guys better get used to it. This is going to be the slowest interval of kicking all year. We might do like 50s on a minute sometimes, like if we’re going to go with 25 all out and 25 moderate. Or something like that. But that’s a big thing on me right now and my groups as a whole. Just better kicking along with underwaters. Any questions on that work out there?
Male Speaker: I have one of the question [overlapping conversation] [00:26:54]. When you do — like if you’re going to do a test set. And with your coaching and all, you do it everyday. What’s been your experience on the recovery? How many days and sudden come back — for more exams?
Todd Schmitz: Test sets. I’m not a big test set guy. Because of being in that altitude, if we do a test set it’s going to be like 50s usually versus something like 100s or something. So we’re going to do 8×50, 10×50, 12×50 kind of build them through the year. Last summer we did it more than probably we’ve ever done before. Just — I don’t know I have mixed feelings about. But really what I talk about a lot is that I want my kids to be confident. And it’s not that you don’t necessarily have to have the best intervals or repeats you’ve ever had in the work out. To have the best work out you’ve ever had and like that’s hard for a kid to grasp sometimes. Like and that’s why I say when like if I’m reading like and let me look at this work out real quick.
Probably on this workout, literally I’m calling out no times. Not at anywhere in this workout. You know they got intervals off the clock for sure. But besides me, I get times during warm up to warm down. And I’ve always sitting there, hitting my watch and just checking out kids’ splits and seeing where they’re at. Don’t tell them that but I’m always with my watch. And so like during this set I’m not going to say anything to anybody. I’m not going to call out any times. I’m definitely going to be watching this like 50 pulls on heart rate 17. But part of that is also because we are at altitude. And like Carol and Joyce moving there in April, it was a perfect example. I still educate her on a daily basis that we’re not going to see the same things we can see anywhere else in this country. You’re just not. And so you got to get over that mindset. But when you grow up there, they don’t have a different mindset.
So test sets I don’t — but like girls from my experience, like I can throw two or three hard workouts at them in a row. — I think the word recovery, I don’t know it’s all relative. My kids have gotten this notion that recovery is like 2,000 yards. And then they’re going to get out and go home. And I’m like what? No! That’s not recovery. We’re probably going to still go 5500 but we’re just going to do a lot fast. Like maybe this is jacked up. But I would probably say this is a recovery workout. Honestly! Besides right here, going maybe the fourth and fifth round of this kick set, descending. Other than that, it’s all stroke work. Look at that, over the first hour we do all stroke work. And my kids are just laughing at me like that’s not recovery! But like this, I love doing something like this. Making them think. Three 100s on 2:15 and they get to 35 strokes. They have to follow the rules, can’t kick out past 15 meters yadayadayada. You have to swim legal freestyle, see how far you can go. Alright, here’s the interval on the top, ready go. And see how far you can go and mark it, alright? Now we’re going to do it again. And then like number three I’ll throw something at them. I’m like alright no kicking off your walls, all you can do is streamline. And then you got to come up and swim.
Just making them think and that’s a way of talking about stroke efficiency. Where you’re not like hey you got to do this and talk [mumbling]! You know you lost half the kids already, probably three quarters of the kids, as soon as you start talking about all these terms that we love to throw around. But sometimes a kid just — I’m the worst driller in the world. But like I’m like Mr. Animated. And I’m demonstrating things like that so that they can see me. And then a lot of kids have been around me for a long time. So they know the drill and so I can go boom! Hey Jordan do this drill real quick, and so that the new kids in the group can see what the premise is. Kind of a roundabout way to answer your question.
Let’s see here, what’s this? Okay this is the longest workout we did last year. When I grew up as an age group kid, we had a thing called “Grinch Week” over Christmas break. And it was kind of the hardest week. And I kind of liked it. So we have Grinch week. It basically starts on December 26 and it usually ends January 2nd, whatever that Sunday is, the last day of their break. And so we did 8,050 yards here. I used to try and be all Mr. Creative and incorporate the year into my sets. And I should have found some of those from the last couple of years. We do odd distances so we can finish on 2010 or like so. And so incorporated in it, but the kids know it. The kids know now that Grinch week is going to be a hard week. We’re going to alternate between long course and short course. We’re going to get after it. In the middle of Grinch week, we’re going to assume a long course workout in the morning. And then at like one o’clock we go to sprint meet. Where it’s literally a sprint meet 25s, 50s and 100 IM and like they get three events. And we just get in like they go everybody then top 16, then top 8. And then head to head. So I mean your kids are probably getting up and sprinting. And so we’ll do a good long course workout in the morning and we go to that. And they’re walking out of there at five o’clock just wrecked.
But it comes back to coaching mainly age group kids. Is that we only run one workout in over Grinch week. It’s usually two and a half hours. So we’re usually going to do somewhere between seven and 8,000, either yards or meters. And we’re going to get some good work done. The kids all hated the set, they said it was ridiculously boring. And I said I can’t always write really interesting sets. Especially, when I’m trying to get some good yardage in and we’re going to finish the year on a bang. So we just five rounds, 200s. I play with my intervals, I used to always go slow to fast. But now I like to challenge them up front, so that they can always save up, but so then changing from free to stroke. Ideally I wanted to maintain heart rate 16 17 here. And then ideally I think I had three coaches on deck. I think we had about 23 kids in the water and I think we tried to call out their times. On like kind of these back ones. That’s like T2000, T20; it’s all about the mentality.
I mean literally Missy walked in to this work out and said what do you have for me? Bring it! And I’m like okay here you go! Like awesome! Like — why have this mentality? You’re going to make workout worse. I’ve never seen a workout change because of somebody’s anxiety or a fear of something. I talk to my kids about wasted energy all the time. Why? Why can’t you approach that set and go? I’ve never done that before but I’m going to do it today. Why not think about why you should swim fast instead of why you should swim slow?
My experience is that my kids suck at thinking about why they should swim fast; they’re really, really, really, really, really good at making every excuse in the book. Why they didn’t swim faster, why they’re not going to swim fast. And it’s all about changing that mentality. Like no! Missy on the first day of World’s looked at me during a workout in China. It’s either the day before or the day of the meet. And she looked at me and just said, “I belong here.” And I looked at her I was like, yeah, you’re right you do. And then I’m thinking about it like the rest of that day. And I’m like wow! It’s an epiphany. Like for anybody I don’t care what level you’re at. The crazy thing is that I woke up this morning and I was excited for this talk. And I walked out of my hotel room. And I was walking across the street to go get my Starbucks. If anybody knows me I like my Starbucks. And I walked out of my hotel room and I was thinking about the talk last night and how big the room was, and how many people that could be there. And I kind of maybe got a little nervous. And I was walking to them on. I was thinking of myself. I thought back to what Missy told me on the first day of World’s.
My 16 year old athlete, I’m thinking today, thinking of what she said and she’s like I belong here. And I thought to myself they wouldn’t ask me to come and talk, if they didn’t think that I was going to bring something to the table. So like honestly I thought that and then I was totally relaxed. Was probably the most — I like to talk obviously as everybody can tell. But that was probably the most relaxed I’d ever gone into a setting that big. Because I seriously woke up tonight and told myself like Missy was like I belong here. And I was like I got something to say. I do not profess to know it all but you know what? The interaction like hearing Peter Daland, like I talked to Peter Daland yesterday and he had some phenomenal things to say about me. And my athletes, and the guy also tells me that he’s been at every Olympic trial since 1952.
Todd Schmitz: It’s like what a wealth of knowledge! That’s all I’m thinking of myself, like I’ve been there too. And I think I’m like wow this is awesome, I hope I get to go to like every one from now on. Even if I’m not like this is going to be in my blood forever. And so like just listening to that, like that’s what it’s all about. And I’m going to tell you right now that some of the best conversations is — I remember when I came to my first kind of big thing. And I sat in the room and I was thinking of myself like cool. Why should I go up and say hi to Bill Rose? He doesn’t know who I am. Well guess what Bill Rose did know who I was. Because he remembered me being at the smock meet. But like go out and just go up and introduce yourself! Talk to him! Like we all love the sport and as soon as we start talking shop, like anybody that’s around us. And like oh they’re talking shop, let’s go over here. But we all love this and that’s why do it. So don’t be afraid to go up and say hey can I take you to lunch today? Can we go chat? You’re probably going to learn more from that hour or better yet a beer or a drink. You’re going to probably learn more in that hour or so than you’re probably ever going to learn from any talk. Because they’re going to probably throw some things at you, that they’re not going to throw at you in the talk.
There’s only one set day every week. I know every time I go to a Junior National team meet or a National team meet. And the kids all start talking about what they do in workouts. And Wednesdays we have this day. And Thursdays we have this day. We don’t have those days. I honestly don’t write my workouts ahead of time. I write my workouts based on what we did yesterday. What we did the day before. What my goal is this week. What my goal is this season. So I come home from workout last night, I kind of synthesized it in my brain. And then the next morning I sit down on my computer and I think about what we’re going to do that day. Like I said in my talk this morning, I worry a lot less about that bottom line with the total yardages. And sometimes honestly, I’m surprised both ways. I’ll write a workout and it will be like 7200 yards? It didn’t even seem that long. Or vice versa, I write a workout and it’s only 5,000. And I’m like I really wanted us to get six in today. But this is exactly what I was envisioning, so whatever. Like I said, 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 if that’s throwing the plan off, then we’re maybe a little too micro focused on things.
I think we’ve got to look at the big picture. We’ve got to look at our athletes’ ability to adapt, adaptation is the key; lactates, that we do on Saturdays. If we don’t have a meet we lactate so the kids know, like we’ll start off first lactate workout. On a couple of weeks on Saturday we will go one minute swims. I use the hours to start off the season like that. Because everybody can kind of challenge themselves. And there’s not a real set standard. Obviously the standard is you want to flip and come off the wall before coach blows the one minute whistle. So we get up and we sprint. And we’ll do a warm up, two 3,000. We’ll do maybe a little preset, some speed. Then we get up. We’ll probably do like six one minute swims on six minutes. And really the interval I like to tighten it up. But usually it’s dictated by the number of kids I have in the pool, because I have a six lane pool. And so if I have 36 kids, I can run 6 heats. Obviously I can’t surely have them to get off on the top of each other after a minute swim. So it’s going to be more of an interval, one every seven minutes or something like that.
But then usually we go one minute swims but then like the next week we’ll go 100s. Like lactate 100s, four, five, six whatever wherever we’re at. Or the three to one, four to one, five to one work to rest ratio and kind of build in to that. Usually about the farthest we’re going to lactate is 200s. And most of the time, we’ll maybe do lactate like four 200s. Maybe once or twice this season, but then we’ll go into broken 200s. So we’ll go 100 from a dive all out. On like a rest ten interval. Then a 50 from a push and then a 50 from a dive to just finish the last 50 with a little speed and kind of going that whole 200 on like a seven minute interval. With when they finish they take 20 seconds or whatever. They rest in between those little snippets so then they can get their time.
But like I said, we also need to break that up so that they can get realistic times from their lactate workout. Because if they are doing 200s in that altitude, and yeah you get 1.2 at the altitude. But that’s in one single race. It’s not a cumulative effort over a two hour workout on the fifth repeat of a lactate set. I give them more percentages. Like ten percent, okay if you’re within six seconds of your best time. That’s within ten, if you’re a minute freestyler. Six seconds is ten percent of that time. So like I to give them those kinds of parameters. And in team manager, workout manager, there’re some great charts you can just print off, like 93 percent, 95 percent based on times. That’s a good thing.
Sometimes we’ll throw up lactate work outs. And I’ll say we’ve got an hour and you’ve got to get five 100s within 93 percent of your best time. Or I’ll go 91 percent of your goal time. And then they get to look at that chart, and then there’re just Xs by their name. And believe me, any set we all do, some kids get in there. And they’re like, sweet coach, I’m going to be done by 20 minutes early. And they get up there and they throw down five 100s. And they throw — like I mean I have kids that throw down within two three seconds of their lifetime best. I’m just like what? It’s faster than you went last week in the meet. But it’s all their mentality, they’re just like I want to get out of here. Or then there’s the kid that is oh, this is cool, coach. I already feel horrible and I’m not going to do this. And so then they get donuts. Guess what dude, we’re going to be here for an hour. And then it’s probably him and it’s whoever. There’re a couple of them. And they’re just like you know. And then the best thing is that they’ve thrown up like four donuts in a row. That means they didn’t make it.
And then I watch them and they get pissed. And they get in the warm down lane. And they go why is he doing this? And I’m not. And they get up on number five. And they’re like physically exhausted and they throw down. And then they get that X. And then it’s like a teaching moment. You don’t do it right then but you get down with workout. And maybe they only get one, that one X on number four. And we run out of time. But one X is better than five donuts. And then you grab that kid as they’re walking out of the locker room. And you go dude, think about what you thought about on number four. What changed? Physically nothing changed. Mentally something changed right here. What was that switch that you found? That’s the switch you’re going to find in a meet.
I love it when parents — oh my kid is not feeling good. And it’s Sunday night and [inaudible] [00:44:11]. I don’t know if my kid can stick around for that, they’re just not feeling good. They got a lot of homework. Okay. First of all I don’t sign my kids up for a basis, never have, never will! And lastly, we have some people that their parents are technologically challenged. And so if I don’t enter in meets, they don’t get in to them. So I make sure I do, but like I don’t pick events. Like I want my kid to pick their events and I want it to be in consultation with me. But you know what? If you let your mom get on and pick your events, then it’s not my problem on Saturday night at 6:30. When we’re waiting around for the 400 IM and you’re complaining to me. Because they may catch you and go I didn’t sign you up for it! And no you’re not scratching it! So like that’s why I don’t sign kids up. I know there are a lot of programs out there that they just sign up their kids.
We have so many distractions. I don’t know what kids are going to go to what meets. And you can send out a form and say I want you to tell me what meets we’re going to go to. Come on! More than ten percent of those people back out on some of those meets anyways. And so like — as a coaching staff, we try and teach them. And we challenge them like my ten and under coach. We want them to just try when they turn 11 we want them to do 200s of the strokes and yards and all those things. But at the end of the day, people ask me like oh you never have a kid swim the mile. I’ve never had a kid that comes to me and says I want to train the mile. I have kids swim the mile all the time. Missy swims the mile pretty much every season ever since she swam for me since she’s been 12 years old. Last fall she did the mile backstroke. Because she wasn’t looking forward to doing it. So I was like alright what can I throw at her to challenge her but still make her better. I said you can do it backstroke. And she looked at me and she goes really!? Yeah, you can.
So the goal was to go out and get the thousand sectional cut, she was going to shut it down. So she’s goes out in the thousand and she misses the sectional cut by a second. And she makes it by like nine seconds at altitude. But so she misses it and then so she doesn’t see me going no get to the back of the lane. Like oh yeah cool we made it. And then — so she goes, and then she makes the mile sectional cut by four seconds without altitude. And she was like well I saw that you weren’t jumping up and down at the thousand. Just got in the groove, and it was just really fun. Alright cool. Like that’s what it’s about.
Here’s another workout. This is Saturday morning, it looks like. Yeah yeah, broken 200. Saturday morning, I can always tell what day my workouts are because of the time. We took off the top so I can make them bigger. But the time, we start at random times everyday. So that’s why I can look at a workout, and see this is a Saturday where we finish up with dryland as the end. But a perfect example, what we’re going to do for a warm up, then warming up the kick here and then four 200s on 6:15 broken. Like I said, I like to start with a dive and end with a dive, just to get the speed going and kind of focus in on the third 50s so we can hit that pace. So 100 from the dive, rest, hand. 50 from a push, rest, hand. And once again that accountability, like if you leave on 11 seconds then you’re minus 20 seconds. And if you get the wrong time, that’s your deal. But I’m watching the kids too. And it’s amazing. More than half of my kids cheat themselves by usually one to three seconds on this set. I’m watching them and like when they finish, I just hit my watch. And I just subtract 20. And I’m like really? But I’m watching them. And they’re leaving on the ten and a half. They’re not down — like yes on this set you might come in on a three. And you might have to leave on the next three! Like what? What’s so difficult about that? It’s not a zero or a five. We can still think in those parameters here kids.
But then going right into some underwater work after the lactate when they’re tired and like I said at my earlier talk, we did a ridiculous amount of underwaters in the last year and a half. And I really realized in the last month that we just didn’t have the first couple of strokes into that transition. That’s my number one thing, we’re going to work on this here. It’s working underwater still, but working into that transition also, but six rounds going 5×25 on 30, underwater with fins. And then rest 30 in between so that you can get a drink and not cramp up. Or we’ll go over to the dive well and we’ll do different things in the dive well. It’s 13 yards across. We might do four rounds of the 6×13 on 30 with parachutes and fins. Then there’s the second group that’s going 6×13 on 30 with no equipment. And then they alternate that.
But the reason why I put fins on them with the chutes is that we’ll do chutes only. And 13 yards is about good. Because even some of your novice kids can kind of still challenge themselves. And feel success, because they can get 13 yards if they kind of really challenge themselves. Your older kids, it’s a little easier but they can get some confidence into that speed, into that. But I like fins with parachutes. Because I feel that the parachute is giving resistance. But the fins are able to keep the body and the core more engaged, because what I’ve watched with filming underwater in the dive well. Is that when the kids put their parachute on, it’s — even the smaller parachute, it’s so much drag that they’re just trying to force that body. But I don’t feel that that’s natural — that’s not what we wanted in dolphin kick, if there’s a lot of body and undulation unless they’re really good and can control that all the way into the feet. So that’s why I throw the fins on now, so that there’s kind of a little more tightness in the core.
Then finishing up with drylands. Missy and a couple other athletes do drylands with a personal trainer and a physical therapist. Two or three times a week. But the majority of the group doesn’t. I have a dryland and strength coach; she’s been with me for all three years since I’ve been there. We try and evolve the program, we’re always trying to make it better like I said earlier. Just trying to make athleticism, trying to make athletes.
Male Speaker: What do you think in general is more important? Racing or training?
Todd Schmitz: They’re both equally important. I think that — you asked what’s more important, racing or training? I think that both are very important. And the one thing that I’ve realized is that as I’ve gotten kids to that top level, training at altitude, is that I have to go to low altitude for those kids to get race confident. A perfect example: Missy is a 2:11 2, 2:11 3, I don’t know don’t quote me, I’m in the 200 meter IM. She’s never once broke a 2:20 in 200 meter IM at altitude, 8, 9, 9 and a half seconds. So like that’s an example. It was like we use — we race in altitude all the time. But sometimes those we can just work on race aspects, we don’t necessarily concentrate as much on the time. But racing, I think for the most part, racing is fun. Racing in workout is fun if it’s done the right way. And boys like to race.
So we throw on speed suits. I’ll text my kids and I’ll be say bring your old lasers. And I have two huge bags of Nike suits that are the old ones. And we’ll walk in and I’ll just — we’ll do a warm up. And I’ll be like alright let’s go throw on some suits. We did it the day before July fourth this year. Just to get some speed going. Doing 50s all out from a dive with legs on, some of these boys have never worn legs. And they’re going a best time in workout. I don’t care if it’s got legs on, I didn’t see your swimsuit race by itself. A 13 year old or 14 year old doesn’t know the suit hype. So throw the suit on and then go! You’re in workout right now and you just went your best time. And then that 13 year old boy is like yes I did coach! You know? And that’s what it’s about for boys, I quit swimming when I was 12 and came back when I was 14. Most of the boys that quit after 12 never come back.
We don’t need that like I’d said earlier. Coed training environment is good! I think we balance each other out, guys and girls. A lot of people would disagree with me on that. Yes?
Male Speaker: Todd, all those underwaters, what’s the level of effort? On both in the diving well and just the break for 25 yards?
Todd Schmitz: Most of the time when we do underwaters it should be all out like race quality. Does it always happen that way? Obviously, absolutely not, but you know what, you just watch your satellite get that at the end of the day. And you watch the kids that are putting the effort in. We all know it. Those are the kids that are at the end of the year in those goal meetings and those wrap up meetings are pretty darn easy. Because they’ve done it.
And one of the sucky things about our job is, is that we maybe did everything we could and we’ve turned over every stone that we feel that we have in our path. Like this season or this year. And for whatever reason it is, this kid that we all have that did everything we asked of him, they just don’t get it. They just don’t get that apple that we need them to get. At a young lady that I’ve coached since 7 years old, and swam with Missy since she was 7 years old, for two years, I had five different goal meetings with her. And I just kept saying, I know, but you do everything I ask. Just keep doing it. Keep following the program. Just keep doing it. Please it’s going to come. Like your sister is a junior national qualifier and now a senior national qualifier, it’s going to come. Just keep having faith. And I think in today’s society, we’re too quick to let our kids quit things. And we’re too quick to make judgment. And we’re too quick to let our kids persevere sometimes. And this young lady just had the most phenomenal year that she’s ever had. And she went to her first sectional meet ever and got three second swims. I looked at her and I said do you know how many second swims Missy got at her first sectional meet at 12? I don’t care if you’re 15 and she’s 12. For a sectional meet, zero. Zero! The amount of people that come to our sectional meet in February, Portland Oregon, it’s probably one of the fastest in the country. And if you don’t believe me go ahead and look up results. You almost got to be a junior national qualifier to make a B final. Like in July, like it’s fast.
And so to get a second swim it was two years in the making. It’s a grind and that happens. And as much as us coaches really want to explain it away and say this is who I was. Terry said it last night. We don’t have all the answers. Don’t think that you can always explain something away. Sometimes say we just missed the boat. And I don’t know why. Maybe it was my fault, maybe it was your fault, maybe it was all of our faults. We just missed the boat. Let’s get back at it today and let’s not do it again.
I show my athletes when I walk into workout, they know when they walk in I’m always there. They can come up and grab my workout manager and see the workout. Boom right there, top to bottom, total yardage, start times and the stats, everything. Now of course there’re those kids that are like we got two main sets. And they sandbag number one for number two because it’s a stroke or whatever. And then I use that as a teaching moment. And I go — like do I really not need to show you the workout now, because you’re going to not going to work hard on this set, because you’re saving for this set? And like most of the time the kids are like yeah, you’re right. But there’re kids out there that are all wired like that.
Underwater work, future of fast swimming without a doubt. You got to be fast underwater. You got to be fast underwater. I don’t care who you are. If you do two dolphin kicks off the wall like some of my athletes do, you better do four by the end of the season. And if four doesn’t work then let’s go back to three. But we’ve got to go that way. We can’t go this way. Fast swimming does not equal more strokes for 99.99999 percent of the people out there. If you go farther underwater equals fewer strokes, equals more speed at the end. Come on that’s — I got a degree in finance, I think I can do that. If we take fewer strokes and our arms are moving less, we’re probably going to have more energy left in the end.
Learning and evolving every season every year. Don’t be scared to change. I was a corporate trainer for California Pizza Kitchen. If you guys ever eat at California Pizza Kitchen, every time you go in there, there’re new things on their menu. That’s what it’s all about. They’re not afraid to look at their menu every six months. And say this is underperforming, we need to get something new. We throw something new on there. And they make sure you know it. They mark it on their little thing, those little starbursts. But that change is good. Look at any restaurant in your area that’s closed, it’s probably because they haven’t changed. That they haven’t morphed into what technology and all those things have done now. And that’s what I’m saying, think of business this year. Don’t think because you’ve done something for 20 years, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something new from even your athletes! Like why? I spoke to the officials at Junior Nationals. And I told them don’t be afraid to learn. Just because you think of a rule and you’ve read this rule 7,000 times and you’re pretty darn sure that this is the interpretation of this rule, who said it’s a bad thing to go to Dan McAllen, the rules chair, and go Dan, what’s your interpretation of this rule? Who said that’s bad? It’s not!
You can categorize my team however you want. Sprint, distance, whatever I don’t care. Come see what we’re doing. You’ll see when we get some good work done. We’re not afraid to put our nose to the grindstone and get some work done, for sure. So I can send a kid to all over. I have kids all over the country that have gone to different programs. Georgia, Cal, Duke, Cal Poly, they’re all over. All different training backgrounds. And they’re getting it done. So don’t get me wrong. We get it done. I like some focused effort though.
Here you go, here’s a great set. And I think I’m almost running out of time here. And then I will be going to the swimming world booth right after this. So please if you have questions, they want to kind of do a little thing, Q and A over there. And so I can answer some more questions. So please come over there and feel free. We can have some chats and I’ll tell you anything. I want to learn from you too. So we did this in Chula Vista, last day of training camp. And I thought that this would be the best example. Because here you’re going to compare apples to apples. Unless you’re training at altitude then you and I can talk about sets that we’ve done. Then we can compare apples to apples. But mostly you’re training at low altitude. So here you go.
Perfect set that I love to do. So like 8×50 kick on a minute. And then the 6×50 all the way through are the main meat and potatoes. Free on the :50. Fifth on 1:05, descend one to four, hold five and six. It’s says stroke, like I said I gave them choice. So she did free on the first two and then back on the last two things. 38-535-5, this is Missy by the way, sorry, 35-5, 33-0, 28-7, 28-3, 28-0. Alright so not quite as good as I like through holding her speed. But I like that she was getting faster. And then kicks, so basically the 8×50 are IM kick all the way through, but then 6×50 on a 1:05 stroke, heart rate 16 or kind of your goal at 200 pace. Heart rate 16s maybe a little optimistic, maybe a little low for goal 200 pace. But really what I was trying to get through her is like kind of some easy speed. So we’re not after burning it. We’re not bringing home 100. She did freestyle here, 29-7, 28-7, 28-5, 29-1, 28-3, 28-9. Predict a set, this is actually a little slow. I believe she was went out 27-27 mid low and then 29-29-29 when she let off 1550. So maybe a little slow on the first one. But obviously when we — we’re talking goals at 200 pace pretty solid in there.
This set I really walked out of there and Russell was filming it. And I walked out of the set and I went wow! Then 650s stroke, descend one to four, hold five and six, this is back, 37-5, 36-7, 34-3, 31-5, 31-3, 31-5. Splits at World’s 100, they turn her back we’re 29-5, 30.6, 32-0, 31-7 I believe don’t quote me on that and then 6×50 choice fast on a minute 1:05 on the bottom here. Backstroke 30.4, 30.2, 30.3, 30.2, 30.0, 30.0. I’m a firm believer that if they’re going to get a 29-9 on there, they’re going to earn it on my watch. I don’t lie about times. And I remember thinking to myself as she went up 30.0 on this last one. For like three seconds I’m thinking in my head do I say 29-9? And I was 30.0 and I showed her the watch. And I was like nope she’s got to earn that one if she’s going to feel 29-9 up there.
So maybe these two sets really get me excited. I think that there’s more in the tank. I think that we still can get better. Our underwaters are tremendously improved, because a lot of help from Russell and people at USA swimming have done a lot of work with him. But really I think there’s more in it, there’s more speed and we can get faster.
School year kind of typically September through May, we go four to five afternoons a week. Saturday morning, possible Sunday morning along the course and we go two mornings a week, usually an hour, hour to hour and 15 minutes. Just depending on school schedule, summer, basically two, two and half months. We go all five mornings long course. This year we went really early because that’s the only time we can get pool time. Monday through Thursday we are five to seven AM. I’d say all but two of those mornings, it was 55 degrees or colder when we got in to the pool, but you know what? I made sure that I pointed that out to my kids everyday. Like how much tougher are you because of this? Just by getting out of bed at 4:30 and coming to a cold pool and jumping in an outdoor 50 meter pool, that made you tougher. Yeah?
Male Speaker: Do you do a warm [inaudible] [00:64:05], what’s your course in the afternoon?
Todd Schmitz: Afternoons we’re short course. Alright? Besides Friday afternoon we don’t to attend to noon. So we a double on Friday long course and we’re done at noon on Friday. Alright so then like I said weekend’s off if no meet.
I’ll come back to that workout. Quad planning, I remember three years ago when I first started hearing this word quad plan. And I remember thinking of myself like are these people nuts? How can they think about their lives like two and half, three years from now? Now the most ridiculous thing is is that I think I have things on my calendar for 2013. That’s the crazy thing. So like I’ve evolved and I’ve realized that. That like I heard it like if you think you have an athlete, you got to prepare them. And you got to tell them like it doesn’t matter if you think they can make the National Youth Team this year. Or National Junior Team whatever the new name is. Hey this is the criteria this year, maybe we make it this year, maybe we won’t make it next year. Throw it at them! So they know, so there’s some incentive. And they can like wow, there’re other places I can go in this.
Fundamentals, right there. Fun, fun is the first three letters right there. If you have good fundamentals, a happy swimmer is a fast swimmer. And there’s no doubt about it. Like you got to have happy kids, they’ve got to feel part of the program. They’ve got to feel part of the process. And that’s all about getting to know your individual athletes on a one-to-one basis really and talking to them. So I’ll go back to this workout real quick. So we can talk about this before I’m done. This is an afternoon workout in the summer. We only go like an hour and 15 minutes. And it’s usually power based. It’s kind of what I call “sprint based,” sprint circuit type stuff, a perfect example here. We’d break into two groups and we have two different groups going on, 8×25 on 1:30, all out sprint from a dive. Alright, odds you’re going to do ten med ball throwdowns. Different sized med balls. And you’re going to just throw it down. Alright and typically like on that I probably had — oh I did a ten or I’ll do a time. They’ll throw down ten med balls. Get up, boom! Sprint all out 25, get a hop, walk around. So that’s sprint based, like eight of those. And then another group is doing underwaters in the dive well with the dive weight. That’s actually a scuba weight, those two pound weights that are thin. I actually make them put it in between their hands. It’s not enough weight to put pressure on the shoulders. And it actually holds their body line pretty good in 13 yards to go across. That’s what I’ve done, make some adaptions.
And then like here’s a set that I love to do. Just kind of 200 free 55s none, 200 none 55s free, 250 IM, 100 of your number one stroke. And then IM with 100 free, no breast for the last 25. So I’m always making them think all the way through workouts and be engaged. I tell them all the time like we — sometimes I’m just thinking about tomorrow’s workout right now. Then we’re just kind of getting back into it. So I’m thinking right now that we might go four 500s. And whenever I think that to myself, I can think of the response as I write that on the board or as we’re looking at my workout, whatever. As coaches, if they like us every single day, we’re not doing our job. Right? We can’t always be the best friend. We’ve got to be sometimes — mom and dad aren’t even going to tell them reality sometimes. Sometimes we’ve got to be the dose of reality that says you’ve sat down with me for three goal meetings in a row, and you’ve told me you want to be an Olympic Trial qualifier. But you never do that in practice. How does 30.2 yards 50 back equate to an Olympic Trial cut? Can you tell me, because as soon as you can then I’ll be on board, but you can’t. That doesn’t even break a minute yards. But like sometimes kids need that little kind of whoa! What’s going on here? Alright.