Total Team Dryland by Chris Plumb, Carmel Swim Club (2014)


[introduction, by Bill Wadley]
I’m privileged to introduce to you a friend who happens to sort of be in my neighborhood, my neck of the wood, if you will. He is one of the great young coaches and one of the great young minds. And, and, uh, he has developed a team that, um, you know, has always been pretty good. And he’s taking it to newer, greater, bigger heights which I think is always one of the great challenges when you walk into a program that’s always had some success. How do you take that program that’s had some success and make it better still? Make it better, uh, take it to a new level and, and Chris has certainly done that.

He is the coach of the Carmel High School girls and boys team; he’s the coach of the Carmel Swim Club. His women have won eight consecutive High School State Championships, his men have won three. This year he broke all three National High School records for the women. All three national high school records for the women. That’s a pretty substantial thing, wouldn’t you say? Um, his women won the juniors this summer. Uh, his team won the Mythical National High School Championships. I believe they’re on the cover of, uh, Swimming World as we speak, right? Okay. And they had 17 athletes qualify for the 2012 Trials. These are high school kids. These are high school kids. And, uh, he’s a leader in our community and, and certainly, uh, unbelievable sharing, uh, coach. So, please join me in welcoming Coach Chris Plumb from Carmel, Indiana.

[Plumb begins]
Thank you, Bill. Thank you. Can everybody hear me? Good. Well thanks for coming this morning and I appreciate, uh, coming in on Friday. I know some of you were expecting me yesterday but I got bumped by some guy named Dave Salo. [laughter]

So, I appreciate you’re, uh, willing to come back this morning. I saw a lot of you as I was walking back from dinner at the bar down there. So, uh, thanks for coming in this morning. And I’m humbled and honored to be speaking in front of you today. Um, we, it’s been quite a journey and I hope to share a lot of the things we’ve learned over the past several years with our total team dryland.

So, so I have three goals for this presentation and, um, I called this Total Team Dryland. I know you came to see the world’s greatest age group Dryland Program whatever, but for me it’s the, uh, we call it Total Team Dryland. And so why do we do a Total Team Dryland? Uh, long-term athletic development, what does that mean and what is the importance of long-term athletic development? And lastly, what exactly is Total Team Dryland? Like what does that really mean and, and what is all that encompass? So, those are, those are my three goals today and, um, hopefully you can breathe that in. And most importantly, I want you to come up with the idea that this is important. And at the World Clinic in 1982, Nort Thornton said, “For about the first 18 years I coached out a dryland program mainly because I heard Doc Counsilman said you should.”

So, and that’s where we’ve come from, that old Nautilus machine that used to be in every hotel and, uh, we’ve come a long way since that, but I don’t want you to do it just because you heard it from Chris Plumb at the 2014 World Clinic. I want you to think and understand what this is about, and take it back to your programs, and make your swimmers, your athletes better.

So, how did this come about? Well the idea was, um, we all have probably some progression in our pool, some sort of development of like when you’re eight, this is what you’re going to do in our program, when you’re ten, this is what you’re going to do, and, um, we have all that stuff. You have your drill progressions, your level of intensity, all that great stuff but what do you do for dryland? What do you have that’s as good on land that you have in the water?

And five, six years ago, we didn’t have anything. We had nothing for dryland and every coach had their own idea about what to do for dryland. We had coaches that, uh, they love to run kids on stairs, so every opportunity that they get, they were running up and down the stairs and kids were getting really tired. You know, we had the person that loved to just do the shoulder exercises up and down all day long, you know. We had people doing all kinds of things. And like, you know, when I first started coaching there and I was, you know, coaching the nine-tens, that’s where I started, I asked, you know, the head coach, “What should we do for dry land?” And he goes, “I don’t know. Do something for 45 minutes.” That’s what he said, do something for 45 minutes. I’m like, “All right,” and that, and that was the problem, I felt like. So, that’s where we came about.

So, our goal is we wanted a progressive and streamlined program that matched appropriate growth and development needs of today’s youth. So, it’s not just about doing dryland but having the idea and the importance of bringing this from, from the bottom to the top, from the eight to eighteen. Like, having that dryland program match the needs of the youth today. And that’s where, that’s where it started, the idea. And if you want a better answer, you need to ask better questions. So, we started asking better questions.

So, your first question, who is walking in your door? Who is coming to your program? Who is walking in the door? What kids do we have today? Is this what we want? We have people sitting at the computer now hunched over. We’ve got people making bad choices on a daily basis. Is this what we have? Is this what we’re up against? Because I think we are. I see it today, I see it in our youth. I think we have a major problem.

So, yes we have a problem. These kids love video games. They’re not outside playing anymore. They’re not getting this type of work dryland that they used to get in PE. They’re not doing that anymore, they’re not. They’re, they’re on their phones, they’re texting, they’re playing X-Box, they’re doing those things. So, you first got to say we have a problem, it’s our job to fix that and understand who we have coming in. So, kids in, uh, in our, my opinion lacked the fundamental movement skills to survive in today’s competitive arena of early specialization. They lack the fundamental movement skills to learn how to move appropriately.

Someone asked me a few years ago, “What, what is this dryland that you’re doing?” And I’m like, “We’re really teaching kids how to move.” And when, and every August we, we get together and we, we have about a three-week program where kids, they, um, we coach them for three weeks by age. So, we have all of our 11+12s and 13+14s. And I can tell what group all of our athletes are in based on the dryland that they do and how they move. So, I think there’s a correlation between how they move on land and how they will move in the water.

And then research today shows that the current generation will be outlived by their parents due to inactivity, obesity, and malnutrition. That’s a scary thought. It’s a scary thought. And I feel like if we’re in this room today, it’s because we have a mission, we have a purpose, and that’s to help kind of change this culture or this idea that this is out there. And we must understand that this is, this is going on. You got to face the truth. This is the truth. This is happening. This is what we need to do. And as a, as a program, we decided we want to make an impact and I think that’s why you’re here as well.

So, the A-to-A Team process. And the swimmer is a complex neural and a sensory amphibian unnaturally attempting to perform efficiently at speed with the, within the laws of mathematics and physics and the foreign substance at a high viscosity. So, this is what our challenge is. How do we get swimmers to solve this problem? And what can we do on land that helps them move through the water? So, our philosophy, and it has changed over time, was or is to develop the best injury-free swimming athlete through systematic, sequential, and progressive development in all physical capacities. If you can take that idea, injury-free. Very important, the best ability is availability. If your swimmers are injured, they’re not getting better.

And that’s kind of where we also stand. When I first started coaching, we always had a lane of, of injured swimmers. They kicked or they did whatever, like you had your lane. Well this is, this is the injury lane. This is where you go. I didn’t like that lane. I don’t want that lane. I think some coaches maybe look upon it and say that’s, I’m proud of that lane but we didn’t want that. So, we felt like we could help our athletes become injury-free through this as well.

So, the goals, improve athleticism and we’ll talk about what that means. Bulletproof, you want these kids injury-free, prevent injuries, super important. And then prepare for, uh, all the demands of the swimming strokes. Like, what we can do on land to help them prepare? And talking about links and connections. The body is connected. It moves as one. It does not recognize, “Move your bicep.” It knows to move its arm. So, understand how to connect the body. In swimming we talk about it, you hear it all the time at these clinics, get the body connected, get it working together, and we feel like we can help that process on dryland. And having a mastery of each step before we move on to the next one. You got to work on it day after day after day.

So, some intangible benefits we have. We feel like our athletes have a higher concentration of focus when we do dryland, and this is important that, that you take the dryland as serious as you do the water. You have that concentration and focus on land. Improves their mental discipline. You can talk to them a lot more on land than you can in the water, get them to be disciplined. Body image, obviously important. We feel, um, doing things on dryland can help young athletes look like they want to look. And work ethic, you can improve work capacity on land as well that helps them in the pool.

We also talk about physical literacy. I mentioned that earlier, what does that mean? Athleticism defined is “execute athletic movements at optimum speed with precision, style, and grace within the context of your sport.” You know, we all know what that looks like in the pool. It’s, it’s a thing of beauty. So, the goal, and this is, this is critical, of physical literacy, teaching the skills, learning to move is the eradication of all limitations of future performance.

Unfortunately, the swimming, swimming, we know what the swimmer looks like who’s swum a lot of, of yards in swimming and they’re not doing anything correct. A lot of them start to hunch over, right? Low back problems and just that rounded shoulder that, that forward piece and limitations due to hip mobility issues, T-spine mobility, all those things. So, we all have athletes that make it through no matter what we do, but we wanted to help all those. We want to eradicate any limitations. We want to have a, uh, the ceiling move up higher than, than if they just–if they didn’t do this. So, we want to break, uh, any limitations that they have. You know, that’s what we feel like we do.

So, what is athletic development? Systematic, sequential and progressive. So, what are you doing session to session, week to week, cycle to cycle, season to season? That is long-term athletic development. Every day you get a little bit better at doing this and slowly and slowly, week to week, cycle to cycle. So, if you think about, again, we have the athlete that walks in your door at six, what are they going to look like at eighteen, and what are you going to do every day in between to make sure that they’re 18 leaving your program to go to college, and be better, and be prepared, and not having things that would limit their performance.

Also, we think about training movements, not muscles, linkages not lengths. Training the movement, train movements. You don’t want to make the biceps stronger. It doesn’t help you. You need to make the whole connection piece stronger and better. We talk about our exercises as full spectrum, multi-joint, total body, all planes, coordinated, proper resistance at varying intensity. So, think about what that means. Multi-joint, getting your total body activated and connected, all planes of motion, coordinated, proper resistance.

And you got to ask yourself the question, “What are you going to do?”, “With who are you going to do it?”, “How much are you going to do?”, and “When are you going to do it?” So, what are you going to do? Who are you going to do it to? How much are you going to do and when? And that’s, you know, where we started here.

And strength training by a guy much smarter than me defines coordination training under proper resistance. So, don’t think of it, we don’t think of it as getting stronger but being more coordinated. Being able to be more connected under proper resistance. Proper resistance for a lot of people can just be body weight and, and as they get stronger, they can add resistance but coordination training.

All right, we all hear about the core. The core, the core. It’s so important, the core. Well, we think about the core and–and the Serape Effect. And that’s the connection across the body from shoulder to hip. And that we all know in swimming, that’s a very important connection. And, uh, so the things we do to increase that connection day after day, lots of crawling, we have stretch chords, we have dumbbell complex, some jungle gym which are rings and some med ball work. And I’ll get in to a lot of those, but it’s all about increasing that hip-to-shoulder connection.

And this is, uh, a critical thought as well. Want to build athletic bodies that are adaptable rather than adaptive. You want to build a body that can handle the work that you’re going to give it; not the one that’s completely maxed out. So, you want kids that are adaptable to your changes that you’re going to make them, not ones that are already done.

So, some skills we work on on a daily basis. Locomotive skills – the ability to move from one place to the other. Stability – to be able to hold the line. Manipulate skills – control of objects with their hands or feet. Sensory development. And last, movement and rhythm, body consciousness – being aware of your, being aware where your hands and feet are. And we’ve seen a lot of those young boys and girls when they go through puberty, they have no idea where their hands and feet are when they–when they’re done, when they hit that growth spurt. So, you want to help them be coordinated through that, through that period of their life.

So, fundamental skills that we work on, that we think about it and how we thought about. Squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, bracing, hinging, rotating. These are things that you can do every day or almost every day in your program. Kids need to learn how to squat the right way, and then learn how to lunge, push and pull, brace, hinge at the hip, rotating.

Next fundamental skills – running, jumping, throwing, catching, kicking. Of course doesn’t have a whole lot of correlation to the pool? So, we think about aquatic. Being able to float, roll, breathe, reach, kick, scull, flow, rhythmic. These are fundamentals. These are the basics. And then, lastly techniques – starts, turns, racing strategies, sport-specific skills. But you must have the physical competency to do the technical stuff and the technical qualities in order to do the technical stuff in that order. You got to teach the basics before you can take the next step. You don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

Some other key concepts that we have. We warm up to swim, not swim to warm up. We have about 15 minutes every day that the athletes are getting ready on preparing their bodies to get in the pool, to ready to go. They should be almost ready to go by the time they hit the pool because of the things we do on land. Our program does not do a lot of the thousand, fifteen hundred straight swimming warm-up. We do all that stuff that we feel like that, that does and we do that on land. And when once, once, once our practice starts we’re ready to go, they’re ready to swim a lot faster and a lot sooner than we would the other way. And in doing so, we also, it, preventing injuries and getting our core stronger and more connected, that type of stuff. We do things every day to protect the shoulder and keep it bulletproof, no injuries. Every day we do something to protect the shoulders especially in the senior group.

Choose dumbbells over barbells. Dumbbells allow freedom of movement and the shoulder to move around. If you’re pushing, pressing over your head, bench press with a bar, I think you’re asking for injuries. Dumbbells, freedom of movement. Rings, do pull-do your pull ups on the rings. All your stuff on rings and I’ll talk about that more. That freedom of movement helps prevent injury. And build from the inside out. Start from the middle, work to the extremities. From the inside out. Strength comes from here. I’ve heard Payton Manning talk about it. Don’t throw from your arm, throw off your foot. Throw off your foot, it makes sense. Connect the body through the middle.

So, Total Team. Total Team. We, you have a common language in the pool. You need a common language on your dryland. It needs to be the same. If you’re calling something and you’re 18 years old in your senior group, your eight-year-olds needs to be calling it the same thing. Otherwise, you’re speaking a different language, and they move up from group to group, they don’t know what’s going on. So, we wanted that language to the group and it’s through our entire club. And as they move from group to group through the program, the reps, the loading, the number of sets may change but the fundamental moving skills that I talked about, squat, lunge, push, pull, brace, they’re the same. They’re the same thing. A six-year-old can do a body weight squat, an eighteen-year-old can do a body weight squat. Squatting is squatting. Learning how to do it the right way.

Uh, and now, I’ve talked a lot about philosophy, and going over that whole piece, and you’re going to see some of the stuff in action, all right? So, we do a lot of crawling. If any of us seen Carmel Swim Club at a meet, our kids are going up and down the pool deck on their hands but the beauty of crawling is you can do it anywhere. You can do it in the hallway. You can, uh, you know, do it on your pool deck, and it’s a gross lateral movement that activates their pathways across the brain, right? Making that connection and gets both sides of the body working together. Little kids crawling is very good and integrated in an efficient way.

So, right here is just doing bear crawl across the pool. They got a nice line in his middle. They’re running into the trash can. I think about a plank, and now he’s just doing a side plank, right? Just moving across. Think about the strength in the shoulder. [Background video playing]. Now, he’s going hand over, hand over, hand under, hand over, hand under. Both directions, forward, backwards, left, right. [Background video playing].

Now, the Spiderman crawl here. Now, you’re getting some hip mobility. [Background video playing]. And then backwards. You want your brain to think. You want your brain to be connected, try this backwards, there’s a lot going on right here. Body awareness, spatial awareness, connection, all those things that you want. [Background video playing]. Lastly, halfway lizard. There’s a lot of stupid names we have.

And next, if you don’t have space, you have nowhere to go, you don’t have that hallway, you have one little space to go, you can also, do it, in place. [Background video playing]. So, if you don’t, if you got, you got, you’d only stay in place for a little bit of movement, you can get–be very effective. So, hold your line, obviously it’s just going to be a short version. [Background video playing]. Try watching kids try to figure this out for the first time. It’s pretty funny. [Background video playing]. We don’t do this. We stop at this point.

So, you can see, just in a single place, you can get a lot of work done, a lot of connection and a lot of, you know, that hand-to-foot, hip-to-shoulder, all those things can happen in a small place. And it’s challenging. That is a hard exercise that he just did. You will work up the sweat if you start to do that. And you get stronger in your middle, you get more connected. Imagine doing this kind of stuff, you know, three or four times a week since you’re six, seven and eight years old. You’re going to have a pretty athletic and adaptive, you know, kid that can be adaptable.

All right. So, some other things. Now, these are all, like, all these things that I’m going to talk about today for the most part, everybody in our group can do. And those planks that I just showed, everybody in our, everybody in our team does crawling and those types of planks and movements. So, the six, seven and eight-year-olds who’ve first come to our program that’s what they’re doing, they’re crawling, they’re learning how to move on land.

This next piece, we have legs circuit. And this is for our nines and up. So, our nine-year-olds and up are going to do leg circuit here. And leg circuit consists of the squat, a lunge, a step up, and a squat jump. Now, tell me that doesn’t cover every leg muscle you have if you’re doing all those things. Squat, body weight, squat, body weight lunge, step up, and squat jump. You’re covering every piece of muscle you have in your leg by doing all those. So, all the muscles in the lower body.

Our senior group, and they, they don’t like to walk after they get to this, but they do five rounds of twenty of each of those exercises. And our athletes do about one per second of 20 squats. I mean it’s boom, boom, boom, 20 squats, 20 lunges, one a second, go, go, go. Good technique but hammer. Step up on a box. And then they finish with five squat jumps. Do five rounds of that, and you tell me your kids are not ready to kick hard if they can do that? Your kids can kick. They have strong legs. And not one–they didn’t put a barbell on their back. They don’t have anything. That is an intense exercise, five rounds.

How do you get there? Well, nine to eleven, you learn how to do eight round, you know, eight squats, eight lunges, eight step-ups, and probably three squat jumps. And you, and you get good at that. You’re building capacity. And then, you get older. And then, we start do add-up and get up to fourteen. And then, they get older. We start going to 20. So, you see the progression of being able to do that. Squat, lunge, step up, squat jump. Slowly build those capacities over time. All right.

So, we talk about core modules here. Other things that are across nine years old. Uh, getting the core stronger, activating it in all three planes – frontal, sagittal, transverse – okay. So, all, all athletes can do this and we talked about, like, I talked about that connection – the hip-to-shoulder and the Serape Effect, the importance of that. Oh, hold on. Let me go back one more time here for it.

We also have what, we call these modules. This is an important piece that we learned. And a module means, I say, “This is chopper series”. I say, “Chopper series” and she’s going to do all these exercises. I don’t have to write all the things that she is about to do. I say two words, “chopper series”. And that’s across the board. We have about 15 of these core modules, we say them, and then they do them. Like I used to–you know, used to write on the board, you know, 50 crunches, 50 right left, 50, you know, Supermans. I use to write all that stuff every day and write a different number. Now, I just say one word and they got it. And that’s an important idea.

So, this next piece is going to–you’re going to watch her again. Think about three planes of motion, think about making that connection. And she has a ten pound, um, plate in her hand. [Background video playing]. So, we talked about hinging at the hip, right? And getting a good hinge there. Good connection. [Background video playing]. All right. So, we saw all three planes of motion there, right? Frontal, sagittal, transverse. Got warmed up and said one thing. She knew what to do and that’s an important piece. You know, like I said, we have about fifteen and you can be as creative as you want. You can, we have stuff where they walk, they do that thing, they, they stand there, you can, you can be creative. But, think about all three planes and getting the body connected in that way.

Another piece that’s Total Team is called mini band. And the mini band is a great way to warm up. All of our athletes do it. It strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the hip. Obviously, we feel the hip is a very important piece. You also get glute activation and strengthening. So, our kids, they sit at their desk all day at school. Sometimes they have a hard time getting their muscles to work like they should. The, uh, mini band gets that activation that we’re looking for and gets their glutes firing and strengthening.

The only thing that, oh, it keeps going back. The only thing that changes with the groups is the mini band, ah, tension. So, the older kids wear a stronger mini band. The younger kids wear a lighter mini band. That’s the only thing that changes across the group. So, again, our, our youngest kids are doing mini band, our oldest kids are doing mini band. [Background video playing]. The karaoke is just over under here. Strengthen that hip. And again, planes of motion. A nice deep, wide leg. She should probably be a little deeper here. Forward, backward. [Background video playing]. Okay. Let me go back.

All right. So, this next piece here is what our 11-year-olds and overs do. You know. Run it a couple of times. But, it’s called stretch chord series and it strengthens the muscles of the shoulder and the scap[ula]. The scapula has 19 different muscles attached. And so this is a couple of pieces. Right now, she’s doing protraction and retraction. Strengthening the, uh, top of the scap here. Connect the shoulder to the hip here. Kids always thought this was funny when they first started. [Background video playing]. And now you’re getting that front of that shoulders, some flies. [Background video playing]. And then some punches across the body.

This takes about five minutes to do, and we do this three times a week, before we get in the pool. Your shoulders are ready to go. Your body is warmed up after you do this. And we’re doing this three times a week. We, we felt like we’ve really minimized that shoulder injury. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s effective and, uh, we feel like it’s been a tremendous piece. So, you just, you know, I think we got one more here. He’s just doing a face pull here, things that you might do in the weight room with a, with a pulling machine but, like, with the stretch chord on deck. Very effective tool to, uh, get warmed up and strengthening that, that whole back side here, posterior chain as some might say. [Chuckles] So, just, again, face pull, step back.

This next piece here is lunge and reach. . [Background video playing]. I’m going back to that, but the lunge and reach piece there. We talked about three planes of motion. So, what we’re doing there, is you’re going to do a forward lunge, a side lunge, and a back in 45-degree. So, hip mobility, very important, spatial awareness. Now, we’re going to go, we’re going to go one, one round with arms over head, one round where they reach out, and one round where they step across. So, when you’re doing that, you, you’re creating spatial awareness, you’re moving the body in three planes of motion, and you’re connecting the body. You’re getting all three of those in one piece.

Again. It’s two or three minutes on the pool deck, but if you’re going to get your body prepared to work, you need those hips loosened up. So, watch again here. Um, and, and again the whole team does lunge and reach. Arms up, overhead, stepping out, left, right, on my left, back, and back. And reaching out, to the side, and back. Now across. [Background video playing]. Right? Hip mobility, body awareness, connection, the whole team can do that. The whole team can do that. Lastly, uh–no, maybe not lastly, but Total Team on the rings.

Now we have, these are jungle gym, but we have since purchased. We have probably 20 sets of rings that we hang on pull-up bars or hang anywhere we can. And all of our upper body movements and strengthening with our groups is done on rings. And there’s a lot you could do, TRX. You can pay 150 if you want TRX. I can buy this for $40 now. So, it’s the same thing. They can go anywhere and you can do, uh, unbelievable. Uh, we have core modules with the rings, body rows, pushups, um, pull-ups.

And when we first started, when I first started at Carmel eight years ago, huh, the girls couldn’t do pull-ups, man. They couldn’t do pull-ups. I think we had girls that could do one, one pull-up. This spring, I watched three girls go over 15 pull-ups on the rings. And just, it’s progression, it’s doing it every day. And those are the girls that have been through the program year, after year, after year. It didn’t happen overnight. It did not happen overnight. Year after year, doing pull-ups with, and doing pull-ups on the rings is safe. Doing pull-ups on the bar, I don’t know. I think you’re asking yourself for injury.

So, and it started, and then basically started with the body row which means you’re pulling yourself here, and you can do that really well, and you can do pull-ups, and we start getting the numbers. All right, you’re going to go up there today, and I want you to do 30 total in as few sets as you can. Younger girls, younger boys, they can do pull-ups. You got to start it young, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Pushups on rings. Do a pushup on a ring. Always the kids that come to our program at younger ages, they start trying to do pushups on rings, [giggle], it’s like all the kids kind of laugh. Why are they going to do push-up? You know, he’s shaking. He can’t do it. You know, the kids that have been there for years, they got that pushup on the ring, no problem. They had a stable shoulder. They can do the work. All right?

So, purchasing these rings is a, was a, is a big deal for us. It’s huge. And, uh, our kids have gotten a lot stronger, particularly the upper body because of the ring. And this is built in through the program. You’re just changing reps, changing schemes, all that stuff. Um, so, and again, talk about freedom of movement. Uh, this is probably four years ago. [Background video playing].

[Chuckles]. Got the little leg kick. Yeah, get up there. So, those rings up there, they’re adjustable. They, they come down. You could put them anywhere. You could put them at different heights. Kid put their feet at them, okay? And pushups on the rings, body rows, all that stuff. You change the reps, change the schemes, be progressive, younger age like I said. Now, these girls and guys, they can do lots of pull-ups now, all right. If you want to be better in swimming, you better be able to do a pull-up.

So, other things that encompass our entire team, planks. You saw that version with the plank. Everybody can do a plank. It’s very important. We create that. We call that, you know, I had that earlier in the talk about that ability to hold your line, all right? And posture wins races. Posture wins races. You need to hold your posture at the end of your race. Talk about it all the time. Who holds the best line through the race? Who doesn’t fatigue? Posture wins races. Talk about planks. Everybody in the team could do planks.

Coordination. Our coordination is forward run, backward run, karaoke, skip, then side step with arm swings. That’s the basics. This summer, our nine and tens, we’re doing karaoke, passing a ball to each other. They were, uh, skipping, then clapping underneath their legs. Our nine and tens. I look out over our pool, and I see these twenty nine-tens doing amazing things I probably couldn’t even do. Skipping, jumping, doing all the sit-up, having fun, and getting warmed up, being, being connected.

Like, I’m excited to coach these kids when they get older, because I know they’re learning how to be coordinated now. And it’s, you know, it’s ten, fifteen minutes outside on a sunny day. The kids are excited to be out there, and they’re doing coordination. They’re being coordinated. Coordination, you can, you know, it extends through our entire program. And then, as they get better, you could be more advanced. You can try different stuff, um, but you can have fun with it. And that’s another piece again. It extends our total team.

Dynamic warm up, our whole, our whole team does all kinds of versions of dynamic warm-up. Um, you know, there’s 8000 ways to do dynamic warm-up. Uh, it depends on what you want to get accomplished but again, talk about things that connect our whole program. Jumping rope, man, what an effective tool. Jumping rope. Jump on one foot, backwards jump, uh, double unders. I mean, eight, nine, ten, all the way sixteen. Jumping rope is a great effective tool to get warmed up. One-legged squats, simple, sit on a chair, they get their butt down and one leg stand up. A lot of kids can do that and that’s something that’s, again, through our entire program, one-legged squats.

But lastly, this is, kind of the, where we get to. And I haven’t even discussed weights, but this is what we call dumbbell complex. Okay? This is what our senior group does. So, when they get through our whole program, everyone’s getting ready to write down what we do here. [Laughs]. This is dumbbell complex. Right now, this is Carly Marshall. She got 30 pounds in her hands. This girl is currently a senior at Purdue. And, uh, this year, I mean, she was great. She ends up, has no business winning the 50 Free, but she wins the 50 Free at the High School State Championship this year. But just watch level of intensity. It’s 30 pounds in each hand, okay?

And she’s about to do dumbbell complex. So, and, um, it’s about 45 seconds. When you think about time under tension. Our athletes get up to about six rounds in this, alright? She’s going to cover all kinds of movement. Triple extension. So, ankle, knee, hip getting extended. She’s going to push the weight. Going to squat with the weight. Then, she’s going to pull with the weight. She’s covering just about everything you can do. The explosive push, squat, pull. Like you’ve covered everything. There isn’t a whole lot more you need to cover.

So, our athletes are getting strong, and then this, I mean, if you do this six rounds, one to one rest with a partner, you’re going to be tired, boy. I’m telling you. Uh, our kids fear this. They fear this workout. They know it makes them stronger. The time under tension here is super high. [Background video playing]. Okay. We’ll show that again but think about what you just saw. She did a high pull, triple extension, that’s every start and every turn that you do in the pool. Ankle, knee, hip. Getting explosive, being strong in that position, okay? All right. Then, she’s going to push weight over ahead, push. And she’s going to squat with that weight. All right? Getting legs stronger. Then, she’s going to pull. I would like to see her hinge a little more at the hip on this. Give her back a little flatter, but so be it.

Now, that’s about 45 seconds’ time under tension. You can, we get very creative with this as well. You can do single, single arm pulls. You can, you can lunge with this. You can do curl and press. You can do heavy row. We’ve even finished this with a pull-up. Now, there’s a lot of extrapolations you can make through all this. So, you get really good at doing this, and then you can get creative, and make it harder. So, this is about 45 seconds time under tension. I have, you know, we have a place for this is a minute-and-a-half time under tension.

So, doing six rounds with 30 to 45 pounds or whatever how strong. The beauty here is, whatever weight they can do, that’s what they can do. If it’s 15s, it’s 15s; if it’s 40s, it’s 40s; if it’s 20s, it’s 20s. You know, it’s not always about the weight but at what weight they can move the right way and the appropriately, all right? Now, the boys, yeah, they want to pick up something heavier, girls want to pick up something a little lighter. So, you know you, you needle the girls and you tell the boys to calm down. But, the beauty of this is everybody can do it, and the weight is appropriate as long as you got dumbbells.

People say, “I don’t have a weight room. How am I going to do this?” Well, I visited my friend, Chris Webb, at SwimMAC, and his kids were doing this on deck with rubber dumbbells. He pulled out, went in this closet, the kids went and grabbed the dumbbells, and they did this on the pool deck. And he hung his rings from the three-meter diving board. You don’t need a weight room. This is a weight room but you don’t need a weight room to do this. You do need dumbbells to do this, you do need space, but don’t think you’re limited. “Oh, I don’t have this.” Almost everything you’ve seen here today, you can do with minimum equipment. Minimum equipment, and I think that’s important in our world. In our world, it’s very important.

So, watch this again here. High pull, be explosive, every start, every turn, you’re getting that position, are you not? If you’re going to pull, you’re going to push. If you push, you need to pull. You need to have opposite. Again, the connection though, from the hip to the hand. You gotta have that connection. Full depth in her squat. You put these dumbbells on your shoulders, your, your core better be tight. You better be able to hold the line. And then a pulling motion. Again, I’d like to see her hinge a little bit more at the hip, have that weight a little bit farther down.

All right. Now, how much are you going to do with whom? I’ll give you a quick answer of what we do. All right, 8&Us, our youngest kids, they’re just doing 15 minutes of this type of work every day before they get in the pool. Every day, especially our new parents, they come in, and they’re expecting to see their little eight and under, Johnny, in the pool and they’re not there. [Chuckle]. They’ve gone in the hallway in their school to go do crawling, to go do mini band, to go manipulate a ball, to go do something to get them coordinated, and activated, and ready to go for the pool. So, when they jump in the pool, when those lanes open instead of standing around, those lanes open, they’re ready to go. So, that’s what our eight and unders do.

9+10s, they do three 30-minute sessions. So, you know, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they’re going 30 minutes. And then, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, whatever, they’re going 15 minutes before they get in the pool. Again, same type of stuff like I talked about.

11+12s are doing 45, three times a week plus that 15 minutes before they get in. And again, that 15 minutes, you know, coach might write four or five things on the board, and the athletes know exactly what to do. Go do stretch chord series, do jump rope series, and then, uh, do mini band. There’s probably a hundred different movements, you know, in there that you’ve written three things for. You don’t have to explain it to your kids, they know. That’s built into our culture. It’s built into the program. It’s a thing of beauty.

13+14s, they’re going an hour. And then, our senior kids are going maybe one session. It kind of depends on the year, plus 15 minutes each day.

So, like, that’s how much we do and, and give or take a little bit depending on the time of the year but essentially, that’s what we do. And a couple of thoughts I have for you on the end today. The one thing people I got asked yesterday, what’s the one thing that you do? What’s the one thing that you do that makes this work? And I said, there’s a total commitment across our coaching staff to do this. I have to thank Vern Gambetta for coming in and helping us establish this program but it’s, it’s a buy-in across the entire coaching staff.

Your 8&U coaches need to understand that this is important, what they do on that dryland because eventually, they’re going to be working their way up to senior group. It’s a total team commitment to this and that is not easy, you know, because not everybody wants to do that. And it has been a five-year journey filled with heated debates, wrong turns, but a continual desire to learn. And we’ve had some fun debates on what to do and what not to do, and it’s been, it’s been an awesome journey to have but, you know, it’s, it’s not, you’re not going to have, “Oh these are the answers.”

We’re getting better, we’re changing this year-after-year trying to improve it, trying to make it better, and you know, it’s, you need to have debates in your, in your staff about what to do. Do we really want to do this? How much do we want to do? All those things are important. Um, so, but that desire to learn and to make a better swimming athlete, a better aquatic athlete, super important. And I don’t really call our swimmers swimmers, I call them athletes. I think they like it a little better when I call them an athlete.

So, um, and think. Do not copy our program. It’s not going to work for you. Think about how you want to do with your program to make your own stamp and to make it better. Challenge each other. Think this through. How can we make this better? How can we do this? And, um, lastly, are there any questions I can answer today? Yes. Right here. Yeah.

[audience member]: I’d like to comment. I was really pleased that you showed no, what I’ll call, deliberate stretching and range of motion and sort of just, express any in that regard, any comment.

[Plumb]: Uh, the question was about, uh, stretching and appropriate ranges of motion. I, my philosophy and our philosophy is before we get in the pool, it’s dynamic, it’s movement, it’s extending that range of motion. We do stretch after a little bit, get the hip open and things like that but, you know, an injury, you know, we never want to injure a kid and push them past that. So, we feel like dynamic is the way to go and way to warm up, and, um, you know, never push them past their appropriate range of motion. Yes?

[audience member]: Um, you speak of these modules. I think, first off, that’s a really great idea and something my club’s been trying to do. Would you, I guess, it’s a two-part question. Do you have these modules, like, written down on a piece of papers, shared with your visions? (Yup.) And where do you start signing, like, making the modules? I know you said it was a five-year-journey. (Yeah.) Where did you start with this article?

[Plumb]: Okay, there’s two questions. Are the modules written down for all the coaches to have? And, you know, where do, where do we start? Was that? Okay. Um, currently, we have, thanks to the young man right here, Preston Parish, we have a, uh, kind of a cardboard piece like poster that has them all written down and they’re in a couple of places for our kids to go if they’re new and they don’t know. So, all the coaches do have them, written down, and, um, and the, and the coaches know. Like, they have to know. And the kids can go see if they’re right or wrong or if you say, you know, go check the board again. So, they know. It’s on a pool deck.

And then, uh, where do we start? Well, you start with three planes of motion. And if you can start there, you can, you can build. Um, you know, and, and a lot of it was originally from Vern too, you know. So, in Vern’s books and then the things you can but just think about, you know, standing in a place, and then connecting, and moving all the, getting the three planes of motion. And once you start there, you can do, you can, it’s limitless of what you can do. And it doesn’t always have to be like the rings. Knee tucks, uh, you know, one at a time, you know, with planks going out, all that stuff. You just say, this is ring, ground, core and this is what we’re going to do. Yes?

[audience member]: How do you, um, how do you, like you’re bringing in someone from a different program to your group, or a kid moves into your area. (Yeah.) How do you blend that with what your kids have been doing for five years? If you have a 15-year-old– (Right.) You know, if he wants to be with everybody else, but he’s physically not at that place.

[Plumb]: Yeah. And that is a common problem. The question is what do you when you bring someone new into your program, and then, first thing we do is make sure they learn the warm up from somebody else. You’re going to partner, you’re going to partner with this person. They’re going to walk you through our warm up because everyone we feel can do the warm up, and they have to learn how to do that. And then, as, and then, it’s like we try to on-ramp them slowly but surely, um, and do our program.

Like, if we’re going to do three rounds of leg circuit, and they’ve never done it, I’m like, “You’re going to go half leg circuit”. You’re going to, and then, a lot of it, probably one of us coaches taking them aside and teaching them the movements. You know, we like them to come in the fall, because we kind of start over again in the fall, and they can learn. But if they come in the middle of the year, it is a challenge. There’s no doubt about that. Yeah. Yeah?

[audience member]: What would you say, like, coaching now, what these kids are doing [inaudible]

[Plumb]: So, the question is about teaching, right? Is that your, is that you, okay. Well, I mean, it, it depends on the group and the, and who’s in there but, um, the senior or high performance athletes, I have in a piece of paper and they, they know where to go and get warmed up, and then we might meet together again when we get to a certain point. The younger kids, it’s, um, it’s a lot of teaching at the beginning, but a lot of is, is a lot of one-to-one. Like leg circuit might be one-to-one. You do leg circuit, I’ll do one. And we ask a lot of the kids to coach each other. A lot of peer coaching during that time, but I think it just depends on who you have and what you’re trying to accomplish. You know, the beginning of the year is a lot more teaching time, a lot of going slower, and as they get better and enhance that ability, then we might expand and let them be a little more on their own. Yes sir?

[audience member]: Chris, I appreciate your, uh, presentation, it’s really good stuff. Uh, just one quick question about, um, when the kids are using the stretch cords, on that. (Yeah.) What are you, what are they hooking onto?

[Plumb]: Right. [Chuckles]. Whatever you have [laughs]. Uh, we have, we have our, our, our flagpoles, our very, and then, so they kind of spread out and fan out on the flagpoles, the blocks, uh, the diving board has a pole, three, two or three poles attached to it. Um, that’s what we, you know, you got to go wherever you can and I know that can be a tough thing to do and that is attaching the stretch cord and you could be a little bit limited in that. Um, you know, we just do the best we can to make use of the facility. You got to be creative. So, yes.

[audience member]: With all the equipment you use, do you have a philosophy or a system to make sure the kids are taking care of it, or is that–

[Plumb]: That’s a constant challenge, of course but, uh, you know, one of our core philosophies is making, making something cleaner than when you got there. And so, you know, it is a continual fight for us but we have bins. Like that has been our thing. It’s like all the stretch cords go in one bin. You use it, put it back in the bin. The rings are in bins. Everything we have is in a bin, in a plastic bin which can last in our pool. So, yeah, but they’re teenagers, they’re ten-year-olds, you know. You know, every, every three months, a coach gets really mad and just decides to, to clean the room or stuff like that but yeah, it is a, it is a challenge, yeah. Yes, sir?

[audience member]: What do you do for, um, pre-meet, dual meets for your high school team? How long and, and what elements of?

[Plumb]: Okay. The question is pre-meet, and a lot of the pre-meet stuff is determined by where can I go, how much room do we have, uh, what is the goal of the meet? Like a high school meet, we’ll have a normal practice in front of and we’ll, but a lot of stuff like so at the junior national meet, we take our stretch cords, they’re doing coordination, and they’re doing, um, some sort of core activation. Uh, and I think those are the three key elements. Probably hip mobility, shoulder, and then core, coordination. Those are three or four things on deck to warm up to get ready to go if it’s a, if it’s a race. So–

[audience member]: How long?

[Plumb]: How long? Ten to 15 minutes. It just depends. You know, if the girls really want to talk it up, it takes a little longer. So, yeah. Yes?

[audience member]: Um, I know one of your main goals that you talked about, the bullet-proof thing. (Yeah.) And kind of, this five-year journey and all of this. You talked about wrong turn. (Yeah.) So, a couple questions. One, are you at a point now where you’re really seeing a difference in that injury prevention, and the athletes are healthier? And two, were there any, any big things you came across that you did have to change in your dryland and [inaudible]. Um, was there anything you felt [inaudible] way from–

[Plumb]: Okay. So, two, two questions was are we seeing a difference with the injury prevention, and then two, were there any wrong turns, Is that right? Okay. Um, I would say we see a dramatic difference in the injuries. I don’t have an injury lane. If anybody is injured, it’s, uh, like a shock. Like, “How did this happen?” Like, “We’re not supposed to get injured. Let’s really look at this,” because we don’t have injuries, and they’re minimized, and I, I, you know, when we have one, I’m, I’m like, “What’s going on here?” You know, I have to really take a hard look and say, “Why are you injured?”

And then, have there been wrong turns? Um, yeah. There had, there have. You know, I, I think a lot of this stuff, um, in one of the videos, you saw the big circle with the back. Uh, the lower back has been, uh, kind of a challenge, and I think, uh, talking to the doctor on my last, in the Junior Pan Pac trip, he said, “20% to 25% of athletes are going to injure their lower back at some point in their swimming career.” And, um, you know, I think some of the stuff and being extra careful about the low back because kids walk in and like three kids go, “Oh, my lower back,” and it’s like, “Whoa.”

What have we done? Yesterday make their lower backs hurt today because that’s the type of stuff, but I, I don’t want to get into the lower back stuff so. Am I good to keep talking or do I need to cut this off? (Two more questions.)

Okay, thank you. Yeah?

[audience member]: My question is do you have the same routines all season long day to day?

[Plumb]: Um, so do we do same routines? We have, uh, probably what we call A, B, C. So, one day, you’re going to do this. Second day, you’re going to do this. Third day, you’re going to do this. And then, as the season goes, we have like a menu which our coaches can choose from that can vary a little bit so it doesn’t get so monotonous. The kids, I think, like routine and so, there’s nothing wrong with routine. It’s just a matter of, um, getting them to think through their routine, but, uh, you know, we, we like the A, B, C method. You know, six days a week, one, two, three, four, A, B, C. That’s kind of how we’ve done things so. But there are some things like that stretch cord series, three days a week. If we’re not going in the weight room, they’re doing that. If they’re going to the weight room, they’re doing other shoulder stuff. Yeah. Yeah.

[audience member]: Do you taper, during your taper phase, do you taper down, the, ah, circuits?

[Plumb]: Oh yeah, absolutely. Our boys, it’s like two weeks, 14 days and our girls about ten. Uh, but there are some people that like to stay in there. There are people that like come out, and then like you’ve gotta, it’s the art of coaching at that point. So, and there are cycles that we kind of do with the senior group. The younger kid is, I mean, they just need to keep going. Are we good? All right, guys. Thank you very much. If you have questions, I’m happy to answer.

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