wg aquaticsWalk on deck at any pool in the world on a typical Monday afternoon.

There it is – the old whiteboard over there at the end of the pool.

And what’s written up on the whiteboard?

Today’s training program!

  • “10 x 100 on 1:45 at 75%” or
  • “20 x 50 on 1:00 holding PB plus 5 seconds” or
  • “12 x 200 IM on 3:30 holding 2:50 or something similar.

You would think that swimming training, preparation and performance was all about the body wouldn’t you?

The Big Six.

The “Big Six” in swimming preparation and performance are:

  1. Physical abilities;
  2. Personality characteristics;
  3. Playing (tactical) skills;
  4. Performance abilities;
  5. Pedigree (i.e. genetic makeup);
  6. Preparation ((i.e. environment, family, culture).

Look at a set like 10 x 100 on 1:45 at 75% and evaluate it against the “Big Six”.

Does it measure up physically? Sure. It’s all there – volume, intensity, rest interval – all the usual suspects are represented but….

  • Does it measure up in terms of the swimmer’s personality and mental skills?
  • How does it fare as far as the development of swimming skills and stroke technique go?
  • What about the potential for this training set to impact on the swimmer’s ability to race well under pressure? To start? To turn? To finish? And to do it all at race speeds and race conditions?
  • How much does this set optimise the unique, individual qualities of each swimmer in the team?
  • How well does this set tap into the swimmer’s preparation environment, family structure and cultural background?

It’s hit and miss.

The fact is this.

The way most swimming workouts are currently written is a hit and miss approach. “Let’s give enough kids, enough work and some of them might swim fast”.

Those days are over.

Client Focused Swimming.

The world has changed. People – and for people read “parents and swimmers” are demanding three things from every service they pay for:

  • Individualisation -unique, tailored services for each individual;
  • Efficiency – they want more for less;
  • Quality– the Internet has ensured that everyone is an expert so they demand higher standards from the professionals they engage (pay) to provide services.

So, in other words, if your workout design does not provide the optimal preparation environment and opportunity for each individual in your team to achieve their performance goals in the shortest possible time, you will go out of business.

The Future.

Ask yourself this next time you are on deck;“Is this workout (and the consistent quality of my coaching), the best it can be? Does it provide the opportunity for each individual in the team to achieve their individual peak performance and realise their full potential?”

If not, chances are, you, your workout – and your overall workout philosophy need to change.

Engage the heart, inspire the soul, excite the mind, capture the imagination and unleash the genius inside every individual swimmer in your team and the blood, bones, tendons, ligaments, muscle and nerves will all come along for the ride.

Or, continue to rely on the “meaningless miles, countless kilometres and years of yardage” coaching philosophy: the “body first” philosophy to swimming coaching: the mass mediocrity approach to coaching large teams of young swimmers and start looking for a new career.

It’s your choice!

Wayne Goldsmith