This month, we wanted to bring to light some of the eight factors that the senior coaching staff has identified as keys to success. A full list of these can be found on the TeamUnify site under “Senior Group Resources.” In this post we are going to take a closer look at three of our eight factors for improvement as they pertain to the early portion of the swim season.
1st: Aerobic development
Aerobic development is the cornerstone for the entire season. Early in the season is a time where we build back up the training base and reset the season with A LOT of kicking, drilling, and technique swimming. The focus is to make changes from the prior season, expand their endurance and efficiency, and continue to form good habits. This is also a good time to get their strength up!
2nd: Racing Development
After swimmers are back in the water for a bit, feeling good, and getting stronger, we throw in some FAST swimming. As you may notice, practice swimming and race swimming are very different. Racing allows coaches to see their swimmers in a competitive environment in order to see what new habits were formed and what still needs work. For a younger swimmer, that might be holding streamlines off the dive and turn. For older swimmers, that might be a certain stroke rate or kicking out 15 meters underwater on each turn. Each race is just as important as the next and coaches use races as teachable moments for each swimmer. Moving forward, each swimmer can use their own experience and advice from their coaches to make changes in their training with the goal of higher performance in mind.
3rd: Practice attendance
The more you practice, the better you will become. Consistency in practice is part of every sport. When you think about scheduling vacations, keep in mind the short course training cycles. Taking a break in October after being back in the water for only 6 weeks can (and likely will) negatively impact the a swimmer’s performance as late as December. Being inconsistent can lead to injury and severe frustration from the swimmer. Missing several days at a time is not a part of the season plan.
Depending on when breaks are taken, swimmers can miss a lot of important aerobic and racing development work. Obviously, things like injury and illness are sometimes unavoidable, but the most consistent athletes typically perform the best on race day! These keys to success are important to each athletes’ long-term success within our program and beyond.
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back with more next month.