Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
Do you want your swimmers to take more personal ownership of their swimming? Do they need a better understanding of exactly what it is that they do to become fast? Here’s a solution for you.
I call it Freedom Fridays. Ask your swimmers: “If you had 20 minutes at practice to do whatever you thought would make you a better swimmer, what would you do?” Have them write down their own set (no copying from teammates) on a 3 x 5 note card. It can be anything they want, but must involve 1)being in the water 2)becoming a better athlete and 3)take about 20 minutes. The set can be easy or hard, require a coach’s help or not, but it MUST be directed toward getting better and they should be able to explain what they are doing.
Collect the cards and then allocate time each week to do their set. We do it on Friday and call it “Freedom Friday.” It is a great way to end the week. Freedom Fridays promote critical thinking on the athlete’s part, foster a sense of ownership of their training, and are just plain fun too. Give it a try with your Senior kids. I think you will like the results