Age Group Breaststroke Set with Caradon Swim Club

Keith Haynes
Head Coach
Caradon Swim Club

Below is a Breaststroke set I ran this evening with my age group swimmers – although I think age group is different in the US, so 11 – 14 year olds. They said they really liked it and that it was easy! Outrageous.

I love doing descending work with this age group, as when it comes to a race situation they really understand the concept of applying more effort throughout a race to maintain speed even though they are getting tired. Just like when we do descending work in training!

Clearly I was too generous with the turnaround times, but I will get them back on Tuesday and Friday. So adjust turnaround times to suit your swimmers capabilities or where they are in their training programme…

1 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 25 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 45

2 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 50 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 1.30

3 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 75 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 2.15

3 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 50 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 1.30

2 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 25 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 45

1 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

Editor’s Note: This set was first published to the blog in June 2014.

Goal-based Quality Set for Age Groupers

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This a good set for a group of 14 & unders who have improved a bunch over the course of a season. The main idea: have them swim repeat 100s with the goal being to beat their best time from the before the start of the season. The purpose is to show them how far they have come and to build their confidence heading into the championship season.

? X 100 @ 2 minutes rest (at least)

Print out a list of your group’s best 100 times prior to the start of the season or after the first meet and post it to the wall. Each swim performed under that time counts as a point for the group. Give them a point total to shoot for as group (maybe a clever incentive too) and then watch them destroy it!

Important: Do this with a group that has already seen great improvements, or have them do only 100s of the strokes in which they have improved.

14 & Un Workout to Prep For BIG IM Saturday

Mike Cook, Makos Swimming

Warm up

200 mixer x25

200 kick


3×50 free all out

Round 1@50 rest 30

Round 2 @45 rest 45

Round 3 @40 rest 60

Round 4@35

Pre set technique

12 x75 back 25 kick 25 shotgun 25 fast swim @1:15

REPEAT THE 50 set from above but with backstroke and fins fast tempo

200 easy kick

Main set

8×25 breast stroke (get stroke count) @35

5×50 breast with fins @50 stroke count -1

4×25 free all out coach send off 2 second apart

5×100 breast with fins @2:00 stroke count -2

6×25 free all out same as above



The Broken Mile for Age Groupers with Coach Max Cristofori

Max Cristofori, Head Age Group Coach, SwimAtlanta Midway

Fun Main Set I did with an advanced group of 11-14 year olds (A-AAAA Level).


11×25 Fr K, fins and board, fins off :20

10×25 Fr Drill, Catch up w/ board, board up :30

9×25 Fr Swim, Up and Outs :30

8×25 Fr Kick, Stream Line w/ Snork, snork off :30

7×25 Fr Drill, Pull buoy at ankles, buoy up :40

6×25 Fr Swim, 3-2-1 x2 breathers :40

5×25 Fr Kick, w/ fins and board :20

4×25 Fr Drill, 3/4 Catch Up :30

3×25 Fr Swim, BP5-7-9 by 25 :30

2×25 Fr Kick w/ buoy in hands :30

1×25 Fr Sw, Tarzan swim trying to keep buoy in front of you

Turn and Racing Technique Workout for Age Groupers

Mike Cook, Mason Makos

This is the workout we did for 12 and unders before the last qualifier heading into JO’s.  A little bit of everything. Hope it helps -Coach Mike


12×75 (50 free/25 back) @1:20

All open turns emphasizing throwing our hips and legs into wall fast with good head position.

12×25 kick (25 easy choice/25 fast free)@35

Main set

12×35@1:15 (all choice) start at 10 meter. Execute perfect turn 4 fast strokes out of turn.  Nothing good happens near the wall if we slow down

12×15 fast free no breath

(Alternate through these)

Kick set to emphasize short bursts at end of races with partners

Go to the 10 as a group.  Now go to the 15. Now to the wall

Cycle through 12 times

Repeat the main cycle but with 4 main stroke and 2 free

Repeat kick cycle 6 times but go to the 15. Than go to wall. Last one the whole 25 fast

Main set 2 racing the 100. Do with fins


2×100 free @2:00

1×25 easy kick on back

Strong first 25 and race that middle 50 and get home. Don’t be afraid of the race accept the challenge

4×25 from a dive walk around. One each stroke. All out with great finishes.No fins.  (Backstroke big girl/boy finishes)

Fun Kick Set for Age Groupers with Coach Mike Cook

Mike Cook
Mason Makos

We wanted to come up with a fun type kicking set with our 12 and unders to help them with that last 10 yards of their races

Warm up
12 x100
4 free @1:45
4xIM @1:40
4xfree @1:30

4×50 free to back @50 with fast turn and 5 second underwater dolpins

40 x 12.5 @25
   1 minute rest
30 x 12.5 @20
   1 minute rest
20 x 12.5 @15
   1 minute rest
10 x 12.5 @13

All 30 swimmers left from middle of pool to both ends. We had 5 lanes.   We got some good kicking with high energy from the kids.  It provided a good change as I noticed they were dragging a little the other day

We than went into a big main set of 20×100’s

Racing With Coach Mike Cook and the Mason Makos

Mike Cook
Mason Makos

We had extra room today and so we decided to have the kids race a lot.  We wanted them to understand that even though they were tired they were still able to get up and race back to back.

24×25 free with snorkels@30 (focus on long stroke head steady)
24×25 back @30 (focus how far can you push the underwater, but you have to be up in 5 seconds)

Pre set
12×50 kick @1:00
12 x50 free pull@1:00 paddles
12×50 free to back @1:00 fast turns hold underwater for 5 seconds

Main set
1×50 free all out for time
10×50 free all out for time with fins ( must beat time fro first)
100 easy kick and get ready for one more 50
1×50 free for time with fins (fastest of day)

We had 24 8-12 year olds and all 8 lanes (3 heats of 8 with one heat swimming at a time. The next heat was responsible for getting the time and letting them know.  The kids had a good time and felt involved with each other.

Did you like this post? Check out Coach Cook’s IM Ready Set and his Broken Miles Set

Max Effort 100s with Coach David Laudati

David Laudati
Head Coach
Mandell JCC Sharks (MJCC-CT)

Max Effort 100’s

This was part of our main practice set I did this week for my 11/12’s. At first Glance they freaked but at the end practice they said “I liked this practice, challenging but good.”

100 Max Free (Training time +3) on 2:00
75 Kick (50 w/board 25 SKOB) on1:45 (Streamline Kick on Back)
25 Minimum breaths on 1:15
Repeat 8 times

For the breathing I Challenged them with 3 or less breaths on 1,4,6. 2 or less breaths on 3,5,7 and 1 or less breaths on 8

We set our training times every month based off our test set and meet results – normally 2 to 3 sec’s slower than best time.

My swimmers were hitting close to best times every 100 and really focused on doing less breathing then I had challenge them with

Freestyle Set for 11-12 Year-olds at SwimMAC

Max Cristofori
North Dolphin Division Lead/ North Dolphin 1 Lead Coach
SwimMAC Carolina

This set uses these drills (click for videos)
Arizona freeze drill
Thumper Kick

      4×25 Paddle Push Fr K  snkl:45 (2 paddle up against the front of each wrist)
      2×25 Paddle Push alt 1-Arm w paddle snkl Fr K :45 (1 paddle up against the front of wrist)
      4×25 Arizona Freeze Drill 3 count snkl :40 
      20×25 Free :25 Rainbow Focus 2+4/0+2 (4 underwater dolphins, 2 strokes without a breath on exit)
1-5 = Elbow Forward, Hands Pointed Down 
6-10 = Count S/L (strokes per length)
11-15 = S/L -1 per 25
16-20 = 2+5 (5 underwater kicks)
      4×25 1-Arm Fr -full rotation  :40 
      2×25 3/4 Catch Up – Drive the Hips :40
      4×25 Overload Fr Drill :30 (paddle on right hand, fin on left foot. Slow arm stroke with non paddle hand and then quick pull through til paddle hand is set)
      20×100 Free 1:30 Rainbow Focus 2+4/0+2 
1-5 = Drive the hips 
6-10 = Count S/L 
11-15 = S/L +1 per 25
16-20 = 2+5
      2×25 Thumper Kick w/ snkrl :45
      4×25 12.5 Thumper/12.5 small little fast kicks :40
      4×50 Free K :50
      20×50 Free :45 Rainbow Focus 2+4/0+2 
1-5 = power the kick 
6-10 = speed the kick 
11-15 = Max UW kickout on turn 
16-20 = streamline kick last 5 yards

Fly Set for Age Groupers – the "No Butter-Struggle Set"

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

One difficult aspect of having young age group swimmers train butterfly is that their technique often deteriorates from beginning to end of a 25.  It becomes what I heard one coach call “butter-struggle” instead of butterfly, a situation that is a recipe for bad habits to form.  Below is a set that could be repeated over the course of a season to help swimmers maintain their technique while they gradually increase their fitness and the amount of fly they swim.

6 x 100 @ Interval that gives approximately 20-30 seconds rest
   On #1 and #2 – the first 3 cycles off the wall are fly, then go easy free the rest of the length
   On #3 and #4 – the first 4 cycles off the wall are fly, then go easy free
   On #5 and #6 – the first 5 cycles off the wall are fly, then go easy free

1 x 50 fast fly from dive (to measure progress from one repetition of the set to the next)

A week or two later, the set could be adjusted to 4, 5, and 6 cycles.  A week or two after that, the set could be adjusted to 5, 6, and 7 cycles, and so on.  The interval could also be adjusted harder or easier, depending on how they seem to be adapting.

For even better results – include a required number of dolphin kicks off the wall (though I suggest you keep this constant so as not to give them too many numbers to keep in their head.

Another option — have the remainder of the 25 after the fly strokes be dolphin kick on the back instead of easy free to prevent sloppy freestyle from happening.

Overdistance IM set with Coach Alex Baxter

Alex Baxter

Associate Director of Competitive Aquatics
Wilton Y Wahoos

This week I’m working with my top group of 11-12 year old kids on some over distance swims. I have two goals with this; 1- help the kids prepare for longer swims and longer sets in our Junior group without anyone losing count or focus. 2- use the longer swims to help the kids develop a sense of pace. This set from the other night worked well on both accounts.
1×450 progressive IM treadmill (25fly 50free 25fly 25back 50free 25fly 25back 25breast 50free 100 IM 50free). :45R
2×350 150 free 50 kick 150 free (2nd 150 needs to be faster than first 150) :45R
3×250 100 IM 50 back 100 IM (2nd 100 IM faster than 1st 100 IM. Think of a 200 IM where 1st length of each leg is DPS and 2nd length of each leg is fast). :30R
4×125 fins 100 free descend 25 prime fast on 1:55

Age Group 50s Set

Bartosz Gałota


#28 October Morning Session  #Age Group 12-13
#Main Set
           1.Kick Fly @:1’10” 
           2.Backstroke @:1′
            3.Scull Br @:1’30”
            4.12,5 UW/12,5 ez @:1’30”
            5. P200 Fr @:1′
            6. All out Kr  @:1’30”
            7. Drill Fly @:1′
            8.Kick Bk @:1’10”
            9.Br @:1′
          10. Scull Fr @:1’30”
          11. 12,5 UW/12,5 ez @:1’30”
          12. P200 Fly @:1′
          13. All out Fly @:1’30”
          14. Drill Bk  @:1′

15. Kick Br @:1’10”
16. Fr @:1′
17. Scull Fly @:1’30”
18. 12,5 UW/12,5 ez @:1’30”
19. P200 Bk @:1′
20. All out Bk @:1’30”
21. Drill Br @:1′
22. Kick Fr @:1’10”
23. Fly @:1′
24. Scull Bk @:1’30”
25. 12,5 UW/12,5 ez @:1’30”
26. P200 Br @:1′
27. All out Br @:1’30”
28. Drill Fr @:1′

The "X" Set for Age Groupers with Coach Dan Mascolo

Dan Mascolo
Associate Head Coach

Cheshire Y/Sea Dog Swim Club (CDOG-CT)

In a conversation with another coach, I explained a test set that I had devised years ago that I use several times per season to both help gauge their progress throughout the season as well as to help the kids realize what kind of intervals they can actually handle at practice. I am sure that other coaches do this or something very similar.
The X-Set

5 X 100 Free @ “X”

1:00 Rest

5 X 100 Free @ “X” – :05

1:00 Rest

5 X 100 Free @ “X” – :10

1:00 Rest

5 X 100 Free @ “X” – :15

1:00 Rest

5 X 100 Free @ “X” -:20
This set has evolved over the years so now we cap the set at 5 rounds, so that you can “win” the set instead of not having a goal in front of them to strive for once they have passed their best result. I do this set with my 3 Age Group practice groups ages 9-12. Swimmers continue until they miss a send off at which point they are “X”terminated. They climb out and give the coach their results and then rejoin the group going 75’s instead of 100’s.
We start the first test each season with the same sendoff
Age Group 1 (9-10’s without Age Group Champ cuts) starts at 2:00
Age Group 2 (9-10’s with AG Champ cuts; 11-12’s without cuts) starts at 1:45
Age Group 3 (11-12’s with AG Champ cuts) starts at 1:30

After the first test we will adjust the starting time looking at how many swimmers “win” the set. Usually we will start the set :05 faster starting with the second test and keep it there for the rest of the season. We keep an all time top 5 list and kids really fight to get on that list.

Age Group Developmental Set

Brandon Fain
New Braunfels YMCA Swim Team
New Braunfels, TX
SW/DR/K 3 X 200
KICK  10 X 75
DRILL 4 X 100 50 BR / 50 FLY
DRILL 3 X 100 50 BK / 50 FR


Wilton Y Wahoos Practice with Coach Alex Baxter

Alex Baxter

Head Age Group Coach

Wilton Y Wahoos 

Here is a practice we did with our top 12&under group this week. It was a blast and I thought it’d be a good one to share.

Two notes- jump starts are 25s starting at the flags to work a turn. Fish flops are dive fast 25 + recovery 25. Dive in lanes 2,3,5. Come back recovery in lanes 1,4,6. Called fish flops because it’s 25 dive focused on fish kick and flop back to the blocks.

Earn Your Trophies With This One

Josh Sinclair
Head Coach
Results H2O
Queensland, Australia

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Editor’s Note: The Swimming Wizard’s goal is to publish at least one set, practice, or idea EVERY DAY for all of 2016! To keep it interesting, we need your help! Click here to help us achieve that goal by submitting one of your sets!

  !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);//, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘popuri-jssdk’));