Alex Trebek Memorial Jeopardy! Set

Coach Ethan Leach, Burris Laboratory School

Swimmers will be separated into “teams:” each lane is their own team after reading the answer aloud, whoever buzzes in first may give the question if correct, that lane gets to do the “easy” option (200 K), everyone else does the “hard” option (200 Fly) if incorrect, another lane gets the option to give the correct question. this continues until one lane gets it correct, or all get it wrong categories were built around our high school’s team history, coaches trivia, and the colors of our rival schools, to name a few.

Jeopardy! game show - Fonts In Use

● Burris Swimming History
○ Historical trivia related to our team
● Setting the Record Straight
○ Naming the time or holder of certain team records
● How Old Do You Think We Are?
○ Coaches trivia
● Sing the Burris Fight Song…
○ I will read a line of the school’s fight song, they give the next line
● Seeing Red
○ Name the colors of a rival school
○ Completing a Vine quote

Answer Values:
● 4 x 25
● 4 x 50
● 100
● 4 x 75
● 200
Below are some of the answers I gave:
● “This was the year I graduated from [our school].”
○ “What is 2013?”
● “The name of the man who holds the boy’s 100 Butterfly record, set in 1960.”
○ “Who is Larry Schulhof?”
● “Road work ahead?”
○ “What is Uh, yeah! I sure hope it does?”
● “Yorktown High School.”
○ “What are green and white?”
And don’t forget: responses must be
given in the form of a question!

Rest in peace, Alex. Thank you for everything.

The Guessing Game

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We played the guessing game the other day at practice. One of my favorite conclusions to practice. On this particular day, had three athletes training long after others who were tapering were out. We did 5 x 100 before achieving the necessary 6 points for the group. One athlete guessed her time exactly to the tenth of a second. Original idea from Gregg Troy.

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Speed Checkpoints

Josh Sinclair

I did this set with my age 9-13 boys on Saturday.  There season is effectively finished, with their major champs swum, so I was looking for ways to keep them motivated and keep them in the water till our squad break over Easter…
This set worked really well..
Warm Up
DPS = distance per stroke
Base drill = any freestyle drill that targets streamline eg catch-up
MPT+6 = mid pool turn + 6 dolphin kicks
Stroke drill = any freestyle drill that targets length and catch eg 2La 2 Ra
20×25 designed to get their heart rate up.  Fly HVO (15m fast no breath) was to focus on fast starts, also believe that fly is great way for young swimmers to feel and find their anchor and not slip on the 1st strokes out of their breakout.  Cat n Mouse is a game we play where the swimmers scull in one line across the pool, at some point before the 15m mark into the wall, the nominated “mouse” must sprint to the wall and try and beat the “cats”.  They must go before the 15m mark so the closer they get to the mark the more the cats are ready.  This obviously focuses on finishing, and it is also interesting to see the different tactics of the mouse on when to take off for the wall
Main Set 

target was PB+1, and worked off about a 4min cycle.

The 15m was 1/4 PB +0.5 or better to progress…
The 25m was 1/2 PB +0.5 or better to progress…
The 35m was 3/4 PB + 0.5 or better to progress…
The 50m was PB+1 to progress to warm down.
Set really had the boys motivated and excited from the moment I explained it.  1st 15m checkpoint on average took about 3 attempts, which gave me the opportunity to teach and correct dive and breakout techniques and boys were a lot more receptive.. because of the incentive.  The 25m and 35m check points were all achieved on average in 2 attempts, and the 50m on average 4 attempts, which allowed me to talk about the value of holding their length and rating up into the wall..
Information overload maybe, so apologies if that’s the case, figure the more information provided, the greater opportunity for specific feedback..
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Butterfly Jeopardy

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set as a fun twist on our tradition of doing a fly Set today. The secondary goal was to expand their knowledge of times (and encourage them to memorize theirs).

One swimmer picked a category and distance. I then asked them for the correct question (this is Jeopardy, remember) to go with my answer.

For instance, if a swimmer picked “Your best times (SCY)” for 200, I gave the answer “this is your best time in the SCY 200 IM. Swimmer would say “What is 2:01.26.” If he was within the range mentioned in the picture above, the group performed the 200 as 50 kick/100 drill/50 swim all fly. If he was incorrect, we did the 200 fly fast for time and a 100 ez free.

This picture below shows which swims we ended up doing fast (red X) and which we did as 1/4 kick, 1/2 drill, 1/4 swim. The swimmer who was the contestant selected the member of the group who went next.

There are of course tons of variations you could do on this theme. I printed up our best times, team records, and world records ahead of time, but I imagine this could also be fun to do with swimming trivia.

Dryland Pictionary

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

In order to keep dryland fun, competitive, and highly interactive, one thing we have done recently is have “Pictionary Dryland.”  We divide the group up into 3 teams of 6-8 people, each group with a whiteboard and dry erase marker.  I used this Pictionary word generator website for the clues,and show it to one artist from each team.  All 3 teams try to solve for the same word simultaneously.  The winning team gets the satisfaction of watching the other two teams do a dryland exercise (30 squats, 20 push-ups, etc.) immediately after that round.  Continue doing rounds of Pictionary and dryland exercises as long as you want.

An extra-awesome thing has started to happen… Sometimes, a few members of the winning team will do the dryland exercise with the losing team. Coach is mighty proud when that happens!

Stopwatch Roulette

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This is a fun idea to try at practice someday just for variety. Write a set that can be done in any quantities like the one below.  Start a stopwatch and hand it to a swimmer.  The swimmer stops the watch randomly and whatever digit is in the hundredths place is the quantity for the first part.  Repeat for as many times as you need.


Accepted or Rejected

Phil Kraus

Head Coach

Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club

I call it Accepted or Rejected and we typically do it on a recovery day.  I purchased a decision coin on a swim trip several years ago.  They have all kinds but this one has “Accepted” written on one side and “Rejected” on the other.  It is just as easy to do a regular coin with the words printed on a sticker or just call “heads” accepted and “tails rejected.

You need several (say 20) 3 X 5 note cards.  You have 2 options either write a set on it yourself or hand it out to the swimmers and they write a set on it.  Once a set is written on the cards you shuffle them like a deck of cards (review cards for knucklehead submissions).

You then turn over a card and read the set.

The coin is flipped.  Again 2 options, the coach flips or the swimmers can flip.

If the coin lands as “Accepted” the group does the set as written.  If the coin lands as “Rejected” the set not done and a new card is turned.  Another option we have done is that and “Rejected” set leads to a 100 EZ swim.

I try to keep the sets small and no more than 10 minutes but some are very short. Here are a few…

*2 x 300 on 4:30 Every 3rd Length FAST NO Free
*8 x 50 on 1:00  – Odd 25 Underwater/25 Overwater,  Even Back
*500 Swim Choice on 7:00
*12 x 25 Nasal Set on :30   Nasal Set is one breath for each number in the set so 1st 25 is one breath etc 
*500 Social Kick with Fins
*8 x 25 on the :20  Get Outs – Get Outs are Muscle up (hands to feet out of water, no knees no butts on ladders) and dive in on Interval
*Pull 300 BP 7 on 4:30, 200 BP 9 on 2:50, 100 BP 11 on 1:20 – BP = Breathing Pattern
*1 Round Sharks and Minnows
*9 x 50 Breast on 1:00  3 sets of 3 #1 BR with Free Kick work Tempo, #2 BR with Fly Kick work Undulation, #3 Normal BR
*50 Underwater Goal NO BREATH
*8 x 75 K/D/S on 1:20
*400 IM for time

The possibilities are endless.  The kids really get into it especially when a easy one gets “Rejected”

Twenty Ways to Do 20 x 25 – #17

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

#17 – Racing A Teammate

You’ll need a teammate who is generally about the same speed as you. Do your 20 x 25 @ :30, swimming side-by-side and racing to the finish each time. The winner of #1 receives 1 point. The winner of #2 receives 2 points, and so on, all the way up to 20 points on #20. The winner of each 25 chooses the stroke for the subsequent 25, but must choose a different stroke than the length just completed AND the one before that. In other words, if you swim free on #1, back on #2, and swimmer A wins them both, then swimmer A must choose between breast and fly for #3. Done this way, there are a total of 210 points, so the first person to 106 points is the winner. For an extra wrinkle, allow each swimmer one “steal,” i.e. one occasion during the set where he can choose the next stroke even after losing the previous 25.

Revised Mountain Climbers

Dani Caldwell, SUSA Stingrays

Another one we recently did to stir things up at High School practice (created by Coach Brandon Darrington) — “Revised Mountain Climbers” — we did serpentine 25’s (swim down in lane 3, back in lane 4, down in lane 5, back in lane 6, etc.) until lane 8.  At the end of lane 7, they had to get out and do a dive-start on their 8th 25.  One of the coaches timed each swimmer from the dive (we ran around a lot!), and the swimmer had to guess to the hundredth their time.  If they guessed correctly to within 0.05 seconds, they got to warm down and be done with practice.  If not, they had to start the serpentine all over again.  The second round we let them guess to the nearest 0.10.  The third round to the nearest 0.20, etc.  It was surprising that even some of my best swimmers weren’t guessing as accurately as I thought they would, and that some of the less-seasoned swimmers were guessing correctly.  It was fun for most of the kids — I don’t think those who had to repeat 7-8 times were having as much fun!

Hope that’s of use somehow!

Slot Water Polo

Ryan Woodruff
Slot Water Polo came about when I wanted a fun game for my swimmers to play that was safe, was easy to set up, didn’t have too many rules, and wouldn’t be overly physical while still demanding their effort. It is similar to traditional water polo in several ways — it has a ball, two teams going in opposite directions, an out-of-bounds area, etc. Here is what makes it different:

1. Play with a physio ball (swiss ball). This makes the game slower and less dangerous (it doesn’t hurt to get hit in the face).
2. Swimmers wear fins. Makes for a great lower body workout.
3. Swimmers must stay in their lanes (slots). At the beginning of the game, swimmers must choose their slot and remain in it until a goal is scored. A swimmer may reach outside of his lane, but his waist may not cross the lane line.
4. The goal is a traffic cone placed on each side of the pool. A goal is scored when a cone is knocked over.
5. If one team is camping out defensively, the coach may move the cone to another lane at any time during the game. This also adds an extra element of strategy to the game.
6. For a more interesting game, play with two or three physio balls at a time.

The Guessing Game (For Sprinters)

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

The concept here is similar to yesterday’s post – The Guessing Game. For a sprint or non-freestyle version of the Guessing Game, I like to do 50s, and have the swimmers guess within a 0.2-second range. They also have to be within a certain range (like 4 seconds) from P200. I use the same points system as in the regular Guessing Game.

I actually had a swimmer recently who guessed his 50 time to the one-hundredth of a second exactly on his first one. He was thus done with practice and the rest of his teammates seethed.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

The Guessing Game

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This set is useful for helping distance freestylers refine a sense of pace.

? x 100 freestyle @ coach’s send off

Continue until you achieve 3 points.

Earn 1 point by guessing your time correctly within .5 seconds
Earn 2 points by guessing your time exactly to the tenth of a second
Earn 3 points by guessing your time exactly to the hundredth of a second

Swimmers may swim whatever speed they wish.

I like to use the Guessing Game during taper, typically at the end of practice. Once a swimmer achieves his three points, he warms down and is done with practice.

Tip: Be sure to turn off your pace clock or have the swimmers turn away from the clock when you send them off. You don’t want them looking at it – there won’t be a pace clock at the meet!