Time Bomb Blastoffs

Louis Cavadini

Here’s one more modified wizard set we did last week–another version of blast-offs (See The Shallow End Kick Set)

In the deep end of the pool we did blast-offs but here is the twist: They are time controlled. The group starts together and goes to the bottom on the Coach’s “go”. They stay down for about 5 seconds and then blast up, catch a breath as they come out and then fall straight back to the bottom. We repeated this about 5 times and then took a break. We didn’t start the watch until everyone had returned to the bottom of the pool.

5x (5x :05 under deep-end blast-offs)

If I had kids that spent too much time above water after each one, I sprayed them with the hose in order for them to get back under quickly. After a couple rounds, we did the final one a bit different…adding 5 seconds per dive, going till the last person couldn’t go any longer:

1x :05 under deep-end blast-off
1x :10 under deep-end blast-off
1x :15 under deep-end blast-off
1x :20 under deep-end blast-off
1x :25 under deep-end blast-off
1x :30 under deep-end blast-off
(that’s as long as they could go)

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!

Twenty Ways to Do 20 x 25 – #13

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

#13 – The Cookie Cutter Set

? x 25 Any stroke @ :30

Keep doing them until you achieve 20 in five successful sets of 4. The coach times each 25 to the tenth of a second. To perform a successful set of 4, all swims must be in a range of .2 seconds. Try to do everything the same each time – same streamline, same underwater kicks, breakout, cycles, and finish. If one of your 4 swims falls outside the range, those do not count. Start a new set of 4. You are done when you have achieved five sets of four.

The Blind Results Workout

Ryan Woodruff
Lynchburg YMCA

This workout is very similar to The Blind Goal Workout but has a single important difference: the athletes may see their respective coach-determined goals, but they do not get to hear their results. The coach may tell the group how many points they have achieved, but may not say who achieved them or what times the swimmers swam.

Follow the same format as in the Blind Goal Workout. It will be interesting to see how your group’s motivation ebbs and flows throughout the set. Steer them to being positive and supportive, then just watch what they can do!

Lemon I.M.s

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Here’s a fun way to do some IM swims. I call them “Lemon I.M.s” because you are squeezing the strokes together.

For instance, a 200 IM could look like this:
175 fly, 8 back, 8 breast, 8 freestyle (for simplicity’s sake, we’ll equate 8 yards to 1/3 of a pool length). The swimmer simply changes strokes rapidly mid-pool.

Or a 200 IM could look like this:
8 fly, 8 back, 8 breast, 175 freestyle.

You get the idea… “Squeeze” two or three strokes together into a 25 or a 50, and leave one stroke out to swim the majority of the distance. It provides some variety for the swimmers, and those mid-pool transitions are really something to watch!

Kick for Distance – Part 2

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

This is a follow-up to the 15-minute Kick Test Set.

:30 vertical kick w/ a snorkel
1 x 100 drill @ 2:00
3:00 kick for distance @ 5:00. Measure and remember distance to the nearest yard.

Use the athlete’s results from the 15-minute Kick Test Set to set a baseline goal for the 3:00 kick for distance.

(15-minute distance)/5 = Goal time for 3:00 kick for distance.

Freedom Fridays

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