Blackjack Drill with Coach Raymond Keown, NRG Swimming

Raymond Keown
NRG Swimming
Levittown, PA

 Blackjack Drill:
-100/125/150s (or appropriate distance for ability) on a moderate to tight interval (make it harder over time).
-Swim 21 cycles then streamline kick the remaining distance.
-If you make the distance 3x in 21 cycles or less= BLACKJACK- your done with the set.

This encourages kids to lengthen their strokes so that they kick less and get more rest at the end of the repeat.  The tight interval keeps them from exaggerating their stroke too much and maintain some moderate tempo.

*we do allow the kids to “cheat” by doing more underwater dolphins off the walls (kills two birds with on stone).

Once someone gets Blackjack, they move up in distance x25.

Floating and Sculling During Warmup with NRG

Raymond Keown
NRG Swimming Inc.

Floating is such an underrated skill.  Most do not spend enough time on it, or forget about it as the athletes get older.  Improving our ability to float our bodies is critical to developing speed.

Sculling is also a skill that really helps develop our ability to hold the water and move it more effectively.  This can also get lost in the the training cycle as the season moves on.

We have committed to finding time for both in the middle of warm-up each day.

After some basic warm-up right now we are going …

8×25 Float Scull w/ snorkel @1:00

The basics are simple…
You start by floating over the T for :10 in as streamline a position as possible with as little movement as possible.
At the whistle, you start sculling your arms.
There is no push off the wall, you are not allowed to use your legs at all & must maintain the body position throughout the length.
We will vary the type of scull we use each day, but this is the basic set.

Afterwards, we will finish warm-up with some sprints & underwater work.

Editor’s note: Our goal for this year is to provide coaches around the world with a free new idea or set EVERY DAY this year! Can you help us reach that goal? Please send submissions to

Specific Endurance Training with Coach Keown of NRG Aquatics

Raymond Keown
Head Coach
NRG Aquatics
Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Here is a nice set that we use to allow a variety of athletes to train together, and get some specific endurance training at the same time.  This set is LCM:

150 free @color paces (see note) @:10 rest + 50 RACE! (see note) } rd- A= 5x@3:00, B= 4x@3:20, C= 3x@3:40, D= 2x@4:00
100 free @color paces (see note) @:10 rest + 50 RACE! (see note) } rd- A= 5x@2:15, B= 5x@2:30, C= 5x@2:45, D=5x@3:00
 50 free @color paces (see note) @:10 rest + 50 RACE! (see note) } rd- A= 5x@1:30, B= @5x@1:40, C= 5x@1:50, D= 5x@2:00
5×50 RACE! A= @:45, B= @:50, C= @:55, D= @1:00

*Colors= Long Events- hold RED, Mid-range Events- hold pink, Short Events- hold white
*Race=   Long Events- free hold p800, Mid-range Events- Prime hold p400 (IM), Short Events- Prime hold p200

Swimmers are assigned the appropriate send-off, color & stroke.  Athletes are intermixed based on ability.
We had 2x lanes of each interval.
The A interval was mostly the Long Event swimmers.
Typical rest ranges were- Long Events- goal of :20 rest or less, Mid-range- goal of :15 to :30 rest, Short- :20 to :40 rest.

We did this tonight and it was fantastic & intense, with athletes hitting their paces.

This is how we tend to break sets up for specific training.

  !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’));