Long Axis Day

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This practice was devoted entirely to long axis strokes – back and free.

The blue set in the middle was a technical progression. The 25 was scull, the 50 was 25 scull/25 kick and rotate, and keep adding a skill or drill up to 150. On the way back down to 25, subtract the skill/Drill from the front end to finish with a 25 Swim.

“People paddle” = free with underwater recovery, like advanced doggie paddle

The next issue of “the wake-up swim” is coming soon. Sign up here.

3-part Sprint Challenge Circuit with @GAswim

Rob Bond
Head Senior Swim Coach
Glenbrook Aquatics

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

We also do a Sprint Challenge Circuit.  Each part of the challenge is about a month apart.  No intervals – swimmers go when they are ready.  A pre-meet warm-up precedes the set.  Active recovery is encouraged, but not required.  Swimmers get 5 failures at any step before the set is cut off.  If a swimmer tries 5 times without meeting goal, the set is over and they are out of the set – send them to a different training group…

Part 1:
Pre-Meet Warm-up then
3 x 50 Off The Block @BT +2.5
3 x 50 Running Start @BT +1.5
3 x 50 Fins @BT +.5

Part 2 (approximately one month later):
Pre-Meet Warm-up then
2 x 50 Off the Block @BT +2.0
2 x 50 Running Start @BT +1.0
2 x 50 Fins @BT

Part 3 (another month apart):
Pre-Meet Warm-up then
1 x 50 Off the Block @BT +1.5
1 x 50 Running Start @BT .5
1 x 50 Fins @BT -.5

Running start sprints – begin the stopwatch when the final foot leaves the deck.  Fins can be from a push or dive – your call.

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

How To Finish Like a Champ

Ryan Woodruff

The finish is among the least frequently practiced skills in our sport, in my observation. This drill serves as a mini-progression to help swimmers adjust to the presence of the wall appropriately during a finish, thus practicing for that gold medal moment.

We did this as a set of 16 x 50, 6 done like phase 1, 6 in phase 2, and the final 4 in phase 3. Here’s the progression.

Phase 1
At the conclusion of the 50, the swimmer takes his last stroke at the backstroke flags and then positions his body for the finish, kicking strong all the way to an extended touch.

Phase 2

Same idea as the first phase, just move everything closer to the wall. Take the last stroke halfway between the flags and the wall. Make sure the swimmer is paying close attention to the spacing with the wall.

Phase 3
Now do an all-out finish, touching with the body at maximum length. The swimmer should touch with the fingertips. With the wall-judging ability honed in phases 1 and 2, the swimmer should be able to time his finish very precisely.

Try this progression for any stroke. You never know when your finish will make the difference between gold and silver!

Thank you to Heath Hudgins (the swimmer in the videos) for being a willing example.

Breaststroke Arms Progression

Ryan Woodruff

Here’s a brief progression to help your swimmer practice keeping the breaststroke arm stroke out in front of the body, avoiding pulling too far back underneath the chest.

4 x 25 breast drill
100 breaststroke swim on your back

Round 1: 25s are breaststroke kick with thumbs locked in front and the breath taking place just prior to the feet reaching the anchor point of the kick.

Round 2: Straight arm breaststroke – do not bend the elbows. This forces the athlete to do a small “scoop-and-shoot” using only the hands and wrists.

Round 3: Half-stroke breaststroke – press outward with the palms, and begin to catch with high elbows, but release the water with your hands early and shoot forward into the glide phase.

Round 4: Full-stroke breaststroke – just proceed a bit further than in Round 3, consistently keeping the hand in front of the vertical chin line.

Breaststroke swim on the back is exactly as it sounds. Athlete initiates the pull underwater above his head and pulls out and towards his feet until reaching shoulder level, at which point the hands are lifted out of the water and pushed forward over the face to the starting position. This drill helps the athlete become more aware of the position of his hands relative to his torso.