Ron "Stix" Ballatore Tribute Workout

Everyone who met Coach Ballatore will not soon forget him. Read more on his bio and his passing Here.

“Stix” knew how to get guys to go fast. Here is a set that he loved to do at the end of practice. We did it frequently when I had the honor of having him on deck while I was in Gainesville.   It is a good, challenging, team-building set to finish a workout.

Divide your group up into teams of four or five swimmers, and put a swimmer from each team in each lane. All swimmers on a given team will swim a no-breath 25 simultaneously. Before they start, the coach assigns one swimmer from the team a goal time for the no-breath 25. If that swimmer completes the 25 without taking a breath and beats the goal time, he earns a point for his team.  Then the next team takes its turn.  Each team is done (and gets out and goes home) when they score a pre-determined number of points.  Swimmers get fired up for their teammates and for their own 25s.  The coach can control the intensity by adjusting the 25 goal times.

Thanks, Stix.  You will be missed.

Partner Relay Kicks

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

This set got some good kicking intensity out of our kids.

3 x 400 kick. Swimmers are paired together to make even teams. One swimmer kicks the first 50 and then tags off to the second swimmer. Alternating 50s, they do the set at maximum speed. The team that is in 1st place after a 200 may stop to rest for the remainder of the 400. At the 250, the fastest remaining team may stop. At the 300, the fastest remaining team again may stop, etc. The last few teams will kick the entire 400, while those who earned the rest are rewarded for their kicking prowess and effort. With each 400, change the prescribed kick. For #1 – everyone does flutter kick with a board, for #2 – everyone does breaststroke kick, for #3 – everyone does 25 underwater dolphin kick and 25 dolphin kick on your back. These are just examples. Mix it up however you wish. The point is to encourage and reward fast kicking and have your swimmers working together as teammates.

The Finisher

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

This set makes a good practice finisher. After a long hard set, it gets them going fast, swimming hypoxically, and working together to build some team unity.

Divide the swimmers into groups, ideally a number that can all swim side-by-side for a 25. All swimmers will swim a no-breath 25 freestyle, and one swimmer will be chosen by the coach to swim FAST no breath and given a time to beat. If that swimmer achieves the time AND all other swimmers in that group make the 25 without breathing (time doesn’t matter), the group earns a point. Repeat the exercise with each group until they earn 5 points (or any number you set). When a group gets their 5 points, they are free to go. The 25s can be done from a push or off the blocks.

Lumber Kicks

Ryan Woodruff
ryan.d.woodruff@gmail.com

We use these exercises to building kicking strength, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. Plus, they are a bunch of fun!

You probably should first know what inspired this workout:

We use regular 4″ x 4″ x 8′ pieces of lumber that you can pick up at your local hardware store (be sure to measure the width of your lanes to know how long a piece of lumber you can use) Depending upon the strength and ability of your swimmers, I recommend putting between 2 and 6 swimmers on an 8′ log.

Exercise #1:

More to come in another post!