Blackjack with NRG

Raymond Keown, NRG Swimming, Leavittown, 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.

This set was originally published to this blog in April 2017

Freestyle Tech/Aerobic/Sprint Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We spent some time today trying to hone in on well-aligned long-axis rotation in freestyle.

Definitions of terms:

20-1-20-3-20-5 = 20 kicks on side, 1 stroke, 20 kicks, 3 strokes, 20 kicks, 5 strokes and repeat.

FPA = Fastest Possible Average

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All Stroke Technique Workout with the Makos

Mike Cook, Mason Makos

This was a technique workout to build off of later in the week. Works all 4 strokes and underwater dolphins



200 swim SR

200 kick 50 board 50 no board

today focus is all technique in the 4 strokes for thursday and saturday practice RULES

1 focus on underwater (not how many kicks but how far can you get off every wall in 5 seconds EVERY WALL TODAY

2. focus on the drill not your speed 3 IMX AROUND THE CORNER


200 swim SR (smooth and relax)

200 kick 50 boards 50 no boards

12×25 fast dolphin kicks @40 (not how many but how far can you get in 5 seconds. Push

each one. break out into fly back free 4 each

8×25 fast dolphin kicks @40 with fins (same as above 4 on stomach 4 on back can you get

further in 5 seconds) MAIN SET


4×50 fly kick @1:00 (odds board evens no board)

8×25 drill flyy chest press need breath pull and land forward@35 4×50 fly /free fast @45 fins

easy 50 choice


8×25 back kick fins @45 (5 second dolphin under water)

4×50 drill back (25 right arm/25 left arm) @1:00 good rotation from hips and core 4×50 fast back@55

Easy 50 choice


8×25 breast kick (on back palms at side) @40

8×25 drill breast @40 (1 pull 2 kicks ) shoot forward and hold 4×50 back to breast fast @55 (cross over turns)

Easy 50 choice


4×50 kick with snorkels @1:00 (streamlines)

8×25 drill free @45 (paddle on forhead nice and controlled) 4×50 free des to fast @55

Easy 50 choice


8 minutes social treading water

KC Blazer Technique Quality and 200 Race Endurance

Coach Alex Morris, KC Blazers

Here is a set we used with our National group to reinforce technique quality and race endurance on 200s of stroke. The 25s and 75s should be primary stroke (Or 3 rounds prime, 2 rounds of a secondary stroke). The swimmers chose their intervals on the 75s based on the stroke they were doing and ability, then the rest interval at the end of each round designed to bring the whole group back together to start the next round

5 rounds:
4×25 on :30, 1 form/DPS, 1 build, 1 hold, 1 fast
4×75 hold form and stroke count @ :55/1:00/1:05
50 sprint kick @ :50 (body line kick w/snorkel)
3×50 choice ez @ :50
About 20-60sec Rest to regroup before starting next round

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Breaststroke Glide Set with Technique work

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCY. We used this breaststroke set to get some good technical work. On the 300, they held their line in the glide phase of the stroke for 3 seconds. In the 200, they held it for 2 seconds. The 100s were intended to be kept at a fixed level of effort, swimming with best technique and maximum efficiency. Got some good results!

Another issue of “the wake-up swim” was published today. Check out the archives here to see what you’ve missed or you can sign up here.

Always Working On The Details…

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We use “peer coaching” (get a partner, grab your phone, and film each other) frequently when we want to focus on a particular technical aspect and get a lot of quality feedback in a short time. Our kids do a pretty good job of it — they like teaching each other. Today we focused on finishes. Here are my instructions on what to look for:

Breaststroke “Feel” Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set aimed at helping our breaststrokers feel propulsion from their pull and their kick separately and then combine them into full stroke swimming. We modified the three 150s so that they did a 50 of each instead of 150 of each as written. The second part of the set emphasized leg quickness and strength with the descending 100 breaststroke.

Race Pace and Technique Set with Video

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We use 5 lanes of our 6-lane pool during practice. We did the following circuit that used an underwater camera hooked up to a time-delayed DVR and TV. The camera was positioned to gets “head-on” look at the swimmer coming down the lane. We looked at the video immediately after each swimmer finished the 25 in lane 6. This allowed us to make some technical adjustments while still performing a challenging set. Swimmers left the wall :15 apart so that the camera could adequately film each one.

Early Season Set That Worked Well (Part 1 of 2)

Brad Herndon
Head Coach
Greensboro Community YMCA

SET ONE:This set followed up on drills learned early in the week, and was designed for COMPLEX DRILL combos and OVER-EXAGGERATIONS:
·        8x (56 min, padded interval on last 100 free)
o   Part One (IMO by Round)
§  1 x 50 Drill @ 1:00
§  2 x 25’s Over-exaggerations @ :40
§  1 x 50 Swim @ 1:00
o   Part Two (All free)
§  100 Freestyle ¾ Catch-Up Drill (Power strokes/Body Alignment) @1:40
§  100 Freestyle FAST with GREAT TECHNIQUE @ 2:00
·        Drills during this set were the following:
o   Fly: 4 press/Underwater Recovery Combo
o   Back: Triple-Scoop (early catch only, 3x skull style, pause opposite hand at highest point perpendicular)
o   Breast: 4 press/1 cycle of breaststroke/plus 1 dolphin kick after cycle
o   Free: Sail Drill with 2 second pause each phase
·        Over-exaggerations:
o   Fly: TOO WIDE on hand entry
o   Back: TOO HIGH on recovery arm above water (shoulder blade lifted)
o   Breast: TOO LONG on stretch phase/i.e. low cycle count
o   Free: TOO MUCH BOIL KICK – over-kick so much so that it is awkward to move arms smoothly
Check back tomorrow for Part 2

Freestyle Pre-Set with Deep Practice

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We used this as a little pre-set before a longer freestyle set.  It really helped many of our swimmers get in a “good technique groove.”

“Deep Practice” is a concept we use to denote whole-stroke swimming while maintaining a very specific focus on an aspect of the stroke.  The list at the bottom was our brainstormed list of freestyle deep practice possibilities.