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.

Rocket Off Your Walls!

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This one was interesting and went well. Plenty o’ freestyle.

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

The “rebound kicking” is kicking into the wall and then pushing off of it immediately with the hands, and repeating that process four times.

A photo posted by SwimmingWizard (@swimmingwizard) on Dec 6, 2016 at 5:30pm PST


How to swim the 200 free

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This was an effort to help some of our swimmers “figure out” the 200 free.  We followed up with a set specifically designed to practice for this event.  That set will come in a later post.

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How to swim the 200 free

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A Recipe for Technical Change

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

I have been pondering recently how to best help my athletes make technical changes.  Below are the ingredients that I have come up with in order to make this possible.  I find it helpful to consider these when asking an athlete to change his or technique.  If it seems to be a struggle, it is likely one of these is missing.

A photo posted by SwimmingWizard (@swimmingwizard) on Nov 10, 2016 at 8:00pm PST


The 10 Sculls

Coach April Cheadle

Head Coach Bainbridge Aquatic Masters
Asst. Coach Bainbridge Island Swim Club
I’ve benefited from your Webpage, and thought my fellow coaches might enjoy an activity that I’ve used with both my Masters and Club athletes here in Washington state.
These are the 10 stationary sculls
The sculls are all done in the deep end, with the goal being to keep your head up, your feet from kicking, and your core engaged while transitioning from one position to the next without a break.
It really can be quite exhaustive, and it focuses on developing an awareness of how to move with and against the water. The club team guys found that doing the sculls in order from 1-10 and reverse back down to 1 as fast as they could produced a heart rate over 200.
There are many combinations you can do with the sculls. Some of my favorite patterns after the teaching phase of the sculls is completed, would be to go through the current date 3x as fast as possible using the corresponding sculls for the numbers, i.e. 9,2,8,1,6.  Or call out birthdates and cycle through those using the sculls.
A longer set would be to go sculls 1-10 and reverse back to 1, followed by 2×50 swim @ :45
Then 1-9-1, followed by 2×50
Then 1-8-1, followed by 2×50

Then 1-7-1, followed by 2×50
Until you’ve patterned all the way to just 1.

Just some feel-based surprising aerobic work than can be done with the entire team regardless of ability.


How to Do an Awesome Breaststroke Pullout

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Did some drawing before teaching our youngsters the basics of breaststroke pullouts today.  The mention of food at the bottom is a timing device I learned from Martyn Wilby during my time at the University of Florida.

PUSH OFF THE WALL…”Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie”…PULL DOWN…”Strawberry Shortcake”…KICKOUT AND SWIM!

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