Developing World Class Female Swimmers by Jack Bauerle

ASCA Talk #015

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Developing World Class Female Swimmers by Jack Bauerle

ASCA Talk #015

 Today's American Swimming Coaches Association talk comes from Hall of Fame Coach, Jack Bauerle.

Jack Bauerle was the head coach of the University of Georgia men's and women's swimming teams for 40+ years. He guided the Georgia women's team to 7 national crowns and 12 SEC Championships. He was the Head Coach of Team USA for the 2008 Olympics and assistant numerous other times. His coaching tree is ridiculous.

Oh look, there’s Carol Capitani. Who else can you spot in this pic?

He’s an absolute legend.

In this talk from 2005, Coach Bauerle gives an overview of his entire program - specifically his women’s program. He also walks you through some sets but that weren’t added into the audio bc it doesn’t make for great listening. But check out the full transcript below for them.

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Full Transcript:


1. What is Important?


° Base Training

° Technique and Feedback ° Speed Work

° Kicking ° Relays

° Weight Training and Dry land


It is a real competitive world out there, as you well know, and we had been real fortunate to win a few. The first one that we won in ’99 was at our home place and that meant an awful lot to us. I don’t think we have any secrets, we have had some pretty amazing kids. There are some things that we do consistently and we did them years ago. The people we are doing them with are a little bit different, but we do try to change things every year. Listening to Bill Sweetenham talk today was a pretty neat thing. He had some terrific ideas in there about not standing still, if you do you are going backwards.


Last night Eddie talked about that 15 or 20% type of kid that hates to lose and if you get a bunch of them on your team you get a team that thinks like that. I am going to talk about a couple of the kids that we have that I thought were real successful. Not just freestyle sprinting, but they were successful in backstroke, fly and breaststroke. Their leaps were quite a quantum leap and they impacted us. We had a breaststroker this year, for example, that ended up 17th or 18th at NCAA Championships going 22:9. For her to go 22.9 to me was almost as big an achievement as Maritza Correia going 21.6.


Base Training - We had about seven or eight kids that would have been able to be on that relay that would have helped us and maybe had a chance to win the relay. That brings me to a point I will get to later, the tough part about interchanging kids. Lets talk about Maritza Correia, Carolyn Joyce, Courtney Sheeley, Amanda Weir and Paige Kearns. There is a common denominator among all of these kids, they had a terrific base when they arrived. I hope we are not here to look for any kind of trick and trickery and the kind of things that we do real distinctly different. The biggest thing is that these kids came from a program that worked real, real hard. Maritza came in as a distance swimmer. She is the only swimmer in the southeast conference that won the 50, the 100, the 200, the 500 and the mile at Conference Championships, SEC’S. This is not a real easy conference to do this. Her freshman year she won the mile. Her second year she was 4:42 in the 500 and 16:08 in the mile. That is a pretty good swimmer. She kept asking me each year if she could swim the 50 instead of the 500. By the time that she got to her Junior year, I relented and she set the American record.


I was really a sharp coach and put that off for two years. Actually I think it was almost a blessing in disguise. I really believe, had she gone into the 50 immediately we would have had a 50 girl and a 100 girl. Not a 50 girl, a 100 and a 200 girl and also not a girl that could do a 1000 meters.


I know Amanda, when I inherited her this year from Swim Atlanta a very typical afternoon for her was between 8,000 and 9,000 yards or meters. A lot of stuff on a 1:05 base, 1:10 base etc. Courtney Sheeley, out of that group, is probably the only one that we had to put a base onto. She played volleyball six months out of twelve. The other ones knew how to work. Carol Lynn came from Jon Urbanchek so she obviously knew how to do some work, but Courtney was a whole different vehicle so we had to trick her. She swam about 70% of her major sets with fins, but just to make sure we were getting that aerobic base in. She ended up making the team and medalling in 2000, but as an athlete, and she was an athlete not a swimmer, basically I had to trick her a little bit because she did not want to swim all year around. To put a base on a kid at that time and that late was not an easy thing, but we did it and we did it for four year’s time because her senior year was 2000, the year she made the team and then gold medaled. It worked out pretty well.


Technique & Feedback - The things that are most important in base training are technique and feedback. You just have to make sure that you use what is available. It took a long time for me. All my years have been at Georgia, outside of two summers. They were the two best summers I could have ever spent for coaching when I was with Dick Shoulberg up in Philadelphia. I really felt like when I would sit there and film somebody I was taking a lot of time out of the training. Now, we don’t do that too much with our distance types obviously, but we certainly do with our sprint types and we try to do any kind of little tweaking that we can. We do it early to set the tone so that we can fix anything before we start really getting into sets. We do it during the course of the year and we actually do it right through the end of the year during taper. The last week or two, about a week or so out, we stop filming. That is it, you know what you got by then and you are just basically sharpening it up. I think that the technique without the feedback is nothing. Obviously you have to film them, but you also have to be talking with them. I think these first things are most important.


Speed Work – I think this is maybe where I changed things about seven or eight years ago. We do a little bit of speed work each day somehow or another. It might be in the form of just some 25’s, it might be in the form of a mini set or when they warm up, but I think it is important for kids that have speed to feel speed. They might go on and do an 8,000 meter workout, but at some point in time during that course of workout most of those kids are leaning toward the speed side physiologically. You don’t want to train it out of them, fast kids like to be fast a lot. That 20% that Eddie was talking about, you get a lot of them whether they are sprinters or not, speed work is important for all of them. We will get into some of the nuts and bolts stuff, but speed work can be in the form of just swimming. It can be in the form of just some stuff with paddles and fins or as pulling. You know where they get a lot of their speed so you do different things for different kids. Then obviously do some speed work as far as kicking too.


Kicking – Probably the most important change that we made and when you look at our program the kids that are our best swimmers are our best kickers. Right now, at this particular time of the year, sprinters and distance kids alike, we are going about, maybe a little bit less with distance, but we are going to do 25% - 30% kicking. That is a lot of kicking and it takes an awful lot of time. I also believe, if you are kicking you shouldn’t be doing it all with fins. One year we did a lot with fins because I thought it would just take them less time, which it does, but it was completely ineffective and I don’t think we swam that well at all. We do fins for rhythm and a little bit of speed play, but not for getting leg strength and kicking. I don’t think you can emphasize kicking enough in anything you do. I know Eddie talked last night about the kick-swim sets. We do a lot of those also and a lot of the goals that we have for the kids centers around just improving kicking. Mary DiSenza this year made a big quantum leap because of kicking. She used to go a maximum effort kick at about a 1:28, 1:29, 1:30 long course. Now it is about 1:17 to 1:18. We put an emphasis on fast kicking, but we also put an emphasis on really good strong kicking sets. Power plus quality kicking sets are an important item to any of the sprinters.


Relays are an absolute blessing in the college scene. They are a big part of NCAA’s and if you are successful in the relays, you are going to be successful at the meet. They also help us work on speed without the swimmers thinking that they are working on anything. Kids love to swim relays and we start putting our relays together as early as October so they will have an idea who they are going off. That gets into some funny logistics as you can probably realize. You don’t want to tell a kid in October they have a place on a relay. Life does not work like that, so we put a few scenarios together, but get them used to going off each other. If we have an idea a relay is going to be pretty much like we think it is at conference time, at NCAA time, we will swim that relay like that in dual meets. Even those that are not that important. I do not think that dual meets are important as far as winning, but are important as far as teaching kids to prepare for big meets. Even if it gets to the end of a meet and it is an exhibition swim because we are winning, we might put just those four kids up. Just so they see each other again and again. Familiarity is an amazing thing and it makes them feel a lot better at NCAA’s. It is nice to get those kids together because you work starts and speed. We do them in practice and we will do them with get-out swims trying to hit close to an NCAA qualifying time. Relays are important, obviously.


With the success that we have had, if you call it that, we have some really good kids that are willing to work. We don’t have what I would call a sprint group for women. I think that is important to know. They are basically in middle distance and we sprint within the confines of that. That is the way it has been when we have been the most successful. Anytime that we have had an athlete try to do a lot less and only want to do 6,000 or so during the course of a year, they become real non-functional. We have seen no increase in their speed and they are not coming off the work that they need. They certainly can’t help themselves in a hundred long course and they can’t even fake a 200 short course any longer, so these things are big. I think the base training is big and the technique work is gigantic. Everyone has all of that available to them, but I think the consideration that you have to make is to make sure that you are making time for it.


Most of our speed work is done with assisted tubing. We don’t do much resistance tubing, except with breaststrokers, I think it is a good feel for them. The kicking part is gigantic and we will kick all the way through taper to make sure that they stay sharp with that. Then the relay situation is gigantic. We had an amazing thing happen, this is when you know that you have good kids. This year at NCAA’s we had a kid that probably didn’t swim quite as fast on the relay. The 50 freestyle was after the 200 free relay and there was a young lady that swam faster than the girl in the relay. She could have been on the relay at night, but, to her credit, she gave that spot up. I talked to her because she also had a 400 medley relay to swim. This is when you know you have a good team working. They felt pretty secure we had a chance at a 200 freestyle American Record and the one girl, who probably deserved the spot on there, gave it up even though she probably had beaten the other girl’s time by about 2/10’s on that relay. When you get to the NCAA’s, everything revolves around what you want to do as a team so we were trying to keep that one swimmer a little bit fresher for the night time. None the less, relays are unbelievably important for work and speed.


The weight training and dry land: This would be a whole other talk and would take a long time. I debated about bringing it, but I did to just give you an idea. We do upper body one day and lower body on another. We go upper and lower on the third day and the days in between we do dry land. This past Saturday, even though it was September 3rd, we did about an hour and 15 minutes outside, just dry land. We did a lot of short running. We don’t make them into runners because we will get more injuries than we need, but we do some short running. We run sprints, shuttle runs, suicides, like basketball, all the old time stuff. It knocks the heck out of them. We throw medicine balls while we sprint. We do things that are coordination drills. Dry land is on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with a big chunk of it on Saturday.


The biggest part, no matter how strong they get, is if they can lift their body weight. Pull-ups, chin-ups and dips are real important to our program as well as sit-ups and push-ups. Just a very typical day when we are outside on a Saturday we probably get in about 150-200 push-ups, but they might not have been all at one time. We do something and then we do 15, we do something and then we do 10. Basically they are getting in a lot of push-ups. I think your strength to your body weight, as far as female sprinters, is gigantic, so we lift real hard and we lift to lift. We don’t lift for just body toning. After they get acclimated with the 10, 8, 6, a very typical set for us is three sets of 15. I think one of the good things that we do with our program is we lift.


A lot of our girls lifted the Saturday or the Friday before they left for NCAA’s. We have guys that do not even want to get near the weight room and some of them that don’t need to, but for our gals, without question, we lift before we go to NCAA’s. I think some of the women lose their strength a little bit faster than some of the guys do. I know that I have a couple of gals like Paige Kearns. She is a 6.3 swimmer. She is a great, but she is real long and as soon as she is not in the weight room I can see her muscles change in about a week’s time. Well, that is going to change more dramatically when there is stress put on them or when they are getting ready to go to NCAA Championships because they start changing a little bit on you. It is also going to change by the third day of the meet because you leave on a Monday or Tuesday and they are swimming still on the following Saturday. It may be that the most important thing that they do is on the last day so we lift.


There is some discussion on bench press and some people think it is great for some kids. Right now we are just incorporating it in, but it is the first thing that we will drop if there is any kind of tenderness as far as shoulders or anything else. They have a little rough time with the balancing part and that scares me as far as shoulders, so we pay an awful lot of attention to it. Making sure they get strong is a gigantic part of our program, so weight training and dry land is real important.


2. Train the Swimmer, NOT the Event


° Individual Differences

° Art of Coaching vs. Science (there is a place for both) ° Flexibility in Changing Training

° Taper


Individual differences, train the swimmer. You have got to find something that kids win in practice. When we went to trials in 2004, we had four kids in the top ten of the 100 meter freestyle. There were some funny dynamics going on that summer. We had to make sure to do different things for different kids than what they felt was good for them and also that built their confidence. Out of that group we had to train the differences. Maritza Correia likes to do some fast kicking. She loves a kick/swim set, that is what she wins on. Kara Lynn Joyce can pull. She can do a descending set of 200’s, on a 2:15 or 2:20, this is short course yards, and go down to 1:52-1:53. That is a good puller. If we pull a hypoxic swim in short course yards she is a 3:55-3:56 without ever even pushing the issue. Mary Disenza, who did a pretty good 100 freestyle this past year, was not even a freestyler before. She is another one, good base but still fast sprinting. There are a lot of individual differences.


The art of coaching versus science: There is a place for both. You have to walk out of there days where you have coached really well. I am not sure I go in every day thinking this is the day that I have to be the best darn coach I can, but I go in there trying to make sure you get to every kid that you possibly can. Certain ones, your best ones, demand an awful lot of attention and it is an exhausting profession. You get tired, go home to your husband or your wife and they look at you and they wonder why you cant talk. It is a tough sport and you know we have a lot of balance in there. You have a bunch of kids who are trying to achieve every day and you have got to remember that the best kids that you have demand the most from you. They go in every day expecting an awful lot out of themselves too. They want to have a good workout every day and it is up to us to make sure we find a way where they can succeed a little bit. It is exhausting to try to coach with a little bit of something for every kid. It is not an easy thing all the time, but by enlarge it will pay off for you. We try to do different things for different kids. When I inherit them from the high school programs or club programs, they are so used to doing one thing and one coach. I like for them to see some things that they have done in the past, but they also have to buy into a system that is completely different.


Flexibility and change in training: A little bit of that is just because something doesn’t work so you have to change it. I had to change something for Mary Disenza. At one point in time I was doing too little butterfly Then I talked with her coach from before and she was doing a lot more fly. You have to be flexible in what you are doing. You also have to make sure you are flexible as far as what they are doing on the outside of the pool with weights and everything else. There are times when they just get beaten down and I think on the sprinting side of it you just want to make sure they are functional each day. We have our distance kids and they can look like hell in a bucket for maybe two weeks time. They come out of it and are fine, but we try to keep some of these kids up on top of the water a little bit more. You can also do that with sprinting a little bit too.


Taper is the gigantic difference in how some programs are run. You don’t want to go through a season and then do something completely different on your last week or two. We basically do the same training regimen during the mid-season and later season and then we taper in the same way. The percentages of what we do with pulling, kicking and swimming are virtually the same. We continue kicking, but then come in the differences. In NCAA Championships, your best sprinters are going to be swimming a lot, maybe 13 times in three days. Not once, when they get up there, is it going to be easy. They have to be trained and do the work to have the base.


Generally when they come in as a new group I try to error on the side of doing a little bit more rather than a little bit less because they will stay a little bit more functional for a three day meet. It is also a lot easier to come back at them and do less, rather than add on. So the taper part is a real big deal.


3. Workouts


° Early Season ° Mid-Season ° Taper


Early season workouts: A typical early season workout that we do:


Early Season Workout-LCM

4 x 300 with 20 seconds rest building the last 15 meters of each 100 (S,K-S,D-S,S) 8 x 75 odd IM order/even free & descend

10 x 15 kick out (swim back work on finishes) 200 on 2:40

6X 150 on 2:00 Descend sets 1-3 100 on 1:20

50 on :40 Snorkel and Fins

12 x 100 odd moderate work stroke/even descend 1-6

20 x 50 kick on :60 3moderate/1fast (most days w/o fins) 5 x 100 swim on 1:40 Negative split (7650 total yards) 10 minutes vertical kicking with weight belts


We will do about a 2,000 warm-up and that will decrease as it goes. It can go about 2400, but 2,000 is typical. In the warm-up we do a mini set that is usually with IM minutes. It is real important for all the kids to touch all the strokes. The even ones are freestyle and descend down a little bit. We usually do some kicking, even if it is a short 15 yards. They kick fast out, rest and then race back for 15 yards. We will do ten cycles, 10 times out and 10 times back. They are doing some yardage and some sprinting right from the beginning. I think it is important that we try to get their legs a little bit weary and also a little bit juiced up before we do some swimming. The main set is a long course set that is a 200 descending. After they do that for maybe the first round we will knock that down, even with our sprint group, maybe tighten it up a little bit 2:30, 1:55, 1:15. The 200, 150’s, 100, and 50 is around a 3,000 yard set and sort of thresholdy-like. We will do all those sets for that group somewhere between 2800 and about 3400 during the course of early season.


Snorkel and fins: A snorkel is something we have used a lot and I like to use. They are great for head position and body position so we make sure that we get a set with them. Twenty 50’s kick, three of them moderate and one fast, most days without fins. I think when we did more fins we swam worse, that was about ten years ago and I have never revisited that. On the end we like to finish up with a five by 100 swim on 1:40, negative split. This is starting to prepare them for the 50 that they need to do.


When you are preparing a kid, whether world class or just any kid, you have a goal time. If we are trying to be a 54.00/meter freestyler, we need to be coming back in 28 and we need to be going down in 26. We start putting this into the system real early so we do negative split swims early like this. That is a pretty easy interval, later on we might do it on the 2:00 to 2:30 and demand that they hit the time that they need to, coming back. When we give negative splits to them we will say, ‘just cruise’ down and we will dive them in. All they have to do is go easy down, any kid in the program can do 36 for a 50 meter freestyle off the top. Ask them to build in the wall as they would and then sprint coming back, but making it smooth, strong, and fast, the way they need to feel in a race, not coming off just blasting because otherwise they would not be holding onto it. We do a lot of negative split stuff, particularly for 100 meter swims and we start with that early. A lot of times we will do negative split work and negative split swims even on time trials. We do them all the time.


Mid-season workouts: This is a pretty typical workout, just a 5,4,3,2 and a 1 that is a swim. Then they do a drill swim, a kick swim – the 200 is an IM., we put an IM in all the time, and then we build a stroke – 100 of their choice.


Mid-Season Workout-SCY

500-400-300-200-100 (S,D-S,K-S,IM) Build Stroke 10 x 50 odd hypoxic-breath 7-1

even F-15/E-20/F-15

Wall kicks-30sec on/turn & 15 yard blast/30 sec rest (8 cycles)

6 x (5 x 25 on :25) Rest for one and repeat even cycles pull stroke/odd cycles free Max-each 25 faster than middle 25’s of 100

4 x 400 Pull on 4:40 Negative Split and Descend 8 x 100 50-six count or one arm/50 build

Easy 200

8 x 100 kick 1:40 Rotate fast 25 100 Easy swim

Max 100 kick

12 x 25 with parachute on :40 (7050 total yards) 4 Starts then swim down


We can go 10 50’s, a little hypoxic work when we do some fast fifteens inside. This is real typical for that group that we were talking about, the women sprinters, this is what they do. I like the wall kicks, this is a pretty neat thing. These are old fashioned stuff, you know when we all grew up we hung on the wall and kicked, we do that. We go 30 seconds on, generally the last 10


seconds of it without breathing and the faces in the water. We then do the fastest turn that they possibly can and race out 15 yards. We will rest about 30, give or take, and do it again. I like to get them a little leg weary and certainly getting the legs kicking before you do something, that is most important. Before the most important sets I do with middle distance freestyle groups and certainly the sprint freestyle groups, is to get their legs tired first. We do a little, sometimes even a major, kicking set. I like them handling that so they feel a real difference in their legs when they get to the big meet, they feel a lot more refreshed.


This little 25’s set does not seem hard, but it knocks the hell out of them. It is six times – five 25’s under 25 and then the next one you just rest, hang on the wall. I call it 5 out of 6 and the # 6 you are not going anywhere. When you start the next set, you get about 40 seconds rest because you are going to come in around 13, 14, or 15, but you race five 25’s. This is a perfect indicator of where your kids are and what they can probably do on a hundred yard freestyle, 100 yard breaststroke, fly or back. This is one we don’t even worry about pace, it has nothing to do with pace. It is max effort the first 25 and hold the speed as long as they can. If they can do it for 125, confidence builds and they think they can do it for 100. If I have a girl like Mary Dicenza for example, she is a butterflyer, freestyler – she will do one of the cycles freestyle, one butterfly, one free, one fly.


Kristy Kowall, when she was swimming, was a 1:01 breaststroker, that was fast then. She did end up going, converted over short course meters, probably 58 and 59 flat in the year before her senior year, which was her best year. This set right here, I realized she was going to set the American record in the 100 breaststroke and that year she set it I think four or five times. She set it in December because we were doing this set in November and she kept repeating 14.6’s, 14.7’s, 14.6, 14.7. When she broke the American record, I saw it coming two weeks before.


You just want to try to make those middle 25’s as fast as you can and try to make sure they have a complete carry-over to what you want to do in a race. You can do as many as ten cycles, after that it gets non-productive because basically you are looking at thirty 25’s maximum effort. A pretty easy set, it doesn’t seem like it, but it really knocks them out. We have kids that actually get upset about that set if they do not do well and the hard part of it is you got to make sure you get times because you really have to be on the stick with this.


Saturdays, this is, and without question the kids know it walking in, race day. We do our stand-up or lactate work on Saturdays all the time. During the course of a season we are going to be at a swim meet, but the Saturdays that we are not, particularly in the summer time when we do not have as many competitions, we stand up on Saturday. If you cannot handle quality work, you are not going to be able to handle race work that you need if you are going to be successful. You have got to be able to stand up and knock it out in a practice. I will go back to Kristy again, in the year 2000 we went short course meters and she set the American record in practice. I didn’t tell her she did, but she actually broke it by about a second on a set, on her fifth 200 breaststroke. and that was on a stand up dive set. At that time the record was only about 2:25 and she went 2:24 short course meters and that was on #5. The best kids that you have, love standing up and they love racing and they love testing themselves. I think that you have to make sure that they challenge themselves and whether they fail or not, they have got to get to the point where they are succeeding on race day, because otherwise, they will not succeed when it gets down to the knitty-gritty.


The workout continues with a pull set and we do a lot of pulling. We do a lot of negative split stuff when we pull and descend. We also try to incorporate some drills during the mid-season, even when we are doing pretty hard stuff. This 50- six count is 6 kicks on the side just stretching them out a little bit followed by an easy 200. Very typically we will go into a good kick set where we will go eight 100’s kick under 1:40 and we will just rotate a fast 25. We try to get a little idea how fast they can kick and you will get some real good kicking out of it. Sometimes you get kids that cannot repeat as well, but all of a sudden they can knock one out pretty good too. Generally most of our kick is right around on the minute base just to keep it fast.


Robert Margals can kick well and we have a new young guy from France, Sebastian Roule, that can kick. He was 15:06 twice this summer, back to back days and he went 14:41 in the mile. He can hold 1:16’s, 1:15’s, and under 1:50 for almost 15 or 20 100’s. Kristy Kowall could kick all right, breaststrokers generally can or they aren’t going to be breaststrokers. A very typical set, a big goal set we did with her was thirty 100’s. We went ten under 1:30, short course yards, swam easy for a hundred on 3 minutes, ten under 1:25, swam a little bit easy and then ten of them under 1:20. That is short course yards in breaststroke kick. Her best she averaged 1:13’s and 1:14’s for ten 100’s under 1:20, but that doesn’t all of a sudden happen. She didn’t kick that much when she came. She actually only did 6,000 yards in workouts too and it took her a while to get used to that. She adapted to a little bit more work, and kicking was a gigantic part of it.


We use parachutes, they are pretty good because they really make them work under power. This workout has twelve 25’s and we put in a lot of rest. During this part of the season we start doing some starts, literally every other day. I think the biggest mistake we sometimes make, particularly with sprinters, is all of a sudden in the last two weeks you start practicing relays. Then you are doing sprints and all of a sudden you look at a kid and they have just done 12 starts after practice and they get a little leg weary. I think it is important that you start incorporating that in a couple of months out and start doing starts, take-offs, etc.


This is a neat 200 set that we did in 2004. This is really easy on long course intervals, but the kids love it and they all thought it worked. Usually, when they think that it means it was too easy, but this one actually wasn’t.


12 x 200

Odd-50 fast/150 easy on 3:10

Even-150 easy/50 hit 200 or 100 pace on 3:30


You can change this around. Sometimes I put a 200 in where they have to swim an IM or a 200 where it is a hypoxic, but basically, the big part was we stood them up in race. This is on the easy fast day that we have which is always on a Tuesday starting in late April. We did 12 all the way up to about two weeks before Olympic trials where they just did six, but it was 50 fast and 150 easy and the even ones they did a 150 float trying to make sure to swim in perfect stroke, so it is not just slop. They rested about 10 seconds and, depending on which kid it was, they had to hit the 200 pace or a 100 pace. A really neat set and I think it is sort of a nuts and bolts set that was real successful and it worked out well for us long course.


The taper: We will go down to about 12 or 1600 like a meet type warm-up and our sets completely change.



1200-1600 Meet type warm-up 6 x 200 50 Drill

50 DPS 50 Pull 50 Build

8 x 75 kick (w or w/o board) Odd strong/Even F-EZ-F by 25’s 600 Mix Pull - 75 free/25 stroke 12 x 25 Free Drill on :30

15 yard blasts on :30 DPS on :45

25 Fast from Blocks on :30 Pace Work & Relay Starts, etc.


With six 2’s, we try to keep them sharp, particularly on the women’s side. We will do a 50 drill – 50 distance per stroke – a 50 pull and just pick it up real quick and keep it there and then they do a 50 build up. Anytime we do build-up, right around that time, I will actually make sure they are paying attention to what they are doing. They should be within a second of their 200 pace so they are doing a good strong build, not just out there swimming but a little bit more functional.


Then we will do a kick set again to keep the kicking up. During the meet warm-up there will be at least 2-300 kick as well. We do the eight 75’s with or without a board, the odd one’s strong and the even one’s fast – easy – fast or something descending, but at least something where they do fast kicking.


We do a little pull just for feel and this is a typical set that we do with our sprinters. A lot of times, even though it is put in down here at the end on taper, in the early season we will do this right after warm-up. We do a drill on the 30 – a 15 yard blast – a distance per stroke and then they hop out and we will do a fast 25 from the block, just to keep them going. After that we just basically work pace work and relay starts, depending on who they are.


Does anybody have any questions?

Power Racks – twice a week and we didn’t use them much on the women’s side the last couple of years, but we are going to incorporate the buckets in a little bit, just for something different this year. We used them mostly on the guys and not the gals and that is just because two of my best sprinters really didn’t like them at all.


Do you integrate your men and women swimmers and if you do, how much percentage – give or take? - Yes we do integrate our men and woman swimmers. The percentage changes a little bit more near the end. The women swimmers will keep the men swimmers pretty much on their toes. Kara Lynn can pull and guys do not like losing pull sets so I always like to keep her in there because I can always embarrass them. When we get down to the bitter end, that is when the line of demarcation becomes a little bit greater. We start dividing the women swimmers out a little bit more and also probably do it in a few more workouts. We stay on the same cycle with our “women sprinters” as we do during the week. The week before they will do three mornings. We just stay on the same thing, but come in a little later because we are not knocking down 5 or 6,000 in the morning. We might be just going 3 in the morning so we just try to streamline it. I did learn from Coach Shoulberg this, the less time at the pool means they feel like they are resting so if we are going to go 3,000 we will try to get it done in 45 or 50 minutes, rather than an hour twenty because they don’t even feel as though they are tapering.


On those twelve 2’s, where do they swim their stroke, on the easy part? – No, I just let them recover, but you can change that around a little bit too. We do that with different stuff. We will put some DPS work or some hypoxic work in there, but that set is a great set. The kids love it and they do not feel like they are really getting hammered as hard as they are. It really made a big difference in a couple of our kids – Lindsey Urger, a breaststroker, all of a sudden she started going 32’s in practice off the top and then she had a different sense that she could go 1:08. You know, because of that she finaled at Olympic trials and went a .59 breaststroke this year too.


Big on one arm for freestyle? – I love the snorkel for freestyle and backstroke drills. We have a set we give our kids. I think this is real important when you have a bunch of kids. They have to be in tune with what your drills are. We just spent the last two weeks going over each stroke and this is with college kids. About the 6th biggest drills that we do are backstroke double arm and one arm. I don’t like doing anything with a fist because I think it teaches them “non-feel”, but anyhow, we do a lot of one arm swimming.


On breathing control – No, the only breathing control we do basically is what you saw there as far as hypoxic work. We will do the hypoxic work descending so they will not just go up and down the pool. The rest of the breathing control part is with a snorkel and that has helped us. I got a former swimmer who does free diving and he could tell you about some breath control.


12 x 200

Odd-50 fast/100 easy on 3:10

Even-150 easy/50 hit 200 or 100 pace on 3:30


We never go over 12 because I think it gets non-functional and then maybe we will still go 12 later on when we are starting to zoom in a little bit, but we might add one as a hypoxic swim so they are still getting in some good fast swimming too. That set gives you your front speed and then your pace work, so it hits both things in one fell swoop.


When we do starts, we will do turns on the same day. I didn’t get a chance to put on our weekly plan. On Friday afternoons we do stations, but we will swim a main set first. We will go 3,000, or something like that, so we get the yardage in and then we will break off and do starts and turns at stations. That is not until at least November, got things to do before that.


Thanks for listening, I appreciate it and I hope we helped.