Swimmers who think they’re sprinters

In Swim Coaching by Chris RitterLeave a Comment

As a coach it can be one of the more frustrating situations. When a swimmer thinks that they would be better suited in one event than another but as a coach you disagree.

This happens 99% of the time as a swimmer thinking they are a “50 sprinter” when they really don’t have the speed to be great in that event.

So how do you handle that situation as a coach?

Should you force swimmers to do lots of aerobic work no matter what?

Dave Anderson of Schroeder YMCA is this month’s featured coach in the Coaches Corner and has a great way of handling these situations.

He doesn’t label swimmers as “sprinters, mid-distance and distance” he’s taken a different approach.

Instead he calls them names.

Well animal names: cheetah, lion or wolf.

Here’s the basic description he gives of each:

Cheetah – technique superior detail oriented, perfecting starts and turns, give 100% in an effort.

Lions – have ability to get better aerobically, have some speed, may be most coaches “middle group”, can train well and still have some speed.

Wolves – these kids can go all day. They can “run and run and run” and still do good. Most swimmers won’t be gifted in this way. Really no speed but can train and take a lot of volume.

Listen to Dave talk more about this and how he uses it in his workouts and even see it in action for the workout that day.

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