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norcal coaches clinic

Below are notes from the 2017 NorCal Coaches Clinic held annually in Napa, CA. These are not the views of Swimming Science.

It All Starts With The Start basics of swimming – David Marsh

  1. Create inspirational moments
  2. “A Team of Olympians Become An Olympic Team” video on YouTube.
  3. “Sometimes it takes a season to set up the next season.”
  4. Adversity at the Olympics, but they still had to compete at the highest level
  5. Diving with wedge
    • Rear foot high on wedge
    • Front loaded
  6. Diving without wedge
    • Neutral weight placement
  7. Dives in general
    • Grab blocks with first knuckle
    • Little bit of tension in the backs/arms
    • Head in neutral position
    • Eyes down
    • Hips high
    • Chest off front leg
    • Flat back – Connects lower to upper body chain
    • Get comfortable on the blocks
    • Pul from scapula/shoulders first, not hands
    • Hips are center of mass, get them moving forward
    • Hands should be back up by the time the front foot is pushing
    • “Shoulders to the bottom of the flags”
    • Hip width or slightly narrower feet
    • Core is stable and rock solid
    • When you’re in flight, extend arms then lock in streamline
    • Push chin forward; push chest forward
  8. Be comfortable ready to race, relaxed, confidence
  9. International women 50 free – 5 dolphin kicks on average
  10. Bad dolphin kicks = shallower dive
  11. About a 2 count from when you hit the water, until you break the line (kick, pull, whatever); same off walls

Training Adaptations for Major Life Events – Dana Vollmer

  1. Likes when coaches don’t “know everything”
  2. It’s a partnership, Teri asks her, “Do you want to know what I saw?”
  3. Coming off of injury, as soon as the line, technique, etc. went away, she was done for the day
  4. Her fly imagery: rock skipping across the water
  5. “Forward” – written on her front foot
  6. Always be learning

What Age Group Swimmers Need to Know and Do to Become Senior Swimmers. Set your goals and strive for progress – Crystal Keelan

  1. Different kinds of fun as they get older
  2. Goal setting – where do we want to end up?
  3. “Strive for progress, not perfection”
  4. Process driven goals
    • Commit to a standard of training in order to see specific results
    • Do goals match up with level of dedication?
  5. Keep your eye on a goal every day (taped to the ceiling, on chalkboard in their room, etc.)
  6. Goals drive us, but plans fuel the process -> many people are involved in a great plan
  7. Know splits, paces

Fundamentals for Age Group Swimmers, visualize your future goals  – David Marsh

  1. Fundamentals
    • Inside to out
    • Narrow
    • You can never kick fast enough
    • “IM attitude” (pull cards that coordinate with strokes, mix up IM orders, etc.)
    • Family
      • A safe place
      • Something in common
      • Consider practice schedules, meets, meetings, etc.
    • Mentals
      • Planning, pacing, strategizing
      • Speak the language of the swimmer
      • Know what stage of life the kids are in so you can relate
    • Name
      • Say their name at least once every practice
      • Know who they are, the person behind the name
      • Pride in the name
      • Empowering nicknames, not demeaning ones
    • Fuel
      • Paint the picture of the future, be updating as time goes on
      • What are the posters, what do they see every day?
      • Positive feedback
      • Secondhand compliments – have someone else who they respect and admire (another coach, another teammate, etc.)
      • Boys vs. Girls – boys can get beat down when they’re younger, make sure they don’t want to quit
    • Resistance to the water quadruples the faster you go
    • Do the fundamentals, do the basics well, way better than doing things half assed
    • We GET to coach
  2. Create situations where you can be in the mix with the swimmers, have fun with them
  3. Peer coaching
  4. Drills
    • Dip & Slip – slide down before they push-off
    • Ride the Escalator – how to breakout (you don’t take the elevator)
    • Michael Brooks – you can only coach on one thing each day, and only during the sets it is paramount; if it’s not relevant, let it go for that day
    • Have 2 drills that everyone does perfectly on the team, then have 2 drills that are “their” drills
    • Fly
      • CPR – Catch, Pull, Recovery, all while holding tempo
      • Vertical fly – push-off bottom, 1 stroke towards surface
      • Triangle drill – like stoneskipper, get head back down before the hands make a triangle under hips
      • Head up dolphin without a board
    • Back
      • Standing on head
      • Push the med ball on side (working on-line in general)
      • Double arm backstroke, halfway, ¾ way, then full
      • Kayak drill
      • Hold legs for resistance, then give a little push to get into sprint
      • “Raisin Bran” drill, 2 scoops then pull
      • Scissor drill
      • Push off bottom into breakout
    • Breaststroke
      • Acceleration, then whip at the end
      • Barge kick, full board sideways underwater,
      • Head up kick, working heel speed
      • Grab opposite leg and swim
      • High-high-extend-extend-extend
      • Ping pong balls in thumb and forefinger ring to feel outer edge
      • Vertical without touching bottom
      • Flat, goggle, face comes out
      • 1 right, 1 left, 2 no breath
      • Kick against wall
    • Freestyle
      • Anchor and swing or vault (not a drill)
      • Catch and throw, catch out front, throw the other arm over the catch
      • Three strokes, glide in a line, or three strokes, 360 while staying in line
  5. Do a percentage of drills faster than they’ll need to do in a race
  6. If you’re not kicking fast, you’re behind the times!

Developing Leadership Skills – Michelle Konkoly

  1. “A leader is a positive influence on the culture of a group.”
    • Positive – Optimism
    • Influence – Intrinsic motivation, create the spark
    • Culture – Legacy, past generations count on to continue, future generations strive for, what’s the first thing you think of
    • Group – Layers of organization
  2. Weekly mini-goal meetings, share individual and team goals for that weekend’s meet
  3. Accountability is integral in fostering personal and group integrity
  4. Firm policies = results
  5. Burpees for every minute people were late, they couldn’t lift, or do the burpees
  6. James Kerr – Legacy
    • “Never be too big to do the small things.” – Leading by example.
    • “Leaders prepare for change even when standing at the pinnacle of success.”
    • “A leader clearly communicates his or her intention.” – How to appropriately respond to changing context, Yetter would tell her the expectation, and she had to figure out how to make it happen. Creates self-sufficient athletes.
  7. Talk about what we like at meets (I like to talk in the ready room, I don’t like talking in the ready room, etc.)

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