I started this page to help swim coaches with some of the interactive worksheets I’ve been designing or re-designing for you.
I’ll keep adding ideas here even as we share on the forum. You’ll get more if you get the Newsletter by clicking the link above.
So: Let’s start with the most complex one I’ve given out: The TEAM TRACKING WORKBOOK.
I noticed after I posted an old screen shot of Tracking that, because I have been privately coaching and assisting at college, and I hadn’t been head of a team in a while, the sheet was outdated. The records were old and the interface was in need or repair. When I first designed these sheets people went crazy over them, so a former swimmer of mine and I wrote Cool Coach, a complete software program with hundreds of functions, and sold it for $329 all over the world. Since then Excel and the rest of the world changed. It seems there is an app for everything and we both got busy. I’m still coaching and Dr. Pilling designs super fast chips.
Now, though, as I look at all the apps, etc. I still notice these software authors leave a lot to be desired as to how to motivate our swimmers. Just the mere act of putting their names on a white board with previous test sets before starting a practice changes the whole practice environment for the better! As a mentor, when coaches hire me to come in and help teams, I notice this in just minutes.
So, the first Team Tracking Workbook I’m giving you has demonstration tracks you can change any way you want. The first one is in Yards, since I just got over the college season and those numbers were fresh in my head. But I’m working on Long Course and will get them out soon — as I did with the Goal Cards.
FIRST: Try some of the Tracks.
Start with Best Times: Put in a couple. Then put in a time they swim in practice or at a meet (for training purposes, I count best times and put them on the chart right away. I want that mental reinforcement. The sheet calculates the percentage improvement. That’s important in making your training environment better. Your best swimmers also want to be the most improved — at meets, in kicking, stroke count, etc. Competitive people love to compete. But your slowest swimmer can win too. He or she has the most to improve, but might never be fastest in the group. Everyone in between can get better — not just at meets, but every day!
Second: The one thing I will warn you about is TOO much motivation. This system makes everyone want to go faster. That’s the point, but if they weren’t tracking before, they could overtrain unless you tell them to back off or tighten the intervals. So make sure you have, for example, 72 hours or so between high lactate days. No one can bench press their maximum every day. They need time for stroke work, endurance and recovery. I designed this decades ago, but believe me, I’m still learning. And each swimmer has different talents and needs for stress and recovery. You’ll start to see patterns. Please share those patterns on the coach exchange sites and, if you want, with me. It takes a large village to help our athletes reach their full potential.
Now, every coach who ants to advance needs to be humble. But I also want to tell you, I‘ve learned a lot over time. I’ve learned that great kickers always have flexible ankles, over 180 degrees on a common protractor. I’ve learned people need to stretch for a long time — twenty minutes or more, since they stand and sit with their ankles at 90 degrees to their legs most of the day. So I designed three stretching devices, all with protractors. I have to be accountable too. Hip extensors are weak, even in most Olympic swimmers. Shoulder rotators have to be strong or we can yell “high elbow” until our voices give out and the swimmer won’t be able to have an EVF stroke. Only a few do this well, (their names are famous in swimming), so I invented tools to help with that too. I wish I could tell you tubing were sufficient. It isn’t. But you can prove or disprove that and many other things using this TEAM TRACKING sheet.
You will have questions. Please know this is what I do. I help coaches help swimmers. And I love my job, just as you do. Call on me any time. MORE COMING SOON. I’ll let you know when this page is updated in your Newsletter.
God bless and keep coaching excellence!
Coach Steve Friederang
Q: How do you post this tracking?
A: Print it and see if you like it. Experiment. You can post it on the wall or on a rolling white board, etc. I even used to make a single sheet to post in family newsletters to congratulate swimmers on training improvement.
Q: When will Meter tracking come out?
A: Soon. I already updated the Gaol Card with record times and some time standards.
Q: Can I help?
A: Please do. If you have standards or test sets, etc., send them to me at Steve@competitiveswimmer.com and I’l share them when I can.
Q: Are all your products related to tracking?
A: Yes, but remember each swimmer is different. I think a lot of the land stuff is best done at home — especially stretching. I also think swimmers are best off with their own cameras for your EyeSwims, for example. I think you should settle on one brand of swim fins. If you look at these products, you’ll see none of them are for fashion — to look goo. All I invent or sell that others is to solve problems and take advantage of trainng and teaching opportunities.
Q: Can I ask more questions?
A: Yes!! Please do. I have been blessed to help Finis, Total Performance, Minigym, SwimFast, Stroops, and dozens of other companies and have run workshops for large and small groups of coaches, swimmers, board members, etc. I always learn more than I teach because there are more of you than there is of me. I’ll do my best to answer or take your ideas into consideration. If you want to collaborate on products or even sales, I’m all ears. 🙂 Steve@competitiveswimmer.com; 800.999.0824; and 951.898.0007 international. I love to run seminars and workshops too. Just ask.
Q: Can you help my team be financially more supportive and successful? Yes. Or I can link you with other coach leaders. Again, just let me know your goal and vision.
Vision never ends
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