Championship Season – Swimming

6a00e5521cccd0883401901e62f75d970b-320wiMy favorite time of the training years is the so-called championship season. I say so-called because champions shine all year by winning workouts and preparing for this special time. This is the time leading into and including all the big championship meets. This is the time where all the hard work pays off and the time to shine and compete. I am privileged to work with three swim clubs as a consultant on their dryland training – Carmel Swim Club, Carmel Indiana, Dynamo Swim Club, Atlanta and Sarasota YMCA Sharks. Because I live in Sarasota I have been able to spend more time with the Sharks. It has been really neat to see the kids grow in their ability to train and race. All the clubs are age group clubs so literally week-to-week you see the results of growth and development, a factor that must be continually taken into consideration. This is the time of the year when it is tempting to do more or change something. I learned along time ago that this is the time of the year when you do less and you dance the last dance with who brought you to the dance. You can’t make up for something you have not done in your preparation at this time. This is a time to get the head right and sharpen the focus. In dryland this is what I call the Hybrid phase that consists of two to three sessions a week of short sharp workouts that are selected from what makes the swimmer feel good. There must be enough of a stimulus to stabilize the strength gains, but not too much. It varies by individual, gender and stroke. This is where the art of coaching is paramount. Now we all get to paint on a bigger canvas.

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