GAINcast Episode 254: In the water (with Kira Toussaint and Drew Kibler)

We often talk about training methods and culture with coaches, but the athlete’s perspective is just as important. World class swimmers Kira Toussaint and Drew Kibler join this week’s GAINcast to share their point of view. Both athletes utilize the GAIN dryland program and share their input on what they need to reach the podium and what drives the training environment in their own training group.

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Notes and quotes

Kira Toussaint and Drew Kibler are elite swimmers. Toussaint competes for the Netherlands, where she is a national record holder and two-time Olympian. She has won numerous European Championship and World Championship titles and medals. Kibler made the US Olympic team in Tokyo and is also an NCAA Champion. He recently won a world championship in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay.

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 4:45 – Kira Toussaint’s background.
  • 12:00 – Drew Kibler’s background.
  • 19:15 – Key elements of culture: “The setting is important, but not the most important part of culture. I get most inspired by the people around me. If everyone is ready to go I have no choice but to be ready to go.”
  • 21:15 – Small groups vs. large groups for training.
  • 23:15 – Kibler’s experience with training cultures at Carmel and Texas: “At Carmel the culture can be boiled down to excellence. We maintain a level of excellence that is the baseline. Excellence is the bare minimum.”
  • 29:45 – Dryland training: “We are taking on the task of me becoming the most physically prime athletic version of myself. From there we become the best swimmer I can be. And from there we become the best 200m freestyler.”
  • 38:15 – Connections.
  • 41:00 – Reflecting on the 2022 World Championships and race management.
  • 49:15 – In season training.
  • 52:30 – Drew on managing competitions and the “grind.”

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

  • The GAINcast is sponsored by GAIN. Prior GAIN attendees can renew their membership to get continued access to the GAIN library and this year’s talks. If you haven’t been to GAIN before, sign up for the GAIN Master Class series for access to 24 in-depth lectures on a variety of athletic development topics.
  • We’re also brought to you by HMMR Media. Join HMMR Media to get access to a vast library of online training resources, video, articles, podcasts, and more.
  • You can follow Kibler (@drew_kibler) and Toussaint (@kiratoussaint) on Instagram.
  • Both Kibler and Toussaint’s coaches have been guests on the GAINcast. On GAINcast 52 we sat down with the Carmel Swim Club stagg. on GAINcast 29 we talked with University of Tennessee coach Matt Kredich.
  • Swimming has also been a central topic on GAINcast 251 and GAINcast 66 with Chris Webb, GAINcast 153 with swim physiotherapist Tom barton, and GAINcast 75 with former Michigan Jim Richardson.
  • You can learn more from Webb and GAIN Swimming on Instagram (@gain_swim), Twitter (@GAINSwimming), or the GAIN Swimming website.