Why Young Swimmers Should Train for the 200m Individual Medley

Why Young Swimmers Should Train for the 200m Individual Medley

Training for the 200m Individual Medley (IM) can offer a range of benefits for young swimmers.

The 200m IM is a challenging race that combines all four swimming strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Here are some reasons why young swimmers might consider training for this event:

  1. Versatility and Skill Development:
    • The 200m IM requires proficiency in all four swimming strokes, promoting a well-rounded skill set.
    • It helps young swimmers develop a strong foundation in each stroke, which can be beneficial for overall swimming ability.
  2. Physical Conditioning:
    • The 200m IM involves a variety of movements, requiring swimmers to develop strength, endurance, and flexibility in different muscle groups.
    • Training for the 200m IM can contribute to overall physical conditioning, helping swimmers build cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength.
  3. Mental Toughness:
    • The race demands mental resilience as swimmers transition between different strokes, each with its own challenges.
    • Handling the variety of strokes and maintaining focus throughout the race can enhance a swimmer’s mental toughness and concentration.
  4. Race Strategy:
    • The 200m IM requires swimmers to strategically plan their race, considering the strengths and weaknesses of each stroke.
    • Learning to pace oneself and optimise energy distribution is a valuable skill that can be honed through training for the 200m IM.
  5. Preparation for Longer Events:
    • While not as long as some distance events, the 200m IM can serve as a stepping stone for swimmers preparing for longer races.
    • It helps swimmers build the endurance needed for events with greater distances.
  6. Competition Opportunities:
    • The 200m IM is a common event in swim meets and competitions, providing swimmers with ample opportunities to showcase their skills.
    • Success in the 200m IM can contribute to a swimmer’s overall competitiveness and versatility in different events.
  7. Fun and Variety:
    • Training for the 200m IM can add variety to a swimmer’s routine, making practices more engaging and enjoyable.
    • The combination of strokes in one race can make training sessions more interesting and challenging.

In summary, training for the 200m Individual Medley offers a well-rounded and challenging experience for young swimmers. It helps develop a versatile skill set, promotes physical conditioning and mental toughness, and provides a foundation for success in various swimming events.

Coaching Swimming in the 21st Century

Coaching Swimming in the 21st Century

Many of the top swimming clubs in Australia and around the world have recognised the need for ongoing professional development for their swim coaches.

Gold Class Swimming has fast become the most recognised and professional swim coach development organisation for the ongoing development of swimming coaches.

Gold Class Swimming caters for swim coaches who are keen to improve their skills and help each individual swimmer to swim with correct technique and skills. In particular, the Swim Coach Advantage program provides weekly live online sessions for coach members in more than 20 countries.

The program is recognised by Swimming Australia and provides re accreditation points for active members who maintain ongoing learning by actively participating in the program.

The key contributors to the program are based in Australia, one the most successful countries in competitive swimming. The content delivered and weekly discussions are at the cutting edge of coaching. The coaching experts provide members with the opportunity to improve their knowledge, understanding and skill sets on a weekly basis.

This week we release our brand-new Certificate program “Coaching for Age Group Swimmers” to the coaching community.

Within the Certificate course there is a major focus on the Physiology of Training and Understanding Energy Systems. The Certificate program provides coaches with a very good understanding of key elements such as:

  • Training principles, training zones, training variables and training specifics
  • Overload and progressive overload
  • Understanding energy systems, energy systems and events, energy systems and training design
  • Aerobic and anaerobic
  • Lactate production, lactate clearance and lactate tolerance
  • Aerobic threshold and anaerobic threshold
  • VO2 Max – Maximum O2 Uptake
  • Anaerobic glycolysis
  • Muscle fuel – ATP, ATP-PC
  • Lactic acid and lactate curve
  • Heart rate and heart rate curve
  • Recovery

We want as many swim coaches as possible to share in the learning and join our community, so we have a special offer of $50 off annual memberships. 

This program is ideal for:

  • Swim coaches currently working with 13-17-year-old swimmers competing at a national level who would like to prepare athletes for international level competition in future years.
  • Swim coaches who currently coach juniors or age development level swimmers and would like to gain the knowledge to coach 13-17-year-olds to high levels of success.

The Certificates also include a focus on planning for performance level athletes aged 13 to 17 years.

Planning is a key aspects of swim coaching and an area many coaches struggle with, so the program provides modules that take coaches through the planning for age development and age performance athletes.

These certificates include:

  • A review of the physiology terminology used with age performance and open level swimmers
  • What are training zones?
  • The training of the different energy systems to maximise performance in age performance swimmers
  • How to write a preparation plan for athletes aged 13 to 17 years, performing at a high level
  • A look in detail at periodisation from phase to phase and training cycles within each week
  • Considerations for workout design
  • How to write specific training sessions representative through the phases of preparation

All these modules and much more are now available as part of our world-wide coaching program, Swim Coach Advantage.

As an added bonus, you will also gain access to our weekly live Mentor PODs where we discuss a variety of topics and will include a number of expert guests in 2023.

You will also receive access to:

  • a 10 min explanation on the correct stroke model for the four strokes,
  • images that include a breakdown of the key elements of each stroke including correct head, body, hand and leg positions throughout each stroke,
  • more than 160 drills across the 4 strokes including many progressions that will get results with your swimmers, and
  • in fact everything you need to become a better informed, knowledgeable and successful coach.

To claim your discount of $50 off the annual membership, use the coupon code AGEPERFORM at checkout.

We look forward to helping you to take your swim coaching to another level.

PS: If you join in the next 48 hours, you will also receive:

  • free access to the Swim Parent Advantage program which includes everything you need to know to manage parents in your program, and
  • free access to the Certificate series on Coaching Junior Swimmers which provides coaches of swimmers aged 8 to 12 years with the key ingredients of being a successful coach of junior swimmers.

To claim your discount of $50 off the annual membership, use the coupon code AGEPERFORM at checkout.

The Importance of the Coach’s Demeanor

The Importance of the Coach’s Demeanor

Sport for children is primarily about enjoyment, so it is vitally important that the coach or teacher presents it in a way which is non-threatening, engaging and with a happy manner.

You cannot underestimate the importance of the coach’s demeanour with the group.

We all experience days with varying degrees of difficulty; that’s life.  We need however to be mindful when we are working with our swimmers, that regardless of the sort of day we have had we have to present with a happy face and have a disposition that others feel comfortable with.

If we aren’t fun and enjoyable to be around it is unlikely our swimmers will respond in a positive way and become really engaged with their swimming session and be a person who children want to be around.

A good strategy is to adopt the routine of self checking. We do this by simply taking a moment to ask ourselves:

  • What mood state am I in?
  • Am I smiling?
  • How am I expressing myself? What is my body language like and what is the tone of voice I am using.
  • What do I need to modify to ensure a positive experience for all?

In essence, be like the coach who you would like to be the coach of your own children. 

Late Breathing in Freestyle

Late Breathing in Freestyle

We frequently see in freestyle during the breathing phase swimmers breathing late in relation to the arm cycle. Whilst this isn’t a cataclysmic issue it can create complications for the swimmer particularly under race conditions and during demanding training sets.

The two main areas where this habit can adversely affect performance are:

1. The late movement or rotation of the head results in a disconnect with the timing of the arms and the rotation of the shoulders and hips, which disturbs the rhythm of the stroke and some loss of efficiency.

2. There is a reduction in the length of time that the mouth can be open for inhalation, resulting in a lower volume of airflow and as a consequence the gas exchange in the lungs is compromised.

The ideal timing of the rotation of the head for breathing is; the head rotates as the propelling arm commences the push phase of the arm pull, which is in synchronization with the upward rotation of the shoulder on the breathing side. Inhalation begins just prior to the completion of the push phase and the during the commencement of the recovery of the arm. Inhalation continues through the first half of the recovery and as the hand or arm passes the shoulder the head commences its counter rotation and finishing in the neutral position with the eyes looking after which the exhalation begins.

Swim Coach Advantage provides swimming coaches with the knowledge and support to get the best out of every athlete they coach. The most current coaching information on technique, skills, planning, energy systems and much more is now available to all swimming coaches.

The BEST professional development program for swimming coaches

Rotating the head to breathe with this timing will provide an optimal period to complete the inhalation. If this period length is shortened by turning the head late, then the opportunity to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide becomes limited, which is highly likely to adversely affect performance.

A drill which can help create to correct breathing timing is “single arm opposite side breathing drill” is the “Opposite Side Breathing Drill”. This drill has the swimmer for instance stroking with their left arm but breathing to their right, with the rotation of the head coordinated with the entry and extension of the left arm (stroke with the left and breathe to the right). The right arm is held stationary by the right hip. If you have someone afflicted with late breathing try this drill and see if it helps.

Watch World Short Course Swimming on TV

Watch World Short Course Swimming on TV

Just like many of you, I will be watching some of the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia with keen interest. With match ups like Kyle Chambers versus David Popovici in the 100m freestyle and many other world class swimmers it will be not only fantastic racing to watch but also the opportunity for coaches and swimmers of all ages to learn from the best.

The event is being held in Melbourne, Australia with live broadcast around the country from 11:00am for the heat sessions and 7:30pm for the finals sessions. All events will be shown live on Channel 9 in Australia.

When we are watching these events on television, the work done by the production crew is outstanding and there are so many opportunities for us to learn. From a technical perspective, we have the benefit of the incredible vision as it streams to us in high definition footage. We can watch the races from above the water, from several different angles including side, front and from behind, and underwater via strategically placed static cameras. Include with that the images from the mobile camera running up and down the side of the pool and there is much to watch.

Through this smorgasbord of images we get to see the subtle technique and skill execution differences from swimmer to swimmer. For me it reinforces how important it is at this elite level that attention has to be paid to every detail.

Some key footage to watch includes:

  • Taking up the starting position
  • Exploding off the block at the start
  • Angle of entry into the water on dives and backstroke start
  • Angle of body and kicking underwater
  • Angle of breakout
  • Breakout from below and above water
  • Stroke technique in all strokes
  • Approach to the wall in turns
  • Turning actions for each stroke
  • Push off wall and streamlined position
  • Pacing of races
  • Breathing patterns
  • No breathing into the wall in freestyle and butterfly
  • Last 15m of a race
  • Last 5m of a race
  • Finish in each event

Watching the swimming from these various angles will assist athletes to improve more quickly and assist coaches to put together some footage to show specific elements of each stroke and race to their athletes..