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 Swimminghas 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 withcorrect technique and skills.In particular, theSwim Coach Advantageprogram 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
Muscle fuel – ATP, ATP-PC
Lactic acid and lactate curve
Heart rate and heart rate curve
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 alsogain access to our weekly live Mentor PODswhere 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 thecoupon code AGEPERFORMat 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 discountof $50 off the annual membership, use the coupon code AGEPERFORM at checkout.
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.
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.
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.
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
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..
The World’s aquatic governing body has announced that swimmers will now be able to wear technology during swimming races.
“The use of technology and automated data collection devices is permissible for the sole purpose of collecting data. Automated devices shall not be utilized to transmit data, sounds, or signals to the swimmer and may not be used to aid their speed.”
This means it will be legal to “wear” technology to collect the swimmer’s data for research, education, and entertainment However, that data cannot be used in real-time to inform swimmers on how they are going, nor assist them with communication throughout the race.
The impact of this FINA rule change will impact the sport for a generation. A positive outcome is that feedback will be provided on swimmers performance in real time to their coach and potentially the public. But will the top swimmers want to wear the technology, particularly if the data is shared through tv coverage and to others?
To look at how this can work and the outcomes for the sport, let’s take a look.
“My son and my husband and I are very happy at our Swimming Club. The Club provides everything we want for our 14 year old son, a positive environment, good coaching, a pathway to develop further and a great team atmosphere. Last night we were informed that my son’s coach is moving to another club and he has asked us to leave our current club and move to the new one with him. We are so confused and would like some advice on how we decide what to do.”
We receive many emails similar to the one above (received last week) from parents asking for advice around coaching, particularly when a coach moves onto another position. Every request for advice is different so we have summarized our thoughts below to assist parents in this situation.
Junior and Age Group Swimmers
In general our advice is if your child is happy in the club they are in, then it is more beneficial to remain at the club with their friends and training partners and continue to train together under a newly appointed coach rather than changing clubs and following their former coach. Invariably the environment created by the Club as a whole and the swimmer pathways within the club are more important to the continued improvement and success of a junior or age group swimmers.
Furthermore, for swimmers in these younger age groups, their coach will often be in an assistant coaching position, and the replacement coach is as good or even better than the departing coach. In general it is always worth giving the incoming coach a good 6 to 12 months for your child to get used to them and continue their swimming journey.
Location and travel time will also play a part in decision-making and it is important for families to understand the ramifications particularly if travel time increases, especially as children move into and through high school.
For coaches looking to begin a new role in either an established or new Club, it is highly advisable to begin your new role with new swimmers and not encourage your current swimmers to move with you. When I (Gary) moved from one Club as an Assistant Coach to another as Head Coach, I instigated that no swimmers from my previous squads (60 State & National level swimmers) would be welcome to my new Club for a period of 2 years from beginning there. This allowed my current athletes to continue training and competing at my former club and further progress and improve with the least disruption to their swimming, their friendships and the Club. It also provided the incoming coach with the best opportunity to be successful in their new role. This was the right thing to do. It also allowed me as a new Head Coach to develop the culture and athletes from the base up in my new club, gradually over time to ensure the foundations were built for a long term successful club.
Most coaches will understand the reasons for working through a situation similar to that outlined above, however a small minority will “encourage junior and/or age group swimmers to leave their current club and follow them to their new club.” I have seen this happen a small number of times over the past 30 years and it nearly always ends in tears. This is a selfish attitude by the coach who is more interested in promoting themselves than supporting their athletes. It also shows a lack of respect for their previous employer which in turn often carries through to their new employer. If as a parent you are ever put in a position like this, please think twice before making a move as the grass is rarely greener on the other side. It may seem like a good idea at the time but it rarely works out well.