FINA permit wearable technology in swim races

FINA permit wearable technology in swim races

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.

When a Coach Changes Clubs

When a Coach Changes Clubs

“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.

Coach Advice

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.

Take Your Coaching to Another Level

Take Your Coaching to Another Level

Over the next four months we are going to provide all swimming coaches with some gold.

Not real gold, but golden ideas to assist swim coaches to better understand two key aspects of coaching which many coaches find difficult to understand. They will be explained in live sessions where you can ask questions until you fully understand and can utilise every aspect in your coaching.

Think of it as a crash course on everything you want to better understand to take your coaching to another level. This is a golden opportunity to increase your knowledge to become a better informed and more successful swim coach.

And if you are keen to improve your coaching, please read right to the bottom of this post to take advantage of our special offer. This is your opportunity to get in at the ground floor.

The program has now begun and you will get access to any sessions that have already been recorded. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your coaching to another level.

We have put together responses to some of the most commonly asked questions that swim coaches have. These include:

 How do I prepare a seasonal plan and then weekly plan for my squad/s?

  • How do I write workout designs effectively?
  • How do the energy systems work?
  • How do I know what the right training intensities are for my swimmers?
  • Why should I be preparing my swimmers for 200m events?

We will answer all these and more in…


The School of Physiology for Training and Planning for Swimming Performance

Physiology of Training for Competition Swimmers

Coaches will be hand-led through the minefield that is understanding the physiology of training. By the end you will fully understand the terminology and practical application around training principles, energy systems, progressive overload and much more.

These sessions are all included as part of our world-wide coaching program, Swim Coach Advantage. The following topics will be explained in an easy to understand way that will help you improve your coaching.

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

Planning for Competition Swimmers

You will also be provided with a step by step guide to assist you with your seasonal planning, weekly planning and workout design. This includes:

  • Seasonal planning for Juniors and Advanced Juniors
  • Seasonal Planning for Age and Youth Performance
  • Training Intensities, weekly planning and workout design for advanced juniors
  • Preparation Planning for Age and Youth Performance
  • Weekly Planning and Weekly Periodisation for Age and Youth Performance
  • Importance of Preparing for 200m events
  • Considerations for race preparation and Tapering for peak performance

These sessions are only for current members of Swim Coach Advantage.

Your Presenter

The presentation and delivery of the content above will be led by 2004 & 2012 Australian Olympic Swim Team Head Coach, Leigh Nugent. “Nugget” as he is affectionally known around the swimming traps, will deliver the key components above and will be supported by a number of guest contributors including Australia’s next Head Coach Rohan Taylor and a physiologist.

Special Offer

As a new member to Swim Coach Advantage, you will also receive 12 months access to:

  • More than 200 stroke drill videos
  • Weekly swim observations from experienced coaches
  • The Coaching Junior Swimmers certificate program
  • The weekly Mentor PODs which are held live each week (and recorded for viewing later if you miss them)
  • The Swim Parent Advantage program – see, read and watch all the information provided to swim parents
  • A coaching network of like-minded coaches who want to learn and develop their coaching knowledge and skills

Take advantage of our special offer. This offer is time sensitive. Join by Sunday 13 September 2020 and you can use the Coupon Code “ASCTA” and receive $50.00 off the yearly price.

This program will begin on Thursday 27 August 2020. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your coaching to another level.

See more at Swim Coach Advantage.

Improving Starts, Turns and Finishes with SCA

Improving Starts, Turns and Finishes with SCA

Calling all swim coaches! Improve your coaching of starts, turns and finishes.

Each week we receive many requests from swim coaches who would like to know what sort of content is provided in the Swim Coach Advantage program.

Members are provided with:

  • access to live weekly Mentor PODs where coaches come together and discuss key coaching items,
  • a weekly written or video Swim Obs – an observation made in the previous week by the coaching team,
  • access to more than 180 videos containing drills and skills across the four competitive strokes,
  • access to a private Facebook Group where they can ask questions and share ideas… and much more.

The content is prepared by former Olympic Head Coach Leigh Nugent, leading aquatics educator and manager Gary Barclay and dual Olympic Coach Rohan Taylor.