Learning From the Best

Posted on February 28, 2011


Class Was In Session!

After two very long weekends at two fast championship meets, I have continued to learn as a coach and hopefully the young athletes did. I especially hope they were paying attention in the meet this past weekend with the likes of Ryan Lochte, Shaun Fraser, distance king Peter Vanderkaay, Omar Pinzon and many others in the pool. The ease at which these world-class swimmers looked and the distance per stroke they were getting looked incredible.  Maybe I have been looking at the younger studs for too many years!  However, these Olympians have honed their technique and turns over many, many years (literally practicing hundreds of thousands of turns, strokes, etc.) and the younger kids hopefully were paying attention.


This was probably the largest difference I witnessed this past weekend at the Senior Champs.  The turns were extremely fast in and out and the speed and angle the elite swimmers came off the wall was much different from the less experienced athletes.  Even the 16 year olds, who you would think would be proficient; however, the more horizontal the streamline, the less drag!

Another huge tip the younger kids could have picked up on was how the first 3 strokes off every wall were the elite swimmers’ best, being fast and efficient.  Many times going into the turn the swimmers were even with the competition and coming off they were still even…until the first three strokes.  (No breath by the way!)  All of the sudden the four men mentioned above had a half a body length!

This just proves it’s paying attention to the details that make you faster and more efficient!  Plain and simple.

I always tell my kids, “You are going as fast as you are ever going to go off of the start and turns.” My swimmers can recite this back to me whenever I ask them to… they just don’t always do it! Why would they “breath out” or not power up to keep that speed as long as they can?  I guess it’s rocket science! haha


Swimmers, this is easy.  Listen to your coaches and do what they say!  Do it when you are fresh, do it when you are tired…and hold the stroke, period! The minute you get lazy or lack in concentration, the “bad stroke gremlins” come in and try to dismantle your stroke! I’ve seen it for years.  Balance your stroke, geez!  How?  Ask your coach.  Work on high elbows in freestyle and distance per stroke…you’ll thank your coach later.


Before you even take a stroke you come up a half body length behind, don’t you?  Streamlining is crucial to a great start, especially in the sprints. Work your leg strength and quickness. Plyometrics, angle entry and streamline!  Come up in first place, not last!

For some great videos on all of swimming, go to http://GoSwim.tv and check them out!

Superman Pose

I actually saw Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay do the “Superman pose” behind the blocks before every event.  What do you know? I guess it does work!  Attitude is everything.  If you think you are an “awesome stud” and you know you’ve put the work in, the rest is easy.

Try concentrating on the details this week!

Posted in: Rock Stars, Tips