issue #23, February 12, 2019
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the wake-up swim

thoughts on swimming, coaching, and more from ryan woodruff
Sitting on the shore of the Woolloomooloo Bay in Sydney, Australia, the Andrew "Boy" Charlton pool is a heated saltwater pool named after the 5-time Olympic medalist Aussie swimmer from the 1920s.  Read more about the history of this fascinating pool here. Photo credit @martyfilipowski
"Often you must choose between the voice that makes you feel better and the voice that makes you get better."
-Bill Moore
  Coaches wear many hats - teacher, trainer, counselor, psychologist, organizer, recruiter, leader, supervisor, and the list goes on.  One of the most important roles of a coach is to be the voice that speaks the truth an athlete needs to hear. 
  All swimmers fall short of expectations at one time or another.  It may be at a meet or at practice, in the water or in dryland. The style and substance of our response will of course vary widely depending on the situation and the swimmer, but swimmers always need the truth of our observations and our experiences. It isn't always easy or fun to do -- the truth may be hard to accept or difficult to face -- but if it is the honest truth then deliver it we must. Coupled with that truth must be a plan to improve and elevate the performance for next time. We must be the voice that helps them get better even if it doesn't feel better right away.
- RW
loosening up
  • "Stop Being Late" by Dr. Jarrod Spencer was definitely the best thing I read this week.  I posted it to my team's instagram and miraculously we had 100% punctuality that afternoon.  Now my mission is to keep it that way...
  • This video of NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald talking to himself on the field before the Super Bowl is an excellent example of positive self-talk.  His words totally reflect his mindset, and you can see that mindset at work in his play.
  • SwimSwam has a great idea -- why didn't we think of this sooner?
  • The guys over at Swim Coach Direct have a great new post: The Power of Discouragement and a few years back they shared a workout from Georgia legend Jack Bauerle
swimming video of the week

1. Love this dryland idea. I wonder how it would work to have a second physio ball behind the legs to work the back kick?

2. This video shows some interesting backstroke drill ideas, even going in slow motion so you can really see how they engage the swimmer's core and connects his pull across his body.
favorite stuff from the blog
  • We did this Speed Set for Taper Time 5 days out from our championship meet. The goal is to keep us in touch with race-speed swimming while not being extremely taxing.
  • Coach Gordon Brown contributed this Awesome Age Group Workout this week for his first-ever post on the blog.
  • Sometimes swimming at medium effort with a little resistance like this set has some nice effects on technique awareness.
  • Looking for a good freestyle pull challenge set? Check out this one from Coach Ryan Sprang, now of Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club.
  • I love it when the sprinters think they have a harder workout than the distance group and they are right.
  • Ryan Lochte used to really do some work back in the day.  This one was a 400 IM focused workout just a few months before we won Gold in the 2012 Olympic Games.
parent article
8.5 Signs That You Need to Take a Deep Breath When it Comes to Your Child's Swimming by Ryan Woodruff

Note: These are meant to be slightly humorous, but they are all real-life examples of parents who went a little "overboard" about their kid's swimming. Remember - it's just a sport, and it's supposed to be fun.

1. You bring a stopwatch to a meet or practice. Instead: Stop. Watch. You will enjoy it more that way.
2. You have all of your kids' best times AND all the best times of one of his/her teammates memorized.
3. You won't volunteer at meets because you "have to watch my kid's swims" even though all of the parents who volunteer get to watch their kids too.
4. You are paying your kid in cash for best times or good swims.
5. You have threatened to not feed your kid (even if you were joking) if he or she doesn't swim fast.
6. During a race, you find yourself vicariously rotating side to side during freestyle or backstroke or making a dolphin motion with your body during butterfly.
7. Other parents duck for cover during your kid's swims to avoid getting whacked in the head by your crazy arm-waving dance.
8. You have purchased a non-refundable plane ticket to a meet your swimmer hasn't qualified for yet.
8.5 You read this list and thought one of the items might apply to you and then you rationalized why it doesn't.
coaching inspiration

5-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich a few years ago when asked about his team's chances of winning the championship that season:
"Thanks again for all the work you do for the blog and the wake up swim!"
         -Alex Morris, KC Blazers
Thank you for reading, Alex, and thank you for your contribution, 'The Race to the Top' - RW

"I found your website a few weeks ago and LOVE it! So many great ideas and workouts - perfect to keep 10's and 12's motivated :)"
         - Krysta B

"Thank you for all you're doing here, Coach! Keep up the good work."
         -Jeff Gross, Saline Swim Team
That's a wrap for issue #23. If you like what you've been reading (or even if you don't), please drop me a line or donate a few dollars to my clean water campaign (see below).  If you have a workout, a set, or just a creative idea, you can send it  New to this newsletter? You can sign up here or see our archives here. See you back here next Tuesday!

Happy Coaching,

Countdown to Tokyo: 528 Days
Copyright © 2019 Ryan Woodruff, All rights reserved.

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Ryan Woodruff · 801 Wyndhurst Drive · Lynchburg, VA 24502 · USA

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