issue #37, May 21, 2019

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the wake-up swim

thoughts on swimming, coaching, and more from ryan woodruff
Looking blue: Tobruk Memorial Pool in Cairns, North Queensland, Australia.
Photo credit: @pitaluh
"When the roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind."
-African proverb
  This is a tricky time of year for our swimmers.  We have only been back to hard training for about a month, and now life is throwing many things at them all at once -- final exams, proms, graduation, the tail end of the school year, college visits, starting new summer jobs, and more.  Often the results more frequent absences from practice than we see during the short course season.  With long course championship meets a mere two months away and our first long course training still two weeks in the future, it is enough to turn my already gray hair even lighter.
   As much as I would like our swimmers to be 100% committed, the reality is that few are able to make every practice every week. Making my expectations clear, I try to work with them to make swimming fit around their other responsibilities. Admittedly, I am not always the most patient person when it comes to this process, but instead of making it a point of frustration, my goal this month has been to view these difficulties as just another challenge to overcome.  That IS the attitude I want them to have...and if I am not modelling the attitude that I want them to have, then am I really being an effective coach?  - RW
loosening up
swimming videos of the week
Teaching athletes a new or improved technique is so much easier when you have a good example to show them.  Here are a few good ones:
1. Underwater dolphin kicking slow and controlled:

2. Dana Vollmer's butterfly:

3. Of course, watching the most thrilling individual race in swimming history never gets old:
favorite stuff from the blog
coaching inspiration
Thanks for taking the time to read issue #37.  Don't forget -- you can catch all 36 of the previous issues in the archive. Do you have an opinion on a coaching topic or an article that you think deserves a wider audience? E-mail me at

Happy Coaching!

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

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