issue #17, January 1, 2019
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the wake-up swim

thoughts on swimming, coaching, and more from ryan woodruff
The Prince Alfred Park pool in Sydney, Australia is the site of this surreal scene. Photo credit @mnicklin
“It is quality rather than quantity that matters."
(a USRPT fan, I would presume?)
     Each week, this little blurb is the part of 'the wake-up swim' that I find most difficult to put together.  I want to write something pithy, something wise, and something helpful to every swim coach that reads this.  That's a tall order, in no small part because I am very much the target audience for my own writing. 
   I am no legend of the pool deck.  I coach a medium-sized team in a medium-sized town. I am a full time coach who puts lots of hours into a job I love.  I worry that my love for this career won't make enough money for my own three kids to go to college, but I find myself just as worried about that one kid at practice who I can't seem to reach.
   2019 will mark my 20th year of coaching, and while I feel I am still getting better at this coaching thing, every year that passes makes me realize how much more I still have to learn.  I suspect that many of you feel the same way.
   So here's to a new year -- a year of learning, coaching, dreaming, failing, succeeding, and being part of this incredible sport we love.  Thank you for letting me be part of it with you.
loosening up
parent article

The Phenom and the Climber

by Ryan Woodruff
   Ours is a competitive sport and one that easily lends itself to comparison.  Whereas in basketball or soccer for example we could have endless debates about who is a better player, in swimming we have the most black and white tool for comparison that exists: THE CLOCK.  This is awesome because it allows to us to know exactly where we stand versus the competition at any meet or season of a swimmer’s career.  This knowledge can be motivating but it ignores one critical truth: that swimmers mature, grow, and improve at vastly different rates.  Every swimmer follows his or her own path.
    Here is an example: Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held both made the US Olympic team in 2016... Read more here.
swimming videos of the week

1. This drill from UNC Assistant Coach Sean Quinn puts a whole new "spin" on turns:


2. Nic Fink also has pretty rapid rotation on his breaststroke turn:

favorite stuff from the blog
coaching inspiration
Never doubt the impact that we can have as coaches.  Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams retired Sunday after 13 years in the NFL.  After the game, he talked about the impact that one coach had on him many years ago.
Happy New Year 2019!
Thanks again for reading and thanks for sharing this email with your coaching colleagues.  Remember, workout submissions are always welcome at, and if you are new to "the wake-up swim," I invite you to  sign up here.

Happy coaching,

Countdown to Tokyo: 570 Days
Links listed in this e-mail may be affiliate links meaning that I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase from those links.  This won't add any extra cost for you, and I appreciate your support of
the wake-up swim and The Swimming Wizard blog.
Copyright © 2019 Ryan Woodruff, All rights reserved.

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

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