issue #20, January 22, 2019
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the wake-up swim

thoughts on swimming, coaching, and more from ryan woodruff
Breathtaking! This pool is at the Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda in Northern Italy and is now at the top of my "must-swim" pools list.  Photo credit @fsimonetti69
"No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself."
  Hey coach, how's your season going? Not as well as you would like? Join the club.  How was practice yesterday? Mine was pretty alright too. It's a grind, this job we love, isn't it?

  We coaches are human beings, prone to doubts and fears, with ebbs and flows of motivation. Even the best of us can't be awesome every single day.  What do you tell your swimmers when they have a bad practice? Do you tell yourself the same thing when it isn't your best day? You don't have to be the greatest coach in the world, just do the best you can TODAY.

Remember why you started coaching in the first place.
     Keep that in mind today.
Remember how the best coach you ever had made you feel.
     Keep that in mind today. 
Remember how the worst coach you ever had made you feel. 
     Keep that in mind today.
You are one of the most significant people in your swimmers' lives, with the power to make a positive difference in the world.
     Keep that in mind today.    -RW
loosening up
  • Last week, FINA relaxed their ridiculous ban on athletes competing in non-FINA approved meets.  This seems to be a victory for the potential pro swimmers of the world and for more athlete-centric behavior by our international governing body.  But as they say, don't hold your breath.
  • There are plenty of coaches who are critical/defensive about Michael Andrew's training methods.  I don't have a strong opinion on them (his methods seem to work for him!), but this workout he posted is pretty gnarly.
  • SwimSmart has an interesting new product coming out soon - the Push Paddle.  Check out this video explaining it.
  • Coach Rick Madge wrote "Perfectionism and the Athlete," and described classifying his swimmers by their mental approach. I definitely found myself thinking about which of my swimmers fit into each of his categories.
  • Coach Ken O'Reilly contributed a workout to the blog last month, and he also wrote a good piece "Getting the Most Out of Them" back in 2000. I enjoyed his philosophy and got several useful ideas from this one.
parent article

Nine Things I Want Swim Parents to Know  by Ryan Woodruff
   1. Swimming is an excellent sport for your child to participate in for so many reasons.
   2. We are glad to have your swimmer on our team and we appreciate you giving us the opportunity to coach her.
   3. We will be challenging your swimmer to continually improve himself. This will be difficult but it will be worth it.
   4. Nobody knows the performance ceiling for your swimmer.
   5. Swimming belongs to your swimmer -- not the coach, not the parents. Let’s agree to keep it that way.
   6. Your swimmer’s worst stroke could become her best stroke a year or two from now.
   7. Your swimmer needs your support. This includes moral/emotional support and the resources to help him become his best.
   8. Competition is a critical part of the swimming experience. Meets give meaning to the time and effort we put in at practice.
   9. We (parents and coaches) are on the same team. A successful partnership will go a long way toward helping your swimmer.
swimming videos of the week

1. One of my favorite starting drills is the "plunge for distance," which actually used to be an Olympic event.

2. Check out this "Spine Mobility Flow" from @thephysiofix

favorite stuff from the blog
a question worth pondering (for coaches at all levels)

"I love the blog, and am really enjoying the wake up swim e-mails, they have been very helpful! Keep doing good work!"   
          - Coach Todd Kramer, Columbia Swim Club
Thanks for reading issue #20. If the curated content you see here is valuable to you, I would appreciate you forwarding this email to a friend of yours in the swimming community. Suggestions, criticisms, and contributions are welcome. If you are new to this newsletter, you can sign up here.

Happy Coaching,

Countdown to Tokyo: 549 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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