issue #50, november 7, 2019

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the wake-up swim

thoughts on swimming, coaching, and more from ryan woodruff
This pool is located in Sorema Matão, near São Paulo, Brazil.  Picture taken by @titograph using a DJI Mavic drone.
  Wow - 50 issues of the wake-up swim! This has been a fun ride with y'all so far. Looking forward to keeping it rolling. I don't have any philosophical waxings of my own to share with you this time, so let's just dive right in...  -RW
loosening up
  • Tom Dolan was at the peak of his superstardom when I was a teenager, so I had to explain his dominance to my current swimmers when I read them Adversity is Confidence in Disguise and challenged them to rethink the excuses they might be making for themselves.
  • Recently, I dug up this article I saved a few years ago and found some gems: 35 Secrets of Brilliant Coaches.
  • Coach Rick Madge does some excellent "outside the box" thinking and writing in his article on Breathing Strategy for IMs.
  • How Great Teachers See is recommended reading for every coach at every level. As coach-teachers it is critical that we believe in every individual!
Q: I love the race pace chart. And my kids and parents love them too. So, my question to you is, how would I adjust the chart to allow for 50s of stroke? We have some really focused 12 year old girls on my team and love that they are eating up information. I guess I just need to know: are there different variables involved for the different strokes or can I just copy and paste the 50 Free 3 more times?
-Clyde Smith, Dakota Riptide, Mitchell, SD
A: Thanks, Clyde.  Glad you like the race pace cards.  I have posted an updated version that includes 50s of strokes and is free for download with many other useful items on my Tools for Coaches page. 50s of breast, back, and fly would be slightly different from the 50 free in terms of the formula for splits. A note on the use of the pace card -- it is meant to give the athletes a training target.  Obviously, different individuals split races differently, and 50s are particularly difficult to estimate what splits should look like since the start is such a large percentage of the race. The formulas I have used produce what I view as a "typical" way to split a 50.  Even this was a bit tough to ascertain due to lack of available data on how these races are swum. -RW
Ask Ryan a Question
favorite stuff from the blog
videos of the week
1. Check out this dryland exercise from @funnyswimming:

2.And this one too from NYU Strength and Conditioning:
3. This new resistance training device, the GMX7, is a bit pricey but an interesting concept.Ryan Lochte demonstrates how it works:
coaching inspiration

"Competitive fire will never ignite, or be expressed, when our orientation is just to get through the day. Competitive fire will flourish when long-term goals are high, and when it's accepted that risks and mistakes go hand-in-hand, and we are free to let ambition reign."

-Tim Grover, in his book 'Relentless'
Thank you for reading issue #50. What was the best practice you ran this week?  We would love to see it! Please send it to me at so we can share it with our daily audience.

Happy Coaching!

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Countdown to Tokyo: 260 Days
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Ryan Woodruff · 801 Wyndhurst Drive · Lynchburg, VA 24502 · USA

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