e-book Championship Swimming Techniques

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He also introduces drills that can be done with a partner or using simple equipment from kickboards to soda cans to add variety and fun to a workout while enhancing technique, addressing stroke flaws and building endurance. The drills in this presentation give athletes several different ways to improve each essential skill. Coach Marsh begins with a comprehensive drill progression that athletes can use to perfect each aspect of the stroke.

He demonstrates drills designed to establish the correct body position and rotation for controlled efficiency- a powerful, hip-driven stroke. He offers a variety of drills for building the new high, fast catch and a pull with a strong tie to core body strength. In addition, Coach Marsh details the underwater body dolphin, backstroke breakouts and world-class backstroke finishes. The presentation ends with Thoman swimming full stroke at two different tempos while Coach Marsh reviews the characteristics of world-class backstroke.

Though some of these drills may be familiar, plenty of new tips and techniques are covered. Coach Marsh's belief that there is always more to learn makes this presentation indispensable for all levels of swimmers and coaches. This unique bonus feature allows you to watch Coach Marsh evaluate and diagnose the stroke and evaluate, correct, teach, and enhance it. This session demonstrates that the concepts he uses with his elite swimmers can be used with younger, developing swimmers. Efficiency, not raw power, is the key to a quality breaststroke.

In this presentation, legendary swim coach David Marsh shares effective drills for achieving maximum speed by building the breaststroke around a strong body line. With the assistance of Micah Lawrence, a member of the United States Olympic team, Coach Marsh demonstrates all aspects of the stroke from the fundamentals to the critical details that can easily be overlooked.

Now, you can use Marsh's tips and techniques to develop a powerful, masterful, and efficient breaststroke. Breaststroke is one of the most unique swimming strokes. Using drills that Coach Marsh has developed along with drills he has learned from elite U. He incorporates advanced drills to put the stroke back together.

These drills focus on all aspects of the stroke, including the streamline, hand cycle and kick. Coach Marsh begins by examining the components of an ideal breaststroke kick. Watch as Lawrence demonstrates her world-class breaststroke kick and the drills that build each component of it.

Next, Coach Marsh concentrates on the pull, using drills to build strong, fast sculling capability and to address common pull flaws.

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Lastly, he looks at the full stroke breaststroke, showing swimmers and coaches alike how to connect the kick and pull through the breaststroke line for maximum speed. Whether you are a coach or a swimmer, you'll feel like Coach Marsh is personally coaching you as he shares the how and why of each drill, as well as key things to look for as it's being executed.


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Coach Marsh encourages coaches and swimmers to be creative with equipment available on most pool decks-from kick boards to parking cones-to safely add the resistance that the swimmer needs to build power, heighten water sensitivity, and correct stroke flaws. These dryland and pool exercises and drills combine to build the critical element of a fast breaststroke-a long, straight body-line that runs from the tips of the fingers through the crown of the head and down to the toes. The drills in this presentation helped Lawrence become a world-class breaststroker and they will help you improve your breaststroke, too!

The uniqueness of this session allows you to watch a master technician take the drills and concepts that he used throughout the presentation and effectively evaluate, teach, and correct the strokes of his developing swimmers. The Endless Pool creates a one on one coaching session that is up close and highly effective. This segment is an invaluable lesson on how to teach the breaststroke.

David Marsh is a world-class coach and stroke technician who has won 12 NCAA championships and coached numerous Olympians.


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  • In this presentation, Coach Marsh shares essential drills for helping swimmers and coaches develop a masterful butterfly. With the assistance of an elite-level swimmer, Coach Marsh starts with the basics of executing the whole of the stoke correctly and then progresses to more advanced drills that work on timing, rhythm and power. The butterfly is one of the most difficult strokes to learn and master. With Coach Marsh's "Press and Release" drill progressions, you can overcome the challenge by developing correct body position in the water. These drills teach athletes that the more they press and release the chest without using a power driving kick to create speed, the more potential there is for faster performances.

    Today's best flyers have a flatter stroke that stays more connected through the pull. Coach Marsh's pulling drills emphasize an early high elbow catch that accelerates as the hands move under the body, which is very similar to a freestyle-pulling pattern. The goal is to land the stroke in no more than four inches of water. The timing of the breath is one of the hardest aspects of the stroke to learn.

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    Encourage your swimmers to set personal targets to focus on in each workout. This way, they remain mindful of their swimming, learning to conquer tough sets and stay accountable to their training. Provide guidance on specific changes they can make to improve and explain why. Promote open communication between yourself and your swimmers. Encourage them to ask questions and be more involved in their training. When they gain a deeper understanding of their performance, they will be able to effectively apply these insights to future swimming sets.

    Have their times been improving? If you have access to more data, have a deeper look at how they are progressing based on metrics like DPS or stroke rate. A large part of getting the most out of swim workouts is knowing how to tweak them to better suit the needs of individual swimmers. Check out this post to find the best swim workout sets to add to your workout. Effective swim sets are key to making sure every practice serves to bring your swimmers closer to their goals.

    Good kicks are absolutely essential to fast swimming. Powerful kicks help provide good amounts of speed right from the start, but when swimmers start to fatigue, the legs are usually the first to go. Training the legs well ensures swimmers can maintain strong and fast kicks throughout the entire distance of their races.

    For swimmers to properly develop good kicking technique, power, and speed, kick sets need to be incorporated into workouts. These sets could be vertical kicks, sprint or distance kick sets, done with or without kick boards or fins, or a combination of these throughout the season. Every swimmer - from beginners to high performance athletes - can benefit greatly from implementing drills to their workouts. Technique focused workouts that focus heavily on drills usually occur early in the season, to lay the groundwork and build a solid foundation for good strokes.

    This sets swimmers up for success once more speed, strength, and endurance work come into play. Every team has a group of sprinters and distance swimmers, typically doing different workouts at practice. For the sprinters in the team, most of their training would revolve around sprint sets - shorter distances, at higher intensity, training their fast twitch muscle fibres to react quicker, and improving speed and power right off the blocks.

    Meanwhile, distance swimmers really have to put in the miles, significantly longer sets at lower intensity than the explosive sets sprinters do to build their endurance and train their ability to maintain their pace throughout the entire distance of their races. Descending sets ask swimmers to complete each rep faster than the previous rep.

    For instance, descending sets for sprinters could be something like an 8x50, descend 1 to 8, where they have to swim faster on each For your distance group, it could be an 8x descend 1 to 4, 5 to 8, where they swim each faster until the 4th rep, and start again from a slower pace on the 5th and descend to the 8th. Build sets ask swimmers to increase their speed as they complete the distance.

    Test sets are an essential component of successful training plans. They measure swimmers progress throughout the season, and helps determine how well they are staying on track of their targets.

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    There are different types of test sets depending on which component of a swim you are trying to gauge. The key is to have a specific purpose for every test set, and that every test results in actionable insights to guide and improve training plans moving forward. Common types of tests you can implement regularly throughout the season include aerobic, anaerobic, lactate, technique, efficiency, strength, and power.

    To learn more about measuring progress effectively through test sets, check out this post. Broken Swims set - this is an endurance based set mixed with speed, from Ironman coach Matt Dixon, as posted in this Ironman article. The Kansas IM set - University of Kansas coach Clark Campbell designed this set to help swimmers start fast, maintain speed in the middle, and power through to the end.

    High Intensity Kick Set - This is a descending ladder kick set, from Commit Swimming Set of the Week , designed to help swimmers sustain fast kicks through the end of and races. Lactate production training promotes fast sprint swimming.

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    When it comes to sprinting, swimmers use intermediate energy sources produced by the anaerobic system. The anaerobic system activates the fast twitch muscle fibres needed for high intensity and explosive activities, such as swim sprints, and starts to break down glycogen without oxygen. This provides an immediate source of energy, but also produces lactic acid.

    They also increase the quantities of CP and ATP stored in the muscle, energy sources that provide that quick burst of energy necessary for sprinters. Simply put, lactate production sets train swimmers to go fast. They improve swimmers ability to swim harder and at a faster speed, from the very start to end of sprint distances.

    Generally, athletes can repeat the sets as long as they are able to maintain their times. Once they fatigue and slow down, they should stop the set or take longer rest in between sets. Otherwise, they may go into acidosis, where lactic acid is produced at a faster rate than it is cleared. This is counter productive to the purpose of lactate production training as acidosis slows down the rate of anaerobic metabolism.

    Severe acidosis shifts the training into lactate threshold; while lactate threshold training is essential to a seasonal training plan, it trains a different energy system altogether. Ernest Maglischo provides great guidelines on building lactate production sets in his book Swimming Fastest.