Swimmers diving at a Meet

Drills and Skills for the Self-Coached Swimmer

Improving Lung Capacity for more Effective Turns by Susan Ingraham

Turns can make or break a great race. Walls are not there for rest, but instead should be used to maintain velocity throughout your event. Turns should be worked on, each and every practice until they become a fluid and seamless part of your swim. There are numerous aspects that all contribute to a great turn. We are going to focus on developing lung capacity. One that all Masters love to perform…Doing turns without air! The following drills are not to be used as a one day workout, but rather be incorporated throughout the month on a regular basis.

Freestyle:
6 x 75 Freestyle Swim @ 1:15
Do not breathe 3 strokes before and 3 strokes after, each flip turn.

Backstroke:
6 x 50 Kick on your back @ 1:05
Use fins, and practice extending the number of underwater dolphin kicks performed off of each wall. Start with 4, adding 1 more each week, until you can do 12 without gasping as you reach the surface. Remember these are short, rapid movements from the waistdown. Arms are straight, squeezing your ears. Hands remain in tight streamline, cutting a straight line through the water.

Butterfly:
10 x 25 Butterfly Swim @ :40
Streamline off each and every wall, using 4-8 dolphin kicks underwater. Remember to keep arms still; your power comes from your core, not your hands, or head, going up and down. Take the first 2 strokes of Fly before your first breath. Keeping your head down on the initial swim strokes helps maintain body alignment. Your body is generating a lot of power off each wall; keep this momentum as you explode through your break-out.

Breaststroke:
Continuous 400 Swim.
Swim Freestyle down the pool, flip turn, and then perform a full Breaststroke pull out.Yes, this is tough to do! Swim Breaststroke on the return 25. Use an open turn while keeping your head face down in the water as you reach in to touch at the wall. Keep your head down as you pull your knees tightly underneath you. As your feet are nearing the wall, press the head back and catch a quick breath as the back of the head enters the water. Most swimmers pick their head up as they touch the wall. Make it your goal to perform each open turn while you "Breathe as you Leave".

Ask the Coach

How Can I Become a USMS Certified Coach?

USMS Certification Courses are different from the USA Swimming Levels of Certification. Masters Coaches encounter a unique variety of challenges, abilities, and needs than those faced by Age Group Coaches. Level I & II are generally offered on the same day for approx. four hours each, with a break for lunch. USMS Certification prepares coaches to manage fitness swimmers, triathletes, and pool competitors. These classes cover a variety of areas such as proper technique skills for all four strokes, understanding open water trainig needs, writing workouts, dealing with facilities, and managing your time.

Level III focuses more on the business side of coaching. Creating a business plan for yourself, the club, and/or the facility, understanding budgets, hiring and working with asst. coaches, and many other areas that give the Coach the tools to become successful.

There are numerous Certification Courses offered throughout the country each year. Please Click here: Class Schedule to locate a Class convenient for you. In the South Texas area for 2015, Level I & II will be offered in San Antonio on May 30. Level III will be in Austin on December 5. Registration can be done at the National Masters site at usms.org - for coaches.

You can email 2008 USMS Coach of the Year Susan Ingraham your questions at STCoaches@usms.org.

Catch ya' in the water!