I get the feeling sometimes when I’m coaching or teaching a swim lesson that I’m wasting time. Sometimes I feel like when parents see me doing “floats” with their advanced swimmers, or doing a challenge where they do a front float, flip, then do a handstand we’re playing games without a purpose. If you’ve followed … Read moreDrills for swim teams you might be skipping
Category: Distance swimming, Group Core Skill: Coach’s Choice, Reading the board. Name: Swim Subtraction WHO This game is for swim teams that know how to read the board a little bit. Some ability to read your shorthand, your practices, or some familiarity with your program is important. Do not play this game with beginners. We … Read moreSwimming Game – Swim Subtraction
Category: Group activity, Social Core Skill: Coach’s choice Name: Valentine’s Day Practice I like to do different things for the holidays. Most of the kids that participate on our swim team are in grade school or middle school. They’re somewhere between 5 years old and 13 on the developmental swim team. For Valentine’s Day I … Read moreSwimming Game – Give a Gift, Take a Swim
Every year I get a few new assistant coaches that help me run my developmental swim practices. Once they understand the language that I use, the routines and habits for the different groups, and are comfortable with the flow and format of most practices I give them opportunities to take ownership of the groups. I … Read moreSwimming Game – Tic Tac Toe
Category: Group Activities Core Skill: Reading the board, self-guided practice Name: Trick and Treat WHO: This game is for swim team participants or people that can be in the water without someone in the water with them. You could do this with lessons but would need a person in the water at each station to … Read moreSwimming Game – Trick and Treat
Category: Group Activity Core Skill: General Swimming / Quiz Name: President’s Day Trivia This game is actually a trivia portion with a bunch of little mini-games inside of it associated with each President. Holidays are a good excuse to do something different or new. I remember inventing the baseball swim game for our swim group during the … Read moreSwimming Game – President’s Day Trivia
At Swimming Ideas we’re all about ability, skill, and learning over endurance. I’d rather see someone swim well than swim sloppy for 200 yards. Perhaps I should say that we’re in the business of “fun and effective” swimming. In fact, I wrote a whole book about creating “fun and effective swim games.” Through our swim … Read moreVariations on standard techniques for better swimming
Fall is over. The first season of the 2017-2018 swim year. Can you believe that it has been 14 weeks already? Fun fact, new research shows that repetition, doing the same thing every day, makes you perceive time moving faster. When you do something new and different you perceive that time moves slower. A good … Read moreA letter to swim team parents Fall 2017
“Oh my god! Coach Jeff! How are you?” Or the more common smile and hide behind the parent’s leg, but still want to tell me a story in too many random details like children tell stories. That is what I most often hear and see when I run into swimmer families around the community. I … Read moreAre you respected or feared?
Finally. I’m done with swim team for this week. I coach two developmental swim groups back to back Monday through Thursday. We have 86 kids this fall in those two groups. It is nuts. How do you handle large groups of kids that don’t know what they’re doing? I like to prepare in advance and … Read moreFirst week of Fall 2017 swim team is over.
Summer is officially over for me. That’s right. It is late August, we’re no longer at the outdoor pools, and we’ve already done tryouts. It is time for the new Fall 2017 season! Yikes! Time flies so fast. This is the trello.com board that I publish every week as part of the Complete Swimming Program … Read moreNew 2017 Fall swim team season starts today
How to be a better coach or instructor Episode 057 with Meighan Julbert: “Focus on the 2-3 things totally essential for swimmer’s success.” Episode 055 with Karis Mount: “My coaches focused on the one thing that would make me improve. We were focused.” Episode 054 with Jennifer Butler: “When giving feedback, focus on the … Read moreSIP 058: The One Thing
How to give your swimmers the “illusion of choice” I’ll begin with a story, because people like stories, and the substance of this article will generally be about what we do in our program and how that can serve as a model for others to use. If you didn’t know, I’m the Head Developmental … Read moreSwim Team – Letting swimmers choose