Fish out of water: pool-less training tips for swim coaches

Swim training without a pool might seem like driving with no wheels, but rest assured, you can still go places without one. While pool time is vital, you can utilize some powerful strategies to elevate your swim team’s performance beyond the water. Whether it’s your offseason, you have a pool closure, or you just want a supplementary regimen, here are a few ways to mold top-notch swimmers without getting wet.

Dryland training

Dryland training – a cornerstone of swim coaching – bolsters strength, flexibility, and endurance on terra firma. Integrate squats, lunges, planks, and core workouts to heighten your team’s overall fitness. Stronger muscles mean more potent strokes, while enhanced flexibility increases water agility.

Even though water resistance can’t exactly be replicated, dry land also provides opportunities for stroke drills. You can fine-tune arm movements, body rotations, and streamline positions while employing resistance bands/cords to mimic (or even exceed) water resistance.

These types of strength and conditioning are pivotal components of a swimmer’s arsenal, and should be tailored to an athlete’s needs. Consider variations of kettlebell swings, medicine ball exercises, and circuit training–a variety of which is just a search engine away. You can then choose which variations best build the skills your team needs most. More importantly, strength and conditioning helps you prioritize injury prevention with exercises fortifying shoulder, knee, and hip muscles. Your swimmers might not feel happy as they sweat through the last sets, but with the right program and technique, they’ll certainly be healthy. 

Video analysis

Dive into video analysis tools to refine your team’s techniques without the water. Get in the habit of recording practice sessions, dissecting the footage, and pinpointing areas for refinement, from body positioning to stroke mechanics. By opening this type of constructive dialogue with swimmers, you can guide them in making necessary adjustments. Just make sure you’re delivering the criticism in a productive, supportive way that doesn’t make your swimmer feel like they’re being picked aparted at a minute level. When it comes to honing the details, striking this tone can be hard, but your delivery is crucial to your direction. 

You can additionally use downtime to dissect and refine race strategies. Delve into race plans, pacing, and turns with your swimmers. For this too you can leverage video analysis, breaking down past races and ultimately identifying areas for improvement.

Nutrition, hydration, and mental preparation

What you put into your body is pivotal to your performance. Every athlete should know this. Take some pool-less time to educate your team on why healthy habits are essential and – if everyone is comfortable –  devise tailored meal plans with them. Well-nourished swimmers exhibit heightened energy levels and endurance, both in and out of the water.

What’s more, swimming is as mentally taxing as it is physical. Strengthen your team’s mental prowess through visualization, goal setting, and mindfulness. Remind them of what matters, and how they are more than just their latest time. This helps foster resilience to surmount psychological hurdles or setbacks and also avoid burnout.

Optimized management

Swimming may be an aquatic pursuit, but shaping superior swimmers transcends the pool’s confines. Remember, a well-rounded approach propels athlete’s to be stronger people as well as stronger swimmers. 

Strengthen your own routines as a coach, and explore Captyn’s management platform. We’ll help you alleviate administrative burdens with easy enrollment, streamlined roster management, payment reminders, and efficient multifaceted communication. As an official vendor of USA Swimming, Captyn is proud to be fully integrated with SWIMS 3.0 too. 

Bolster your abilities today by reaching out to our experts!


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