Swim coaches: how to utilize video analysis to fast-forward your athletes’ achievements

Video may have killed the radio star, but it can certainly create a star swimmer. As a coach, your goal is to help your athletes reach their full potential in the pool. And while your expertise is crucial, integrating technology into your coaching toolkit can maximize technique refinement, goal setting, injury prevention, mental preparation, race strategy, and more. Enter video playback: a method often used in competitive sports but less so in swimming due to cameras and water not often mixing well. It’s a process that unsurprisingly involves recording a swimmer’s performance and then carefully examining the footage to identify areas that need practice. This visual perspective can be challenging to achieve in real-time but integral to improvement. Keep reading to find out how hitting “record” can be the start of your hit season.

1. Record it all; slow it down; break it down

When it comes to taking advice about their technique, sometimes your swimmer will have to see to believe. Use video recording equipment – such as waterproof cameras or smartphones in waterproof cases – to capture every stroke and movement your swimmers make in the pool. You can set up multiple angles to get a comprehensive view of their technique too.

What’s more, the ability to slow down video footage and analyze it frame by frame is invaluable. It allows you to identify subtle nuances in technique that might otherwise go unnoticed. Pay close attention to body position, stroke mechanics, and timing.

2. Utilize immediate feedback

Former Olympic-qualifier, Glenn Mills, the founder of GoSwim, advocates for a “bits and pieces” approach to learning, emphasizing the importance of regular, instant feedback using video analysis. Mills records frequent, short video clips of swimmers in action, allowing them to see their performance immediately, even while still in the pool. This video is swiftly uploaded, providing easy access to it for both coach and swimmer as it streams to their devices. Mills believes this method aligns perfectly with the preferences of today’s tech-savvy generation of athletes, making it the most effective means of communication. By adopting this approach, you can empower your swimmers to improve consistently, bridging the gap between theory and practice and fast-forwarding their achievements in the pool.

3. Make comparisons to elite swimmers

Show your athletes video clips of elite swimmers with excellent technique. This visual reference can inspire and motivate your swimmers to strive for excellence. Use side-by-side comparisons to illustrate the differences and similarities between your athletes and the pros. It can do wonders to show them how little adjustments (and a lot of practice) can make a true professional.

4. Track progress over time

For the sake of your organization and for your swimmers’ self-confidence, it pays to keep a library of your swimmers’ video sessions over time. Even better, you can track their improvement in the Captyn management platform. Collect any relevant information, including times, waivers, individual notes about their strengths and weaknesses, and more. Having their improvement made visual can not only motivate your athletes to keep dedicating themselves to their sport but also measure the impact of your coaching. It’s incredibly satisfying for both you and your athletes to see how far they’ve come.

Use the best resources

Sometimes giving your athletes the tools to succeed means having some technological tools of your own. Video analysis is one of these, and can amplify your athletes’ achievements by providing valuable insights into their performance, putting them ahead of the competition. To help you stay ahead as well, consider utilizing Captyn for more than just tracking times and t-shirt sizes. Our features certainly don’t stop there. 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. What are you waiting for? Maximize your team’s and your own potential today by reaching out to our experts.

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