March 21, 2020
Requests for Virtual Workouts
Many questions are being asked about and alternative form of training. Better know as remote training or virtual training. Rest assured, I was immediately on this. On 3/12/2020 I emailed both our SCS and our Governing body USA Swimming.
I asked the following:
- Will USA Swimming be covering Sanctioned Programs as we look for secondary ways to keep our athletes in shape?
I further defined “Secondary ways”;
- Virtual workouts
- Small pool training groups of 10 or under
- Video Analysis
- Dry land training in small groups
- Trail running
As we all know now the pools have been shut down, parks are limited to 5 or less in gatherings and we are to heed to a Safe at Home plan most recently advised.
This just left us with just Virtual Coaching. So, I continued to explore this option with our coaches as I continued pressing the SCS to give me the answer if USA Swimming would consider this as a covered activity. What the SCS got back from the USA Swimming Risk Management and Insurance Department was the following—
My belief on this is that it would not and could not be a covered activity. Being under the supervision of the parents or no supervision is different then being under the supervision of the insured. There is no way for the insured club to make sure the participants are doing the exercise correctly to avoid injury, etc
I further then received and email on March 17th from our SCS office that reiterated the above. However, they also wrote to me----
Hi Chris… We spoke briefly yesterday but I wanted to reply here---- Please remind families that nothing is required if you are giving them workouts / directions and that there is NO USA Swimming Insurance coverage, should an injury happen.
I have been online, and I’ve seen many coaches touting that they are offering/suggesting workouts through some means. Please understand that this is ill-advised currently. Maintaining a Level 3 Club and a Safe Sport club comes with integrity.
This is a fluid situation, and we are looking into means to providing education and alternative sources of service to our members. Though this is new territory, there is opportunity, and we are seeking it.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
I have given this considerable thought, and I want to give some guidance in helping our athletes as they navigate this uncertain time.
It is clear to me that if we do the following five things with our down time, we will be prepared for a higher level of success in the water once we are cleared to resume.
- Improve Shoulder Health
- Improve Coordination/Balance
- Improve Core Strength
- Improve Sleep, Nutrition, LIfestyle
The downtime that we’ve all been given is great for recovering. Recover physically and emotionally from a trying season. Eat well. Hydrate well. Sleep well. Take a small break. When you are ready, start addressing your weaknesses.
IMPROVE SHOULDER HEALTH
Imagine someone says “Hey, I want to get in shape.” The trainer tells them, “Go do 1,000 bicep curls a day for the next 30 days.”
Chances are that person doesn’t make it a week without sustaining an injury. You agree, because right now you’re thinking, “That’s dumb!”
Well, the sport of swimming does that to swimmers every day, every week, every month, every year, and the accumulation of reps moves the body toward systematic destabilization.
A swimmer who does 3,000 yards per day @ 20 strokes per lap will do 2,400 strokes in one practice, which is the equivalent of 12,000 in one week, 57,600 strokes in a month, and 740,000 strokes in a year.
That means each year this swimmer will have a group of muscles stretch and another group of muscles contract 740,000 times. Our bodies are not made to handle such imbalance. This is the reason swimmers have shoulders that slouch forward.
With this forced downtime, we can address this in a significant manner.
You hear it all the time, “I swim because I can’t do land sports.” Well, the truth is that the best swimmers in the pool are also the best athletes in the pool. Do you think Caeleb Dressel or Kathleen Baker are incapable of doing 20 pull-ups, or 20 burpees, or jumping rope?
Simply put, if a swimmer can improve coordination/balance, he/she will improve ability to learn and adapt improved stroke mechanics and improve the ability to have muscle groups work synergistically. End result? Better capacity to perform complex tasks with strength and power.
One incredible way to build coordination while improving cardiovascular function is jumping rope. If every swimmer used this time to improve their ability to jump rope, the sport would have an army of swimmers with significantly improved function moving forward.
IMPROVE CORE STRENGTH
Core strength supplies the platform for strength in the extremities. In short, your kick and arm pull in swimming can only be as strong as your core enables it to be. Think of it like a crane. The more weight in the base of the crane, the more load the crane can handle. Increasing core strength is like adding weight to the base of a crane, increasing the load capability of the crane.
Improving core strength WILL improve your body’s ability to perform complex skills with strength and power...especially in swimming.
IMPROVE SLEEP HABITS, NUTRITION PRACTICES, BASIC LIFESTYLE GUIDELINES
Now is a GREAT TIME to look into how to improve sleep, nutrition, and other lifestyle habits relevant to athletes and performance.
Coach Chris & Paseo Staff