August 7, 2020
Structural Plans Once We Can Get In This Season
Still no word from our facilities as to if we can swim this fall or, if so, what the projected date would be but I'm still in the planning stage nonetheless so that the moment we get the word we are prepared with a plan. I am in constant contact with them but do not know when they plan to make a final decision so there's no need to ask about that as they will tell me, I'm sure, the moment a decision is made. I'd rather them wait and come to us late with an "all clear to train" answer then tell us "no" early just so that we had an answer. I understand that new swimmers may need to make a decision on clubs but there's little we can do. I have a good grip on who is returning from the past on the team and who is not so I could fairly easily tell you if you had a spot as a new swimmer if that's what you wanted to know.
Per once we get in...
Practice Structure Per Athlete Numbers
1 – Four (4) swimmers per lane in the pool has been working very well in our 25yd pools for all levels so that is where we will start for fall.
2 – From there, we can add 1 to 2 swimmers per lane based on levels by adding a dryland portion to each and every set that we do. How this works is that the 4 swimmers in the lane will do the in-water swimming portion of the set while the dryland swimmer(s) do that same portion on dryland doing a "like" exercise (example: if it's a freestyle set of 50's they be doing cord freestyle swimming for the 50's for a portion of the set). Part way through the set at a scheduled time the dryland swimmer(s) get into the water and the same number of swimmers then get out to do their dryland portion of the set. Putting athletes on dryland doing such dryland made them MUCH more aware of doing kick counts and stroke counts in the pool and much more aware of their actual swimming times since they had to match that all from what they did in the pool. Too, it allowed for MUCH better strength gains, weight loss, balance development and all since it was done on dryland. Too, we were able to do a lot more stroke work actually coaching them on their strokes while on cords or having them watch other swimmers to see similar mistakes in technique to theirs or to see the actual technique that we want in other swimmers doing it well.
We used this type of training in Level 5 with our athletes for well into 2 decades simply because of how well it worked in terms of the training of our elite swimmers... several of which went on to be Top 100 swimmers in the world, as well as, international team members for USA Swimming. Little did we know that doing such in-and-out or “half and half” practices as we called them might better prepare us for these pandemic conditions.
Hopefully you see the idea that we could very easily go up to 6 athletes “per lane” while maintaining VERY safe conditions in terms of COVID social distancing.
3 – From there, the plan is to also offer pure “swimming drylands” in a local gym or unused portion of the school that could be set up. CORE44 Fitness -Wyandotte (Main & 270) is updating their facility and we are working out rental details with them now as they love the idea of helping us out with this. Power N Motion (Hamilton Road in New Albany) is a second facility with which we have talked and they, too, are excited about what we have planned in terms of our Dryland Swim Practices.
For those who didn't participate in these this spring we literally did start, turn & finish work, stroke technique work, kick technique work and all during these dryland sessions. We showed videos of proper technique and had athletes mimic these as well as consistently demonstrated stroke technique as coaches. We also coached the swimmers while they were doing these things and got MUCH more technique work in than during a normal swimming practice because we could coach them with visual and verbal instructions every single stroke unlike the pool where we normally have to wait until they are done swimming a lap or a longer swim. We talked about underwater kick counts, stroke counts, pace work, breath control and more within these practices. We literally did normal sets that we would do in the water right on dryland. Again, we started with this concept in the early 2000's and have been able to make it even better using today's technology.
We will have in-water practices for the athletes but then will have additional practices for them in the gym to supplement their training. These gym sessions will also allow for online virtual attendance opportunities for our athletes.
NOTE: If our season is delayed in terms of being able to get into the water we will start with these dryland swim practices for the team in early to mid September. They are just that effective! We are truly confident that those who attend will gain a significant jump on those who do not. I know it can be hard to believe that swimming on dryland can make such a difference but I, personally, have seen the results since we used this so religiously with Level 5 when I was charged with that group.
4 – As well, we may look at using more time on the weekends in the pool and run 2 waves of certain practices. What I mean is that we might have a Novice practice at 3:00 on Sunday and then another at 4:15. Same with the other groups and all. Meet interference really won’t be an issue as anything but an intra squad meet, dual meet or tri meet has been barred through 12/31/20 by Ohio Swimming. As such, we’ll have those but not the major invitationals.
5 – We plan to use a similar type of reservation system for the fall as we used this summer in terms of what days/times you plan on attending. This will be done to control numbers in the pool and to insure consistency in terms of athlete (proximity) placement for COVID tracking purposes. You'd reserve the nights that you wanted each session (these sessions could span 4-8 weeks in length) and then would pay an hourly fee based on the time you reserved. It worked out extremely well this way this summer. This also allows us to fill in lighter practices with other swimmers who may not be coming to practice as much which will make us a little more financially sound by filling up all available training spots.
So... long story short... we'll start with dryland swim training no matter what. As soon as we can get into the water we will. Once we do, we will use a mixture of in-water training and dryland swim training to fill our training schedule.
Thanks a bunch for being a part of our TEAM. And remember that the more we ALL stem the tide of this pandemic the better chance we have of getting our athletes back in the pool. Wear a mask, sanitize and don't be satisfied with just 6ft social distancing. Let's get to swimming!!!!