H2O LOO Training Groups
Waterloo Swim Club currently has 3 training groups: The LOO Kickers, the LOO Emerging and the LOO Advanced. The ideal progression for a LOO athlete is to learn proper swimming fundamentals in the LOO kickers, learn how to train in the LOO emerging and finally learn how to achieve excellence in the LOO Advanced. All three training groups will perform dryland activities throughout the season. Coaches will assign swimmers to appropriate training groups. Commitment to the sport, work ethic, attendance, skill level, experience, stroke fundamentals and social well-being will all be considered when assigning a swimmer to a training group.
This group is designed for beginning competitive swimmers. There are 2 main emphasis of this group. Number one is to have fun! Number 2 is teaching efficient swimming mechanics that can translate into a long successful swimming career. Beginning swimmers have not yet developed muscle memory patterns and it is crucial that every movement they make in the water is a movement that will benefit them 10 years down the road. Bad habits are very difficult to unlearn.
To ensure that only efficient swimming habits are being practiced, LOO kickers will spend the majority of their time working on body line and swimming posture. Body line refers to the core of a swimmer while they are moving through the water. Ideally a swimmers core should be straight and as drag free as possible all the way from head to toe. The easiest way for beginner swimmers to do this is through different variations of kicking. Advanced concepts like freestyle with breathing, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke are typically difficult for beginning swimmers to perform without compromising body line. It is especially difficult for beginning swimmers to hold body line for an extended period of time(usually more than 10 yards).
LOO kickers will work on more advanced concepts. However, this will be done mostly through out of pool demonstrations and motor movements. At LOO we would prefer our beginner swimmers push off the wall and perform one perfect stroke cycle as opposed to swimming a 50(2 lengths of the pool) with sloppy stroke mechanics. Most every efficient movement in the water relates to every other efficient movement in the water. For example, efficient flutter kick leads to efficient freestyle. Efficient freestyle builds up the endurance and strength for efficient butterfly, ect.
It is also important that beginning swimmers have fun. At LOO this means turning as much as possible into a game that rewards efficient swimming. In an ideal world the coaches will see the kids actively learning perfect swimming technique while the kids think they are just having fun.
Typical age of LOO kickers: LOO has had swimmers from the ages of 3 to 10 in this group. The majority of swimmers are between the ages of 6 to 8.
End of season goal meet for LOO Kickers: 8 and under All Stars, Mid-Wisconsin Conference Championships
Training Goals for LOO Kickers:
- Legal in all 4 strokes
- Proficient racing start off the blocks
- 25 flutter kick under 25 seconds
- 25 freestyle under 20 seconds
Example of LOO kickers practice:
- Each practice will follow a carefully designed set of progressions
- If a practice starts working on freestyle it will finish working on freestyle
- If a practice starts with butterfly skills it will finish with butterfly skills
- Example of a freestyle practice:
- 5 minutes of flutter kick with fins
- 3 minutes of a coach demonstrating perfect flutter kick in a streamline
- 10 minutes of kids racing flutter kick in a streamline
- 2 minutes of recess
- 3 minutes of a coach demonstrating perfect freestyle pull with a strong kick
- 7 minutes of swimmers taking 6 perfect freestyle strokes with strong kick
- 10 minutes of freestyle relays
- 5 minutes of free time
- Example of a butterfly practice
- 5 minutes of streamline posture out of water
- 2 minutes of coach demonstrating body driven dolphin kick on the wall
- 3 minutes of swimmers performing body driven dolphin kick on the wall
- 5 minutes of swimmers performing body driven dolphin kick with fins
- 5 minutes of swimmers performing body driven dolphin kick without fins
- 10 minutes of out of pool butterfly arms demonstrations
- 10 minutes of swimmers performing one perfect butterfly stroke cycle
- 5 minutes of fun time
Loo emerging is the intermediate training group at H2O LOO. Swimmers in this group already have an understanding of efficient competitive swimming principles and are starting to apply these principles in more dynamic ways. There are two main focuses to the LOO emerging. Number 1 is to make competitive swimming fun. Number two is to maintain proper swimming fundamentals under stress.
What does it mean to make “competitive swimming” fun? At LOO we believe setting goals, accomplishing these goals, challenging yourself, staying fit and healthy all while making amazing friends is a better definition of fun than sitting in front of the TV playing video games. The number one goal of the LOO emerging is teach kids how to enjoy swimming for what it is.
The second objective of the LOO emerging is for swimmers to swim efficiently for long periods of time. Once a swimmer has developed proper swimming mechanics he or she is ready to start developing the strength and endurance necessary to succeed in the sport of swimming. Swimmers in the LOO emerging will still focus heavily on body line and swimming posture. LOO kickers do this through different types of kicking. LOO emerging will be holding body line through more advanced skills such as freestyle with breathing, breaststroke with a full glide, butterfly with a full body dolphin and backstroke with full body rotation. Distance per stroke cycle will be emphasized heavily.
LOO emerging will be introduced to endurance training and will develop the mental skills necessary to develop an aerobic base. They will learn how to read the pace clock and read sets off the whiteboard. The will learn how perceived effort and time correlate with each other. They will learn how to overcome mental barriers.
Typical age of LOO emerging: LOO has had swimmers from the ages of 6 to 14 in this group. The typical age of LOO emerging swimmers is ages 8 through 11.
End of season goal meet for LOO Emerging: Wisconsin State Championships
Goal training set for LOO emerging:
- 8 x 50 kick @ 1:00(flutter kick, breaststroke kick and dolphin kick)
- 1 x 50 flutter kick under 45 seconds
- 20 x 50 freestyle @ :50
- 6 x 100 IM @ 1:45
- Legal 400 IM
- 1 x 25 underwater dolphin kick under 17 seconds from a dive
Example of a LOO emerging practice:
- 10 x 100 with fins @ 2
- Odds dolphin kick emphasizing body motion
- Evens: superman catch up free emphasizing distance per stroke
- Aerobic set
- 4x(4x50 + 100 + 2 x 25
- 50s= build free @ 1:00
- 100s = fast IM @ 3:00
- 25s = all out choice of stroke @ 1:00
- Race set
- Never ending relays of 25s.
The LOO advanced is the highest level training group offered at LOO. This is for the dedicated swimmer who is striving to get the most out of their natural physical ability. Swimmers in this group understand the principles of efficient swimming and are ready to start developing the aerobic and anaerobic capacity necessary to compete at the highest levels of the sport. The main focus of the LOO advanced is to set end of season goals and develop a day to day plan to achieve those goals.
What exactly do the terms aerobic capacity and anaerobic capacity mean? Simply put, these terms refer to the body’s maximum ability to produce and use energy. The more energy the body can produce the more potential it has to swim fast. The training optimal to build capacity is not always the optimal training for using this capacity. It takes several years to build capacity but only weeks to fully utilize it. Here is a link to the transcript of a speech Bob Bowman (Michael Phelps’s coach) gave a couple years ago: Capacity vs Utilization. If you want a more detailed explanation of why swimmers of all ability levels train the way they do read this.
At LOO there are 2 swimming seasons, the short course yards season and the long course meters season. Each season is between 20 to 24 weeks long and culminates with a championship season which usually takes place in February/March and July/August. The primary forces for the LOO advanced is to perform well during the championship season. This does not mean the rest of the season does not matter. Plenty of swimmers who focus on peaking during championship season achieve best times out of championship season. What focusing on championship season does mean is the coaching staff has developed a training plan designed around performing well in championship season. The beginning of the season will be focused on building general fitness which transitions to swimming fitness and then finally to peak racing fitness.
At LOO we also like to keep things fresh and fun while building fitness. There are many different ways to get the same training effect and we mix things up as much as we can. We also strive to see our athletes enjoying the sport both in the present and the future. We understand the purpose of recovery when training our athletes. Training is not just the work put in but also the recovery required for the body to adapt.
Typical age of swimmers in LOO advanced: 12 and older but swimmers as young as 10 have participated in this group.
End of season goal meet for LOO Advanced: Wisconsin State Championships, Central Zone Championships, Other national and regional level meets
Goal training sets for LOO advanced
- 8 x 100 flutter kick @ 1:40
- 1 x 100 flutter kick under 1:25
- 10 x 100 freestyle @ 1:10
- 3 x 400 IM @ 6:00
- 1 x 25 underwater dolphin kick under 14 seconds from a dive
- 12 x 25 @ 30 holding pace of 100
Example of LOO advanced workout (mid-season)
- Warm up:
- 400 free, 4 x 100 K @ :10 rest, 4 x 100 IM @ :10 rest
- 16 x 50s descend 1-4 choice of stroke @ :50
- 8 x 25 working on perfect stroke mechanics
- 2 minutes rest
- Main Aerobic
- 10x (3 x 100; kick @ 1:40, drill @ 1:30, swim@ 1:20)
- Round 1 fly,
- Round 2 and 3 back
- Round 4, 5 and 6 breast
- Round 7 to 10 free
- 2 minutes rest
- Main Speed
- 16 x 25s all out @ 45
- Usually done in form of a relay.