Note to School Coaches

Dave Anderson

In an effort to maintain and form relationships with coaches who guide club athletes during the school season and after Chris Martin visited WI some years ago now, I’ve taken to writing a bit about what we are doing and how things are going at the club currently.  Chandler and I sent this recently.


21 Fall Update to School Coaches


Greetings from Schroeder!  We are off to a strong start this fall.  We have seen many new young swimmers this fall.  I think that parents are now ready to re-engage their kids in activities and the Olympics were on TV and Team USA did well in the pool.  


We’ve had a couple of meets this fall and more are planned.  Meet size has risen and spectators have returned albeit with masking still while not swimming.


We had enjoyed a very successful short course season that concluded with a substitute YMCA Festival meet for the traditional National YMCA Championship.  Schroeder had incredible performances which were highlighted by Girls 1:38.9 200 Medley Relay, 1:32.3 200 Free and 3:22.9 400 Free relays and Boys 1:28.5 200 Medley Relay, 1:20.8 200 Free and 2:58.3 400 Free relays.  Complete results


The summer season finished well also where we had 18 athletes at the USA Speedo Summer Championship in Irvine, CA.  It was our largest group of USA Summer Junior qualifiers and we enjoyed the sunshine and swam very fast again individually and in relays.


Schroeder Team in Dana Point, California after the 2021 USA Speedo Summer Championship 

We have been very fortunate throughout the past year and a half as far as training and racing goes.  Most athletes were able to get ample pool time, dryland / strength training (NX Level does  a great job!) and more competition than our peers nationally.


Got to brag - we have an incredible coaching staff!  Lots of experience, cohesion and all of them put the athlete first.  Our program’s goal is to prepare youth for success in college and beyond and we all try to keep this goal in mind everyday.


Culture and Technical Strength


One of the strengths that runs through our whole program is teaching skills using the same vocabulary.  Some years ago, we brought coach Michael Brooks to visit with our coaches.  In his book, which we highly recommend, Developing Swimmers, Michael outlines his Stroke Catechisms.  We incorporate these points into our youngest through the high school age swimmers and we know it has made a big positive difference.


Although Chandler Lewis tends to honor middle and longer distance training while Dave Anderson usually goes down to shorter distances, we do subscribe to similar thinking.  We both kind of alternate days of moderate intensity training and fast or hard days throughout each week.  This is based on some discoveries and ideas from an American physiologist who has been living in Norway for the last 25 years.  Stephen Seiler has coined the term polarized training.  I’ve got two of his talks on our site and I definitely recommend a view / listen.  


Recently, Schroeder / Cedarburg great Lindsey Millard (Highstrom) was in the area and she hopped in with us.  First, it’s so great to see the familiar strokes but thinking back to the kinds of things she did back in the day like 8 x 400 IM * 6:00 LCM where you move the 200 of stroke through each of the 4 swims and what we do now, it is just a dramatic picture of the trend swim training is experiencing.  Today there is so much more emphasis on speed and constant engagement on technique and much less on volume.  We still go hard but rarely the traditional 85% nowadays.  Much of our work is around 65% of each athlete’s maximum heart rate.  Other days we go very fast and focus on collecting volume at or above race pace.  It’s a huge shift and we cannot argue with the results.  


You hear all the time, “kids these days…”, we really don’t see any change.  They still show up, work very hard and conscientiously and they remain super committed.  They are just way faster now.  Incredibly so and they are so very highly skilled.


We really devote a lot of energy to developing character through swimming.  Our athletes get regular doses of the Schroeder Way which has four phrases:   Be Great!  Act with Integrity, Expect Success. And Team First!  Coach Caleb Hernday is shown here doing a bit with his group.


One other thing that has really changed for the best athletes is the reality of college decision making.  It is crazy, but now athletes are making commitments early in their Junior year.  That means that they are being judged on their results after their Sophomore year short course season.  If they are late developers or show real results their Senior year, their are just no spots at major institutions like UW or UMN.  They still have opportunities at great programs like UWM or our wonderful UW schools but guys like Jack Lustig who went 2:00.2 in the 200 M fly this summer wind up at a school like McKendree rather than UW.


Anyway, we just wanted to connect and share and offer a conversation or a visit anytime.  If you are coaching girls - best wishes for the end of the season.  If you are getting set for the boys, I think you will be pleased with their fitness and preparation if they are coming from Schroeder!




Dave Anderson & Chandler Lewis


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