To combat these difficulties our coaching staff decided to type and print each workout, place it in a plastic Ziploc bag, and put a copy at the end of each lane for every practice. We still give verbal directions, but now swimmers don’t have to wait for them. Those swimmers who couldn’t read the white board now have their own copy of the workout right in front of them. And what’s more, swimmers have more success in completing complex sets now that every lane has its own copy of the workout for references—swimmers don’t have to rely on memory anymore.
We each have our favorite workouts to do, and we each have sets we’d prefer to avoid. As a distance swimmer, I love to do timed 1650s all day long, but I dread the very idea of sprinting a single 100 off the blocks. And honestly, butterfly isn’t nearly as much fun as it was when I was a flexible and limber teenager. Even so, I’d like to share a few reasons we should each embrace and celebrate opportunities to swim sets that we might not enjoy.
All Masters coaches need great communication skills to effectively give swimmers quality workouts and useful stroke feedback. But the best coaches leverage their communication skills to create even more opportunities to help people improve their swimming—by building and sustaining club membership.