Blog Archives

The Top Three Reasons You Can’t Miss The 53rd Annual ASCA World Clinic

The ASCA World Clinic is a can’t miss event – each year, the World Clinic showcases coaches from the highest levels of our sport, willing to share with all their knowledge, insights and wisdom.  This year is no exception, with a lineup that includes Bob Bowman, Eddie Reese, Jack Bauerle and more.

But even more intriguing, this year, is what else is on the schedule.

Here are three must-attend talks for any coaching professional:

Councilman Memorial Lecture Series – Mr. Luis Lastra, US Navy Seals

The US Navy SEALS are sending Mr. Luis Lastra to the ASCA World Clinic to be the Doc Counsilman Memorial Lecture Speaker.  Mr. Lastra will discuss the SEALS methodology for teaching the components of composure under extreme pressure, mental and physical toughness and retaining Mission focus.  As swim coaches, we too are committed to building champions for life, and this talk is sure to provide meaningful lessons you can take home to your team.  The Councilman Memorial Lecture Series was formed in tribute to one of the swimming profession’s most revered figures, James “Doc” Councilman.  Each year, the lecture provides World Clinic attendees with a speaker from “outside” the coaching profession.  In this way, we hope to honor Doc’s concept that our best learning comes from outside our own immediate environment.

Age Group Track – Mission Viejo Age Group Staff

The Mission Viejo Age Group Staff, a combined force of young and dedicated coaches serving under the tutelage of Coach Bill Rose, will share the Nadadores philosophy and discuss how the team successfully promotes the development of a strong, well-rounded age group program that continues to produce elite 18 and under athletes.  The Mission Viejo Nadadores, one of the largest and longest continuously operating USA Swimming programs, recognizes the club development system as integral to achieving excellence.  Hear about the team’s unique organizational structure and the challenges and advantages of working within a large staff.  Learn how coaches Ad’m Dusenbury, Sarah Dawson and Bryan Dedeaux utilize coaching technologies and embrace positive teaching methods within dedicated peer-group practices.  From training sets to dryland, meet selection to motivation, these coaches will share intricate details of the very fabric that makes up the Nadadores Tradition of Excellence.

Technical Emphasis – Nort Thornton and the amazing things he’s done with breastrokers

After Coach Nort Thornton “retired” as coach of the Cal Berkeley Men’s team he stayed on as an assistant coach and focused on the breaststrokers.  The result?… His breaststrokers finished 1st, second, and fourth at last year’s NCAA Division 1 Championships.  Here is short article Nort wrote and a nice preview to his presentation at the ASCA World Clinic:  “My Thoughts of the New Breaststroke”… After coaching for fifty plus years as a head coach at the high school, country club, U.S. Swimming Club, Community College and NCAA division I levels, where I had sole responsibility of coaching the whole team on all of the four competitive strokes, I retired from the University of California at Berkeley where I have been for the last thirty-three years. I decided to volunteer to help out, and our present coach David Durden was kind enough to put me to work.   We decided that I could be the most helpful if I looked after the breaststrokers swimmers, so that is what I have been doing for the last two years.  It isn’t really work when you love what you are doing.

Don’t miss out on – register today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming Psyche Outs: How to be in control, confident and composed when faced with psyche outs (and how to use them to your advantage!).

Swimming Psyche Outs. How to be in control, confident and composed when faced with psyche outs (and how to use them to your advantage!!). Part One.Posted: 17 Mar 2011 12:08 AM PDT

by Wayne Goldsmith

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it but what they become by it.” John Ruskin

How many times do you hear a football player or baseballer or basketballer say something like “It was tough out there today. The other team really psyched us out”.

Sportspeople talk about the psyche out as something someone else did to them – that someone somehow did something mystical or magical that impacted on their performance.

Lots of people talk about psyching out…………..so what is it?

What is a psyche out?

A psyche out is the words, actions and behaviors of another person trying to increase pressure on you and as a result try to negatively influence your performance.

Pressure is a misunderstood concept in sport.

  • Pressure is not the race;
  • It is not the crowd;
  • It is not the gold medal;
  • It is not the opposition.

It is something you put on yourself – it is something you create: it is something you generate.

The psyche out has one goal – to convince you to put more pressure on yourself.

Even the best swimmers will perform poorly if they lack confidence and can not deal with the pressure of competition.

Think about swimming in your home pool on a warm summer morning with your friends. It feels great. It feels relaxed. It feels comfortable.

Now imagine 50,000 people sitting in the stands around the pool watching you swim.

How do you feel? Nervous? Tense? Uncomfortable? Under pressure?

Why?

The pool hasn’t got any longer. The water hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is you – and your perception that swimming in front of 50,000 people is different (and more pressure) than swimming in front of a few moms and dads.

Pressure is something you generate in response to your perception of the situation.

Why do some people try to psyche out others?

Nothing impacts on performance like pressure! The main reason people try psyche out others is to artificially create pressure by increasing doubts, fears and insecurities in their opposition and try to erode their confidence.

Remember this…………Pressure places people in positions for poor performance.

Why are psyche outs such an effective strategy?

Your attitude and your confidence determine your destiny. Anything that impacts on your attitude and destroys your confidence is potentially damaging to your performance.

The psyche out is a tool some people use to attack attitude and kill confidence to get you to increase pressure on yourself.

What kinds of psyche outs are there?

Psyche outs come in two basic forms – the Dirty Downers and the Positive Power Plays.

Dirty Downers (DD) are those psyche outs which focus on bringing people down through criticism, sarcasm and down right meanness.

Positive Power Plays (PPP) are psyche outs which give you strength and confidence without putting anyone else down.

Dirty Downers: Where do they happen?

Dirty Downers can happen any where – the locker room, at the end of the pool during warm up, in the ready room, in the marshalling area, behind the blocks…….you name it, the Dirty Downer can hit you anytime…anywhere.

Who does them?

Thankfully not many swimmers are Dirty Downer Do-ers!

Dirty downer do-ers are often swimmers who lack confidence in themselves and decide their best tactic (and their best chance of winning) lies not in developing their own confidence and self belief but in destroying the confidence of others.

Make yourself psyche out proof.

Here’s the secret……………………..psyche outs only work if you let them!

It’s not the psyche outs that are the problem – it’s how you respond to them.

Dirty downer do-ers can find fault in your appearance, your clothing, your hairstyle, your club, your friends, your family, your coach, your training program, your swim gear, your body odor, your dog………but the important thing is to learn to control how you respond to the comments and criticisms.

A Dirty Downer Do-er is trying to get you to lose confidence and get you to create pressure on yourself by making you feel inadequate in comparison to them.

Forget comparing yourself to other people – compare yourself with how close you are to your own full potential.

Some of the best (and worst) psyche outs:

A few leading swimmers were asked to talk about the best and worst psyche outs they have ever heard. Here are some real beauts!

“Is that swim suit really small or have you just put on weight lately”

“Are you still swimming? I heard you gave up a long time ago”

“You look really tired – are you ok?”

“Those goggles are really old. I can’t believe you still wear them”

Regardless of the psyche out – remember the secret – the psyche out only works if you respond to the pressure it is trying to create!

What they say and what they mean………………………….

Often the Dirty Downer Do-er will give hints about how they really think and feel in their psyche outs.

If they are feeling a bit flat, tired and fatigued, they might try to hit you with a “hey you look tired and worn out” comment.

Listen to what they say but also listen to what they mean:

For example:

They say: “I have been doing 10 sessions a week and I am in the best shape of my career” .

They mean: “I am not really sure how i am going to go today”

They say “We’re swimming through the meet. We’re not even tapering for this meet”

They mean: “I need an excuse in case I don’t swim well today”

They say:“We’ve just done a hell week”

They mean: “I am really tired”

They say: “We’re doing 50 miles a week”

They mean: “I am really tired”

They say: “I’ve just done a huge pb in the gym”

They mean: “I need to make you think i am stronger than i really am”

So………what do you do when a Dirty Downer Do-er strikes??????????????

Read Part Two later this week which starts with Ten things you can do to respond to a psyche out-er!

Wayne Goldsmith

A New Swim Power Test

A New Swim Power Test

By Genadijus Sokolovas, Ph.D. Senior Physiologist

Global Sport Technology, Inc.

www.globsport.org

Introduction

A new Swim Power test was developed by the Global Sport Technology, Inc to analyze the changes of swimming velocity (m/sec), force (kg), acceleration (m/sec/sec), and power (kg x m/sec). All these parameters are recorded instantaneously 60 times per second (60 Hz) at specific points in the swim stroke. Testing results are synchronized with video software to superimpose them with underwater video in real time and then recorded later on a DVD for easy review.

The Swim Power test quantifies every phase of individual stroke. Swimmers have different strengths and weaknesses, which can be identified using the Swim Power test. Some swimmers may have very strong beginning of stroke, while others may be stronger in the middle or at the end of the stroke. There are differences between left and right arm stroke, between left and right leg kick, timing between various phases of the stroke, etc. There is no “perfect stroke.” Even elite level swimmers have plenty of room to improve their swimming technique. By identifying individual strengths and weaknesses using the new Swim Power test, we can develop drills and swimming sets to improve everybody’s swimming technique.

Testing Protocols for Swimmers Variety of testing protocols may be used testing the Swim Power. Depending on individual goals, swimmers may be tested in full body swim, pulling or kicking only, underwater kicking after turns and dives, swimming fully rested and under fatigue, and many other positions. Coaches and athletes can even test advantages and shortages of different swimming techniques. Swim Power test will reveal strengths and weaknesses of every type of swimming technique. The standard Swim Power testing protocol for freestyle and backstroke includes three 25 meters efforts at race pace in various positions unique to the specific stroke analyzed:

  1. Pull with buoy (Figure 1)
  2. Kick (Figure 2)
  3. Swim (Figure 3)

Figure 1. Pull position.

Figure 2. Kick position.

Figure 3. Swim position.

The vertical green line in the middle of the graph indicates swimmer’s position on the video. Real time velocity and force parameters at every point of the swimming cycle are displayed below the graphs. Kicking is done with a kickboard for freestyle, butterfly, and breaststroke. Backstroke kicking is tested in streamline position without a kickboard. In addition to these kicking positions, underwater fly kick may be tested for flyers, backstrokers, and freestylers (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Underwater fly kick.

Analysis of Swim Power Testing Results

Analysis of testing results is based on changes of swimming velocity (force, acceleration, and power) during the swim cycle. Since every swimmer has different strengths and weaknesses, feedback includes individual recommendations/drills to improve swimming (or water polo) technique.

Every swim stroke has specific changes of swimming velocity. The largest changes of velocity in swimming cycle are for breaststroke and butterfly. Normally, larger changes of velocity in swimming cycle are related to higher energy expenditure. In fact, studies in exercise physiology (Sokolovas & Woodruff, 2004, etc.) proved that butterfly and breaststroke are the most energy demanding strokes. A typical velocity curve in breaststroke is presented in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Breaststroke velocity curve (digitizing).

Individual recommendations from the new Swim Power test are focused on:

  1. Reduction of time at slow phases of the stroke
  2. A smaller drop of swimming velocity at slow phases of the stroke
  3. Maintaining higher swimming velocity for a longer time at fast phases of the stroke
  4. Minimizing fluctuations of velocity during the swimming cycle

Recently we developed Swim Power software, which quantifies/digitizes changes of swimming velocity in every stroke. The software analyzes many different parameters, such as average of swimming velocity during the fastest and slowest phases of the swim cycle, changes of swimming velocity during the swim cycle, velocity at various points of the cycle, timing of various phases of swim cycle, and many others. For instance, digitizing of breaststroke (see Figure 8) includes calculation of average velocity at every point of the stroke (at A, B, C, D, and E), velocities at all phases (A-B, B-C, etc.), average percent increase/decrease in velocity (from A to B, B to C, etc.), average percent time for each phase (A-B, B-C, etc.), and some other parameters. The number of swim cycle parameters is between 24 and 32 depending on the complexity of swim stroke.

You can find more information about the Swim Power test at www.globsport.org.