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Coaching Swimmers of Different Levels

QUESTION:

Hello,

I coach age group swimmers, half of them have been swimming for approximately 5-7 years, others are brand new. I am having a hard time coaching both groups at the same time and teaching the same thing to both regarding technique. Should I be teaching them different stuff ?

Thanks Perla

ANSWER:

Hi Perla, One of the most difficult tasks for a swimming coach in many programs is the wide variety, skill level and ages of swimmers in their squad program.  What you are experiencing is quite normal in many squad programs around the world.

My suggestion is that when you do sets, ask those more advanced swimmers to focus on more advanced aspects of the stroke or skill they are completing, while those less experienced are asked to focus on key skills like streamlining, long strong strokes and feeling the water.  You can also focus on teaching the technique needs for each individual swimmer and may be able to group them depending on their stroke development level and talk to small groups of swimmers about what each of them need to work on.

If one group is physically stronger or faster than another group of swimmers give them sets that are a bit more demanding and on a slightly faster time cycle.  For example while one lane does 12 x 100 on 1:30 another lane may be doing 18 x 50 on 60.  Both sets take 18 minutes and you are providing challenging sets for each level.

Regards

Gary

The Swimming Expert



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