The Hive, powered by RITTER Sports Performance, brings the best coaches along with education and resources directly to you. Here’s a sneak peek from The Hive of Chris Ritter interviewing Coley Stickels, Head Coach of the University of Alabama, on how he uses drills with his sprinters.
Coley has had a lot of success with sprinters, not just with his new swimmers at the University of Alabama on display at SEC’s, but they also include Abbey Weitzeil and Santo Condorelli. His approach to training and drills is certainly one to explore. Some coaches seemed to greatly reduce or eliminate drill work over the years, especially when “race pace training” surged in popularity. It seemed that doing slow drills weren’t worth the time for many coaches.
But that’s where Coley’s approach is very interesting. His drills aren’t just a few basic ones you’ve heard of. In fact, sometimes he makes them up on the spot and they’re continually evolving.
Don’t confirm yourself as a coach to drills that you’ve been doing since you were a swimmer. You can learn from Coley’s approach, in that a drill’s main purpose to is bridge where a swimmer currently is with a characteristic to where they need to be in order to improve their
Therefore, a drill can be any speed and look like anything that can help move a swimmer more toward what their stroke or swimming performance should be like. It can be easy to become quickly frustrated as a coach when your swimmers don’t pick up a drill right away. That’s actually the point!
If your swimmers get the drill perfectly on the first few reps, chances are good it wasn’t really stretching them or helping them bridge to a new level of performance.
As a coach when you do drills with your swimmers you need to realize that the struggle is the point. Not doing the drill perfectly, as quickly as possible. Rather use the parameters of the drill to explore an aspect of swimming that hopefully enables a lightbulb moment for a different
level of performance.
Just as the sport of swimming continually evolves, your swimmers need to as well and therefore you as a coach need to make sure you evolve the drills you’re using too.
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