Take a look inside one of the top high school programs in the country to see how the coaches develop a connected, focused, winning team!
- Experience how Carmel's coaches connect and interact with their athletes to develop the bond that is needed to get swimmers to be motivated to succeed with an unprecedented look inside an actual team practice
- Learn how to make the most of their time in the water to improve skills
- Have a better understanding of the importance of skill acquisition to help swimmers move more efficiently through the water
with Chris Plumb,
Head Coach and CEO of Carmel Swim Club;
Carmel (IN) High School Head Boys and Girls Swim Coach - each squad won the 2018 IHSAA State Championship;
7x State Champions (boys program - including 4 in a row 2015-18), 12 consecutive State Championship (girls program - 2007-18); has coached multiple Olympic trial swimmers and national age group record holders. USA Swimming Gold Medal Club of Excellence in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014, Team USA staff for the 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and the 2014 FINA World Championships, Indiana Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame (2011)
Connecting with your athletes each day is just as important as standing on the deck during a workout. By engaging with swimmers, you can keep them thinking and aware of what they're doing to help improve and train at a high level.
Learn how championship high school and Gold Medal club coach, Chris Plumb, uses the philosophy of connection to help athletes stay focused for an entire practice. He stresses communication along with providing a culture where the team strives for excellence. His use of everyday items for both dryland and in-water drills will make practice fun for all levels of swimmers.
Connecting with Your Swimmers
Connecting with athletes before practice on a personal level is an important part of everyday practices. It builds trust within the swimmer/coach relationship and camaraderie of the team as a whole. It keeps swimmers engaged, honest in their effort and it makes them feel cared for.
Coach Plumb presents four core themes of connection to emphasize in every practice. Connecting with athletes on a personal level, learning how the body connects to work as a unit, connecting with the water in various skills and sets, and finally connecting all skills learned to improve and be a complete, dynamic swimmer.
Within the warm-up period of practice, it's important to connect the pieces of the body to work as a whole. Improving coordination and readying the mind to swim at a high level of intensity are key take-aways. Coach Plumb emphasizes the idea of warming up the body to swim, rather than swimming to warm-up like many coaches spend the first 15-30 minutes of a practice. A quick dryland warm-up can shorten the amount of time needed to warm up in the water.
During skill acquisition, 25-30 minutes of practice is set aside to work on particular aspects of a stroke. During a two week cycle of three days per stroke, the skill set should be full of feedback, correction and interaction between coach and athlete. Coach Plumb doesn't spend much time with drills, instead choosing to focus on swimming with intent.
Drills don't have to be boring. Coach Plumb uses everyday items (perfect for teams on a budget) to help make drills fun and give a different twist on training - in and out of the water. A favorite piece of equipment of Coach Plumb is the wiffle ball. Swimming while holding the wiffle ball in their hand, and then removing the wiffle ball, helps swimmers develop a better connection to the water by experiencing the contrast of swimming with and without the ball.
Coordination is an important aspect of training for any sport. The team demonstrates many sets of skill/swim combinations in all the strokes. They also show the use of the "kick-out buoy," a homemade device that is attached to the lane line to give the athletes a target distance for underwater push-offs.
Athletes need to mix up their types of workouts in order to increase their capacity. Coach Plumb discusses his take on the aerobic and anaerobic power and capacity training in his season planning, why it's important, and what many coaches fail to do in their planning.
No matter how much experience you have, the best coaches have a desire to continue to learn and find new ways to help their own swimmer
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